15 August 2007

So long

If anything, the only surprise was that it came a week earlier than had been envisaged: Jack McConnell has quit as Labour Leader with immediate effect. That's notable in and of itself in that he isn't hanging around to see his successor in, he's not just going, he's actually gone. Cathy Jamieson is the Acting Labour Leader.

But it's looking like that's as close as she'll come to being in charge: Wendy Alexander has already declared her intention to stand, and she has the support of other tipped contenders Andy Kerr and Margaret Curran. It's doubtful that Jamieson will put her name forward. Indeed, it's doubtful that there'll be any serious contenders. Charlie Gordon may attempt to put his hat in the ring but he has to secure the support of 6 MSPs first. Given that the Alexander machine has been built up since before the election, and the speed at which it has been activated, I don't see anyone else being able to achieve even that.

And what of Jack? He appears to be heading for the House of Lords, but not until the New Year Honours. And he appears to be the next High Commissioner for Malawi (fitting, given the links he attempted to build up there), but a vacancy for that post will not arise until 2009, and he might not be able to fill it immediately as it would be hard for him to work in Malawi and be MSP for Motherwell & Wishaw. Given the state of the parties, he might not yet want to force a By-Election, but we will see where the land lies in 2009.

Meanwhile, with Elspeth Attwooll standing down from the European Parliament in 2009, George Lyon, now former MSP for Argyll & Bute and former Deputy Finance Minister is looking to return to elected politics. Clearly he's written off making a pitch for a return to Holyrood in 2011.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why should McConnell , who has no diplomatic experience whatsoever , be appointed to this post?

Appointments to civil service posts must be on merit, after a process of transparent competition . After all the taxpayer pays.

not some Labour cronnie arrangement.