13 June 2007

New Politics

The ink is hardly dry on the list of each Committee's members, but already, we have had a resignation: Helen Eadie (Lab, Dunfermline East) has quit Equal Opportunities and Subordinate Legislation, in protest at the Tories providing the Convener of the former. She was also the only MSP to vote against the proposed make-up of the Committees.

Her exact words involved comparing the move to "putting Attila the Hun in charge of care in the community"!

So in the past few weeks we've had Anne Moffat MP comparing Alex Salmond to Hitler and now this, such vivid imagery we're getting from Scottish Labour right now.

Incidentally, Eadie's dislike of the Tories is quite interesting, especially as she voted with the Tories in the Skills and Vocational Education debate on Thursday, even voting for a Tory amendment last Thursday. Where was her pathological hatred of the Conservatives then?!

No, this has nothing to do with the Tory Convenership. This is to do with what Committees she's been dumped on. Equal Opportunities is regarded as the Siberia of Holyrood: its Convener, Margaret Mitchell is the Tories only backbencher. The Deputy Convener, Labour's Elaine Smith is unashamedly leftie and committed the cardinal sin of agreeing with the SNP's decision to reverse the closure of Monklands A&E. The other Labour member, on the Committee, Marlyn Glen, is on the Party's Left. Bill Wilson, who challenged John Swinney's Leadership of the SNP in 2003 is there as well. I'm afraid I'm at a loss as to what Hugh O'Donnell did to annoy the LibDem leadership, but he's there too. Subordinate Legislation, meanwhile, is important, but like many important things, deadly dull. The SSP were offered Deputy Convenership of this Committee in 2003 and refused to put anyone forward for it. Some may accuse them of childishness for that, but I think they knew what they would be letting themselves in for.

But I digress. The fact is, this is the second childish outburst by a Labour backbencher in a short space of time. They haven't got the hang of New Politics, have they?


BellgroveBelle said...

They haven't got the hang of it in the Councils yet, and some of the Labour ones I've come across are still grumbling about how much they dislike the new multi-member wards. Perhaps it's because I keep turning up at things and stealing their limelight?

Anonymous said...

Bit of an insult to Margaret Mitchell comparing her to Attila the Hun. Everyone knows that she's well to the Right of him.....

Anonymous said...

Er, equal opportunities unless you're a Tory. And a women one as well!


Ted Harvey said...

Well, Helen Eadie's objections can hardly be about a class hatred of the Tories can it? - given how Labour local parties are now getting into bed with the Tories in some local authorities to defeat the tide of popular politics?

My understanding is that in South Lanarkshire they offered the Tories a deal on a plate that, at the very last minute, the Tories turned down.

Now it's suspected that there is an 'understanding' between the two... meantime this enables long-time-old-town-hall Labour Leader man Eddie McAvoy to stay on... at least it keeps his MP Tommy McAvoy MP company.

Changer said...

I don't think Mitchell can placed to the left or right politically, she just plods along checking her make-up and her hair all the time. It speaks volumes that (despite what you might read in the press) she wasn't offered any front bench role.