DEAR potential leader.

I have put away all the Christmas tinsel, the remnants of Madeira cake have been polished off and I now eagerly anticipate receiving a series of pleas from you to consider your suitability as the next leader of the Labour Party following the party’s crushing defeat in the 2019 General Election.

Before you crank up your expensive campaign of persuasion it would be extremely helpful if you could address just a few pressing concerns I have about the future for Labour and whether you fully understand the responsibility you have to ensure that Labour can find a way to recover from such a defeat.

The immediate concern is how do you intend to address Labour’s lamentable performance in Scotland? Once again Labour are reduced to a single MP in Edinburgh with no representation in our other big cities of Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen and none in former strong Labour areas such as Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Fife.

Are you prepared to work with your colleagues in the Scottish Labour Party to arrive at an analysis of Scotland and then stick to the position that is agreed rather than the shambles of popping up to the Edinburgh Festival and patronising members and voters with a fudged position on an independence referendum that only antagonised both sides of that binary divide?

Another concern is whether you have the vision to see what kind of Scotland and what kind of UK can be argued for in the next 10 years?

With the Tories, under the bloviating leadership of Boris Johnson, threatening to push full steam ahead on a deregulated post Brexit Britain how do you intend to mobilise the wider Labour movement to persuade voters that they should trust Labour with their next vote?

Do you have a view on how Labour can learn from its experience at local government level, where many of the innovations on the Living Wage, on public transport and on local economic renewal were forged even in the face of the last 10 years of austerity?

Are you prepared to be a Labour leader that confronts hard truths rather than one who thinks voters need to be saved from their own naivety?

Do you have a compelling analysis on how Labour can speak for and represent the aspirations of an ordinary family?

Do you have the capacity to move on from revolutionary radicalism that may be de rigueur for bedsit Bohemians but is miles away from the real world in the East End of Glasgow?

On a more sombre note the Scottish Labour family lost one of its former MPs with the passing just before Christmas of David Lambie who had represented Central Ayrshire from 1970 to 1992.

A former dominie in Glasgow, David taught in Allan Glen’s and argued that providing decent housing and a good education was the best thing a Labour politician could do. To achieve that requires Labour to win elections.

Wouldn’t it be a fitting memorial to David’s passing if, whichever one of you succeeds in becoming Labour leader, you can make Labour a credible party of government once again?