Richard Leonard tried to take support Labour issues and have them cut through the overload of the constitution thereby reclaiming for Labour the mantle of the genuinely progressive celebration in Scottish politics. And he attempted, typically with real enthusiasm and always with real issue. But he simply could not puncture the constitutional bubble.
Long as Scottish politics is specified by the long shadow of 2014, Scottish Labour will stay limited until they have something significant to say. What is to stop them from saying, a future Labour government will enact laws for a brand-new referendum and offer our package of reform against the SNPs vision of independence?
Such a position would do two things. Partially neutralise the charge they will not offer voters an option and secondly put them back in the game of assisting to craft modification. It might, naturally, be too little, too late.
Jackie Baillie is the one Labour politician at Holyrood who can rile the federal government but she is not standing. I suspect that Sarwars experience will see him through..
The task wont phase him if he wins. He is also not without courage as his campaigns on bigotry have revealed. But in the coming weeks he needs to set out a clear agenda, among distinct policy which rise above warm words and which give Scottish Labour a platform of firm structures.
Lennon is most likely to win the support of those on the partys left who characterise Sarwar as an unwanted echo from the days of New Labour. That latter concern will not sit well with some on the partys left, who despair that Labour traps itself by dancing to the SNPs tune on the constitution.
In the 1970s, Labour used a Scottish Assembly and their efforts branded them as a party of modification. Richard Leonard tried to take bread and butter Labour issues and have them cut through the overload of the constitution therefore reclaiming for Labour the mantle of the truly progressive party in Scottish politics. In the coming weeks he has to set out a clear agenda, one of distinct policy which increase above warm words and which provide Scottish Labour a platform of firm foundations.
Its that time once again, yet another contest to elect a brand-new leader of the Scottish Labour Party, the tenth of the devolved period.
This time there are two gluttons for penalty, Glasgow MSP Anas Sarwar, who lost the last contest in 2017 to Richard Leonard, and Central Scotland MSP Monica Lennon.
Leonards surprise resignation last Thursday was prompted by the understanding that some trade unions who had provided his leadership the benefit of the doubt, were unlikely to back him in any confidence vote. A behind closed doors heave proved definitive where last Septembers stab-him-in-the-front coup stopped working, not least because his critics moved without having the numbers to succeed.
From Donald Dewar in 1999 it has pertained to this. With every contest the party looks even more away from influence, nevermind power.
Lennon is most likely to win the support of those on the celebrations left who characterise Sarwar as an undesirable echo from the days of New Labour. Lets simply say he is not a guy of the Labour left and that is great enough for them.
Lennon has not been brief on straightforward views. She desires a celebration that is less connected to London and has actually been noticeably more open minded on the question of a 2nd self-reliance referendum. That latter problem will not agree with some on the partys left, who misery that Labour traps itself by dancing to the SNPs tune on the constitution.
The most standard problem for whoever emerges victorious is how they stop the decrease. In the 1970s, Labour offered a Scottish Assembly and their efforts branded them as a party of modification. Likewise, their support for the Constitutional Convention in the late 1980s in part enabled them to drive the project for modification and then provide the Scottish Parliament. They substantially owned the program.
Post 1999, they have ended up being the party of the status quo and have stopped to articulate any significant program on how Scotland should be governed. Their despair is more broadly one of the Better Together side in 2014. Independence provides modification, Unionists use words about the nightmare of the SNPs endgame without crafting a distinct platform for themselves.
On the constitution both prospects have two concerns to answer. IndyRef2, yes or no? And what modification are you providing?
Keir Starmer is more comfortable with constitutional politics in a way that Jeremy Corbyn was not. Although any recovery for Labour will need to be made in Scotland, it does not do the party any harm that Starmer is well seen by electors on the proficiency front and in fact understands constitutional reform.
If IndyRef2 takes location, Labour will not make the error of joining forces with the Tories. That decision back in the day has proved very damaging. They require something of substance to sell beyond vague words and flying kites significant Federalism..
This is the party of Willie Ross, John Smith, Gordon Brown, Robin Cook, the previously mentioned Dewar. In comparison it would be charitable to bestow the description light-weight on the wannabe leaders.
If that judgement sounds over-personal, it is not indicated to be, it is merely a recognition that politics is a difficult, unforgiving service which places big intellectual and emotional difficulties on anyone who seeks to lead. With respect to Sarwar and Lennon, they are simply not in the same league as those who controlled in previous years.
Only 37, Anas Sarwar has been around a while and is well versed in the frequent unpleasantness of internal division. He has a thicker skin than his slightly boylike manner suggests. His dad is also a heavyweight champ of past fights and he will have counselled his kid wisely. Whatever else can be said of Sarwar, he understands what he is taking on.
Monica Lennon has been an MSP for practically 5 years and because time has campaigned vigilantly and, when it comes to ending period hardship, highly successfully. The leap from inexperienced front-bencher to leader shows no lack of aspiration. If she is temperamentally fit to the demands of management, I do not understand her so I cant judge. Lets simply say this looks like a huge ask for a relative beginner to frontline politics.