You can see the full unedited Kezia Dugdale interview with Gordon Brewer on today’s Sunday Politics Scotland at this link, so you can verify that the shortened edit below isn’t misrepresenting anything. But if you don’t have time or attention span for the full 20 minutes, this’ll give you the gist without all the desperate waffling.
We think readers will agree that there can no longer be so much as a scintilla of doubt over whether Kezia believes Jeremy Corbyn can lead Labour to victory.
We’re sure that the media will pin Dugdale down over this weekend and we’ll get a detailed and convicing explanation of exactly what it is that she thinks changed about the fundamental nature of Jeremy Corbyn over that solitary month.
It’s long been a bone of contention for Scots – and not just nationalists – that the UK government, by common agreement, wasted the vast wealth windfall of the North Sea on funding Margaret Thatcher’s 1980s programme of deliberate de-industrialisation, mass unemployment, huge tax cuts for the wealthy and bribes to the working class in the form of Right To Buy.
It did so rather than investing the proceeds in a sovereign wealth fund, as demanded by the SNP (and some elements of Labour) and practiced in Norway, whose fund – only set up in 1990 – is now a literal embarrassment of riches.
But the reality is even worse than that. Because according to a 2015 report by the National Resource Governance Institute that’s just come to our attention, the truth is that if the UK had managed its North Sea treasure better, it could have done both.
With the greatest of reluctance, and only in the absence of anything even remotely more interesting, then, let’s have a few words on Scottish Labour’s latest solemn and sincere declaration of its full, total, complete and utter autonomy.
Because while the media is reporting the development that UK Labour has decided to extend a few extra inches of lead to Kezia Dugdale’s branch office as if it had the slightest importance to anything, it seems oddly reluctant to ask the obvious question.
The Sunday Times has a new Panelbase poll out today, and it borrows a question that was first asked by this website (via the same pollster) 14 months ago. These were the results this month:
They broadly show little change from when we asked last year (for the five options the changes are +1, 0, -3, +8 and -5), suggesting that the main practical upshot of the EU referendum campaign was to halve the number of Don’t Knows, which was achieved by shifting almost all of them straight onto the Leave side with the Remain camp’s abysmal recreation of Better Together’s “Project Fear”.
Nevertheless, the chart is a fascinating and pertinent one. Because while there’s only one of the four non-DK groups in the list who definitely can’t get what they want, there’s another one whose decision will be a lot harder than Yes supporters would like.
Ruth Davidson opened First Minister’s Questions yesterday with an attack on the Scottish Government over the performance of the NHS, citing a report that the service faced “pockets of meltdown” this winter.
But later in the session, alert backbench SNP MSP Clare Haughey claimed that the report being quoted by the Tory leader had only in fact examined THREE Scottish hospitals. So we thought we’d better check.
The press and social media today are frothing with excitement about a new Ipsos Mori poll for STV which shows (for the second poll in succession) Ruth Davidson scoring marginally higher approval ratings than Nicola Sturgeon.
But the problem is that that wasn’t what people were actually asked.
Admittedly at first we were chiefly doing it in order to embarrass the increasingly angry and belligerent BBC presenter Andrew Neil, who insisted repeatedly last year that there’d been no real-terms cut to the Holyrood budget since the Tories came to power.
That claim put Neil at odds with all manner of people pointing out that the opposite was true, to which we can now add the FoAI:
But we already knew Andrew Neil was an idiot, so that was no big deal. It was another chart in the document that caught our eye and made us think.