Scottish Labour’s new leader, Johann Lamont, has moved to appoint her new Shadow Cabinet. It looks as if Margaret Curran will become the first Shadow Scottish Secretary to serve in both Ed Miliband’s and Johann’s Shadow Cabinets.

Posts announced so far:


Scottish Labour Leader: Johann Lamont

Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland: Margaret Curran

Scottish Labour Party Deputy Leader: Anas Sarwar

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth: Ken Macintosh

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy: Jackie Baillie

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning: Hugh Henry

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Culture, External Affairs and the Commonwealth Games: Patricia Ferguson

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment: Richard Baker

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice: Lewis Macdonald

Shadow Cabinet Secretary forLocal Government and Planning: Sarah Boyack

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment: Claire Baker

Scottish Labour Parliamentary Business Manager: Paul Martin

Chief Whip: James Kelly

Shadow Minister for Youth Employment: Kezia Dugdale

Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Johann Lamont: Siobhan McMahon

Deputy Shadow Ministers:

Social Justice: Drew Smith

Public Health: Dr Richard Simpson

Justice: Jenny Marra



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42 thoughts on “Lamont appoints her new team: UPDATED

  1. Letter to Johann
    Posted on December 18, 2011

    By Patrick Small

    Dear Johann
    Congratulations on your victory. If you’re to dispel the notion that Scottish Labour leaders have steadily diminished since Donald Dewar, each one seeming progressively less capable and less attuned to the country they seek to lead, you’re going to need to take advice from across the board. For what it’s worth, here’s mine:

    1. Get Humble

    Labour didn’t just lose the election in May, you got horsed. You are where you are because the Scottish electorate put you there. Your victory speech suggested you you may understand this. So shut down the old duffers. Whenever Brian Wilson or John McTernan take to the airwaves you can almost feel thousands of voters turning away. The Wilson/McTernan message is one of simple entitlement: Labour dominance is the natural order, the election results of 2007 and 2011 were some kind of aberration, instead of the democratic choice of the Scottish people.

    2. Endless Naysaying is a No No

    The art of opposition requires that you choose carefully when to be positive about your opponents. A constant stream of negativity will just put people off. So commend and support the SNP government where it does things well. You will look like a bigger politician, and a potential first minister, instead of a slightly nippy loser. Iain Gray didn’t get this, and look what happened to him.

    3. Apologise

    Your party decided to oppose the Scottish government’s attempts to introduce a “Tesco tax” on the supermarkets, a modest proposal which would have brought in revenue from the very rich. You opposed this -either because you’re funded by Sainsbury’s or due to basic political lunacy. If you’re committed to being the Supermarket Owners’ Party, don’t expect to be taken seriously on social justice. And without a commitment to social justice, Labour can really pack up and go home. Just apologise. People will respect you for it, and it will mark you out as different from your predecessor.

    4. Develop policies for a difficult age

    Your victory speech also intimated a desire to develop real policies that might
    work for Scotland. If they could be new, original, practical and costed that would be good. Top of these should be social and economic justice, taming feral banks and corporate excess, tackling drugs and homelessness and developing a climate change strategy. You might think these are intractable problems but if you have nothing new to say about them, don’t stand for high office. And don’t say you can only articulate policy in line with the powers devolved in the Scotland Act, that’s just going to make you look like a pygmy. Build links with community and campaign groups and talk honestly about poverty in Scotland. No-one else does.

    5. Ditch Trident

    We relentlessly hear about the age of austerity, the dark days ahead, the lack of cash and the “logic” of cuts. On Saturday you said we were “no longer living in an age of plenty”. But Trident, and its £75 billion price tag is to be left untouched. This has been shut down as a subject of serious debate in mainstream British politics. Except that last May the Scottish people elected two Greens and 69 SNP MSPs. Both parties’ manifestos explicitly reject nuclear warheads on the Clyde. You have previously suggested you may be against Trident, but have now gone quiet on the issue. If you really want to look people in the eye and say we must carry on closing schools and nurseries but keep blindly paying through the nose for a Cold War relic, you’re going to project both dishonesty and contempt for mainstream Scottish opinion.

    Scotland needs an articulate, imaginative opposition to function as a healthy democracy. If Labour can’t provide this, something else will fill the vacuum quicker than you think.

    First published in PRODUCT magazine.

