John McTernan Blog Extract
New Stateman, by John McTernan
Kez’s biggest problem will not be the SNP. It will be her own party. She made a mistake in not standing on a ticket. Her dominance in the party would have ensured anyone she put on a ticket with her would have been elected deputy. Wrongly she did not do that – and she got Fife MSP Alex Rowley instead. This could well be a problem.
There’s a well-known story of a newly elected Labour backbencher sitting in the House of Commons looking at the Tories across the chamber. “That’s what the enemy look like,” she says. “No,” says an older MP, “that’s the opposition. The enemies are all around you.” That is the problem Kez will have. There are serial disloyalists in the Scottish Labour Party, people whose aim is to drag down leaders they never wanted in the first place. It doesn’t matter what your majority and mandate is from true party from Day One they will scheme and plot to remove you. Kez has to grip the party firmly, directly and immediately. Otherwise, this time next year we will be talking about Labour’s seventh leader in nine years.