Tuesday 27 November 2007

I feel sorry for Wendy Alexander

I carry no torch for wee Wendibles (although I'm sure she's desperate about me), but I've been thinking -

Since she took over as leader of the Laborious Party (Scotland branch), she's had a right good doing over -

Salmond monsters her week after week in the chamber -
Her staff resign every couple of weeks (look out for more on Gavin Yates soon) -

The research that's done for her is simply not up to scratch -
George Foulkes embarrasses her regularly with his mumbled spoutings -

She has a very shallow pool to choose from for her front-bench team -

So many people have told her she's talented that she's started to believe it despite all evidence to the contrary -

The party she belongs to is falling apart in Englandshire as well as in Scotland so she can get no support -

She has no hinterland to call on when times get tough -

And her own group are knifing her in the back on a regular basis. I don't care whether Labour tears itself apart, but Scotland needs a good opposition and that needs teamwork rather than treachery.

Whether or not Labour MSPs supported her leadership bid (and if memory serves me, there were only 5 who refused), they should be backing her leadership. If they thought they could do a better job they should have stood against her - at least then there would have been a debate and a vote and the winner would have had a proper mandate.

Instead of that principled contest we now have senior Labour 'sources' briefing against her at every opportunity, doing her down and apparently seeking some political advantage for themselves. Lacking the courage to come out into the open and stand up for their opinions, they hide behind the cloak of anonymity which they know journalists must give them in order to be able to write the stories up properly.

Those senior Labour sources will be shadow ministers - Wendy's hand-picked team - appearing grateful for the chance to contribute but wielding the knife in the shadows. At least Zebedee Foulkes has the decency to put his name to his own rambling.

As I say, Wendy Alexander has my sympathy as all her dreams fall apart around her.

Not that I'm going to let up on her, you understand...

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