    1. There is more than a touch of revisionism in Nconway’s post. IE that Labour were frceod to hold a referendum on Devolution due to the strength of the SNP. One reads that so often that it sounds like a mantra.It is, of course, a useful trick for dismissing the fact that it took a Labour government to deliver a parliament. I’d really like to challenge this. First as a party member at the time, as well as a member of the CSA and SLA I am very aware that most Labour members were strongly in favour of devoution: the voices who were opposed to were in a very small and slightly eccentric minority. If there was a discussion about supporting devolution simply to thwart independence (rather than as a hoped for by-product) I missed it during all the conference and party debates about the Claim of Right, accpeting that sovereignty lay with the Scottish people (not the crown) or embedding powers in Scotland. A party that simply wanted to kill off independence would not have embedded powers in the way the Scotland Act was created, it would not have chosen AMS to ensure legitimacy and would not have sought cross party support from the SNP and LibDems for the referendum.Secondly I would suggest that the real change from the 1970s to the 1990s was a growth is Scottish confidence and a greater divergence from a crumbling UK consensus. This was reflected in all sorts of ways, including growth in support for independence and growth in support for devolution. If you supported independence you voted SNP, if you supported devolution you supported Labour or Liberal/Lib Dem and if you supported direct rule you voted Tory.I am sure this subject has filled many a 2nd Year Politics Essay. But the apparently lazy comment above does need challenging.

    2. All public icoply is both social engineering and political-economy experiment. Social engineering is a slightly dated term which was popular with religious and political right wings. These groups used it in a perjorative sense to attack any icoply prescription which was not their own. Their policies were natural , true and correct but left-social icoply was unnatural and thus social engineering .To reiterate my point, ALL public icoply is both social engineering and political-economy experiment. This being so, it appears to me that we (the people of the world) need to run a full MMT experiment. I have been thinking along these lines for some time and Bill’s post about Scotland has prompted me to post. My initial thoughts were that Australia should use the NT for an MMT experiment. A full fledged MMT experiment (properly designed) could be run with the Northern Territory as the test case. However, this might run into some of the problems that Scotland exemplifies; for example being a sub-national unit with a state government which cannot issue its own fiat currency and being open to charges of somehow sponging of the rest of the nation during the experiment.The alternative then is to run a full MMT experiment in a nation state with that nation state’s full concurrence. I would suggest New Zealand would be the perfect candidate. (I am not being ironic here, I am being quite serious. I love NZ except when the All Blacks beat the Wallabies.) A small nation state like New Zealand could be set up to run an indemnified full MMT experiment. By indemnified, I mean that insurance indemnities could be taken out by the NZ government and assisting governments to fully insure the NZ economy and people against economic catastrophe (highly unlikely IMO) if the experiment went wrong. The Chinese might be wise enough and far-seeing enough to take a major insurance postition to assist the NZ experiment. Australia should also take a position at least equal to the foreign aid assistance (several billions) it should have given to NZ (IMO) following the Christchurch earthquakes.The experiment would have to be carefully designed in terms of MMT prescriptions, timelines and measures to ensure events like currency attacks and intentional acts of international financial sabotage did not compromise the experiment. (There would be many enemies who would want to engineer a failure of the experiment.)So that’s my suggestion. Why not a fully internationally backed experiment to fully test MMT in NZ, say over ten years? With full indemnity insurance, New Zealanders would be guaranteed of a rescue package if the experiment failed. If the experiment succeeded it would be wonderful news for New Zealand and the world and a breakthrough for empirical economics.

  2. Confirmation that our own Kezia Dugdale has been appointed Shadow Minister for Youth Employment. Congrats Kez.

  3. Those selections should go down well with east coast Labour, as far as I can see not 1 of them made the grade.

      1. Your right Duncan, I missed Sarah amongst the sea of Glasgow members.

        Greater Glasgow:
        Margaret Curran – Glasgow
        Ken Macintosh – Glasgow
        Paul Martin – Glasgow
        Anas Sarwar – Glasgow
        Patricia Ferguson – Glasgow
        James Kelly – Rutherglen
        Jackie Baillie – Dumbarton
        Hugh Henry – Renfrewshire

        North of Scotland:
        Richard Baker – Aberdeen
        Lewis Macdonald – Aberdeen

        Claire Baker – Mid Scotland & Fife

        Sarah Boyack – Edinburgh

        1. Well Margaret and Anas are MPs, and Anas was elected to his post, so your sea is slightly misleading. But of course you’re right there is an apparent bias there.

