It seems that every time Kezia Dugdale stands up at FMQs she succeeds only in demonstrating how ill-qualified she is for office; and how ill-prepared British Labour in Scotland is for power.
The proposal to throw wads of taxpayers’ money at house-buyers is just the latest in a litany of hastily cobbled-together policy announcements that make no sense whatever outside the context of pettiest of petty politicking. Dugdale’s predecessor was known, among other even more unfortunate things, for this habit of making up policy as he went along. Policies which were either slapped down by the party bosses in London, or quietly withdrew into the shadows blushing furiously with the embarrassment of their silliness. We know what happened to Murphy. We wonder what became of Dugdale’s assurances that she was going to be different.
The vacuousness of this latest unconsidered idea has been comprehensively dealt with elsewhere (http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-judgement-of-silence), so let’s leave that aside for the moment. What struck me about Dugdale’s latest “SNP BAD!” outburst was the assumption that renting a home is a horrible fate inflicted on thousands of people by the evil SNP. It seems not to have occurred to her that renting rather than buying might be a rational choice made by increasing numbers of people.
But, of course, if that was the case then there would be no “SNP BAD!” angle. And that is Dugdale’s sole consideration.
As with the British parties’ increasingly contrived and irresponsible attacks on NHS Scotland, Police Scotland etc., where there is no thought as to the wreck less damage that might be done to these institutions or consideration of the insult to those who run our public services, so Dugdale casually consigns those who opt to stay off the “property ladder” to the status of ineffectual and unfortunate victims. All in the name of lashing out at the SNP.
I could have more regard for Kezia Dugdale if there was at least some hint of cleverness in her attacks on the SNP administration. I long since abandoned hope of her ever coming up with real, grown-up policies. Or of her ever getting down to the job of scrutinising government policy motivated by a desire to make it better serve the people of Scotland. I’m resigned to the fact that British Labour in Scotland are not fit to be the opposition, far less the government. But wouldn’t it be nice if Dugdale’s offerings at FMQs provoked something more than toe-curling embarrassment and utter despair.