It should come as no surprise that the ‘East Coast Weasel, Labour MSP Iain Gray wants to be the First Minster of Scotland.
To that end Iain Gray has pledged to take a pay cut if he becomes First Minister in 2011.
The pledge is to be made the party's conference in Oban this afternoon that he and his Cabinet colleagues would accept a five per cent reduction in their ministerial salaries.
So Iain Gray copies the Tories in Westminster, it isn’t a very original idea and has been used before, if he had said 10% or 15% then he could have generated momentum for a Labour theme of ‘we are all in this together’.
But he flunked it, a very poor attempt at political opportunism.
He is sacrificing around £4000 off a First Minister’s salary of £129,998.
That is right folks £129,998.
All in this together; I don’t think so!
Cabinet secretaries will be giving up around £2500, which is £50 a week, talk about drop and bucket.
Rumours of an overall reduction in the number of ministers are mooted but it should be the opposite, more Ministers doing special projects that help the most vulnerable in society.
The little cut from the little man is part of a wider agenda to cut top public sector pay by five per cent and a three-year public sector pay freeze.
"We want to see a reduction in pay at the highest level in the public sector and I want to lead from the front. That is why I will take a five per cent cut and I commit my ministerial team to do likewise. A Scottish Labour government must lead by example."
Then he committed Labour to providing an apprenticeship place for every qualified school leaver who wants one.
That will turn out to be an empty promise because they will decide the definition of ‘qualified’.
He should call the Labour party's manifesto for next year's elections, the Half Truth Manifesto.If elected Gray hints that on the issue of council tax rises he would sanction rises of up to two per cent if councils could persuade him they had a case.
London Labour aren’t stupid, they know the public will pay if they think Labour will save services.
"If a council comes to the government, if it was my government, and said 'we need some flexibility to avoid the worst of the cuts', I would listen. If they could convince me what the beneficial effect of that should be, we should listen to that."
Holyrood 2011 as I previously blogged will have the narrative of explaining financial pain to the electorate.
‘East Coast Weasel’ Iain Gray knows that only an encompassing strategy will secure victory, as Labour attempts to win the Holyrood election.
George Laird was right again, what a pity it is only the Labour Party who understand what is needed to win at the ballot box.
Iain Gray won’t be campaigning on a Council tax freeze because he knows it won’t be a vote winner for Labour.
Increasing Council tax will.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University