Talkin’ bout Kezia’s genertaion

Labour’s holding its Scottish party conference this weekend, and no one cares, not even most of the Labour party. Despite all the big words, some of which have been spelled correctly, the conference won’t change anything. Labour is the junkie child who has promised to mend their ways so often that no one believes them any more. And like many addicts, Labour insists that it’s going to mend its ways while insisting with equal vehemence that none of it is their own fault. It’s all the fault of bad people, bad influences, SNPbad making Labour a poor defenceless victim. Labour lives in a permanent Halloween, where the SNP bogey man lurks behind every corner but there’s never any sweeties. Delegates to the Labour conference scare one another shitless by sneaking up behind each other and yelling SNP!

The truth is it no longer matters what Labour promises. On Thursday evening Scottish branch office manager Kezia Dugdale made an appearance on the BBC’s Question Time programme. Kezia announced in what was obviously a pre-rehearsed speil that very soon her party was going to have singing policies, dancing policies, Scottish policies. We’d be rushing back to the Labour church like atheists who’d just witnessed an apparition of the Virgin Mary manifesting itself in the pages of a Richard Dawkins book. All sorts of goody wonderfulness is about to happen to Labour in Scotland and those who vote for them, so much so that Mary Poppins will appear like a hard bitten cynic in comparison. Kezia’s spreech – a cross between an oration and a scream for help, in case you were wondering – reached its crescendo, lifted aloft on her hopes and dreams and carefully crafted sentences from the press office and all that was missing was Jim Murphy’s halo … and then came the silence that sucks out the soul.

No one clapped. No one jeered. No one harrumphed. There was no laughter, no derision, just the cold silence lost in the depths of space far from the warmth of any sun that says we’ve heard all this before. It was the silence of a nation cleaning its fingernails, the silence of a country that was wondering why there’s a greater grasp of political nuance on the Jeremy Kyle show, the silence of a nation looking embarrassedly at its watch in the hope that the torture of seeing a young woman make a fool of herself live on TV might end soon.

Sadly Kezia’s embarrassment didn’t end there. While her appearance on Question Time, recorded early in the evening, was being broadcast, she was also appearing live on STV in a car crash of an interview in which her attempts to explain how the Labour party in Scotland really was autonomous this time honest dissolved in the acid bath of mild enquiry. Incapable of answering the simplest question on how exactly her own proposals were going to work in practice, Kezia attempted to deflect, dodge and blame the SNP. Welcome to the new politics, same as the old politics.

The following day a Labour campaign video was released online, pitching Kezia – who’s spent her entire adult life as a policy wonk – as da voice of da yoot. It succeeded marvellously , if succeeding marvellously is defined as proving that Labour in Scotland is going to be completely autonomous from the rest of the Labour party when it comes to spelling. Kezia’s campaign video was talkin bout my genertaion. It was a trivial matter, but it compounded the image of an out of touch party going through the mtoions. What was more significant was the promise made in the video that Kezia aspired to be the leader of a strong oppostiion. Labour has pretty much admitted that it’s not going to be in power for a very long time.

The conference itself spent more time attacking the SNP than it did attacking the Tories. The promise to debate Trident and perhaps pass a resolution against renewing it was undermined by another resolution adopted by the Labour conference that Trident renewal represented a way of protecting the steel industry. Although I thought it was lead plate that was needed to protect ourselves from the radioactive fallout.

Jeremy came and promised sunshine. In Scotland. He also claimed that the SNP government was a grevious threat to human freedom, by which he presumably meant Labour’s freedom to reign unchallenged. Jezza and his pal John the shadow chancellor spent far more time attacking the SNP than they did the Tories.

Kezia’s big policy announcement was a promise to reverse the cut in tax credits, which Labour will pay for by not implementing any cut to Airport Passenger Duty, by raising the income tax rate to 50p for the highest paid, and by “resisting Tory plans to raise the threshold for the 40p tax rate from the current £42,385 to £50,000 by 2020”. The first two aren’t going to bring in anything like the revenue required to make up for the income taken from the pay packets of the poor by the Tories, and the last measure isn’t within the power of a Holyrood government. Meanwhile Labour in Westminster thinks it can resist the Tories by abstaining.

Jim Murphy, Kezia’s erstwhile boss, fought the Westminster election in Scotland on the basis of Holyrood promises. Kezia wants to fight the Holyrood election on the basis of Westminster promises. Labour’s still attempting to get back into power on the basis of confusing the electorate, but when you’re dealing with one of the most politically aware and sophisticated electorates in Europe, that’s a strategy with limited traction – especially when we’re faced with the prospect of Jackie Baillie as finance secretary.

