A Guest Post by That Burd Fae Yer Grans Bit
It’s 5 years ago. I’m wrapped in a saltire and reeking of poppers like the full time Yes Voter 2014 demands me to be. Kezia Dugdale has just said for the one hundredth time that if we vote for independence we’ll lose our EU membership, along with all the other things we love. Other embarrassing lowlights of this year (for her I mean, as clearly I was thriving) include probably being that one person who clapped when Jim Murphy spelled socialism right. I wouldn’t have held a door open for her for the price of a faberge egg.
Learning to love Kezia Dugdale was a slow and sometimes gruelling journey of self-discovery and personal growth. In short, it basically looked exactly like having to ask myself, on several occasions between back then and right now, first in a whisper and then in a howl, “Here, is Kezia Dugdale actually quite sound?”
Yep, that’s Kezia Dugdale of Scottish Labour, of the No Campaign, of Vote Owen Smith, of Hibs Supporters Club. Votes are in and there’s no sound votes in the not sound pile. It’s official, it’s over, don’t @ me. She’s sound.
Here’s her finest – and heavily biased in favour of patter – moments that transformed her from That Kezia Dugdale to Kezia “She’s Actually Quite Sound” Dugdale to Kezia “It Won’t Be An Independent Scotland Without You, Babe” Dugdale
5. When she captured the sentiment of all of Scottish politics and took 3 weeks off MSPing to go on I’m A Celebrity and grate on Amir Khan
There are times in this life when you choose to go backs to the wall for something just because the people who oppose it seem
kind of overwhelmingly shite and boring. This was one of those times.
Also, there’s few things in the world I love more than Scottish politicians doing daft and surreal stuff (see: Natalie McGarry’s entire career), so Kezia’s stint in the jungle was my kind of content. Personal highlight was her admitting to “not liking anything with Wings” on her way in. More on that in a bit.
4. Queering Party Lines
I always suspected our Kezia to be a closet Yes voter, but closet SNP MSP courter I did not see coming. ATF Journalism (™) can reveal this definitely real and not at all imagined for the sake of patter internal dialogue Dugdale had with herself on the run up:
Am I a no voter? Yes. Do the most recent and prominent years of my career rest atop scathing criticism of the Scottish National Party and everyone in it? Yes. Have I probably went on record somewhere, lots of where, saying the SNP are morally bankrupt, and recruitment to their cause will be the downfall of modern democracy? Wouldn’t put it past myself. Will that stop me from getting off with and dare I say falling madly in love with one of their best looking rising stars? Will it fuck.
The boldness. The tabloid batting-ness. The beautiful, brass-necked, get it up yees-ness of it all. Fair play, big yin. The preciousness of this union, we can agree on.
3. Support for the Rape Crisis movement
Dugdale backed up Rape Crisis Scotland and went tonto after the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal updated a policy meaning survivors of rape and sexual assault could be forced to give evidence in court against their will. She requested the policy shift be discussed in parliament and did a solid job of amplifying survivors voices in what felt like a compassion and trauma informed vacuum.
Her continued support of survivors saw one of my all time favourite no frills exchanges on Politics Daily. Tearing the Rape Clause to shreds, she said something I’ve not heard a politician say on actual TV before, its too glaringly, obviously valid. She said: “Fund Rape Crisis Centres.” And to a Tory, as well.
Later on she lodged a motion for sustainable and appropriate funding for ever stretched and under-resourced Rape Crisis services in Scotland. I’ve no jokes. Only thanks.
2. That time she said “gash” on the telly
1. Call homophobia homophobia, call a homophobe a homophobe and call me, Kezia, if you and Jenny don’t work out. It’s her finest, by a mile: Seeing Wings off in Court
See homophobia, say homophobia. Kez got took to court for pretty much that – and she shouldn’t have had to do it because, well, she was defos right – but to court she went and in court she conquered. And my gaff, ATF HQ, and the good corners of twitter celebrated. Let’s take a minute and savour the victory that upheld the legitimacy of a gay woman recognising homophobia and calling it so. Let’s take another to savour how said victory also came at a rather costly expense of Mr Friends With One Gay UK (Bath).
Goodbye to the nats who want to follow a bigot off a cliff (or to Bath) just because that bigot really, really wants an Independent Scotland. (Enjoy Scotland’s Republic, governed remotely from Bath, where Tommy Sheridan is the Sheriff of Freedom Square, Pride is at Wee Ginger Dug’s house and the Souter Shuttle will take you anywhere in Scotland for a flat rate of £100 plus your soul. £102 + your soul and you get a free copy of The National, the nation’s best and only paper).
That’s yer lot. Thanks for the memories, Captain, you’re welcome in our Independent Scotland any day.