Kezia Dugdale in the Guardian -
"I want an elected second chamber for the UK and I believe it has to be based beyond London.
I’ll campaign for it to be based in Glasgow – where better than the biggest city of a nation that has just reaffirmed its commitment to keeping our country together? A yes city."
Is anyone else's head hurting? It's obviously possible to pretend to misunderstand a statement from a Labour politician to make a mischievous point, but I genuinely had to read that several times before I had the faintest idea what she was talking about. The first problem is that she uses the words 'nation' and 'country' in the same sentence and somehow expects us to know she means completely different things. The only clue is the affectionate use of 'our', which is evidently meant to indicate that 'country' is a superior term, referring to Britain. The inferior Scotland, which clearly 'we' have less emotional investment in, is merely 'a' nation.
Second problem : Glasgow is seemingly the most appropriate host for the UK's second chamber for two reasons - a) it's the largest city in 'a nation' that voted No in the referendum, and b) it's a city that voted Yes in the referendum. Isn't that a total contradiction? Or is it the contradiction itself that's supposed to make Glasgow so uniquely suitable? Heaven only knows.
To get to Kezia's actual point rather than the extraordinary way she tries to explain it, this is the sort of thing that drives me mad about provincial-minded politicians. Oh yes, she can "campaign" to her heart's content for something she has no power to deliver, and which is completely infeasible anyway. Then her masters in London will pat her on the head, say no, and add "but isn't it wonderful to have someone so ambitious for Scotland?"
What does this fatuous charade mean or achieve? If Kezia was making a serious point, she would campaign for the whole seat of parliament to be moved outside London - and probably not to Glasgow, but to somewhere central like Manchester or Newcastle. At a stroke, that would transform the UK into a healthier nation state, where tens of millions of people are no longer suffering from the illusion that the far south-east corner where they live is basically the whole country.
Is there the slightest chance she will ever make that case? Of course not. That really would be getting above her station, and challenging the 'natural state of things'. Instead, she makes the self-evidently daft proposal that the two chambers of parliament should be several hundred miles apart. Can you think of any other country with such a ludicrous arrangement?
Perhaps Kezia should take the advice Labour is forever doling out to the SNP - ie. forget the posturing, and concentrate on the powers she will actually have as Scottish branch office manager.