We’ve heard all this before so many many times. It was a lie then, it’s a lie now. Kezia’s problem isn’t a shortage of policies, it’s a shortage of trust. When people can’t even be bothered to heckle, it’s because they’re no longer listening to a party that doesn’t know how to listen. It’s because Labour stopped caring and so did we. It’s a relationship that foundered on the rock of a party that refused to budge from its privilege and entitlement. So Scotland ditched the sinking ship of Labour and watched it disappear beneath the waves of contempt and disdain. Kezia would be as well to yell from the bottom of the sea. No one can hear and no one cares. Labour is drowning in its own irrelevance.

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23 comments on “Talkin’ bout Kezia’s genertaion

  1. fillofficer says:

    …. people can’t even be bothered to heckle….says it all really. we’ve had enough. defining moment. come may 2016 they wont be too surprised, or will they. muppets, the lot o them. cringeworthy muppets

  2. Weegiewarbler says:

    Saw what you did in para 5 …. lol
    Yep… looking forward to Holyrood election!

  3. Jan Cowan says:

    I recently listened to Mhairi Black at an SNP meeting where the packed audience burst into applause several times during her exciting presentation. What a contrast to Kezia Dugdale! Kezia just isn’t up to it.

    • Saor Alba says:

      There are plenty of youngsters in the Scottish Youth Parliament who would put Kezia to shame when it comes to debating.

  4. Steve Asaneilean says:

    I think that silence on QT was one of the most embarrassing things I have ever seen happen to a politician.

    But Kezia brought it upon herself by trying to hijack a BBC discussion show to make a mini party political broadcast (and a pretty poor one at that).

    It was a dreadful lack of judgement on her part (or the part of her advisors) and the clearest proof, if any were needed, that she lacks the calibre for leadership – and she’s the best they’ve got?

    You are right Paul – no one cares anymore. And if that happens people stop thinking about you and you cease to exist in any meaningful sense.

    That is what is happening to (Not) Labour. And they have no-one to blame but themselves.

    They deserted us in a fit of greed for power. They were seduced by the tropes of money and avarice. They abandoned the ordinary folk like you and me. They allowed people like Brian Wilson to speak to us on their behalf.

    At local government they have become a by word for corruption, favouritism and nepotism and yet each time that was exposed – in Monklands, in Edinburgh, in Glasgow, in North Lanarkshire – they sat on their hands and did nothing.

    Well hell mend them. Democracy in Scotland needs effective opposition but it sure as heck doesn’t need (Not) Labour.

    Next please?

  5. says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  6. macart763M says:

    Oh fcuk it, what’s the point of them?

    Again the massive logic fail. Even before we get to the mind numbing arithmetical hole in the cunning tax credit/APD/higher rate of tax/education plan, we have a simple premise. Why, oh why should a devolved assembly have to mitigate or offset the policies of central government?

    This being a system of central government which LABOUR worked so hard to ensure we were still tied to. Of course Labour banked on being in charge of this central government after the referendum and of course they were committed to following near identical austerity measures to the conservatives, but we’re meant to overlook such minor details.

    Labour over forty years have apologised for precisely nothing. Its always been someone elses fault. Well, there is no hiding place for them this time. They campaigned for pooling and sharing, for better togetherness. Labour it was who ensured that future conservative governments with the mandate of a single panda/governor general can make our lives a living nightmare. Though come to think of it you’d have been hard put to place a fag paper between them and the conservatives in terms of austerity so close were Mr Balls and Mr Osborne on what was required of the UK electorate prior to the GE.

    Have the party of abstention changed much since Mr Corbyn became leader? Trident still on the order books, the party at war with itself and everyone else, still unrepentant of their misdeeds. Their media luvvies still uncritical and still very much attacking anything SNP or pro independence.

    The answer has to be have they fcuk.

    Next May, let’s do some spring cleaning.

    • Aitken Drumm says:

      Great summation of the whole sorry mess (Not) Labour has become. Roll on independence.

      • Iain Ross says:

        Yeh good summary. This is what I do not understand, why is Labour trumpeting policies that mitigate Westminister decisions? What are they saying to me, that I have to pay twice? And this from a party that just abstained on a motion that would have brought down the tax credits policy in the Lords. Is this what Better Together means? They did after all stand shoulder to shoulder with the Tories to ensure that we were saved from ourselves. To me it is nothing by cynical positioning so that so called Scottish Labour can play the ‘were Scottish too card’ and it is disappointing to see MacWhirther and others in the Sunday Herald playing up to these folk. If the SNP came out with policies and statements like the Labour party they would be ripped apart and rightly so. Any decent journalist worth their salt would be exposing this sham irrespective of their own views.

        • macart763 says:

          Pretty much.

          We pay our taxes to the UK exchequer to administer to our needs, to govern, protect and serve. As a devolved assembly we receive through the Barnett formula those monies required to administer devolved responsibilities no longer taken on by Westminster itself. What they are NOT for is to mitigate the policies of a central government we’ve already paid to administer our affairs effectively in the first place.

          Its a farce of biblical proportions. Any time I hear manufactured faux outrage or economic concern from the ever hapless Labour party and their pet meeja, I have an uncanny urge to hurl heavy objects into breakables. This question of ‘what will the Scottish Government do about…to offset’ shouldn’t occur if central government was doing its goddam job correctly.

