Before considering Kezia Dugdale’s latest declaration of impressive intent, I first had to get over my surprise at British Labour in Scotland (BLiS) managing to assemble “an audience of 300 supporters and business leaders”. What was in the goody-bags, I wonder.
And what did Dugdale have to say to this extraordinarily large audience? Nothing new. She merely confirmed, yet again, that BLiS was content to have the agenda set by their Tory allies in the campaign to deny the sovereignty of Scotland’s people.
In the run-up to the 2016 Holyrood elections, Ruth Davidson easily slipped a choke-chain round Dugdale’s neck by defining Scottish politics as a straight contest between Scotland’s progressive civic nationalism and narrow, intolerant, xenophobic British nationalism. Davidson was readily able to capture the British nationalist ground, stealing enough hard-line unionist votes from BLiS to push Dugdale’s pretendy wee party into third place. Now, Davidson barely has to rattle that choke-chain in order to get Dugdale to ramp up the shrill Britnat rhetoric. Labour and Tories singing from the same hymn-sheet again, just as they did in Better Together/Project Fear.
Of course, Dugdale has attempted to put a progressive polish on the British nationalist turd with a bunch of glittering generalities doubtless delivered with a well-rehearsed catch in her throat at all the right moments. But where’s the substance? Where’s the plan? Where are the policies?
What did Dugdale offer that differentiates British Labour in Scotland from the British Tories in Scotland?
Both branch office managers are singing from the same hymn-sheet. And the name of the hymn they’re singing is, “The Union At Any Cost!”.
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