It appears that the Labour Party in Westminster has had enough of us Scots.
Stephen Ladyman, a former minister and the Labour MP for the marginal English seat of South Thanet, said: “It is important to recognise that the election is won or lost in England. We need to have English voices speaking and giving messages that make sense in English communities.”
In other words then, Scotland and its MPs are peripheral.
The Sunday Times reports that Labour MPs are concerned with the four cabinet Scots inability to communicate with people south of the border.
That’s so unfair though. They also have an inability to communicate with people north of the border.
Particularly Gordon Brown who has been reportedly phoning random members of the public for a chat at 6 in the morning. Apparently the chances of an early morning phone call increase if you write to him first. You have been warned!
Now there is a fresh move to get David Miliband to run against Brown. One senior Labour source is reported: “David Miliband won’t get the leadership if he goes for it when it’s easy, after Brown has lost the election. He is being told he should go for it now, or he won’t be backed later.”
So Labour are already admitting the election will be lost under Gordon Brown.
Whether having David Miliband as leader though will help their fortunes is doubtful. On the recent poll from The Sun, people stated that Labour would lose 4 % points if he was leader. It has to be said that other contenders like Harriet Harman and Ed Balls fared a lot worse, losing 10 % points for Labour.
The attempt to unseat Brown can be seen as a desperate party trying to remove the so-called “Scots Mafia” of cabinet MPs and replace them with English MPs to try and appease the English vote.
Other English Labour MPs make the point:-
Lindsay Hoyle, the MP for Chorley: “Voters are looking to see a better balance within the cabinet to ensure that all the regions of England are represented.”
Keith Vaz, a member of Labour’s ruling national executive committee and the chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, called for Brown to appoint an English deputy prime minister.
In a speech to Labour activists, Vaz suggested that Jack Straw, the Essex-born justice secretary, should take over full responsibility for domestic and economic policy. – so reports The Sunday Times.
Of course taking over economic policy would leave the Scottish Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, out of a job.
The Sunday Times suggested that MPs are also considering James Parnell for that role; as an ‘English’ spokesman.
We could be moving to a situation where in future, Scottish Westminster MPs could never again be Prime Minister.
I previously argued that this would be the case if David Cameron’s English votes for English matters proposal was made law. It looks as if the English Labour Party has come to the result by a different means.
The Scotland on Sunday quoted one MP: “We live in a world where there is a quota for women MPs and there may soon be quotas for black MPs. Why should there not be quotas for the English too? The Scots Mafia have dominated Brown’s team for too long.”
In other words, there’s not enough English in the cabinet, we want English MPs governing Westminster.
Perhaps they’re warming to the idea of independence after all!