The footnote

A guest post by Samuel Miller

This will be short.

You know, it would be easy and very tempting to list the record of exiting leader Kezia Dugdale’s gaffs and errors over the past near three years. Just as it’s tempting to give in to jibes and jokes at her departure. So I’m going to stun readers by NOT doing any of the above. Those gaffs have been more than well covered by public record as and when they occurred.

Plenty of scribes will be penning both damning and praising pieces across the meeja today (dependent on their political bias). They’ll do plenty of lists full of histories that some of us/most of us won’t recognise, but we’ll remember and that’s the main thing.

Ms Dugdale is apparently leaving her position because she’s had some reason to re-evaluate her life and what she wants from it. There was also mention of ‘passing the baton’ and the party needing “a new leader with fresh energy, drive and a new mandate”. That’s the bottom line straight from Ms Dugdale herself. There have been rumours of a coup in the offing of course, but then there’s always one of those knocking about the place and there may even be some truth to it (shrugs).

Some folk would argue Ms Dugdale’s term in office has been untenable for some time. Taking over the responsibilities of branch leadership from Jim Murphy in the wake of the 2015 election result was a bad enough start, but to continue in leadership through Labour’s steady decline in the pecking order over the past two years must have been painful. Public perception of Labour’s tacit partnership with the Tories and backing the wrong horse in internal conflicts will have had their toll too I suspect. An unsuccessful Scottish elections, council elections and only a moderately improved position after the snap general election couldn’t have helped. A party that fell ignominiously to third place in Scottish politics and despite the best sustained efforts of the media over the period (and its decidedly anti Scottish government narrative), remains rooted to that third place.

Then came the last big idea of ‘federalism’ and Ms Dugdale’s push to square the devolution dodecahedron. A chance to test some of that Scottish Labour autonomy (which was so autonomous by this point, it could have formed its own independent state on the far side of the moon), win some votes back, and save the union. It was, in my opinion, never going to work and the tin lid was firmly placed on that pot by the sainted Jeremy himself only a few days ago. So much for Scottish Labour’s autonomy. So much for federalism and so much for home rule.

The proverbial final straw? Who knows? That’s for readers to draw their own conclusions. The exiting leader has made her own statements on reasons.

Ultimately Ms Dugdale became leader of a party of growing irrelevance in Scotland. A party that had lost its way and its reason for being a long time ago. A party mired in ‘politics as it is practised’, a pointless hatred of opposition and a neverending sense of self entitlement.

So far as anyone can tell, there has been no marked resurgence of Labour under Ms Dugdale’s leadership. No clear policies worth the name, (other than ‘no second referendum’), though a great deal of policy confusion (actually completely bewildering). No renewal of purpose (Opposition for opposition’s sake still takes precedence apparently). No change of character or intent. No attempt to reach out with any olive branch to Scotland’s electorate.

Perhaps a change of leader, for whatever reason, is long past due. Will it really be a change though?

I personally very much doubt it.

46 comments on “The footnote

  1. Bill McDermott says:

    I wonder if her new partner has had any influence on this decision for Kezia to re-evaluate her life. Next thing we know Kezia will come out and say that Scotland should be given the chance to choose independence in the aftermath of Brexit. One more screech and reverse gear is neither here nor there for oor Kez.

  2. MI5 Troll says:

    In keeping with a “kinder politics” I will not mock or kick Miss Dug when she is so far down already. She unfortunately took on a job well above her talent scale and did suffer.She seems like a nice person and did look really upset when Nicola stitched her on the TV debates, (unlike the unashamed rape clause defender). So good luck Kezia and there is seat waiting for you over on the “Light-side” when your time is right.

  3. […] Wee Ginger Dug The footnote A guest post by Samuel Miller This will be short. You know, it would be easy and very […]

  4. Douglas says:

    I hope she finds peace.

    She has seemed to be a troubled/conflicted/confused soul for some time.

    I think she is better than the nonsense produced by Scottish Labour and I hope that she gets time to reflect -and find a better life.

    Best wishes

  5. Morag Kerr says:

    It’s a paradox. First choice for a political party to start her career, SNP. Dad an independence supporter. Current squeeze an independence supporter. And yet she delivers rhetoric bordering on vile invective against the very idea of independence.