  4. Congratulations to Johann Lamont; not my first preference, but all the best to her.

    My main question right now is when will a detailed breakdown of the ballot be released (e.g. as per Ed Miliband’s election)?

    I think it is important for public confidence in Labour that this information be made available as it would hopefully dispel rumours about people having multiple votes etc. A party that is transparent when it comes to internal elections will inspire more confidence in the electorate when they go out to vote themsleves in local/parliamentary elections.

  5. What does Claire Baker bring to the rural portfolio? Has Labour got a rural policy or is this the start of it? Is Claire a big hitter in the party? Rural policy is a vital interest to me as a farmer and I would like some background if on the new appointee if possible. If she is new to rural affairs consider this an invitation to my farm. Rural Scotland must be part of Labours recovery.

  6. Congratulations Johann, hope you follow your own inner voice, it will be a hard road, and worse if your having to humph other peoples baggage!
    Is Margaret Curran in the shadow cabinet by your choice? Who does she answer to, Miliband or yourself?? The answer to that would explain a lot.

  7. The barricades are being raised around Glasgow.

    Will Labour be able to hold onto their last Scottish stronghold under the Lamont leadership? The council elections will be a real test for Lamont.

    If Labour loses ground and power in Glasgow city chambers then they are doomed.

    1. People like yourself are really desperate for this narrative to be adopted aren’t you? In reality, if Labour lose control of Glasgow CC then it means the people of Glasgow exercised their right to choose a different path. It certainly would not be a death knell for the Scottish Labour party.

      I agree, though, that the council elections are an absolutely critical moment, for Labour to hold the SNP to account for their action, or lack of it, in places like Edinburgh where they have been in office but refused to take responsibility for the last four and a half years. The SNP won in May on the basis of a national campaign and the Salmond figurehead. Voters are smart, as witnessed in the different patterns between the UK and the Scottish elections. At council level it’s all to play for.

  8. Pretty uninspiring bunch.

    Not much to choose from though.

    Let us hope that they work for the betterment of the people of Scotland rather tha protecting the special interests of the Labour Party and their positions at Westminster.

    As someone from the North East is is apparent that the Labour Party is a “Glasgow” party although what the people of Glasgow get from their support for Labour is beyond me if life expectancy, health, employment and literacy rates are to be compared with the likes of North East Scotland.

    If they do lose Glasgow, Labour will be in an even sorrier state, large tracts of Scotland are already Labour free, Glasgow may well be the final nail.

  9. In one short statement at the end of her Politics Show interview:

    “…Scotland outside the UK will harm the people of Scotland”;

    Johann Lamont, ruled out the Labour Party as a party for those minded to support Independence, denied the abilities of the people of Scotland to govern ourselves, and attempted again to use scaremongering as a legitimate argument to stay in the union, clearly confirming the view that rule from Westminster (even tory rule) will always trump Independence in Labour’s view.

    Yet, Mrs Lamont wants us to believe that there is no policy that can’t be changed, that she wants to reach out to non-traditional Labour voters, and that “Scottish Labour” is going to change. I remain to be convinced and will reflect this when I vote.

  10. This is a world-class team. We’re going to smash the SNP.

    Onwards and upwards!

  11. Joanne Lamont strikes me as being a serious and thoughtful person but I see no imagination at all if yesterday’s dull and worthy performance on the Politics Show was anything to go by. Perhaps her first priority was to get through that without any hostages to fortune. I am not convinced that Joanne sees the big questions at all far less has any of the big answers and “steady as you go” is worthless in the context of rapidly changing political circumstances.

    I fear also that, like Ruth Davidson, the New Tory leader of Scotland’s Tory rump, she is London Labour’s man in Scotland and if that is the case she will be precluded from any meaningful change in direction of Scottish Labour.

    Scotland needs a Labour Party free to think. No change of leader can effect any improvement in performance if the army is marching in the wrong direction.

    Can anybody tell me of any socialist, radical organisation anywhere in the world that stood agains the independence of its own people?

  12. farrochie says:
    December 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm
    In one short statement at the end of her Politics Show interview:

    “…Scotland outside the UK will harm the people of Scotland”;

    That needs to be changed to

    “Scotland inside the UK is harming the people of Scotland”

    For a country as ridiculously wealthy as Scotland to have the problems
    that it does is scandalous.

