Even seasoned and cynical observers of the Scottish opposition and press such as ourselves, readers, have been rubbing our eyes in startled disbelief this week at the spectacular about-face performed by the aforementioned parties with regard to the Scottish Government’s £10bn Chinese investment “deal” that was never an actual deal, and which may or may not have collapsed.
But today’s Times just about boggled our minds completely.
Well, who could disagree with that? Who would suggest otherwise?
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.
Eternally angry Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins has been even shoutier than usual this week, purple-faced with rage about the fact that the SNP has decided to spend some of its own money (not taxpayer cash) asking people for their opinions.
It’s a curious argument from a member of a party that’s been rejected in successive elections in Scotland in 1964, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1974 again, 1979, 1983, 1987, 1992, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2015 and 2016, but keeps turning up and barking orders anyway. You’d think the first 50 years might qualify as a hint.
A few weeks ago we rather cruelly highlighted an old post from Kezia Dugdale’s blog in which she bitterly bemoaned the practice of candidates who’d been rejected by voters in constituency seats still being able to get into Parliament via the “back door” of the regional lists.
Angrily Dugdale raged:
“Alex Salmond will try every trick in the book to get elected to the Scottish Parliament. Standing for both a constituency and a list seat this May doesn’t even register in his party’s mindset as being inappropriate.“
She also had a swing at a Lib Dem MSP:
“Mike Pringle has a majority of 158. He is I think, the third most marginal MSP in Scotland. Aware of his vulnerability, Mike has put his name forward for the Liberal Democrat Lothian List which means it’s nearly impossible to get rid of him at the next election. How unfair is that?”
So, y’know, she had this coming.
The Scottish Conservatives manifesto for Holyrood, 2011:
But maybe it’s different if you’re openly campaigning to lose.
If there’s one thing the Scottish Conservatives love to do, it’s lecture the SNP about vetting its candidates. Here’s Ruth Davidson on Michelle Thomson, for example:
And it’s not just her.
This week Scottish Labour have been attacking the SNP’s rather timid plans for the reform of Council Tax, which is an entirely fair and legitimate opposition pursuit.
But as is their wont, Kezia Dugdale’s branch office just can’t help overplaying their hand and doing it in a highly dishonest way.