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Did She Really Just Say That?

February 26, 2014


I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was a joke. Some ‘Yes’ people having a laugh with a meme. Then I saw the youtube clip. She really said it. Johann Lamont, leader (for how long?) of the Labour Party at Holyrood, so in fact the leader of the opposition, actually said, in a TV debate with Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon,
“We’re not genetically programmed in Scotland to make political decisions.”

I was, to borrow a word from our friends in the North of England, gobsmacked. So it’s true, we’re too stupid! We can’t possibly govern ourselves, like every other nation in the world. We are somehow uniquely hopeless and pathetic. Does she seriously believe that? And if so, isn’t she in the wrong job?


This has to be a game changer. Especially coming, as it does, on the heels of a couple of weeks of ham-fisted and inept interventions by various Westminster politicians. But this is on a whole different level. I’ve been trying to think of a gaffe of similar proportions and I’m having to go back quite a long way to find one in British politics. Perhaps Jim Callaghan’s, “Crisis? WHat crisis?” Or Harold MacMillan’s, “You’ve never had it so good?” Or do we have to go all the way back to Neville Chamberlain’s, “Peace in our time?” I’m not sure any of them are quite so spectacularly stupid. She may just have single-handedly lost the referendum.

The hard core of Labour support that is traditional in Scotland, particularly in the west where I come from, is the only reason ‘No’ is still in the race. The ‘No’ campaign has already been the most inept political campaign of any kind I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen quite a few, but this just takes the cake. And from a Labour leader at that! In my teens I was a member of that once-proud party. Oh, how far they have fallen, to have such a fool representing them as their leader! It’s a tragedy. It’s a cliche I know, but in this case it really is tragic. Because it is the clinching proof that the Labour Party in Scotland has lost all touch, and faith, with those it used to represent. And it really did once represent them. Now it tells them they are too stupid to manage their own affairs. Well, we’ll see about that!


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