  13. Duncan, I’m not sure how much clout you have on labourhame, but since you have been posting on NNS wouldn’t it be an idea to allow a link to that site from here ? it would broaden the ‘conversation’ and perhaps give more of your regular labour people a chance to post on NNS cos a few of them certainly post over hear.
    Ive asked you a question on NNS: if you support unionism ( if you do) and asked you to explain why you do support it. I honestly don’t know why anyone who is Scottish would support the union any more, so want to know your thinking. If you prefer you can answer on here ?

  14. Patrick, I have posted the below in response to your question on NNS; it may or may not get moderated out. I’m undecided on the worth of posting on NNS just now, since unlike this site is pretends to provide news coverage rather than commentary and opinion, but instead peppers its news coverage with one-sided opinion. So I’m wary of recommending anyone to it. Nonetheless, here’s what I said:

    Well, the very first article I wrote for LabourHame was called “Unionism is not a Labour value” –

    I try to shape my views on the basis of meeting the best interests of the most people possible. That means that any emotional nationalism that might be ingrained in my psyche I tend to ignore when looking for rational positions to adopt. And it’s astonishing how many of the arguments for independence are emotional.

    On top of which, I think an issue as important as our constitution needs to be considered outside of basic politics. So I reject entirely any argument which says independence would free us from Tory policies, or would somehow embed the present political beliefs prevalent in Scotland as a permanent fixture. Politics change; constitutions should at least aim for permanence.

    That leaves me considering the issue of independence largely from the point of view of how much it will benefit how many. And if Scots are going to benefit economically then it is unavoidably the case that our southern neighbours will be proportionally impoverished, because what we currently share will be divided. So that is one reason why I support the union.

    I also think that the UK has formed structurally, post the industrial revolution, in a way which makes London and the southeast as much the result of Scots’ investment as that of the English and Welsh. We send our best brains there, and the money that is made there is disbursed back to us. The system works, at least in a broad-brush sense; why throw it away?

    I suppose a third element is the arbitrary nature of the line being drawn. Our borders are a historical accident, and lowland Scots have more in common with northern English than with highlanders, so the idea we should be banded together on the basis of geography strikes me as bizarre.

    And I’m half Scots and half English too. Perhaps that influences me subconsciously. But I’m also British, and European, and a citizen of the world. I want to break down borders, not build new ones.

    Ah, and now I’ve caught myself in an emotional argument. So it goes.

    1. If I’m following your argument correctly

      ” And if Scots are going to benefit economically then it is unavoidably the case that our southern neighbours will be proportionally impoverished, because what we currently share will be divided. So that is one reason why I support the union”

      So the status quo keeps Scotland poorer to make the rest of the UK wealthier, you’re ok with that, even if that wealth is going to make the rich, richer?

      1. No. The idea that we solve wealth inequality by carving up nation states is utterly bizarre. This is another example of a political argument for a constitutional change. Let’s fix the UK’s tax system. Let’s make that argument to the people of the UK. Let’s not build a metaphorical wall and act out of self-interest.

        1. Thanks for posting and responding Duncan. Firstly, it’s not a political argument, it’s a democratic argument. By your statement, Scotland is poorer while subsidising RUK while they themselves vote for Tory rule, Scotland didn’t. Why should Scotland suffer while trying to improve the lives of the rest of UK, when they are the very people putting themselves in that position. In saying that, I didn’t see much difference when Nu Labour were in power. Let’s look at world problems after we sort out our own. Johann Lamont stated that it’s Scotland interest that comes first. How can you possibly serve the best interests of Scotland if you’re serving the best interests of the UK?

          1. No, actually the argument that Scotland is made poorer by the union is an SNP argument. My original point was “if” that is the case, then we should not impoverish others to further our own wealth. But the point here again is that politics does not change at Berwick. If you wanted to draw a constitutional line between people who generally voted Tory in 2010 and people who generally didn’t, it would be further south and would loop around several parts of England and Wales.

        2. Your contribute statement, I believe.

          “If all you want to do is leave a comment on a previously published piece, go ahead (and while comments from those who support parties other than Labour are welcome, nasty, personalised comments will be deleted)”

          Did I say something that upset you Duncan?

