IT’S one of the shadiest political tricks in the book. If you’re facing a threat to your power and authority, arrange for a suitably feckless foe to take an underhand swipe at you. Special care must be taken though, to ensure that your enemy is so lacking in credibility that you emerge stronger.

It’s doubtful that Richard Leonard, embattled leader of Labour in Scotland, will have been unduly perturbed by the snide intervention today of Lord Foulkes of Cumnock. His Lordship is often described as a Labour grandee and you immediately reach for that apercu about the land of the blind and the one-eyed man with regal pretensions.

Lord Foulkes has formed a chorus of one calling for the removal of Leonard. “He doesn’t seem to like it [the job] and he doesn’t seem to break through,” said His Lordship. “The truth is Jackie [Baillie, presumably] is there, if necessary, to take over as acting leader, and she would do the job.

“He needs to think of what is best for the party in terms of the Holyrood elections. Tony Blair has sent a coded message to him and he needs to think carefully about it.”

Aw naw! Tony Blair too? That’ll really give Leonard the willies. Would that be Tony Blair, the man who installed Rupert Murdoch as joint leader of the party without bothering to tell anyone? The Tony Blair who faked a cause to sacrifice British lives in Iraq and who has since pimped his former status as a means of building a global property empire?  

READ MORE: Richard Leonard urged to step down by Labour Party veteran

Maybe Leonard’s doing something right after all.

Delicacy is not a quality you might normally associate with Lord George, the Cumnock aristocrat and, in this case, he’s about as subtle as a cement-mixer. Leonard, a trade unionist to his boots, is a Corbynista and, as such, is about as welcome in New New Labour as wire toilet roll. What better way to solicit an invite to the new master’s table than to urge the removal of that persistent leftie in Glasgow? This from the man who once accosted the SNP over their efficient delivery of public services: “Yes, but they’re doing it deliberately.”

It’s not that anyone in Scotland thinks that Leonard is doing a good job; it’s just that no-one really cares. The stewardship of Jim Murphy followed by Kezia Dugdale ripped the heart out of Labour in Scotland by making the party a willing glove-puppet of the Westminster Tories during the independence referendum and beyond.

Lord Foulkes along with Lord McConnell, Baron Darling and Lord Robertson (or should that be Baron McConnell: I can never remember) all contributed to the malaise and then slipped away onto the green benches and a life of unelected privilege: their reward for de-coupling Scottish Labour from its Scottish heartlands.

They lost the right to pontificate on what ails the party in Scotland when they bent down to receive their ermine cloaks and partake of their first spotted dick in the Peers dining-room.