Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Kezia doesn't pull it off

Yesterday Kezia Dugdale gave an embarrassing interview on Good Morning Scotland, where she failed to answer a simple question about which of the six pledges that Ed Miliband intends to have carved into a stone monolith in the rose garden at 10 Downing Street, should he become Prime Minster, was most important to her.  She used the usual politician's trick of answering a completely different question, but the interviewer pressed her on the original question and it was clear that she didn't know what the six pledges on Mr Miliband's biblical tribute act were.

This seems to be a surprising gap in her knowledge.  It is rumoured that the Labour Party in Scotland are holding discussions about splitting away from Labour HQ in London.  However, at present they are still part of the UK Labour party, and it would therefore be expected that, as deputy leader in Scotland, Ms Dugdale would be au fait with the details of the latest pronouncements from Mr Miliband, however outlandish.

It illustrates a general weakness in Ms Dugdale's approach to politics, quite often evidenced at First Minister's Questions at Holyrood.  Whatever her topic, she is quite diligent at researching and learning the facts and figures that make her case.  However, she appears to lack the ability to see the weaknesses.  She doesn't seem to look at her case from an opponent's point of view and therefore be able to anticipate counter-arguments, with the result that she is often left floundering when Nicola Sturgeon comes back with a counter-attack.  A case in point was the FMQs on 23rd April, where her argument about Neil Hay, an SNP candidate, having made some ill-advised tweets some years ago using a Twitter account that was not under his own name was swiftly answered with reference to Ian Smart, a Labour activist and blogger who posts abusive tweets about nationalists under his own name, something which Ms Dugdale, somewhat disingenuously since she follows his Twitter account, claimed to know nothing about and rather weakly said she would look into it.  It was an obvious line of attack from Ms Sturgeon, but clearly not one that Ms Dugdale anticipated.

It is often said that Ms Dugdale is one of the bright new talents of Labour in Scotland.  I'm sure she is a talented young lady, but from her performances in the Scottish Parliament, politics is not really one of them.  As a chess player, she'd be great at Ludo.


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