I’m reluctant to give much credence to an individual who believes in federalism – which is to Scotland’s constitutional issue as homeopathy is to medicine – but Henry McLeish raises an interesting point. Interesting, that is, in that it relates to a recent private discussion I had.
I was asked what Kezia Dugdale might do to retrieve her political career. My answer was that she should stop taking her cues from Ruth Davidson. She should accept that Davidson has seized the crown and is immovably entrenched as Queen of the Britnats. She should stop being Davidson’s handmaiden and seek a position that distinguishes her from the increasingly rabid British nationalists.
More specifically, Dugdale should abandon her intractable opposition to a new independence referendum. So long as she holds to this, she looks like nothing more than a pale reflection of Davidson. She sounds like she is just parroting Davidson’s line. It’s not a good look. It’s not something that voters want or need to hear.
I’m not saying she should become suddenly pro-independence. That would be a U-turn too far – even for a British politician. But she can concede that a new referendum is necessary. She can acknowledge that the independence movement simply isn’t going away. She can take the position that a new referendum is required in order to settle a question that very evidently was not settled in 2014.
The ‘trigger’ for this change of tack could be something as simple as a poll indicating that demand for a new referendum is not diminishing. I have no interest in rescuing Ms Dugdale’s political fortunes. But I could write the speech.
Of course, the question then arises as to whether she can take the pretendy wee party with her on this sojourn into real-world politics. It’s difficult for me to care. But I imagine this is of some concern to her. And, apparently, Henry McLeish is also interested.
Past experience would suggest that British Labour in Scotland (BLiS) is not inclined or equipped to see the wisdom of opening up some political options for itself. And, at a purely personal level, I wonder if Kezia Dugdale might not be well advised to plough her own furrow on this regardless of resistance from die-hard Britnats in British Labour north and south of the border. If she really wants to be a leader, maybe she should lead. It has to be better than always walking ten paces behind Ruth Davidson.Views: 4339
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