So Kezia Dugdale, Labour MSP, has decided to step down this summer from her role as an MSP. I know there will be glowing tributes from many, even the SNP, but to be honest I don’t think we will notice that Kezia isn’t in Holyrood any more.
Kezia will be joining the John Smith Centre for Public Service at Glasgow University in July (who thinks these things up). To be honest these things always just feel like a job for the boys and girls for me who have failed at some other walk of life. The Centre is named after former Labour Leader John Smith and was opened in 2014 and endorced across the political spectrum. The centre is Chaired by John Smith’s daughter Catherine Smith and also includes John Smiths wife The Baroness Smith of Gilmorehill, Ruth Davidson, Andrew Wilson (Chartered Institute of Bankers Scotland), Ed Balls, Anne Anderson (British Council), Matt Carter (former General Secretary of the Labour Party), David Muir (former Director of Startegy for Gordon Brown). Do you see where this is going? No idea who funds them but you can bet that some public money is going into this one, as well as, donations. No doubt some students or something will benefit from this Centre in memory of John Smith but I am always cynical about of these type of things as they achieve little, or appear to, and more often than not are there to promote the status quo.
Catherine Smith has said “We are very much looking forward to working with her as she leads our strategic, research and outreach activities and takes the Centre to the next stage of its development.” yeah she really said that. Kezia has said “Throughout my career I have taken on tough and challenging tasks, and my next task is to rebuild faith in our politics. “Disruptive events and the rise of populism has led to increasingly polarised and emotional politics where rational, evidence-based thinking has lost its standing. Faith in public service, politics and the political process has to be restored and that progress must be sustainable. “John Smith said ‘the opportunity to serve our country – that is all we ask’. It will be an honour to build on his legacy and inspire his values of public service in a new generation. I wonder if Kezia has put any thought into why this is the case, it couldn’t be the toxic attacks on the poor started by Labour and promoted by the Tories and Liberal Democrats. It couldn’t be the lies of the Better Together campaign, it couldn’t be the fact that far too many politicians are bereft of any decensy and honesty.
Nicola Sturgeon has said “I wish @kezdugdale the very best for the future. As political opponents, she and I have had our fair share of clashes over the years, but I think she is a big loss to @scottishlabour and to @ScotParl. I hope she enjoys her new challenge.” Anyone think that Nicola Sturgeon believes what she is saying, I certainly don’t. Kezia Dugdale for me was always out of her depth, she encouraged Labout voters to vote Tory in 2017 at the General Election, possibly helping the Tories gain seats. Kezia who abandoned her constituents to go on I’m Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and used the fee to buy a flat, of course while being paid from the public purse when she was away on the show.
I won’t shed a tear that Kezia Dugdale is going, I’m not surprised where she is going, and in the long run the more of the type of politician like Kezia are out of our parliament the better our politics might become.