Labour fight will be bloody whatever the final outcome
The Scottish Labour leadership contest finally got under way yesterday.
Sarwar has as much in common with Corbyn as a traffic cone with a hot air balloon
Well, officially anyway. In fact, a low-level riot of mud slinging, misspelt press releases and pointless virtue signalling between Richard Leonard and Anas Sarwar has been playing for days.
There seems little chance that this battle will suddenly f lower into an inspiring exchange of furious political thought which will energise and reinvigorate the party.
All the signs are of a depressing re-tread of the same old ground. The early exchanges were around gender equality, whether through women- only short l ists or guaranteeing a female deputy leader.
All laudable enough – but given that Scotland had female leaders of three of the main parties up until recently, should this be top priority?
Is it really what keeps traditional Labour voters who are struggling on the breadline awake at night?
Both candidates are all for it, naturally, with no significant points of difference.
With that safely established, and after a mild skirmish over the business practices of Sarwar’s family f irm, we were back to the constitution yet again yesterday.
You have to wonder why Sarwar bothered.
A likeable machine politician, he has about as much in common with Jeremy Corbyn as a traffic cone does with a hot air balloon.
He must have known that the f ight for the highly dubious prize of being Corbyn’s Holyrood lieutenant would leave h im bat tered and bruised – especial ly given those staffing Leonard’s backroom.
Sarwar had to run off last week to check whether the family business in which he’s a shareholder offers recognition to unions.
He didn’t answer immediately as the question had probably never been posed before.
Understandable, as the business is a medium-size cash and carry, not John Lewis.
Given this line of attack by the Leonard camp, Sarwar’s connections to private schooling are almost certain to be raised down the line. Even in the brutal world of Scottish politics, that will prove ugly.
Leonard is easily an easier fit for Scottish Labour and the early favourite.
Ever since Corbyn’s cheerleader-in-chief Neil Findlay decided he wasn’t standing, Leonard has offered the removal of conflict between Edinburgh and London.
Not much else so far, but what do you expect? An ideas-packed vision of the future which stretches beyond the party rank and file and appeals to voters?
That would be nice. Just don’t bank on it.