Wednesday 28 October 2009

Soft Shoe Shuffle

More on Labour's plan to run around and look like a crowd. At the time of writing Labour still doesn't have a transport spokesperson to replace Des McNulty; and there's no-one in Labour's ranks been tasked with addressing climate change.
Here's a laugh, though, who shadows whom? Labour has 11 members of its shadow cabinet to shadow the six members of the SNP Government cabinet, but it's not quite that simple ...
  • Salmond v Gray - standard stuff, but Salmond has cabinet responsibility for culture and the constitution and Pauline McNeill's in the Hank Marvin Cabinet with those responsibilities for Labour, so she shadows Salmond too. That'll scare him!

  • Swinney v Kerr - seems JS was having too easy a time of it because Michael McMahon has lumbered onto Labour's front bench for local government - and David Whitton has responsibility (but not front bench responsibility) for *ahem* Finance and Sustainable Growth. Three against one - did I just hear John Swinney laugh?

  • Lochhead v Boyack - straight fight, except Karen Gillon is Sarah Boyack's deputy and responsible for Rural Development which is entirely Richard's responsibility in Government, so he's got a double-upper.

  • MacAskill v Baker - wee Ricky's left without a tag-team member. The poor wee guy looks like an aperitif.

  • Sturgeon v Baillie - looks like a straight wrestling match until you remember that Ms Sturgeon (hey, I'm only brave once in a while) is also Deputy First Minister, so Johann Lamont is coming charging in from behind and Cathy Jamieson is Labour's Housing and Regeneration personage in cabinet so three of Labour's Shadow Cabinet members are there to deal with Nicola Sturgeon - that's more than a quarter of their cabinet! Jings, crivvens and help ma boab!

  • Hyslop v McNulty - what will Des do next? Well, actually that's a good question because Claire Baker has responsibility for tertiary education, Ken McIntosh schools, Karen Whitefield children and early years, Karen Gillon (again) skills, so what, exactly, is Des doing? Is he the mild-mannered janitor?

  • That leaves one member of Labour's shadow cabinet that we haven't accounted for - John Park - he has no equal! Well, actually, he's doing a party job (elections and campaigns) as a part of Labour's parliamentary shadow cabinet. I do hope he'll not be using any parliamentary resources for that job; like his parliamentary office, his computer and other office equipment, telephone, blackberry, expenses for shadow cabinet away-days, and so on. Parliamentary in this instance obviously covers anything paid for by Parliament whether it's on the Parliament campus, in the constituency office or even wee and portable!
Still with me? Right well, there's also the Ministers, 12 shadows to 10 real ones, but it's not that simple:
  • Crawford v Martin - only one against Bruce Crawford? With his reputation?

  • Russell v McNeill - except Pauline McNeill's in the shadow cabinet so it's an SNP Minister against a Labour shadow cabinet secretary. She'll have to split her time - Salmond saved from Dennis Healey - type mauling.

  • Robison v Simpson - except Shona also has sport, so Frank McAveety gets added to her load.

  • Neil v Mulligan - except Cathy Jamieson has the same portfolio as Alex but at cabinet level (is it a job creation scheme?). Like Des McNulty, though, what is Jackie Baillie actually responsible for in Labour's ranks? Her deputies fill all the responsibilities for her.

  • Mather v Macdonald - can Lewis Macdonald keep up with Jim Mather on the move? Can he mind-map while he does it? And why is this job listed under Environment in Labour's list?

  • Stewart Stevenson gets a walk-over, no-one in Labour's ranks has responsibility for tackling climate change or transport. There has to be a suitable successor to Des McNulty, surely? Of course there is - James Kelly! Go on, Iain, give the man a job!

  • Brown v McIntosh - it was always going to be a walk-over for Keith, so Barbie's beau gets Karen Gillon as a pal on skills (surely that's a typo on Karen Gillon's job? Rural Development, Economy and Skills and all under the environment portfolio?)

  • Ingram v Whitefield - Karen Whitefield (ignoring the conflict of interest with a party spokesperson chairing a committee which handles her spokespersonish duties) has shown a distinct lack of empathy for the subject matter and Adam Ingram has a detailed knowledge and a real desire to deliver for the children of Scotland. Karen will have to settle for being Robert McNeil's muse.

  • Ewing v Martin - yup, Paul Martin's got two jobs, one dealing with Bruce Crawford and the other trying to keep up with Fergus the Furious, famed Viking warrior (or something like that). It's almost like Labour's given up on making any impact in Justice - Iain Gray's put forward one Richard Baker and half a Paul Martin to take on MacAskill and Ewing. I bet he's looking forward to cheering on Third Lanark against Barcelona.

  • Cunningham v Murray - a contest strictly for rubber-neckers, one presumes.
That's half of Labour's group with shadow ministerial posts (and that's without counting those appointed whip, one on the Corporate Body, and committee convenors); is it a case of the leader having to avoid offending people? That's a sign of weakness, a sign that all is not well in the Labour leadership camp. It's time to dust off an old slogan - Eadie to Leadie!
Mind how you go.


Pollster 2000 said...

Hank Marvin cabinet...oh, dearie me.

Calum Cashley said...

I try, I try - I'm very trying!