Seldom in the history of Scottish politics has the phrase “all over the place” been more apt or essential than when describing the turmoil of confusion, indecision and inconsistency that characterises the British parties in Scotland.
If Kezia Dugdale has a super-power it is her imperviousness to levels of personal humiliation that would cripple or kill a normal human being. Whereas Ruth Davidson deals with embarrassing situations by deploying shields of comically patrician bluster, Dugdale appears to have no capacity for embarrassment at all. The barbs and brickbats just bounce off her. The gaffes and faux pas are delivered with the dumb confidence of someone utterly unaware of how they are perceived by others. Her arguments are wonders of logical and intellectual gymnastics. Her contradictions are a master-class in doublethink.
Dugdale is many things. But she is never abashed,chagrined or mortified. Her super-power protects her.
And that super-power has certainly been put to the test lately. British Labour in Scotland’s clumsily cobbled-together tax ‘plan’ has disintegrated. The £100 rebate ‘sticking-plaster’ that was supposed to turn a general tax hike into a progressive tax scheme was quietly dropped. Like a large church bell is quietly dropped. Without a hint of shyness, Dugdale explained that it was no longer necessary thanks to the grace and beneficence of that well-known hero of the low-paid, George Osborne. A lesser person would have melted in the heat of their blushes. But Dugdale is made of sterner stuff.
Then there was that Good Morning Scotland interview. This was a test equivalent to putting Superman in a bath of kryptonite Matey. But Dugdale barely stuttered as her ignorance of British Labour in Scotland’s candidates and old-timers was exposed. A minor scrape that was doubtless immediately healed with the application of some sycophantic unguent by her fawning entourage.
“You wiz super, Kez! You really nailed it, boss! Well done, hen!”
When it comes to being ‘all over the place’, however, nothing surpasses the attitude of the British parties in Scotland to a second independence referendum. An attitude that seems to veer erratically between the two extremes of ‘Bring it on!’ and ‘Don’t you dare!’.
During STV’s debate, Dugdale managed to fall off the prohibitory end of that spectrum declaring that, in the vanishingly unlikely event that it was ever up to her, the people of Scotland would be denied any say in the matter. Pressed by Bernard Ponsonby, she came right out and said that, even if a clear majority of the people of Scotland wanted another vote, they could all go get stuffed! She was having none of that democracy shite. After all, this is Britain!
To be fair, watching the video, there was a fleeting moment when I thought I might have seen flickering across Dugdale’s face some sign that she recognised she had gone too far. For just a second, I thought she might have realised the implications of the noises that were spilling out of the front of her head. But the moment passed. Her super-power kicked in and, to whatever extent she thought at all, she figured it was only the pesky United Nations Charter she was defying. What’s that compared to the imperative of loyally serving the British state?Views: 4109