Thursday, 7 April 2016

Kezia's amnesia and Wullie the White Knight

And so the attempts to smear the SNP go on, most recently with the story that Kezia Dugdale twice sought work experience as a researcher with the SNP when she was a student, was turned down on both occasions and subsequently joined the Labour party.  The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

So far so dull.  This particular piece of information has been bobbing about amongst Yes supporters for quite some time, so the Scottish Sun is somewhat late to the party.  The basic story seems to be that Ms Dugdale twice e-mailed Richard Lochhead to enquire about the possibility of an unpaid internship with him.  Note that it does not say anything about a job application, simply that an enquiry was made as to whether there were any opportunities.

Ms Dugdale herself says she has no recollection of making any such enquiry, which I find a little hard to believe.  I rather suspect that she has been advised to take this line, in which case her adviser has done her no favours.  A better approach would have been to own it and to say that yes, she did make the enquires but that it was a long time ago and she has subsequently found the Labour party to be a better fit for her political beliefs.  Job done, move along, nothing to see here.

However Willie Rennie seems to see this as his big chance to play the knight in shining armour, charging to the defence of Ms Dugdale by writing to the Data Protection Commissioner to demand an enquiry as to whether the whole affair has breached the Data Protection Act, which requires details of a job application to be kept confidential, rightly so as job applications contain personal information.  However, that's not what we're talking about here.  An enquiry as to whether there are any positions available does not constitute a job application.  Mr Rennie appears to be being somewhat disingenuous by conflating the two things, thus enabling another 'SNP Bad'.

Mr Rennie and Ms Dugdale seem to be developing a surprisingly friendly relationship of late.  During the leaders' debate on STV last week it was notable that, in the section where each leader was questioned by the other leaders, both Mr Rennie and Ms Dugdale were throwing each other softball questions, leading some people to wonder if there had been some collusion beforehand.  And now we have Mr Rennie rushing to the defence of Ms Dugdale over the matter of some ancient e-mails being leaked to the press.

Of course Labour and the LibDems have a bit of a history of friendly relations, as evidenced by their coalition in the Scottish Parliament prior to 2007.  One wonders if they may be hoping that, in the event that the SNP don't win an overall majority in the coming election, they could form a coalition to enable them to become the Scottish Government once more.  It's not looking likely according to the polls at the moment, but it may be their only chance of a sniff at power in the current climate.  Time will tell.

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