September 26, 2023


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Wings Over Scotland | The trouble with remembering

2 min read


1 might almost consider that once each Parliament, a drawing of plenty is performed at The Times’ places of work in Scotland and the loser is obliged to write this column, on suffering of a ceremonial debagging and a jolly good paddling with an old cricket bat from all the other chaps in the newsroom.

Potentially the anxiety is participating in tricks with Alex Massie’s memory.

Mainly because in reality Kenny Farquharson’s endeavor at the exact same column in 2017 may easily have persuaded unattentive viewers that it WAS a prediction, with the key clue getting the terms “my prediction”.

(The repeated use of “will be”, relatively than Massie’s “could be”, also provided a hint.)

Equally columns are arrant nonsense, of class, and we could meticulously analyse all the persuasive causes why right here, but we’re however officially retired and we cannot really be bothered. We’ll make 1 observation, however.

Anas Sarwar became Scottish Labour leader in February 2021. The subsequent Holyrood election is in May perhaps 2026, which is 63 months later on. Out of a overall of nine comprehensive-time heads of the department business office before Sarwar, the number who have lasted that long in the job is… 1. (Jack McConnell, from 2001 to 2007.)

Donald Dewar: 16 months

Henry McLeish: 12 months

Jack McConnell: 69 months

Wendy Alexander: 9 months

Iain Gray: 39 months

Johann Lamont: 34 months

Jim Murphy: 6 months

Kezia Dugdale: 24 months

Rudyard Lanyard: 38 months

Typical: 27.4 months

You get extra career security in the Sugababes, or actively playing bass for The Fall. Anas Sarwar would have to far more than double the typical lifespan of a Scottish Labour leader to even contest the following Holyrood election, permit by itself earn it. If you are reading, Alex, title your bet and we’re in.

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