Scrapbook’s acting editor Socialist Animal get’s about a bit. Yesterday I put in a guest appearance on Will Patterson’s blog speculating as to the contenders for Shadow Secretary of Scotland. I speculated that as all the current Scots in the Shadow Cabinet have been Scottish Secretary before it’s unlikely that any of them will want the job again. I concluded therefore that the likely contenders would be someone who’s held some lower ministerial job in the past and someone who’s supporting one of the two Milibrothers. That means Ann McKechin and Margaret Curran who are both supporting Ed Miliband, and Tom Harris, Frank Roy, David Cairns and Anne McGuire who are all supporting David.
Margaret Curran, though a formet Cabinet Minister in Scotland, is a new MP and not thought to be interested in climbing the greasy pole. Ann McKechin was Labour’s last PUSS in the Scotland Office and in the event of a Miliband (E) victory could potentially be a contender.
However the more likely scenario is that the Shadow Secretary of State will be one of the elder Miliband’s supporters. Tom Harris seems to have burned his bridges with his blog, and Frank Roy – though an affable figure in private – is probably too abrasive a character to be London Labour’s man in Scotland, particularly with an election just months away. David Cairns was Minister of State for Scotland during the last Holyrood elections, which weren’t exactly a stellar success for Labour or the Scotland Office. This leaves Stirling MP Anne McGuire.
A popular figure with both activists and MPs, Anne McGuire could play well against Salmond while not over-shadowing Scots leader Iain Gray. And if she can make a few more speeches like her 1998 ‘Gies a job!’ conference speech then she’ll certainly rouse the troops.
Success in the Scotland job can lead to big promotions, and with Labour polling a 16-point lead for next year’s Holyrood elections whomever get’s the job has got to fancy their chances.