Monday 22 August 2016

If anyone is an expert in "unelectability" and "preeching to the converted" it's Kezia Dugdale

The leader of the Scottish Labour Party Kezia Dugdale is the latest Labour politician to churn out an anti-Corbyn diatribe for the mainstream press in the hope of swinging the Labour leadership contest in favour of the Blairite backed Anyone But Corbyn candidate.

Yet again the crux of her argument is repetition of the endlessly recycled "unelectable" trope. If anyone in Britain has the right to call themselves an expert in unelectability then it's Kezia Dugdale who managed the incredible feat of reducing Labour to Scotland's 3rd political party in the May 2016 Scottish Parliament elections, significantly behind the widely detested Tories.

Anyone might have thought that the 2015 General Election result might have been the nadir for Scottish Labour. Losing 40 of their 41 seats was the worst political capitulation in the history of British politics, but Scottish Labour apparently exist in such a bubble of delusion that they chose Kezia Dugdale to replace the departing Jim Murphy.

After the wipe-out in 2015 anyone would have thought that the Labour leadership would do everything in their power to try to undo the damage and re-engage an electorate they've alienated, but Kezia just stuck with the woeful "SNP bad" playbook, and in so doing strongly re-affirmed people's belief that abandoning Labour was absolutely the right thing to do.

The result of this belligerence is that Labour got walloped again at the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections, where the Labour vote was reduced to a tiny hard-core of Labour Party loyalists.

Another of the bizarre things about Kezia Dugdale's attack on Jeremy Corbyn is the way she accuses him of "preaching to the converted", which is another thing she is clearly an expert in, having been a key player in the process of reducing the once powerful and seemingly unassailable Scottish Labour Party to a tiny rump of party loyalists who are now significantly outnumbered by Scottish Tories!

It's bad enough that Kezia Dugdale has clung onto her job as Scottish Labour leader after leading them into another feeble electoral capitulation, but to then go around lecturing other people on "electability" and "preaching to the converted" displays an extraordinary lack of self-awareness.

If the Scottish Labour Party are determined to allow Kezia Dugdale to continue steering the party towards electoral irrelevance, that's their prerogative, but they really should try to stop her from doing her unwitting self-parody act, because it's excruciatingly embarrassing to witness someone so hopelessly out of touch that they don't even realise that the criticisms they're slinging at other people apply a thousand times more strongly to themself.

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