          1. Not that I recall, no. The administrative function of this site is shared between several people… 🙂

  15. Thanx Duncan, much appreciated response. I don’t agree with you, but think i can understand why you support unionism.
    I live in England and I can assure you that a more prosperous Scotland would not make our ‘Southern friends’ poorer, as even where I live (West Midlands) they constantly complain that the majority of the UK’s finances are sucked into London or the South of England.
    If you genuinely believe that we should live in a world without borders, (wouldn’t that be something) then your politics make some sense.
    Yes I understand what you are saying about NNS, but the editorial slant is nationalist, so there will always be the temptation to put ‘spin’ on a story, that is why linking onto your site and others is important, as just like the SNP need a strong opposition then surely NNS and labourhame, could offer each other strong opposition ?
    Whatever you decide Duncan, thanks again for your thoughtful post.

  16. I think Mrs Lamont and her team will stop the separatists in their tracks.They simply cant compete with Team Lamont.

  17. Johann, I’ve heard your comments on child care and support your social policy but urge you to join with the Scottish Govt. in opposing further Tory/Lib Dem cuts from London under the guise of “mending the economy”. Also you were evasive on TV on what powers Scotland should have beyond Calman, when the people seem to be ahead of the game and expect greater and far-ranging powers which could mean the dumping of Trident,and more investment in our young people. 300 English Tories and just 1 in Scotland means the Tories have little to lose here. If the Scottish Parliament unites against the Cameron/Clegg vision of the future we could yet set an example to the rest of the UK. But please remember – your priority must be Scotland.

  18. First of all congratulations to Johann Lamont. Now I’m going to be honest and I’m not a Labour supporter but in fact support the SNP.

    I’m sure Johann Lamont will do her best to try and turn the fortunes of Labour around in Scotland but I just can’t see it. She is old Labour which will appeal to some but I can’t see her connecting with the Scottish electorate.

    Ken Mackintosh might had been less known than Lamont but Tony Blair wasn’t exactly a household name when he became leader!! The same goes for Ed Miliband..old Labour!! If Labour had elected David Miliband and Ken Mackintosh then I think the party North and South would move forward at a faster speed.

    I also don’t get the fact that Lamont is now the leader of all the Labour party in Scotland which includes the MPs?? Bit of a own goal if you ask me. Iain Gray used to tell Salmond to stop talking about what Labour were agreeing to in England over policy etc when Labour were supporting the minimum price on alcohol yet in Scotland he was against it. How will Lamont cope with sort of scenario when half of her elected members vote against such proposals in Scotland but vote for them in England?

    Anyway good luck to her!!

  19. kev says:
    December 19, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    I think Mrs Lamont and her team will stop the separatists in their tracks.They simply cant compete with Team Lamont.

    When you use the word “separatists” in public people get confused!! However if you use the word “Nationalists” then people will know who you mean!!

    “They simply cant compete with Team Lamont” …I’ve not seen “Team Lamont” in action and I doubt anyone else has so I can only guess that you have also visited Gypsy Amalia for this conclusion? If I were you I would ask for a refund!! 😉

  20. Will Claire Baker support right to buy for Scotland’s tenant farmers? What is her stance on EID? Does she support the proposed SFP reform? We need answers now.

    1. before you’re going to be fthgiing tooth and nail against the SNP to keep the Conservatives as the controlling Government of Scotland at the next Scottish elections.Scottish Labour has a fantastic record on home rule for Scotland. Keir Hardie fought for it in 1888, Donald Dewar delivered it in 1999 and Wendy Alexander started the process of strengthening it in 2007.The gap between Keir Hardie and Donald Dewar is 111 years which is not particularly speedy and as I point out above Calman is a joke and gives Scotland no more control over its own economy than it has now.The truth is that we are the only party to have delivered home rule to Scotland and we have a great case to make that we will be the ones who can make it work in these difficult times.And how will you make it work? You will be given a block grant by Westminster and then you can try and fill the hole by hitting everyone with a council tax increase and an income tax increase, taking money out of the economy when it needs to be encouraged not depressed.This election will be about who can protect Scotland from Tory Westminster cuts. The case for independence is now as close to dead as I can ever remember but those of us who want to make sure that in 2011 we wake up to a Labour Scottish Government need to be on the right side of the constitutional question.How Yusuf? How can Labour protect Scotland from Tory Westminster cuts? Labour got 41 MP’s in Scotland at the last General Election. Did they save Kinloss? Will they save Lossiemouth? And the only reason the carriers are still being built is because the Tories couldn’t get out of the contracts. It was nothing to do with Scotlands feeble forty one. The idea that Scotland’s, Pocket Money Parliament , can protect Scotland from the Conservative Government in Westminster is laughable.There was a day when Labour politicians were warned of falling into the ‘comfort zone’ of far left politics, in Scotland the comfort zone of uber-unionism in the face of widely different voting patterns in Scotland and England is a far greater threat to electoral success. It’s not actually a comfort zone for most Scottish Labour party members but it is a corner we mustn’t back into.Labour want the Union. They currently want to be run from Westminster and will fight to be run from Westminster at the next Scottish election even though it is controlled by the Tories. Labour are already in the Uber-Unionist corner.