          The Scottish Government gave us the opportunity to cut central UK government out of the equation altogether, to have 100% control our own economy and fiscal levers. Since slightly over half our population disagreed that we should have such control over our own fortunes, we’re kinda stuck with robbing Peter to pay Paul in response to economic decisions made outwith our control and from a budget never intended for that particular use.

          What they’ve done to date is nothing short of impressive, but as Osborne is just at the start of his current tenure in number 11, we’ll need to move on from impressive handling to hoping for the odd miracle to occur.

          That or a number of those folks who voted no at the first time of asking are going to have to take that hand we’re holding out and make some noise.

  7. Justin Fayre says:

    I thought I had now become numb to the idiotic behaviour of the brain dead zombies in the Labour Party but the antics of Lord Roberton in voting with Baroness Moan and Le Miserable Lloyd-webber to support the Tory Government, Well words fail me.
    As far as the SLAB conference, how many of that zombie convention cheering on Kezias promise to protect the poor, were Labour Councillors working in coalition with Tory Councillors to shift the poor.
    Falkirk, Stirling, etc.

  8. Justin Fayre says:

    Or even shaft the poor.

  9. WRH2 says:

    The look on the QT audiences’ faces reminded me of how I feel the day after surgery and still not quite shaken of the effects of the anaesthetic. (Yes, I’ve been there a quite a few times) Basically I’m awake but disconnected and don’t give a damn about anything.

  10. Marconatrix says:

    IIRC according to Gaelic tradition it is on Oichdhe Shamnna that the spirits of the recently departed are permitted one last visit to their former homes and families. So it’s perhaps entirely appropriate that the shades of a once vital party should gather again in ghostly congress where once they triumphed. An occasion both sad and yet nostalgic. A last bow of farewell, a nod to former glories, before like the dawn mists their insubstantial presence evaporates in the warmth and clarity of the coming sunrise. (In the tones of the old documentary voice-overs), “And so we leave …”

    • hektorsmum says:

      Seems then that Halloween was not a good time for them then. All that seems to have been missing was the costumes, but then when you look at the faces, maybe they did not need them. An excellent summation Marconatrix.

  11. And that’s the point, well made.. Scotland’s common enemy is the Tory party and for the Labour party to spend all their energy fighting the one party who constantly fights our common enemy speaks loudly of how out of touch they are. Real shame.

  12. “Kezia would be as well to yell from the bottom of the sea. No one can hear and no one cares”

    In Labour, no one can hear you scream.

  13. Kev says:

    You need to get this stuff onto the tweet box!

  14. mealer says:

    In her interview with Brian Taylor Kezia Dugdale said that she didn’t want any further powers for the Scottish Parliament.So that’s it.Brown offered “as near to federalism” and Darling offered”Devomax”.Now that’s off the table.

  15. The truth is that truth has become a stranger to this parcel of rogues and liars. Led by incompetent nonentities, at long last a highly engaged electorate is begining to to see them for what they are, despicable people, only interested in maintaining their own personal fiefdoms, where they can decide what is best for their clique, and to hell with the people whom they are supposed to be representing, and whose interests, in their miniscule brains come last.
    I believe we will see their share of the vote in next year’s Scottish election drop to it’s lowest level ever, but, unfortunately, there will still be a few of them around.
    An even more difficult task for us will be to remove them from control of local councils in 2017. I happen to live in one of the areas mentioned by Steve, and their conduct, including financial mismanagement, over the years, has been appalling.
    You occasionally get people theorising on independence websites on what, in the future, will happen to the Labour Party. Well, as far as I am concerned I couldn’t care less. As has been said above, they have sealed their own fate with their lying, duplicitous, behaviour. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  16. Liz S says:

    Keiza signing a pledge with Corbyn for more autonomy for the Labour party is so contrived it is laughable, and em did no one suggest in Slab that perhaps this may smell a bit like the pre Referendum (non) vow with the three Dementors signatures. Shaky ground I would have thought , but I guess theatrics is all Slab have to fall back on now.

    What a circus when you consider that pre General election Murphy & co assured us that Slab were not a branch office , perhaps they are not even a branch office if they need the Head office Manager Corbyn to sign and authorise more autonomy for Keiza’s second division Labour sub office.

    O/T Is it me or is the Sunday herald not so cosy with SNP and a wee bit too sympathetic with Slab . Not a good edition today , perhaps with previous editor leaving ,who was pro Indy , I assumed new boss would be the same as the old boss……..not so sure ……maybe it is getting more in line with it’s sister paper The Herald.

  17. Hugh Bryce says:

    Is there an election coming soon in Scotland, must be as i read the papers and watch tv politicle interviewers do there best to try and browbeat and rattle SNP MPs. So Brewer, Neil and all the rest that work for the BBC forget they pay your wages and lets have unbiased reports.

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