So it’s finally happened. After months of speculation, after many possible dates being mentioned, Kezia has jumped, probably just before she was pushed. Was it a coincidence that it came immediately following Corbyn’s pretty disastrous tour of Scotland, where his appearances were met with huge waves of apathy? Perhaps. Given her widely expressed views on the unsuitability of Corbyn as leader of the Labour party and given Corbyn’s upsurge in popularity following June’s election, it was only a matter of time before an excuse was found, and likely Kezia’s unsubtle hint that Labour voters should vote Tory in constituencies where the Tories had the best chance of unseating the SNP was it. The net result of many potential Labour voters following her advice was an increase in Tory seats in Scotland, keeping May in power and depriving Corbyn of possibly his best, or maybe even only, chance of becoming PM.
When your hatred of the SNP exceeds even your desire for your own party to succeed, you have to be on a shoogly peg as leader, even if you’re only the local branch manager.
There have already been many views expressed about Kezia’s performance as leader of the Labour Party in Scotland and, no doubt, there will be many more. My own view is that she put herself into an impossible position, inheriting a disaster from Jim Murphy, when she had neither the competence nor the experience to turn things around. We all have known people who, even from a young age, were able to take control of any situation and make things happen. We have also known people who, no matter their age, didn’t have the confidence and the authority to define a course of action and convince others to follow their lead. Kezia is, unfortunately, one of the latter. She mostly acted like the teenager who wants to be liked but who, somehow, always ended up on the outside. She was unable to define a clear and consistent set of policies to energise her party and attract the voters. In the end, her only consistent policy was SNPbad and that’s not a platform for government.
One last point. The timing of her resignation has been the subject of some discussion, coming, as it did, on the same day as the opening of the Queensferry Crossing. Was this a deliberate act to try to take some of the attention away from the opening? Given Kezia’s well documented lack of forward planning, it’s hard to imagine it was part of some long term plan. More likely, it was a last minute decision and, if she thought about the bridge opening, she would have thought the timing a bit of a giggle and payback for all the problems the evil Nats caused her.
Bye, bye Kezia.