Monday, May 6, 2019

Kezia Dugdale’s ‘Jungle Fever’ Master Class: Kezia says Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard 'needs a second Independence referendum' to prove his talents, given that a major event is underway, Euro elections, clearly that type ‘advice’ is being avoided by Scottish Labour, and its leader like the plague, internal reform should be the ‘item’ on his agenda

Dear All

One thing which was noticeable when Kezia Dugdale was the leader of the Scottish Labour was being wrong and out of touch on the major issues of our time. She had a history of backing the wrong horse in the race, from Trump to Brexit, she was always on the losing side of the debate.

As leader, her tenure wasn’t marked by renew of the party in Scotland but more with the chaotic race to the bottom. It cannot have escaped your notice that Scottish Labour has slipped to being the third party in Scottish politics.

Third party at Westminster and third party at Holyrood, you could also see under her tenure that the seeds of destruction were sowed that led to Glasgow Labour losing the Council to the SNP. The full blame for this defeat cannot be all hers, others played their part as well.

Now that Kezia Dugdale has decided to leave Holyrood for a job at Glasgow University's John Smith Centre for Public Service, she presumably wants to hang Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard some ‘advice’ on how to showcase his talents. Before we get to the advice, it isn’t unusual for ex politicians to move into the University sector, the same happened with Sam Galbraith and Wendy Alexander, and also with Gordon Matheson, he went to Strathclyde as a visiting professor.

Now, let’s see what advice Kezia is dishing out, she says Scottish Labour leader needs a major political event like a second independence referendum to showcase his talents and give him a chance to beat his rivals. If you sit for a moment, you might come to the conclusion that Kezia isn’t pro UK and wants to see Leonard go down the tubes. Richard Leonard at this point in time doesn’t need a showcase event in anything; he needs to reform the Scottish Labour Party to rebuild it from the ground up.

Scottish Labour really isn’t a position to go campaigning much beyond social media and press releases and interviews on TV. Of course there are some people who are working way on their Westminster campaigns like Labour MP Paul Sweeney and Kate Watson in Glasgow East, but there isn’t a surge coming through from the membership base to be activists on the ground.

If you understand the political economy, you know that Scottish Labour needs to gel the three most important things to achieve success, people, money and resources. When the equation is out of balance, the political machine breaks down, like an engine which has ran out of oil. It overheats, blows a gasket and seizes up.

Have you seen or heard much of the Scottish Labour European Election campaign?

Do you know what their policies are?

Do you know who is standing?

Had a leaflet, seen a street stall; even seen a party launch?

17 days till the vote!


The Labour Party like all the mainstream parties and the press has deliberately kept a low profile because they know the public are angry at fact that Brexit hasn’t been delivered. The local election defeats in England are a major wake up call to the political parties. 1300 Conservatives Councillors lost their seats at the recent election in England, the worse Conservative result since 1995. With this single piece of information, anyone think that Theresa May will comply with Jeremy Corbyn’s wish for an early general election?

Corbyn may want an election but doesn’t look good for Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard where a recent poll showed no gains and one lost; ending up with just six seats; worse still for him, the SNP according to the poll would go from 35 MPs to 51 MPs. If you understand that that Scottish Labour and the SNP fishing in the same voter pond for the working class vote.

Anyone really think that Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard needs a major event to showcase his talents at present?

Or, do you think a major event would lead to a major defeat?

One of Kezia Dugdale’s pals is Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray, both he and Kezia aren’t Corbyn or Leonard supporters. Mr Murray recently gave an interview that espoused that: 

Anyone really think that Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard needs a major event to showcase his talents at present?

Regarding Leonard, Kezia also said:

“He has had a lot of time and space to do some of the policy work that I never had. At the same time he's in a difficult position because there haven't been any elections, it's not the same chance to put his face and name forward to the electorate and be better known than he is. The polling I have seen shows it's not that people do or don't like him, they just haven't met him yet. That's a blessing and a curse. In not knowing who he is, they haven't formed any opinion of him so he still has a blank piece of paper to build on and that's a real strength”.

So, to recap, no track record, no policies, no public rcognition for Leonard, party campaigning needing restructured, activist base needing an overhaul from the bottom up, people leaking private conservations, and in some places briefing against ‘comrades’, clearly no unity at all, plus the Corbynites and Blairites still at war, yes, that hasn’t gone away.

Finally, Kezia Dugdale said that she has been a ‘friendly critic’ but you always come back to that the fact that in her eight years as a list MSP for Lothian, she had many  U-turns when she got it wrong, held up by her opponents, most notably her criticism of Jeremy Corbyn. When she backed Owen Smith for leader, I didn’t, I thought it was wrong for her to publicly support anyone for leader. In the end, Owen Smith lost; fell from grace, just as Kezia did herself, now she leaves for another job. I met Kezia Dugdale once, it was at the European Election count in 2016, she was in Glasgow for the result; we chatted for a few minutes, and then said cheerio. I think she will like her new job at Glasgow University, less hassle and an opportunity to step back and see things for what they really are.

Maybe she is suffering from 'jungle fever?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but
after I clicked submit my comment didn't appear.
Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say superb blog!