Letter: Labour listing

The recent comment by former Scottish Labour Party leader Jack McConnell (now Lord McConnell), that in future the leader of the Labour Party in Scotland should be chosen by Scottish Labour MSPs only, speaks volumes.

It has always been the case that Westminster Labour MPs have the clout to ensure that the elected Scottish leader would be someone who would be servile to them, and not step out of line on Westminster policy or do something for Scotland which would show Scotland in a better light than England.

You don't need to look far to see this. In the last parliament, Scottish Labour MSPs led by Iain Gray voted against the freezing of the council tax, the abolition of prescription charges (which in England now cost 7.40 per item) and the Alcohol Reform Bill (minimum pricing) in case it offended their political masters in London.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Since the Scottish Parliament was formed, Labour in Scotland has operated a three-tier system. The brightest of the bunch go as Labour MPs to London, the Second XI become first-past-the-post candidates for Holyrood, and those left who are due some favours, or have given loyal service to the party (such as Lord Foulkes), get on to the regional list.

What the Scottish election has done is to show Labour that it cannot continue to live in the past or it will finish up like the Tories. Canvassers from different political parties told me that there are a lot of lifelong Labour voters who want independence.

Surely it is time for Scottish Labour to examine its intransigence on this issue.

John S Jappy


Muir of Ord, Ross-shire