A guest post by Samuel Miller
First of all let’s be clear that this post is NOT exclusively about Kezia Dugdale. Besides, the ever vigilant Wings over Scotland has pretty much got the ups, downs, backwards and forwards of Kezia’s current predicament pretty well dissected. How and ever, it was Kezia’s latest exchange on twitter with Ruth Davidson coupled with the seemingly never ending releases by the branch office and meeja, which begs a fairly straight forward question. We’ll get to that question in a minute.
Anyroads, for those of yooz who have been trekking in the more remote regions of the Amazon basin searching for the botanical cure to athlete’s foot for the past six months, here is what its all about. The Essenpee are bad. They are pure rotten badness personified. They are black hatted, twirly moustached, back shootin’, hoss stealin’, cattle rustlin’ bad. In fact they’re so bad, nobody wants to play with them or even admit to having known them. Well, no one other than the Greens, Plaid Cymru, a fair number of the voting public in Scotland and apparently, (not to mention surprisingly), some Corbyn supporting members of the PLP who are up for some grown up politics.
This is a curious, not to mention unique situation in the UKs political history, since pretty much all of the unionist parties have at one time or another, even in the past sixteen years, worked together, voted together or even formed a coalition partnership or two. Labour, a party which led us into a dubious overseas conflict and presided over economic carnage has been known to periodically cut deals with notorious serial fibbers and enablers. The Conservatives, a party known for their warm fuzzy nature and outward looking and inclusive joie de vivre also aren’t above looking for dance partners when the occasion arises. Needless to say their recent coalition with those self same serial fibbers won’t be forgotten anytime soon either. I actually don’t think there is enough space, even on a digital page, to list their recent crimes against the populations of the UK. In times of extreme national emergency, the three establishment parties have even been known to share platforms, hold hands, sing Kumbaya and have sleepovers (see under Better Together).
Right now the populations of the UK face a potentially disastrous economic and constitutional crisis. A crisis brought about by a combination of years of naked personal ambition, greed, ignorance, public manipulation and a level of self serving idiocy that should be measured on the Richter scale. The party of government and its loyal opposition? Those MOST responsible? Absent without leave and indulging in an orgy of self harm.
These parties have actively participated in the deconstruction of the UKs democracy, its economy and its society. They’ve used the forum of the mainstream media to manipulate opinion, foment mistrust and even outright hatred of ‘competitors’ and demographics of their own population. Their strategies have been known to undermine trust in public services and institutions, if it suited their political purpose, causing untold harm in their own society. Yet for all this, its the SNP who have somehow proven themselves unacceptable company for the established political elite of the UK and their meeja chums.
Is it me, or does anyone else not feel entirely crushed about that?
More importantly in terms of the Scottish scene, doesn’t this whole toys and pram approach to politics say so much more about Ruth, Kezia and thingy than anything the SNP could express on the matter? And so we come to the point of this exercise, the real question.
What are they for?
What is the point of the Conservatives, Labour and the Libdems in Scottish politics? And don’t give me any pish about plurality, because if there’s one thing Labour and the Conservatives especially do NOT believe in, it is sharing or playing nice with others. I’ve heard and seen PMQs, SQs and FMQs often enough to know that the chamber security should be armed with rolled up newspapers and buckets of ice water.
From recent memory however, it appears the Tories want to hold the SNP to account for … something or other, (Probably that predilection for badness) and staunchly defend the bestest political union ever. Labour being Labour, like to keep things simple and follow the mantra best outlined by the now infamous tweet from Willie Bain (a one time Shadow Scotland office minister), “There is a long-standing PLP convention that we do not support SNP motions”… Just because, OK? The Libdems, under successive leaders, apparently are equal opportunities swingers and are well known as a support act for either of the other two. Their weekly rates are cheap, are known to enjoy limelight, pundit couches and long romantic walks in the countryside, but they do like a lie in on a Sunday.
Does anyone know what the current policies of the ‘Branch Offices’ are on anything though? The legislation they’ve worked on, committees they’ve participated in, problems they’ve helped solve through consensus? Well, if they’ve formulated any of the former on their own behalf or aided in any of the latter with the SNP, it appears that these days they don’t want to own up to it. I mean, the media aren’t exactly rushed off their feet releasing copy on the latest policy initiative from any of them.
Mibbies just me, but I’d say that from the end user/voter’s point of view, that doesn’t encourage a lot of confidence in the ability of our public servants.
If, as it appears, their day job is to manufacture Essenpee badness, draw lines in the sand, disrupt policy and process because they can or because the other guy wears a different coloured rosette, then I’d say they’re in the wrong job… frankly. When I see supposed adults, would be legislators and folk who would have you believe they are capable of government, openly compete as to who hates the standing government in Scotland most? I feel a desperate urge to dispense rubber dummies and send the offenders to their beds early for a time out.
Regular readers of this site and any number of indy sites are well used to this catastrophic and childish farce by this point. We KNOW why these parties and their politicians act the way they do. Their motivations, their strategies are all too transparent and the consequences for the public all too tragic.
I’m willing to bet that most folk want to see all Scottish governments held to account, but I reckon we’d also want to see legislation by consensus. Committees and chambers with all views represented and the problems faced by the population solved by people who serve the population. If some politician’s party loyalties, tribalism or pointless, naked hatred of the ‘other’ is getting in the way of our parliament serving our population, then isn’t that person a waste of a public pay packet? We can change this. We HAVE to change this.
Which takes me neatly back to another two tiered question I’ve asked readers before.
What kind of government do you want and what kind of country do you want to live in?
Audio version of this blog article, courtesy of @lumi_1984