    Everyone says, oh, she’s so nice, just not up to the job. Kezia nice but dim. And yet, everybody also says she was that poisonous, vile unionist troll on the Scotsman comments, Fifi la Bonbon, more than ten years ago. If that’s true, she ain’t nice at all.

    • James says:

      I do not often comment on sites, but this time I must back you up. I will never forget the look on her face at a local meeting (can’t remember the location) on the lead up to the independence referendum in 2014. She was supporting an new girl on the block (can remember her name) looking to get into politics (obviously on the Labour side). An audience member asked a question and the new girl got herself into a fankle and instead of spouting independence bad/SNP bad rhetoric, she ended up going down the path of agreeing with the person in the audience and agreeing that staying with the union would be bad and independence would be good. Kez just sat on camera and glowered at the new girl and did not offer any help what to ever. What made it worst was the girl obviously realised what had happened and tried to backtrack and get herself out of it making things worse in the process, but Kez just left her to drown. I thought at the time (and this is why I remember it) that it was a bit nasty and this was to someone on her own side.

  6. 2p3rf3ct says:

    I had the dubious pleasure of taking part in a debate in London during Kezia’s “federalism” period, where the other 2 stooges were in effect all saying ‘do it’ from a position of no power and having spent 30 years not ‘doing it’.

    Kind of pathetic that these people could be torn apart so easily, and worse, the English academic audience agreed.

    Kezia was a political bantamweight, who was thrown into a ring where the super heavyweight SNP (quite a few of them) were laughably better,

    I kind of pity her – like the last 8 or so leader, its a pointless thing to lead.

  7. Robert Graham says:

    there must be someone in labour in scotland who will eventually cotton on that changing leaders aint working , it is not the messenger. but the message itself that might be suspect.
    Lets hope that brilliant orator Kelly gets the chance we all need a right good laugh.

  8. Robert Graham says:

    Oops forgot to say thanks for your very able contributions Sam it hasn’t gone unnoticed much appreciated .

  9. Clegg’s eulogy in the Record cites all the improvements that she has introduced to the Branch Office, with murmurings about a Labour revival credited more to Corbynmania than anything Dugdale ever did.
    She stood by and let Corbyn spout lies about SNP achievements and must have thought: ‘I’m gonna have to take the shit storm from this old Islington duffer’s lies and ignorance about even the basics of Scottish civic society.’
    She was not so much pushed as shown the door.
    Made an incredible amount of money from obscurity 6 years ago, to successive years of irrelevance and decline.
    Not one bone in my body mourns her passing.
    Leader of Labour Up Here is now a nothing job. Anybody can do it.
    Just shout SNP Shite every Thursday afternoon in the chamber, and mention ‘fairness’, ‘justice’, and ‘tax the rich’ every time Tom or Paul interview you for the Herald Scotland.
    ‘{Insert name} accuses Nicolas Sturgeon of unfairness and not getting on with the day job.’
    Is always a good start for each Branch Office Manager.

    • Macart says:

      Yes, I read that piece Jack and think I covered the subject of newspaper coverage with some restraint (for me anyway). 😉

      • You did indeed, Sam. You are the becalming influence that quells my inner screaming Dervish.
        Clegg is yer archetypal British Nationalist of course.
        As Socialist as the blood diamonds around Lady Windermere’s withered dewlap.

      • Patience is a Virtue says:

        Now here is something worthy of discussion.

        (thanks to recent posting by Petra on WoS):


  10. Saor Alba says:

    People whose faces twist with hate and who manufacture lies when supposedly taking part in discussions are not nice people. I have never come round to believing that Ms Dugdale’s intentions were ever honourable. There are very few left in SLab who are honourable. That is why they are in such a mess.

  11. Excellent piece, as always, Sam. To read the Grauniad this morning you would think Kez was single-handedly responsible for ressurrecting the Branch Office …. I wonder what planet or parallel universe the Grauniad’s journalists routinely occupy? And that moron Torrance is now trumpeting that the “Yes” vote is splintered beyond repair …. Aaach! It is refreshing beyond belief to turn to WGD for a little truth and sanity!

    • Saor Alba says:

      Thinking the Yes vote is splintered beyond repair could be a big mistake.

      • Robert Harrison says:

        Labour was in against independence torrance is a deluded imbacile its damaged the britnats if anything because its just drawing the lines to independence or tory rule forever doubting that the staunchest imperial wants tory rule forever

      • In which case, Saor Alba, long may he and his puppeteers continue to think so!

