On the campaign trail 16 – All’s fair in love and politics

The official campaigns have finally got underway and Holyrood is deserted until the next batch of MPs take their places in May.

I remembered this when I went to send an irate letter to a certain Mr MacKay about the fact that it was going to take 14 hours to get from where I grew up in the Hebrides to my current home in Argyll and realised he was no longer officially transport minister. I was visiting home for Easter and public transport is poor in this part of the world, connections rarely work in with each other. Driving lessons have now been booked.

Anyway, I digress. It’s been a difficult few days for Kezia Dugdale, leader of Scottish Labour as she has tried to clarify her position on independence. She had said that it was ‘not inconceivable’ that the party would change its stance if it would prevent Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will. She then clarified her position claiming her party would never introduce a bill for  a second referendum if they came to power and would vote against one if the SNP brought one forward.

In the Sunday Times Labour colleges were said to be furious about this perceived support for independence despite this clarification. With friends like these etc.

Kezia was also in the news for coming out as gay in an interview with the Fabian Review where she told the interviewer she has a female partner but prefers to keep her private life private. It was broadly welcomed across the political divide and puts Scotland in a position where there are more gay female party leaders in the Scottish Parliament ( Kezia and Tory leader Ruth Davidson) than straight men (Willie Rennie for the Lib Dems). This and the fact that it was greeted with barely a shrug surely is a step forward for LGBT equality. It also makes Westminster look behind the times with their all straight male leaders.

On Social media SNP youth and the RISE young team went at it hammer and tongs at the weekend on Twitter. RISE were in McDonalds campaigning for an increase in the minimum wage and doing it there gave it echoes of campaign to raise wages in America which mainly centred around the fast food chain.

Meanwhile SNP youth were out door knocking , an activity it clearly thought far more useful. Over a series of tweets it suggested RISE should stop protesting and shouting at people as it never helps. It suggested they would be better off knocking on doors. When RISE’s Jonathan Shafi pointed out people were doing just that  things got a little catty, ‘say hi to All five of them (activists) from us’ SNP youth replied with a selfie of its team. Shafi then accused them of appeasing middle Scotland and SNP youth enquired about what percentage rise were on.

This is petty politics that has no place, particularly in a party of government. SNP youth convenor, Rhiannon Spear, is up for election and is fifth on the Glagow list. She has a good chance of getting in as those above her are fighting constituency seats  and will almost certainly get, or keep, them in May.

It’s going to be a long month folks.

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