Scottish Labour Leadership elections

by our Scottish Political Correspondent

THE MONTH of August is generally known as the Silly Season when journalists scramble to find “proper news” when parliaments close and politicians head for the beach.

This year the Labour leadership campaign has generated plenty of “proper news” where the strong showing of Jeremy Corbyn has given rise to panic and smears in the rightwing press, including the Guardian.

It is a little known fact Scottish Labour is also having a leadership contest. This is a hard fought struggle between incumbent deputy leader Kezia Dugdale on the right and Ken Macintosh who is slightly different in ways which political scientists can discern by careful comparison of the fine print of policy statements.

Dugdale offers an exciting programme which includes: “Simpler procedures for the election of Scottish Executive Committee and Scottish Policy Forum Representatives with the Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer of the Scottish Labour Party.”

She has said that a Corbyn victory would “leave Labour carping on the sidelines for years” and wants a “reformed” House of Lords based in Glasgow, which ought to set the heather on fire.

In contrast to Dugdale, who was first elected in 2011 East Renfrewshire, MSP Macintosh has been at Holyrood since it was first established. He has been boasting of his heroic career as a parliamentary rebel.

In February 2002 he attained the dizzy heights of ministerial parliamentary aide to the Minister for Education and Young People, but heroically resigned that September when he voted against the closure of the Accident and Emergency department of his local hospital.

His greatest triumph was in passing a Bill to toughen up the regulation of sun-bed parlours. It is good to know that he wants “decent, compassionate and kind society”.

He stood unsuccessfully for the same post in 2011 when he made such a powerful impression that Labour leader Ed Miliband, so overcome by his charisma, could not recall his name.

The nation will be on tenterhooks when the result is declared on 15th August.