There are many reasons to be sceptical about any of the seemingly endless internal consultations and reviews undertaken by British Labour in Scotland (BLiS). When it comes to exercises in navel-gazing which examine every navel but its own, BLiS has impressive form. Nobody does theatrically staged “reflection and reform” quite like BLiS. Pretty much the only talent that exists within the pretendy wee party is the art of superficial cosmetic change, which is then unconvincingly touted as radical transformation.
It is for reasons such as these, that people tend to be rather dismissive of British Labour in Scotland’s promises of meaningful change.
But Gemma Doyle finds entirely different cause to be critical of BLiS. For her, the party is not blighted by an excess of Britishness, but by an insufficiency. In her estimation, it seems, BLiS needs to be more explicit about its branch office status. It needs to be less “autonomous”. It needs to be stubbornly resistant to changes in the political environment. Attempting to adapt to those changes is unacceptable.
How does Gemma Doyle manage to come to such a conclusion? A conclusion that is totally at odds with that arrived at by most observers and BLiS insiders. I venture to suggest that it is because she is being honest in the way only a hopelessly failed politician can be. she doesn’t have to pretend any more that its about policies and helping people and changing society and all that crap. She no longer has to reign in her real politics. Having been irretrievably rejected by the voters, she no longer feels any need to disguise the ideology that drives her.
As someone who has lost all hope of ever holding elected office in Scotland again, Gemma Doyle is free to cast off the veil of political caution and reveal her rampant British nationalism. She is loosed to shout from the rooftops the slogan that the rest of BLiS must mutter under its breath,
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