Normally when I think a political party has made a mistake in its choice of leader, I would say "but I might be wrong, time will tell". I'm not going to say that on this occasion. Sarwar will be an atrocious leader, and he's the SNP's dream opponent. I burst out laughing every time I visit ConHome and see someone earnestly say "Sarwar is thought to be the man the SNP fear". Whoever managed to convince the unionists that Sarwar is some sort of political titan deserves the highest honour an independent Scotland can bestow. In a sane world he wouldn't even have been a candidate - the Labour 'moderates' will probably end up bitterly regretting that they didn't put up Jackie Baillie instead.
Saturday, February 27, 2021
I was genuinely conflicted about the Scottish Labour leadership election. To drum up support for Anas Sarwar, social media's top international socialist Dunc "don't call me Dunc" Hothersall tried to get a narrative going that independence supporters wanted Monica Lennon to win. But it was never as simple as that. Yes, Lennon had a somewhat less boneheaded stance than Sarwar on an independence referendum, but the downside of that is she could actually have succeeded in winning back a minority of independence supporters to the Labour fold, in which case an indyref could paradoxically have become less likely. I'm not sure that risk would have been worth it in exchange for a 10% chance that she might have been in a position to persuade Prime Minister Sir Keir to grant a Section 30 order in 2025 or 2026. More likely, actually, is that she would have gone native once in harness. So we may well be better off with Sarwar - he's a far poorer politician than Lennon, and his win sends a clear message to independence supporters that Labour don't want their votes.
Posted by James Kelly at 2:29 PM