  12. smac1314 says:

    Kezia Dugdale, Ruth Davidson or my own MP Jo Swinson are all interchangeable. Vacuous careerist politicians whose only principle is to advance their own career. Kezia reached as far as she could and found it wasn’t all she had hoped. She won’t be missed.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      Your area voted that England lackey jo swinson in thats all they are the snp and greens are the only partys in holyrood that answer to us right now the rest take orders from England geez its simple fact

  13. Stephen Roney. says:

    It seems that the merry go round must continue. Being the leader of the Scottish Labour Party must be like being seated permanently on the Magic Roundabout? I wonder who Ermentrude is?

  14. Time enough for James Kelly, WATP Tomkins, and the Queens Eleven Fraser to rush through an amendment to the OBF legislation, subordinate legislation describing Offensive Behaviour During the Branch Office Leadership Contest.
    The first hopeful who admits that the Branch has not ‘been listening’, who ‘gets it’ as the message from Joe Public who shunted the Red Tories into third place hits home, who declares that only a reinvigorated Labour Party can stop NS taking Scotland out of the Union, will win, although the returning officer may have to wait half an hour while the hoots of derision throughout the land die down before announcing the result.
    I cannot think of any of the favourites if accepted who would not generate more mirth than triumph.

  15. If they’re stuck, I’ll do it.
    What this Party needs is a root and branch something or other.
    I’ll pick some cause celebre later.

  16. scrandoonyeah says:

    At last her brain has caught up with her mouth…….that can only be a positive thing cause she might start using it and acknowledge the error of her different waves

  17. Gavin C Barrie says:

    Hey, not so fast Jack C, I’d be up for a crack at it too.I can moan about life with the best, I’m increasingly forgetful about what I said last week – essential,prime attribute? Constant smiling might be a problem. And I’d invite Murphy as my deputy.And James Kelly as anti -anti- sectarianism shadow person.And Jackie Baillie as Fact-Finding shadow person. Oh and Joanna Lamont as Genetics Qualifications Home office shadow person. And then there is Anas…

    So Trump that, if you can.

  18. Gavin C Barrie says:

    Oops, I forgot Prof Tomkins. Now then, thinks. I couldn’t appoint him as Snivelling shadow person since the SNP don’t snivel so shadow Sniveller won’t fit.Ah, multi- occupations shadow person? Nope, the SNP don’t major on multi-jobs, just ScotLab and their running mates the Tories. Joint- liaison Tory/ScotLabour shadow person. Fixed. And there is Anas…

  19. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    Interesting times. Who will take the poisoned chalice next.

    When you see the line up for potential candidates all you can say is bunch of Roasters.

    Reassuring for us types.

    • Jason, there is nothing ‘poisoned’ about this particular wee golden chalice.
      It is an incredibly nice little earner for any heartless bastard who doesn’t give a fuck about serving the people, reflecting the democratic will of the majority of Scots citizens, or actually working towards a fairer wealthier healthier Scotland.
      I think that I have just described all MSPs and Brit Nat Unionist MPs above.
      They don’t care if they come across as selfish bone headed idiots serving their English masters.
      That’s why they get the big bucks.
      I can think of not one thing which this Lassie has done to change the lives of any Scot in a good way, but hundreds where she has actively intervened to drive her fellow citizens into more poverty and penury to cling on to her precious little Brit Nat Union.
      Their New Leader will be a Corbyn place mat, and Lamont, Gray, Dugdale, Findlay, Rowlay,Baillie, Marra, and the rest of the dying herd will look on from the foothills chewing the cud for another 4 listless but well paid years.
      They are all a bit pointless now, aren’t they?
      Still I’m sure Tom Gordon and David Cleg have their ‘Profiles’ already written, gushing about Labour’s New Dynamic Leader and how he is going to change the Socialist World.
      Cue another Constitutional Convention…

  20. m biyd says:

    I blame her father. From what I read he is an SNP man through and through. How he could have reared a labour blairite is beyond me. Maybe fellow Dundonian Jenny ” my uncle was Michael Marra” Marra will step unto the breach for Harry, England and St George.m boyd

  21. Gavin C Barrie says:

    Gordon Brown on Radio 4 discussing the new bridge. I didn’t listen, but I mused, what if he was still Prime Minister, how would affairs be different?

