Monday, 15 February 2016

The bold Kezia

In today's Daily Record there's an opinion piece by Kezia Dugdale in which she waxes lyrical about how the new powers coming to Scotland will enable a Labour government in Scotland to
be even bolder in the decisions we make to stop the cuts in Scotland and give young people a chance to get on in life.
Let trumpets sound and rejoicing begin!  Of course, as Ms Dugdale's chances of becoming First Minister in April are currently in the area of, er, zero, she can make these claims safe in the knowledge that she'll never have to make good on her promises.  Also, based on their record in government in Holyrood in the past, 'even bolder' isn't much of a stretch.

It's a piece filled with deep irony.  For example
It’s an amazing opportunity for Scotland to chart a difference course, if our politicians are brave enough to take it.
Surely the amazing opportunity was for Scotland to have voted for independence, no?  Then there would be no negotiations over new powers.  We'd have them all, and could use them as we think best to solve our own problems.  Tax rates could be freely adjusted, economic levers applied. But alas, Labour in Scotland weren't brave enough to grasp that particular opportunity. 

(There's further irony in that she claims the new powers will stop the cuts in Scotland, but omits to mention that Labour in Westminster opposed the cuts by abstaining from the vote, but I digress.)

There's also contradiction.  She says
Taking on responsibility for Scottish taxes means we should shoulder the risks but it shouldn’t mean losing the rewards we get from being part of the UK and the system that shares money out across the country.
Well, she can't have it both ways.  Either we're taking risks or we're relying on the UK to make sure that the risks aren't all that risky.  And we know that, since Labour in Scotland opposed independence, they're what can only be described as risk-averse anyway.  Can't cut off their access to the Westminster gravy train - that would be a calamity!

In short, this is a fine example of current Labour in Scotland thinking.  Confused, contradictory and unfocussed.  No wonder they're tanking in the polls.


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