Sunday, 4 March 2012
Dour and Dull
The new Scottish Labour new leader - Johann Lamont - finally stamped her personality on the party yesterday with an inaugural speech in Dundee.
I listened to it all - having given up an hour of my Saturday afternoon - and I can report that the speech was dour, dull and uninspiring - so no surprises there.
What was surprising was the amount of time taken up with personal attacks on Alex Salmond and the SNP - while so little detail was given about any credible Labour alternative.
Apparently Scotland's First Minister is a 'conman' and 'right wing idealogue' - who is in league with big business and out of touch with ordinary people.
Which are quite bizarre things to say against the background of last year's Scottish elections - and the fact that it has been Labour's big guns in London who have been supping champagne and eating oysters - with Rupert Murdoch.
Whereas all the News International boss received during an official business meeting at Bute House - the First Minister's official residence - was a cup of tea and a Tunnock's caramel log.
So Johann Lamont seems to be going for a new Punch and Judy style of politics - any old nonsense will do so long as you stick to the script and keep repeating yourself - ad nauseam.
Equality got a mention a couple of times - but there was not a single word said about equal pay - the biggest equality issue of them all in Scotland over the past ten years.
The reason for Johann's silence on that score is obvious - because would require a Labour leader to speak candidly about the terrible track record of the big Labour run councils - and the Labour supporting unions.
Instead Johann played safe and said nothing although her husband - Archie Graham - got a brief mention but one which stayed well away from his role as a senior councillor in the City of Glasgow.
In fact the other big omission from Johann's was the local council elections - due in only eight weeks time.
But again the issue was ducked - so there was no encouragement for North Lanarkshire Council to get its finger out and settle people's outstanding claims - as other Scottish councils have done.
All things considered I have to admit made a big mistake - I should have gone out and done something more useful yesterday afternoon.
Because I learned nothing remotely new or interesting - during the new Dear Leader's speech from Dundee.