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By Jason Michael
Gone are the days when being a party leader was a job for life. Apologies, it’s hard to resist having a poke at the auld socialist saying when yet another Scottish Labour leader has been given their marching orders from the management.
Scottish Labour is going through party leaders faster than the Trump administration through appointees. In four eventful years in the politics of Scotland Labour has wobbled and lurched through the tenures of Johann – “not genetically programmed” – Lamont, “fundilymundily” Jim Murphy, a temporary rerun of Iain Grey, and now the woman with the five-year plan, Kezia Dugdale. We can only imagine that particular grand ambition came to a screeching halt last night as Ms Dugdale, after finally biting the bullet, handed in her resignation. Strong and stable the unionist parties in Scotland certainly are not.
Some might say that once she made the decision to campaign openly for the Scottish Conservatives in the last general election this day was coming. True, her cards were marked, but it would appear the final shove came from Scottish Labour’s head office in London. The long and short of it is that oor Kez, as a dyed in the wool Blairite Red Tory, backed the wrong horse in the leadership contest in the real Labour Party. Voicing her support for the Blairites in the British unionist Labour parliamentary party last year, Kezia said she would resign had she lost the support Corbyn had during the orchestrated walk-outs calculated to oust him from the top job.
A senior Scottish Labour source tells me Kezia Dugdale was "hounded out by JC's mob".—
Jamie Ross (@JamieRoss7) August 29, 2017
Of course Kezia must have dropped a brick when the votes were counted in June. “Jezza” did not suffer the humiliating defeat she had hoped he would. He proved his ability to run a successful campaign and came within a whisker of unseating the Tin Lady, Theresa May, herself. At that point it must have been clear to Kezia her head was on the block. It was.
Corbyn, like all revolutionary hard-leftiteers, is not a man who forgets things quickly. He might not have the power yet to open up gulags in the Peak Districts, but he would be a fool not to begin a good old fashioned purge. Scotland, as has been pointed out, is now the key to Corbyn’s strategy. That’s why he sallied north last week looking to woo a few marginals held by the SNP. There isn’t snowballs chance he was ever going to let such a lousy little upstart – as Dugdale had become – keep her feet under the table in his Scottish branch office. Jeremy Corbyn was coming to Scotland to finally rid himself of this wee Toom Tabard – and she knew it.
Kezia Dugdale is in herself a perfect example of what is wrong with the Scottish Labour Party. Back in the day, when so many in Scotland voted for Tony Blair in the 1997 general election that delivered a Labour landslide, we didn’t know we were voting for “Blairism.” We were duped. Few could see that New Labour was nothing but a re-branding of Thatcherism. No one knew he’d be the beast he’d become. We didn’t see the illegal wars, and the groundwork of austerity.
Sadly Kezia Dugdale is not the only Blairite in Labours northern branch and peeps voted in MPs that already ignore… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…—
TRADASRO (@tradasro) August 30, 2017
As Corbyn has worked towards the cleansing of English Labour – the real British Labour Party – Scottish Labour – the “Branch Office” – has remained nothing but a festering remnant of that New Labour lie. This diseased northern outcrop of British Labour has had to be dealt with, and that process is now underway. Kezia, having stuck her head above the parapet, was only the first in what will shortly become a series of moves designed to bring the Jocks back into line.
Corbyn, in spite of all the spin, is no Keir Hardie. He has wrapped the garb of socialism around him, but it’s more a case of all draped flag and nae breeks. He has voted with the Tories in Westminster to keep austerity going because he knows what will be required for his vision of a “soft” Brexit. He knows that the plebs will have to tighten their belts for the good of his one Britain vision of faux socialism. The problem in Scotland was that Kezia – sticking to the auld hymn book – was threatening to blow the lid. She wouldn’t budge and she wouldn’t shut up. She had to go.
I'm going to end up Scottish Labour leader at this rate!!—
Claire E Carroll (@carrolce) August 29, 2017
What this exposes now is the lie that Scottish Labour had ever been given more autonomy from London. Labour in Scotland is British Labour and the top brass in the London leadership pull the strings. Corbyn has only proven that this is as true today as it has ever been.
In Scotland the Branch Office is now faced with the embarrassing task of selecting its ninth leader since devolution. That works out to about a new leader every two years or so. No party can function like that, but, in fairness, Labour in Scotland isn’t a party. At best it’s a cheap franchise, and it does anything but function. Scottish Labour has no future. If Corbyn thinks he can paint it his shade of kid on red, he has another thing coming. That boat has sailed. He might attract the odd Cat Boyd, but the lefties have flitted to the SNP and the independence movement. A future is, however, possible with real change. Labour in Scotland can actually become Scottish Labour, breaking free – getting its independence – from London, and reconsider its position on the future of Scotland.
Oor Kez leaving with her “head held high” and her tail between her legs.