Thursday, 8 October 2015

The internet remembers

Today at First Minister's Questions Kezia Dugdale again chose to pursue the matter of Michelle Thomson's business dealings.  She said:
Michelle Thomson’s company boasted that the increase in the number of people struggling to pay their mortgage during the recession was, and I quote, ‘a great opportunity’, and that if people were ‘emotionally distant’ they could ‘make a huge profit’.
So could I ask the First Minister – is preying on desperate people ever an ethical way to run a business?”

It didn't take an alert reader of Wings over Scotland long to find the original texts from which Ms Dugdale took her quotes, which paint a very different picture to the one Ms Dugdale was trying to portray.

So, very much business as usual for Ms Dugdale and the Labour party in Scotland.  Nothing of substance, no attempt to question the Scottish government on matters that would be important to their constituents, just smear tactics, and pretty hypocritical smear tactics at that.

The whole debacle tells us two things.  One is that Labour needs to wake up to the fact that pulling selective quote from articles on the internet will never work.  Someone will always find those same articles and prove that you have lied by taking things out of context.

Secondly, why is Ms Dugdale harping on about this matter at Holyrood when she is perfectly well aware that the matter is outwith the control of the Scottish government as it concerns a Westminster MP?  She would no doubt argue that it is legitimate to ask Nicola Sturgeon about this as she is the leader of the SNP, and there is merit in this argument.  However, Holyrood at First Minister's Questions is not the right setting, given that it is the opposition's chance to challenge the Scottish government on matters over which they have devolved control.  So, for the second week in a row Ms Dugdale has wasted an opportunity to hold the SNP to account over their record in government in favour of yet more smear tactics from the 'SNP Bad' school of politics.

The second thing also suggests that Ms Dugdale, despite her protestations, is still being controlled by Labour HQ in London, who don't appreciate the nuances of Scottish politics.

Clearly Labour HQ think that the way to avoid another wipeout at next year's Holyrood elections is to rely on good old-fashioned 'SNP Bad'.  However, like the boy who cried 'Wolf!', they will find that a large proportion of the electorate will have stopped listening to them, which is not going to help their cause any, especially if it turns out that they actually do have an alternative plan for governing Scotland in their manifesto.

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