LINDA FABIANI ON LABOUR'S DISARRAY

In the days following the resignation of Wendy Alexander as a Labour candidate, the spotlight has moved from the personal to the political.

Having explained this, her third, resignation as being to spend more time with her family, the spotlight was initially on her and not on the chaotic Labour Group she is leaving behind.

However, as the announcement coincided with a dreadful poll result for Labour, the focus quickly turned to the political implications.

On Newsnight, Iain Gray was forced to deny that the reason for her departure was that she had asked for a cabinet post and been rebuffed.

The fact that Labour is also under attack for its hypocrisy over the Megrahi case led commentators to examine what this episode says about Labour’s faltering Holyrood campaign.

Iain McWhirter in the Sunday Herald cut to the heart of Labour’s malaise – their unrelenting negativity and lack of credibility.

Based on Labour’s actions in opposition, McWhirter looked forward to the ‘policy blitz’ promised by Iain Gray:

1: increasing council tax;

2: cutting health spending in real terms;

3: restoring university tuition fees in the form of a graduate contribution;

4: stuffing yet more people in jail who shouldn’t be there;

5: protecting supermarkets from proper taxation.

Oh and jobs, of course – theirs. No wonder they were so determined to keep the price of booze down. We’ll need it.

Linda Fabiani said:

“Of course Iain Gray won’t be giving out cabinet jobs. Each demonstration of how cynical Labour is in opposition diminishes the prospect of them forming the Scottish Government after May.

“People understand that politics should be a clash of ideas, not a clash of egos. But, over the past four years, Labour has acted like a petulant child whose favourite toy has been taken away.

“Instead of addressing issues based on the best interests of the country, they consistently vote against policies they know to be right just to avoid an SNP government being seen to deliver.

“Because of their behaviour in opposition they are seen as cynical and unprincipled and have been left with a raft of policy positions that make them unfit for government.

“Whatever the real reason for Wendy Alexander’s resignation, it has galvanised this election by highlighting just how out of tune with the people of Scotland Labour has become.”

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