The left-of-centre Labour MSP refrained from endorsing publicly the Scottish Executive's collectively-agreed description of the fire strike as "unacceptable"In yesterday's Scotsman, Peter MacMahon wrote:
On Tuesday evening and again yesterday morning, Cathy Jamieson, his minister for education and party deputy, was fielded by the Executive to answer questions in the wake of Dr Simpson’s resignation. Asked if she agreed with the First Minister’s assertion that the firefighters’ strike was "unacceptable", Ms Jamieson resolutely refused to do so.I don't always agree with Peter MacMahon ( a former Labour spin doctor), but here he is absolutely correct:
It is clear from her performance that Ms Jamieson, who has an impeccable left-wing pedigree within the Labour Party, thinks no such thing. As a veteran of the campaign to retain Labour’s Clause Four, which committed the party to sub-Marxist nationalisation, and a long-standing activist within the anti-Blairite Grassroots Alliance, Ms Jamieson was only being true to her beliefs. It very likely that she believes in giving the firefighters a 40 per cent pay rise.
She is a minister in the Scottish government that is at one with its UK counterpart in condemning the strike; is dealing with the consequences of providing fire cover using Green Goddesses and troops; and is determined there should be no pay rise above 4 per cent without significant changes in working practices. By refusing to condemn the strike, Ms Jamieson is therefore in a position that makes it difficult for her to remain a minister. Plainly, she does not fully support Executive policy. By refusing to condemn the strike, Ms Jamieson is therefore in a position that makes it difficult for her to remain a minister. Plainly, she does not fully support Executive policy.Jack McConnell should sack her. The trouble is that he is running out of untarnished backbenchers to promote.