Saturday, 29 March 2008


I've been watching Labour's conference (I know, I know, it's almost masochism). It's awfy boring, but has a slight undercurrent of interest. They've been speaking about the SNP more than anything else - a strange fascination.

Wendy Alexander fell a bit flat - another long-winded history rant and another attempt at self-justification. Her only discussion of policies was to hark back to Labour's failed manifesto from last year's election and to pledge to try to implement it - nothing about the future, and nothing about her Independence Commission. On the bright side, she wants us all to have a say in selecting Labour candidates - excellent!

She announced the setting up of about a dozen internal Labour review bodies - it reminded me of what Brian Wilson said:
"Wendy Alexander is very much part of the presiding influences in Labour politics over the past 20 years in Scotland who have decided that politics is really about constitutions and commissions and the more we set up the better life must be."
Wendy Alexander has a great reputation as a policy wonk - it's an empty reputation, the evidence suggests she's pretty poor.
The reception from the small audience was muted, and if she can't get her own party roaring then she really has problems. Lesley Quinn's speech earlier in the day was far better.

Interesting wee point from Gordon Brown from yesterday - he talked about "whenever the next Holyrood election is called" - is Labour trying to bring about another election or does Gordon Brown just not know how the Scottish Parliament works? More and more Brown looks like a man heading for disaster, the Conseratives look to be charging towards a substantial general election victory in England - whenever it gets called. We're heading into interesting times!

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