Monday, 19 December 2011
The new leader of Scottish Labour (yes I know there's no such party but I'm using artistic licence), has declared her front bench.
Let's look at Team Lamont versus the Scottish government (in italics).
Leader: Johann Lamont vs Alex Salmond
Deputy Leader: Anas Sarwar vs Nicola Sturgeon
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland: Margaret Curran vs herself
Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth: Ken MacIntosh vs John Swinney
Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy: Jackie Baillie vs Nicola Sturgeon
Education and Lifelong Learning: Hugh Henry vs Mike Russell
Culture, External Affairs and Commonwealth Games: Patricia Ferguson vs Fiona Hyslop
Infrastructure and Capital Investment: Richard Baker vs Alex Neil
Justice: Lewis Macdonald vs Kenny MacAskill
Local Government and Planning: Sarah Boyack vs Derek McKay
Rural Affairs and the Environment: Claire Baker vs Richard Lockhead
The Labour shadow cabinet should hold no fears for the SNP government, although Lewis Macdonald may prove to be strong opposition for Kenny MacAskill and Sarah Boyack for Derek McKay. The Cultural, External Affairs and Commonwealth Games remit may provide some personality-clash styled entertainment with two strong-willed women involved.
I had hoped Johann Lamont would have promoted some of the newer MSPs in her party, but she's decided to stick to the old guard. Disappointing.
Oh, in case someone wonders why the Labour's new deputy party leader (above) doesn't hold a prominent role - it's because he's an MP and not a member of the Scottish Government. Mr Sarwar has been called 'the brightest of the bright young things' by Tom Peterkin of the Scotsman. Mr Sarwar isn't a 'weel kent' face here in the east so I know little about his talents, but he managed to dislodge Ian Davidson for which we must be grateful.
However, his appointment shows that Labour will continue to have unbreakable ties with their London colleagues.
Little seems to have changed.