Wendy Alexander initially appeared to have the potential to be the "great white hope" of Scottish Labour and she seemed to be really ready and willing to engage on the issues and not just lap up the party line à la London. Her "bring it on" exhortation gave momentary belief that the lines of political communication might be open and Scotland might be able to engage in a unique debate. That candle of hope was snuffed out after only a very brief flicker as normal service was resumed by Gordon Brown announcing three days later that she was not, in fact, offering Labour's support for an immediate referendum. I still genuinely believe that Wendy Alexander came from a position of best intentions - or at least as good as that can get from Scottish Labour.
Iain Gray was almost so perfectly named. A rare beast in modern Scottish Labour in being someone with a good experience of the real world having had an education in physical sciences and then working as a teacher before extensive charity work. But oh so dull. A complete personality vacuum. He had no ability in debate and looked more and more cross as arguments eluded him. His final humiliation was the infamous Subway incident when he failed to handle a band of hecklers at Glasgow Central Station, during the 2011 campaign trail. Instead of addressing the group he turned tail and ran. That was that.
After the slaughter of the Scottish Parliamentary Election of 2011 Gray jumped ship and the paucity of choice was there for everyone to see.
Johann Lamont floated to the top of the murky pond of what remained of Scottish Labour's Holyrood talent. One glance at her CV and only a brief listen to her oratory will confirm to anyone that she is a return to the world of the old Labour "apparatchik" with no frills and no skills other than being able to rally the votes of the comrades. That she also looks the part is a bonus! But she undoubtedly remains in the ranks of the apparatchiks and clearly not in the "nomenklatura" as she has been outmanoeuvred by almost everyone on the SNP front bench since her appointment as ScotLab Commissar-In-Chief, so deftness in argument or debate is certainly not her forte.
Lamont can be seen as someone who is the policewoman of party policy in Scotland and the person to wield the stick with which to attempt to beat the SNP at every turn. "Attempt" is the operative word here as Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon, John Swinney et al are nowhere near as leaden-footed as Ms. Lamont and if she has managed to inflict even a glancing blow of late it has been through accident and not any great skill.
How ironic that Lamont was elected on the back of a speech in which she told party delegates that, "We must listen and learn, show humility and seek again to talk for and to people's ambitions and concerns. Our real challenge is that we in Labour lost our way, lost our confidence and lost Scotland." Since 2011 Labour in Scotland has exhibited the same failings and that is in no short measure due to the conduct of Johann Lamont and her closest cabal.
These are people who have no sense of political decency. You ask a question to Lamont or her ilk and you need not expect an answer. Now that is not uncommon for politicians as we all know but Johann Lamont has been repeatedly asked for her views on nuclear weapons on the Clyde since her ascension to party politburo boss, coloured by her outspoken views against these WMDs when she was a junior politician. The silence is deafening. Utterly deafening. She doesn't even have the decency to turn round and say, "OK, I've sold my principles down the river for the greater cause." Some might even respect her for that in a perverse way but she doesn't offer that opportunity as she is from the school of Scottish Labour that does not sanction cross-examination.
Her acolyte, Jackie Baillie, is another of those who will not be questioned. She is quite happy to jump to her feet at Holyrood and spout smug falsehood after smug falsehood in her attempt to score points for ScotLab when she just, in fact, comes across as clueless and out of her depth. Others in the opposition team are too nameless to bother with as there is no depth.
Enter stage left one Douglas Alexander, brother of the aforementioned Wendy. I don't know what it is but I instinctively want to like Douglas. He is reasonable, he is conciliatory, he is thoughtful....
Oh hang on, that's the whole point isn't it?
That nice Douglas Alexander
Alistair Darling has been so negative and damned useless that the next Tory placeman has been called up. And let's not dress it up in any other way. Douglas Alexander is the new Tory spokes-spiv in Scotland. "Wanna buy a pair o' nylons love?" A purveyor of soiled goods. He will dress it up in any way that we might be expected to be able to swallow it. The Tories themselves realise that they have no constituency in Scotland so Labour allow one of their brightest to be co-opted to the cause for the duration.
Any port in a storm for Dougie Alexander. He is undoubtedly a capable political operator and he has a very convincing way about him. He sounds so plausible...
Hold on! We're at it again!
Better Together have taken a guy who comes across as so sincere that he looks like he is about to burst into tears at any moment because he feels your pain. Are we supposed to like Dougie boy because he's sweet and lovely or are we supposed to buy into his Labour/Tory doublespeak?
We all know what the so-called oldest profession in the world is reputed to be. ScotLab is providing a procession of professionals who pretend with one side of their face to be deeply concerned about Scotland but at the drop of a hat sell themselves to Conservative Middle England. Enough of this shameless harlotry! There is nothing honourable in dancing with the devil.
ScotLab and London Tories discuss issues of mutual interest
Scottish Labour is prostituting itself to Tory Mammon and that is one liaison too far. So, to Douglas Alexander, Alistair Darling, Gordon Brown, Jim Murphy and the rest of so-called Labour's Tory placemen, if you wish to sell yourselves then that is entirely up to you, but please do not expect Scotland to sell its soul for the sake of your careers. You have lost any credibility that you had and the miracle is that so many in Scotland have not seen through you all yet.
Scottish Labour, the lie that just keeps on giving. Time for a quickie love? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge...