Harris admits defeat in Scottish leadership contest

11th December, 2011 10:16 am

Tags:

Tom Harris has admitted defeat in his bid for the leadership of the Scottish party, but not without throwing a barb at the party. The MP told Scotland on Sunday:

“Realistically speaking I am not sure that the Scottish Labour party is prepared to take as radical a step as having an MP as its leader yet.”

“My message has been that Labour is in really deep trouble and that we need to think outside the box. There is no indication that the party is prepared to do that yet and I don’t know why.”

Harris has faced an uphill struggle throughout the leadership contest, without the backing of MSPs, constituency parties or trade unions held by his rivals. The result will be announced in one week.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

    I think Scottish Labour have had the sense to realise that whatever the problems, the answer is not to choose a divisive Blairite MP not in the Scottish parliament. 

    Scottish Labour needs to recognise that Holyrood and the rise of the SNP has changed the agenda, and the choice of a Westminster MP associated with the Blairite ultras would be a major mistake

    • Anonymous

      I love the thinking out side the  box remarks….

    • Andy

      It’s also worth noting, Mike, that Harris failed to secure the backing of even a single MSP in his leadership bid. The Nits would run rings around him for that reason alone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001102865655 John Ruddy

      While I disagree with Tom on some of his policies, I think he has got the politics spot on. As someone else has said, SNP seem to do “Labour” better than we do. This is where Tom actually scores very well, he knows what we have to do to take on the SNP. One of the many reasons why we lost the election in Scotland was we were trying to take on the tories, and position ourselves as anti-tory. Thats why it matters less whether the leader is a blairite or not. That is not the battle we need to fight.

  • Daniel Speight

    In a year of mostly bad news sometimes there have been small glimpses of bright light.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1557475545 Jack Bonner

    Ken Macintosh for me. Johann, although more than capable, is too closely associated with past failures and I don’t think she can shake them off.

    I just hope it’s a clear cut result and Ken doesn’t end up losing on the basis of the Union vote!

  • Franwhi

    It’s amazing that the last Labourlist post on Scotland was on the 17th November particularly in the midst of a Scottish Labour leadership election. Talk about moribund.
    I agree that Tom’s not the answer although I’m not sure who is… However I think he is to be applauded in one sense for daring to mix it up a bit in the first place. I fear whoever wins will be pushing a political elephant uphill because the SNP seem to do “Labour” better than Labour these days

  • Hamish

    The only glimpse of light will be when Labour embrace Scottish Independence.

    • Dave Postles

      Scottish independence.  It grieves me to say so, but I believe you are right.  An association with the Nordic countries will be beneficial.  You will replace ‘England’ for inward investment for access to the single market – the rest of the world is only interested in the UK as a point of access to the single market.  You will have immense energy resources which can be linked into a network grid of the North Atlantic. 

      • Dave Postles

        I actually meant the North Sea grid!

    • http://twitter.com/Newsbot9 Newsbot9

       And so abandon it’s principles? Yea, I’m sure you’d love that.

      • Anonymous

        Principles seem to have placed it in a mess, sadly people now do not want the labour way, so you find out why and then you change,

        • http://twitter.com/Newsbot9 Newsbot9

           Yes, try “being left wing”. It’s what I’m advocating, if you missed that.

          • Anonymous

            Left wingers died out with Wilson for god sake.

      • Hamish

        Would that be the principle that every nation has the right to determine its own affairs apart from Scotland?

  • Anonymous

    Tom Harris talked and wrote sense. He looks and acts normal.

    That debars him as a Leader.

    (see E Mlliband as a contrast.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

    I agree. If Tom Harris had wanted to take this direction, then he should have stood for Holyrood last time. That is now the centre of action in a devolved Scotland. However, I think were it not for the fact that he is out of favour at Westminster  he would not have expressed interest in this post – and hasn’t before. 

    It is an issue for Labour that young activists in Scotland still seem to want to pursue a Westminster rather than Holyrood career

    • Franwhi

      ..and the not so young like M Curran and C Jamieson who have moved onward and upward from Edinburgh to Westminster. Do they believe Holyrood is a “sand pit” on the way to bigger and better things ? I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to serve in the devolved administation of your own country unless you felt your career was more important than your constituents.   

  • John Ruddy

    Theres a different reason for that. The MSPs have never wanted an MP as leader.

Latest

  • News Labour leadership hopefuls pass judgement on Osborne’s Sunday trading proposals

    Labour leadership hopefuls pass judgement on Osborne’s Sunday trading proposals

    George Osborne has announced that shops in England and Wales may be allowed to stay open for longer on a Sunday. Labour’s leadership candidates aren’t impressed. As it stands, the law permits smaller shops to stay open all day, but those bigger than 280 sqm are only allowed to be open for 6 hours. Osborne’s proposals would change this, giving elected mayors and local councils the power to relax laws in their area. However, it seems Labour’s leadership candidates who’ve commented […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Labour needs to speak the language of ethnic minorities if it wants to win 2020

    Labour needs to speak the language of ethnic minorities if it wants to win 2020

    What does 20% mean to you? On it’s own it is nothing – a mere solitary figure – but when put into context of the general election it’s the ethnic minority swing from Labour to Conservatives. It shows that the Labour Party have completely missed the messages we should be delivering to the ethnic minority communities across Britain. We’ve totally missed it on the economy, mental health and immigration, remaining as committed and steadfast towards the descriptor “party machine” than […]

    Read more →
  • News Remembering 7/7: tributes from Labour movement

    Remembering 7/7: tributes from Labour movement

    Today is 10 years since the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London, in which 52 people were killed and hundreds were injured. We’ll be collating words and tributes from across the Labour movement today. Ken Livingstone who was Mayor at the time and gave a moving speech which you can read here, has said the following: Thinking of those killed and hurt 10 years ago and the brave people who helped London respond. London did not let the bombers succeed. — […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Don’t just moan – moderates need to organise if they want their voices heard in trade unions

    Don’t just moan – moderates need to organise if they want their voices heard in trade unions

    It did not come as a surprise that Unite nominated Jeremy Corbyn for the Leadership of the Labour Party. There had been a high likelihood this would happen from the moment Jeremy made it onto the ballot paper. The absence of surprise doesn’t make it any more palatable a moment though. Unlike some commentators I am not moved to frenzy by this. Jeremy won’t win the leadership because you need 50% of the votes after transfers to do that, and […]

    Read more →
  • News Labour’s next leader needs to get older voters back on side, urges Liam Byrne

    Labour’s next leader needs to get older voters back on side, urges Liam Byrne

    Liam Byrne has urged Labour’s next leader to get “the silver majority” back on side. Or he warns the party will be left “on the sidelines” at the next election. In an article for the Telegraph (£), the Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills writes the Britain’s “silver majority” – those aged over the age of 55  – might for the first time “make up the majority of voters in the 2020 general election.” Byrne argues that the Tories won […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit