Leader needed who’s done ‘real work’

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A sure sign of fear is a caveat planted in advance.

Such is the case with the letter from David Fiddimore (Letters, 10 November) when he tries to make Labour look good in having a leadership election as compared with the SNP’s “coronation” of Nicola Sturgeon. The simple fact is Nicola Sturgeon is outstandingly ­capable and is seen to be so by fellow MSPs, MPs and the ­public. On the other hand, ­Labour has had to scrape under the barrel for ­candidates.

Mr Fiddimore mentions Neil Findlay and Katy Clark as politicians who have work experience outside of politics. I’m glad to see the unions are supporting the former and if I were a member I would ­certainly support these two.

Unfortunately, however, the favourites, counting on the MSP/MP/MEP Labour institutional vote equal to one-third of the electoral college total, are Jim Murphy and Kezia Dugdale. Strange that Mr Fiddimore didn’t mention them, isn’t it?

Jim Murphy has spent 17 years in Westminster, paying no attention to Holyrood until he realised he was being sidelined by Ed Miliband. His performance on the crate ­during the indyref was clearly a stunt to gain publicity for himself with a view to the ­future. He has no work experience in the real world as an adult. He spent nine years in university, leaving without a degree. He spent time with the NUS, Labour students and took time out to work in that sphere. He moved on to a job with Labour, then became an MP.

Kezia Dugdale has a similar record: university, NUS, job with a Labour lord, then became an MSP. If these two were to form the new Labour leadership and actually win power in Holyrood, Scotland would end up with a politburo from the Labour Right, barely distinguishable from the Tories and totally ­lacking the breadth of experience needed to administer a ­country.

Thomas R Burgess

St Catherine’s Square


Guess who said this not so long ago: “The US victimised Cuba because the island had the temerity to offer an alternative route, based on equality, humanity and justice”?

It was Neil Findlay, the Labour MSP standing for the leadership of the Scottish ­Labour Party. So you can take a stab at where he would like to take Scotland based on his praise for Communist-run Cuba. If he wins, it could even make erstwhile Labour voters stay with the SNP.

Mr Findlay has already nailed his colours to the mast, demanding Clear Red Water between the Labour Party and all others. It would need to be off the scale to meet that label here in Scotland. The unions (with a third of the electoral vote) just love people with that kind of rhetoric; trouble is, he’ll make ­Labour unelectable and leave the way clear for deep pink SNP.

Now, where did I put those packing cases?

Stan Hogarth

Palmerston Place