Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Lies, damned lies, and autonomy

The streets of Scotland from Hamnavoe to Hawick were full of rejoicing citizens today as news emerged that "Kez" Dugdale had reached an agreement with her bosses to make what remains of Scottish Labour "autonomous", an agreement which will kick in a scant seven years after the crumbling loyalist party last managed to have more than one MP elected to the Westminster parliament. 

(Such autonomy, of course, does not extend to the bankrupt Unionist party funding itself, nor being responsible for its own membership, both of which will still be controlled by the Big Party in London).

It was something of a surprise, however, given that "Kez"'s former boss Jim Murphy claimed last year - and how long ago it seems now - that Scottish Labour was entirely autonomous. 

And, just two weeks ago, "Kez" claimed in one of her typically bleating, self-regarding spam mails to the First Minister that Scottish Labour was entirely autonomous. 

Now, clearly nobody is accusing Jim Murphy of being a liar (he's far too busy spending his life profiting from South Africa's apartheid policy of the 1980s and slaughtering babies in their beds in Iraq), and as "Kez" never tires of telling us, she's as honest as the day as long. 

But it does rather beg the question: if Scottish Labour was entirely autonomous last year, and Scottish Labour was entirely autonomous this month, then how on earth can even the unparalleled (if unappreciated, given her humiliation in this year's General Election in which she was roundly rejected by her constituents and had to cheat her way into Parliament on the List) genius of "Kez" have struck a deal to give her little party what it already had?

A footnote to "Kez" being an awful fibber: the governing NEC of the Big Party is currently finely-balanced between pro- and anti-Jeremy Corbyn delegates. One of the artefacts of Kez's Big Autonomy Agreement is that the "leader" of what's left of Scottish Labour is entitled to nominate her Very Own Delegate to the NEC. That delegate must be a frontbench MSP.

Given the expected victory of Corbyn on Saturday in a Big Party leadership election in which "Kez", bless her, furiously and bitterly (in an extraordinary departure from adverbs normally used to describe her behaviour..) opposed him, one is left wondering whether it will be acceptable to the Big Leadership for the "leader" of Scottish Labour's little group of MSPs to continue to be "Kez". 

"Kez" has made the autonomy of the remnants of Scottish Labour the central plank of her failed stint as "leader". It would be fittingly hilarious if the result of her achieving it was the end of her "leadership" because she can't be trusted to nominate the right person to serve the actual leader.