Every major party in opposition should be doing all it can to demonstrate that it’s not only acting in the interests of the country by holding the government to account when required, but supporting the government when they do right. They should also be demonstrating that they’re a credible and competent alternate government at the next election. I’m now officially baffled at Scottish Labour’s incompetence on a really basic point.
Scottish Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale challenged the new SNP leader and FM to a few policies. All OK so far, but there’s a problem.
“Take on the big six energy firms, forcing them to freeze bills and
rein in eye-watering profits earned on the backs of working people.”
“Bring back the 50p tax rate for top earners, so those with the
broadest shoulders carry their fair share.”
“Tax [bankers’] bonuses and use the cash to create jobs for young
The problem is that none of these powers are devolved. They’re all reserved at Westminster. On the surface this just seems like Labour’s usual standards, but look a bit deeper and it exposes a much more serious issue.
As a major party in both Scotland and the UK; one of the only two capable of winning government both sides of the border, don’t you think any competent alternative government would at least know what powers they had, so they could convince us they had a plan on how best to use those powers?
If Kezia Dugdale is re-elected in 2016, and if a miracle happens in Scotland that Labour win government, she, as one of the high profile Scottish Labour MSPs will likely be in a cabinet position. She doesn’t know what powers Holyrood has. She expects voters to reject the party that actually listens to them, and offers competent policies the electorate want, to choose a party offering a product the public don’t want, and who don’t even know what powers they have to improve Scotland.
A first step would be for UK Labour to send a memo out to their branch members in Scotland with two lists; devolved and reserved. It won’t change their fate in Scotland, it’ll only save them some embarrassment.