    2. Advocacy what you are forgetting is that post iennpenddece there will be elections where people will have choices. As far as a rookie parliament I don’t agree. Since the domination by the Lib/Lab coalition where all we got was the same policies as the Labour goverment were passing at Westminster. This defeated the whole purpose of having devolution. The SNP have changed that by listening to the people and offering the policies that they want. As far as offering sweetners I do not agree. The UK is one of the wealthiest countries in the world yet we allowing our health service and welfare state go down the pan. We can afford these services, all successive UK governments since 1979 have been intereted in is helping the rich become wealthier. We have a tax system which leaves the poor paying an unfair share of the burden. The north / south economic devide is greater than ever, the same applies to the gulf between rich and poor.As far as the the next Scottish budget is concerned, everything depends on the meagre block grant which is only a fraction of the money Scotland gives to Westminster. Why should’t we have a better UK NHS ? The country can afford it easily. I am not a member of any political party but my understanding is that the same sex marriage issue is only at the consultation stage and that no decision has been made, in fact the decision is a long way off. Westminster are in the process of doing the same with Labour likely to support the change.

  21. I wish Ms Lamont all the best and hope that her new team will give the Nationalists something to think about.

  22. On Newsnet Scotland – I have always thought it was a rather clever parody of the Scotsman. That’s why I read it and it gives me a good laugh of a morning. But it’s not really a proper news source any more than the Scotsman is. If it is not a parody then the people writing it have slightly lost the plot. But personally I think it is fairly obvious that they are saying you see how things can be twisted to suit the unionist cause, we can do the same thing. I don’t think folks should take it too seriously.

  23. I’ve read somewhere that the new leader of the Labour party in Scotland Johan Lamont is now the leader of all Scotland’s Labour MSPs, MPs and MEPs. Is this correct? Can anybody in the know confirm this? Better still can someone explain the new reporting lines for the likes of the Browns, Darlings, Alexanders and Davidsons in the new structure.
    The new structure must have been drafted, where can I get a swatch?

  24. Ricky says:

    December 20, 2011 at 8:11 am

    I wish Ms Lamont all the best and hope that her new team will give the Nationalists something to think about.

    If it were a Jim Murphy/Lamont or Murphy/Macintosh team then I’m sure they would have given the nationalists something to think about but team Lamont!!, hmm don’t think so.

  25. , they said they’d be consensual and they ouhsld be doing everything they can to do so. Setting and example and rising about the bitterness is paramount in winning voters over to independence.2. There is absolutely no way that minimum pricing is going to have a major impact on our culture. It may nudge the numbers in the right direction, but that’s only a small step. Given we wont have a silver bullet, this is going to take a lot of small steps to make a major difference.3. Given how long and how hard the opposition parties have made the SNP fight for this, there is a danger that the public perception is greater than it ouhsld be. This is whether the opposition has been ridiculous. People are going to look back and wonder why it’s not having a bigger impact. The only way to counter this is for all parties to influence the battle with alcohol the array of measures ouhsld ensure everyone can claim credit and noone can outright say it was. And given the style of Labour’s opposition, I can already sense their anticipation of failue and we told you so .And this final point is why I am absolutely disgusted with the opposition in this country. The current proposals for tackling alcohol abuse go nowhere near what is required. But when I think about some of the measures we ouhsld be considering, all I can think about is Labour bleating last session about the SNP penalising students who wanted a nice bottle of wine, or some other utterly lame electioneering. Id love the SNP to really go for the jugular on alcohol, but I can understand why they would hesitant to do anything radical when they have to deal with the kind of opposition wehave seen in Scotland, and a less than favourable press.

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