Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Labour - shuffling along

Iain Gray has reshuffled his pack and it's come up jokers again.

Rhona Brankin's out of the education portfolio - and a good thing too, she never had the good grace to acknowledge the smallest ever class sizes, the school buildings pledge met a year and a half ahead of schedule, the introduction of the baccalaureate, the record support for Scottish students, the record funding for our colleges and universities, or any of the other successes in education. That portfolio is no place for a small-minded and bitter person, Scotland needs and deserves better. Still running that Labour party literacy commission (no it's not an oxymoron, don't be cruel) which was launched by Wendy Alexander more than a year ago and still hasn't done anything. Des McNulty comes galloping in to add some va-va-voom to the job. Fiona Hyslop will have to stay awake and pay attention to every detailed nuance from Des's desultory dialectics.

Andy Kerr becomes Shadow Secretary for Finance & Economy because that will free him up, he having been Shadow Secretary for ... erm ... Finance and Sustainable Growth. Right ... Anyway, he's been swinging wildly and catching air for two and a half years, maybe losing sustainability is just what he needs. John Swinney will spare time for a quick guffaw before launching back into the serious business of running Scotland's finances and ensuring sustainable growth in spite of the incompetence of the Labour Government in London

Cathy Jamieson is sacked from health and brought back in Housing and Regeneration. Earnest but uninspiring, at least Cathy still has some principles at her back. Alex Neil won't be worried, though, Cathy's been too principled to tell lies so far, so she's likely to actually welcome the good job that the SNP Government is doing.

Jackie Baillie flies back to front at health, shadowing Sturge the Unstoppable. The Health Secretary has been outed recently as a secret fan of Tunnocks Caramel Wafers, surprising those of us who thought she led an ascetic life - will the additional pressure of Jackie Baillie crush her will to win? The race is not always to the swift - but that's where the smart money goes.

Richard Baker stays at Justice. It's almost cruel to put that poor wee laddie up against Kenny MacAskill.

To be fair to Iain Gray he didn't really have much to choose from; his barrel has been scraped until the ground is showing through it. Henry McLeish may be right that Labour is "intellectually exhausted" and "time is running out for Scottish Labour". Perhaps that's why Iain Gray's MSPs have begun a whispering campaign against him.

They've still got a photograph of the wrong cabinet up on the website though.


Jeanne Tomlin said...

Do you suppose they don't bother with posting a new photo because it doesn't really matter who is in the Shadow Cabinet?

That's my guess.

Jim said...

A secret fan of Tunnock's Caramel wafers? That just doesn't make sense. Why would you keep it a secret?

ccfc said...

Richard Baker must have something on him for him to stay in the same post.......

Anonymous said...

No, but he did DONATE £520 to Iain Gray! (see SNP Tactical Voting for link).
Calum--good analysis as usual (including today's--28th)

Calum Cashley said...

Ah, the Caramel Wafers, you see ...

During conference Nicola had been interviewed (radio, I think) and had been asked what her favourite biscuits were. She said Jammy Dodgers - which had been her favourite biscuits in childhood, and I'm assuming she was caught on the hop with a daft question - and when Salmond introduced her for her keynote speech he grassed her up as having only Tunnocks Caramel Wafers in her house. She admitted it and told him that next time he popped round he'd better be bringing his own biscuits.

Jim said...

It's been Tunnocks for a long time!


Anonymous said...

Do you think there is any significance in the fact that they can't spell Lewis's name?

Energy, Enterprise & Tourism: Lewis Macdonals

Or is that just general incompetence?