The reforms passed today by Labour’s Scottish Executive Committee (SEC) have been long overdue within our party.
The move to One Person One Vote (OPOV) gives more power to members and registered supporters and allows everyone an equal voice on who leads the Scottish Labour Party.
Indeed, this process would almost certainly have been adopted for the previous leadership contest but for logistical reasons. OPOV allows our party to be as far reaching as possible, recognising the difficult position we are in post the General Election, but allowing members and supporters the maximum influence on the way forward for our party.
This will be the process used for the election of Scottish Leader and Deputy Leader in the forthcoming leadership contest – you can see the full timetable for this here.
Any MSP, MP or MEP may stand as a candidate for Leader. For the position of Deputy Leader the SEC has agreed to widen this to include councillors, recognising the role that they play within our Party and the critical function they have in protecting our most vulnerable from SNP Government cuts to our local authorities.
Likewise, the SEC today also took the decision to open up Regional List selections to as many participants as possible. We want to see the best candidates put themselves forward to represent our Party in the Scottish Parliament, regardless of how long they have been in the party or indeed what sector they come from.
The nightmares have started already. Shadows flickering on the edges of my field of vision. Whispers just beyond the borderlands of my hearing. Sudden chills grip my joints and lock my bones.
We thought we’d seen the end of Alistair Darling meddling in our laws and public affairs when he announced he would not contest Edinburgh East – but rather than try to win democratically, he slithered away in the face of the SNP surge. He would not even grant his electorate the dignity and justice of ejecting him personally – he ran from the fight so he could be appointed by his friends in Westminster, and continue to represent the people of Scotland who rejected his party three-to-one. So too with Malcolm Bruce and Menzies Campbell, who are members of a party with more unelected representatives than MPs, MSPs, MEPs, and AMs combined. We thought we cast Danny Alexander into the night, only to find it turned out to be knight.
If only peerages were the only way for usurped or disgraced Scottish MPs could come back to haunt us. “Where’s Jim Murphy these days?” “Why did they have former MPs like Ian Davidson, Anne Begg and Tom Greatrex on Newsnight?” “Imagine if they opened up the list places to get people like Margaret Curran and Douglas Alexander back in!” One wonders if Inverclyde might be one of those seats…*
You know we dare not speak their names aloud! Say their names three times into the mirror at midnight, they say, and the spectre appears over your shoulder. We cast the incantations of banishment, dispelled their power, and cast them to the abyss from whence they came. They would trouble us with their lies and inanities and smears no more. They are done. They are finished. And you would risk bringing them back by uttering their names?
You fools – we just got rid of them!