Saturday, 8 August 2015

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool

... than to speak out and remove all doubt.

As readers of this blog will know, I'm not a big fan of Kezia Dugdale.  I'm sure she's a very nice person, but I don't rate her political skills highly, and she doesn't appear to have much ability in the realms of strategy and tactics either.  For these reasons, I thought Ken Macintosh might be a better bet for the leadership of Labour in Scotland, although the difference between Ms Dugdale's proposals for the branch office and his are barely detectable.

However, I now seriously doubt if Mr Macintosh would actually be any better.  Apparently Mr Macintosh thinks that no more powers on tax, welfare and spending should be devolved to the Scottish government because it might not take progressive decisions.  What if Scotland voted for a reactionary government in 20 years time and had those powers?  No, better to leave those powers with Westminster, which has a great record of not having reactionary governments.  Oh, wait...

His argument seems to be that, because in the past Scotland was not seen as a progressive nation, due to its endemic racism, sexism, homophobia and sectarianism, it can never be trusted to make progressive decision, unlike the cosmopolitan London.  Change, in Mr Macintosh's world, is impossible.  At this point I have to wonder (a) if Mr Macintosh actually lives in Scotland and (b) if he ever reads the newspapers.  I'm not denying that the Scotland of 30 years ago was a less tolerant place, but it was no worse than any other place in the UK at the time.  Things have moved on since then, and while intolerance hasn't been eradicated by any manner of means, things have improved and it's a work in progress.  As for cosmopolitan London, the endless stories of the corruption and paedophilia in Westminster and its environs hardly inspire confidence in it as a beacon of progressive thought.

More interestingly, Mr Macintosh seems to be 'warming' to Jeremy Corbyn.  Mr Macintosh claims that, while he doesn't agree with Mr Corbyn's left-wing policies, he does want to offer the Scottish branch office the same thing as Mr Corbyn, ie integrity.  Marvel at that statement for the moment.  'I don't agree with what you say, but I am offering exactly the same as you.', as Evelyn Beatrice Hall never said.  If nothing else, the mental contortionism skills inherent in that philosophy are impressive in their own right.  It would seem that Mr Macintosh can see the way the wind is blowing in the UK leadership contest, and has decided to stack his chips on a Corbyn win.  Politics at its finest.

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