The leader of Scottish Labour on the challenges facing her party—and Scotlandby Alex Dean / November 2, 2016 / Leave a comment
Read a recent interview with Michael Heseltine here
“Progress is about finding consensus. It’s about the grey area, and the more you polarise people and push them into the corners the less you can expect change.”
In an exclusive interview with Prospect Kezia Dugdale, 35-year-old leader of the Scottish Labour Party and MSP for Lothian, spoke about how Labour can come together again after its bitter leadership contest—and win elections. While it’s on all parts of the Labour Party to heal divisions, Jeremy Corbyn making concessions is “a big part of the picture,” Dugdale said. “It would go a long way for him to be seen making some compromises around how he operates as a leader.” Stern words from such a senior Labour figure will inflict yet more damage on her widely-panned leader.
When I suggested that, in the wake of the “Leave” vote, Labour faces an impossible task in uniting metropolitan liberalism with old-fashioned Labourism, Dugdale said: “Tony Blair did it in 1997—it’s about having a vision which reaches the broadest number of people as possible.” The comment is highly controversial, given that Blair’s legacy is responsible for her Party being split down the middle.
Asked whether Scotland, having voted “Remain,” is likely to get a good post-Brexit deal, Dugdale was surprisingly downbeat: “It makes me very despondent and sad to say no, I don’t think it’s very likely.” She was more optimistic about Labour’s chances in 2020, saying the party can win if “there is a clear, strong focus on what it means to be Labour in 2016.”
A month on from Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election as Labour leader, Dugdale reflected on the “ugly mess” that consumed the party during the contest:
“You’ve got to understand how painful that whole leadership contest was for everyone in the Labour Party at every stage… What it does to your fabric… I weep over what we’ve done to ourselves over the last few months… Bluntly, and this is a universal lesson of history, divided parties don’t win elections.”
There’s something else Labour must reckon with if it is to remain relevant: globalisation. “It was very clear when I…