Kezia Dugdale isn’t even trying to make our life difficult.
“I believe that Jeremy can unite the Labour Party [and] win a general election.” (24 September 2016)
We’re sure that the media will pin Dugdale down over this weekend and we’ll get a detailed and convincing explanation of exactly what it is that she thinks changed about the fundamental nature of Jeremy Corbyn over that solitary month.
It hasn’t been the best of weeks for the newly super-mega-ultra-autonomous leader of the Scottish branch office, of course. On Thursday she was at the centre of a comical incident when her failure to record a vote let the Scottish Government escape defeat on a Tory amendment about the council tax.
Dugdale complained bitterly – blaming the Holyrood computer system even though it was checked after the event and found to be fully operational – because the subject matter was supposedly so important:
Alert readers already know that’s total hogwash, of course. The SNP pledged to abolish the council tax in their 2007 manifesto, but after their attempts to do so as a minority government were defeated by the combined opposition of the three Unionist parties they officially abandoned the idea in 2009, and it was no longer policy in the 2011, 2015 or 2016 manifestos.
But there was a major obstacle beyond Parliamentary arithmetic too:
It was Labour who effectively made the abolition of council tax impossible within weeks of the SNP first coming to power, by threatening an effective £400m cut to the Scottish budget if the policy was enacted. But then, since Kezia Dugdale’s memory evidently can’t be relied on over the space of a month, we suppose expecting it to go back almost a decade is asking for a lot.