The late Labour MP Tony Benn is famous for many things, but there is one speech in particular on leadership for which he will always be remembered and bears repeating. 

He said: “I have divided politicians into two categories: the Signposts and the Weathercocks.

“The Signpost says: 'This is the way we should go.' And you don't have to follow them but if you come back in ten years’ time the Signpost is still there.

“The Weathercock hasn’t got an opinion until they've looked at the polls, talked to the focus groups, discussed it with the spin doctors. And I've no time for Weathercocks, I'm a Signpost man.”

The modern Labour Party would do well to heed those words.

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Earlier this week, Keir Starmer sacked his shadow transport minister, Sam Tarry, after he joined a picket line to support striking members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union at London Euston railway station.

In a broadcast interview earlier that day, Mr Tarry had predicted his removal from the Labour frontbench and defended his support for the strike, correctly asserting that he was standing on the right side of history.

Sam Tarry is a Signpost man.

Keir Starmer on the other hand?

So desperate is Starmer to chase Tory votes that you can barely tell the two parties apart on policies such as Brexit and public spending.

How is anyone supposed to know what the Labour Party of today stands for if they aren’t prepared to stand up for ordinary workers?

How far has Labour drifted from the central tenants on which they were founded?

Keir Hardie must be burling in his urn in despair at his namesake.

The leader of Unite the Union, Sharon Graham, this week said that Labour was "becoming more and more irrelevant to ordinary working people" and she’s not wrong.

People need leadership which is rooted in values and principles.

The electorate needs to know what you stand for if you want them to place their trust in you.

The same is also true for the Conservatives, who have lost several by-elections in England due to the disillusionment of traditional Tory voters.

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The thoroughly insipid leadership contest that we’re all being subjected has been a depressing spectacle of policy by opinion poll and focus group.

Whether it’s throwing LGBT people under the bus, punching down on asylum seekers or magicking up money as if they are contestants on Countdown being asked to pick a load of random numbers, both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have proven nothing other than their Weathercock status. 

That Tony Benn quote went on to say: “Although I disagreed with everything she did, Mrs Thatcher was a Signpost. She said what she meant. Meant what she said. Did what she said she’d do if you voted for her.”

Despite Truss doing everything she can to pretend to be some sort of Marvel reimagining of the Iron Lady, she’s really just a counterfeit plastic Margaret Thatcher action figure - batteries not included.

Sunak has the batteries but can’t seem to boot up past his factory default settings and at least pretend to understand the human condition.

How far removed and distant does this weathercock fight feel for those of us watching aghast from Scotland?

The sight of these two people - people that Scotland will never vote for - battling it out for the Tory crown while ordinary people struggle with a cost-of-living catastrophe is fairly grotesque.

And in a couple of years, we’ll likely have to go through this all over again.

Tony Benn is correct that Weathercocks come and go, but that in ten years’ time the Signpost is still there.

That’s why throughout all of this Westminster drama and misrule, Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership has stood the test of time.

First Minister for almost eight years and serving as deputy first minister for seven years before that, she has now seen off three Prime Ministers as well as countless Labour leaders.

I bumped into Nicola earlier this week in Parkhead as she made an official visit to announce extra funding for targeted money and welfare advice services embedded in GP surgeries.

She has never forgotten the day job nor the importance of delivering policies grounded in the values and principles people have backed her on.

This shouldn’t be revolutionary - these are shared principles.

We care about each other. We want to see children have the best start in life. We all want properly funded and resourced public services. And we believe that workers shouldn’t be forced into foodbanks.

Our core values underpin not only who we are but also our aspirations for the future.

We are incredibly lucky to have principled Signpost leadership in Scotland and we ought to heed the warnings from Westminster of what happens when those in positions of power become Weathercocks.

Truss, Starmer, Sunak have mistaken populism for popularity and it will be their political undoing.

I agree with Tony Benn - we certainly do need a few more Signposts and a few fewer Weathercocks.

But Westminster shows no sign of changing.

If we want direction in Scotland, we need to look closer to home.