Tom Harris MP is, I am sure, a nice man, well meaning even, but he is wrong to dismiss the need for radical change in the way the Labour Party is structured. At times of crisis, and I struggle to think of another word to describe where we are as a political party, you have two choices, to batten down the hatches and hope that it will all go away or you can offer real and lasting solutions to get you it of the crisis. Tom Harris it would seem, is a "batten down the hatches" man. I am not, nor are many of the Scottish Labour Party. We have known for some time that change was needed in the way the party was structured and how power was used. Just as Donald Dewar called devolution a journey not a destination, so the Labour Party and its constituent parts needs to adapt to the changes that journey brings.
I have said before that Gordon Brown missed the mood both of the Country and the Party with his Commons answer about Wendy Alexander's call for referendum at a level much deeper than simply the issue of the referendum. He could go some way to beginning to repair that damage by heeding the call of people like Tom McCabe for a federalist Party that puts the Scottish party in a position to be the Party it can be for Scotland.
The sad thing is, the Scottish Labour Party has a whole lot more control over its own affairs that is often portrayed but truth in politics is 9/10th perception and saying "its not like that, really, honest!" is no longer good enough., Real and palpable change within the Labour Party has to happen for the Scottish Labour Party to once again be perceived as it once was, the party that is best able to stand up for for the values, aspirations and hopes of the Scottish people. In doing so it would make a far greater contribution to the survival of the Union that it is at present able to do.
Keith Simpson's Christmas Reading List
1 day ago