    Well we might have the new bridge, though funded by PFI at a budget of £3.1 billion, yes £3.1. Bridge tolls would be in place – he says he thought and spoke about abolishing them, when in opposition but when Labour gained power via Blair, and then Brown for- how many years? – bridge tolls stayed in place.

    Duelling the A9 perhaps? Read as above.

    At least we know Corbyn hasn’t a clue about Scotland, Brown knew, and did nothing.

    So who for the Scotlab leadership? I think I’ll place a wager on Annie Wells. She is a local gal from a working class Glasgow background – great article and photo of her in the Sunday Herald a couple of weeks back. She is a list MSP, on 2042 votes or thereabouts, only circa +12, 000 behind the SNP, so no tedious constituency obligations to take up her time, example Col Ruthie.

    I know, I know, Annie Wells is a Tory, so what, they’re all the same, BritNats.

  22. mogabee says:

    She used the media to lie to those who don’t take much notice of politics. Screeching her way through many a FMQ’s until many just turned off.

    After the initial furore on social media, she will, no doubt, sink back to obscurity. When the last encumbent left the building everyone stepped back 2 paces and lo and behold Kezia Dugdale was the chosen one. This carryon will continue until there’s naebody left in the room…. A form of blind man’s bluff Labour style!

    I remain convinced there is no-one of any calibre who will revive the Labour dead parrot..

    Great piece Sam…play it again (sorry) ;D

  23. manandboy says:

    I watched her resignation show on BBC from the big fancy room. It was the same old lying Kezia. For someone who has reached a life changing decision, involving the death of a very close friend, her tone of voice and overall presentation did not reflect that. She was just the same.

    I suspect she knows she’s in a dead end job with no backing from the Boss, so she’s decided to bail out and take the cushy number on offer from the Unionist Establishment.

    A change of heart? No chance.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      She does not want to be corbyns puppet thats all it looks like to me and thats what kezias realized

  24. Stephen Roney. says:

    Off to the Land of Nod, said Zebedee and off to the Land of Obscurity said Kezia. Maybe she could work for BT as an operator, pushing buttons for a living. Any idiot can do that…………..on second thoughts?

  25. Robert Harrison says:

    And all this happens just as the English screw up brexit and blame the eu for the negotiating going nowhere the uk is falling apart here how can some people prefer this disfunction over independence which lets scotland decide which way scotland goes not the incompetent English dominated Westminster deciding scotlands direction we currently have with msps in the torys lib dems and labour being nothing but englands puppets because who takes the job is jermey corbyns puppet thats it like the 13 torys who said they only answer to thersea may and rennies lot answer only to vince cable the next slab manager will only answer to corbyn not us who live in scotland

  26. The front runners?
    Two male public school boys from the Branch Office List Of Cronies.
    Nobody elected them to High Office.
    As the sun sets over Scottish Labour, let us observe a year’s silence.
    They are the dying husk of a once proud and arrogant party. They are dead, subsumed by the English Version via young Scots Socialist Militants/ Commies. We luv you, Jezza, we doooo..
    Anas has no chance because he is a Blair conservative who sends his kids to a private school and is filthy well off.
    The other chappie, no I’ll not assist in raising his to date non existent profile, is public school educated, then the usual New Labour Gravy Train line, Stirling Uni, Trade Union Official…aye richt.

    Are there any who voted Scots Labour recently still going to give this terminally ill corrupt little regime another punt?
    They wouldn’t recognise Socialism if it confronted them in the streets proffering a begging bowl wearing a sign:-
    ‘Unemployed: three kids to feed.’

    There’ll be a wee banquet for 500 faithful soon, methinks.
    Locals can check the bins later for left over Korma and Naan.
    One less trip to the Food Bank.
    Labour is now officially dead. RIP.

  27. It is Dorothy Parker who is credited with quipping:- ‘How can they tell?’ when Calvin Coolidge’s death was announced.
    ‘Kezia Resigns’ prompts Parker’s response in this humble scribbler in relation to Dugdale’s daily impact on our lives.

  28. Ottomanboi says:

    As an Independent and non-Unionist entity this ‘Socialist party’ will then recover a Scottish face. Until such time Labour will continue to represent the interests of the colonial HQ in London and not that of Scotland and her people.

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