Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Gordon Brown: Labour's last Scottish leader?

If the Boyack-Murphy review's recommendations come to pass the Labour party in Scotland will soon(ish) have a single leader, chosen from amongst their coterie of MSPs, MPs and MEPs. Which makes me wonder, will a Scot ever again lead the Labour party at UK level?

How would that work exactly? They would simultaneously be leading their Scottish leader, yet would also be being led by them. The image it brings to mind is of two dogs circling whilst sniffing each others rear ends.

If they were to disagree on policy who would defer to whom? I presume it would depend if the policy in question concerned a reserved power or a devolved one. But if it were a reserved issue what about any Barnett consequentials? Would and indeed should the Scottish leader keep schtum despite the impact on Scotland's pocket money? A headache for all concerned.

In any case it may well be academic. It's not so long since Gordon Brown was regularly slated south of the border for being "too Scottish" to be PM. Will UK Labour have an appetite for another Scottish leader any time soon? I suspect not, despite Ed Miliband's continued floundering...


Anonymous said...

I doubt that there will ever be another Scot leading the Labour Party in England. Gordon Brown was such a disaster that, although his hopelessness was nothing to do with his nationality, the English will be wary that a Scots leader would bring to mind the meltdown that Brown was responsible for, making him, and them, unelectable.

forfar-loon said...

Yes tris, I think the continuing and increasing divergence of Scottish and English politics will make it ever more difficult. The West Lothian question looms large down south, and having a Scottish leader driving through policies for England despite them not applying to his/her constituency will be an open goal for the opposition.

If things do turn out this way then Scotland finds itself in a strange position, one in which our politicians can never aspire to the highest office.