Yesterday afternoon, Scottish Labour tweeted some comments from Kezia Dugdale’s keynote speech to the party conference that might be the most self-evidently idiotic thing ever said by a Scottish politician.
Now, whether you support independence or not it’s a plain, measurable, empirical fact that it IS all of those things. Saying it’s not “an alternative”, in particular, is roughly on a par with asserting that the Earth doesn’t revolve around the Sun.
We were about to go on a rant about the jaw-dropping stupidity of the claim when it struck us that it might be a bit more interesting to see how the speech, and indeed the conference, had gone down with its intended audience – Scottish Labour delegates.
And as it happened, we had some data on that.
Liam Gleeson is a young party activist, who’s currently standing for the position of chair of Scottish Young Labour.
And last night he tweeted his impression of the state of the branch office. We thought you’d like to hear his comments straight from the conference floor in his own words, unedited by us. Over to you, Liam.
“Just back from #ScotLab17 and I honestly feel dejected by the whole experience. I’ll try and put some thoughts down.
The vast majority of speakers were ex-officio, candidates, staff or representatives. Hardly any trade unionists or grassroots members. Those who did speak, particularly our candidates, didn’t represent the diversity or makeup of the labour movement.
Not a single motion was spoken against, and the debate seemed like it was done because it had to be rather than to actually generate policy. We are in a crisis, and during the shadow cabinet Q&A session, not one person asked a critical question. We have no self criticism.
The MSPs focused on a politics confined to Westminster, from what I saw only Richard Leonard talked about workplace politics. The intervention from Sadiq Khan was disastrous, but I think the views he expressed are held by many in our party.
We spent the entire conference defining ourselves against the SNP, there was little about what we were actually for. The leaders speech today totally struck the wrong note, we cannot keep talking about independence. It was more unionist than socialist.
A pound shop Ruth Davidson position is not going to cut it.”
Sounds about right to us.