1. Kezia A Dugdale was born in Aberdeen in 1981. Her father, (a supporter of Scottish independence) is the former Elgin High School depute rector Jeff Dugdale, now retired. Her mother divorced, also a teacher, lives in Dundee, hence her interest in education. Kezia herself resides in Edinburgh.
a. She studied Law at the University of Aberdeen then completed a Masters in Policy Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Following this, Dugdale worked for Edinburgh University Students’ Association and the National Union of Students Scotland. Immediately before entering the Scottish Parliament she was employed as a SpAd working for Lord Foulkes as his office manager and political adviser. Kezia has a weekly column every Monday in the Scottish Daily Record.
b. She is a Scottish Labour and Co-operative Member. In 2011, she was elected to the Scottish Parliament, as Scottish Labour’s second candidate on their list for the Lothian Region. She currently sits on the Local Government and Regeneration and Subordinate Legislation Committees. She was appointed to the post of Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning on 29 June 2013. In 2014 she was elected as Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, replacing Anas Sarwar, beating Katy Clark. As Jim Murphy, the leader, is a Westminster MP, this means that she is currently de facto leader of the opposition in the Scottish Parliament, e.g. at First Minister’s questions.
2. September 5 2008; The daughter of an SNP Councillor caught on video firing a Kalashnikov AK47 assault rifle in Pakistan has demanded Alex Salmond sack him.
a. The Scottish Nationalists decided this week not to expel Jahangir Hanif for showing his children how to use the gun during the trip into the mountains near the Kashmir border in 2005. But his outraged daughter, Noor, has pleaded with Mr Salmond, the SNP leader and Scottish First Minister, to throw her father out of the party. In a letter to Mr Salmond, the 17-year-old wrote: ‘I cannot believe he has been let off. My siblings and I were put in an environment where people were pointing loaded AK47 guns at each other. “I think he should be fired to make an example, so that other people think twice before playing with guns and putting children in harm’s way. “I don’t think you have taken this matter seriously enough. How can a man who can’t look after his children be allowed to represent the public?”
b. When she was 14, she was taken with her brother and three sisters in a van with blacked-out windows to a training camp near the Afghan border and shown how to fire the assault rifle. The incident was filmed. Mr Hanif, a 46-year-old Glasgow businessman, has apologized for incident, pointing out it happened long before he became a Councillor for the city. He said: “I am going through a messy and painful divorce. I’m saddened by the fact my children are being dragged into this situation. The allegations against me are false.” However, political opponents described the decision of the SNP’s disciplinary committee to suspend rather than expel him as “outrageous”.
c. Kezia Dugdale got hold of a copy of the letter, and posted the content full and unedited on her blog. Needless to say the proverbial hit the fan and she was threatened with court action unless she removed the post, which she did without delay. She then posted a statement;
d. A Brief Statement – Posted by Kezia Dugdale at 15 September 2008 21:03
i. A letter by Noor Hanif (daughter of the suspended SNP Councillor Jahangir Hanif) raised a number of very serious allegations concerning Councillor Hanif’s conduct. This letter was removed from this site after Councillor Hanif’s solicitors intimated their intention to raise a summons in the Court of Session for interim interdict. The firm of Bannatyne, Kirkwood, France and Co., gave this site 15 minutes to remove the letter. This site complied with that request.
ii. We do not have the means or resources to engage in expensive litigation. We can only hope that the First Minister Alex Salmond, who Ms Noor Hanif addressed her said letter to, will have the courage, conviction and responsibility to respond to the allegations raised therein and take the appropriate action thereto.
e. Comment; I think the various newspapers got it right in reporting the “Kalashnikov” part of the story while simply summarizing the familial aspects. Simply republishing the Noor allegations may indeed constitute defamation. So, whilst I support Kezia Dugdale’s right to publish I don’t think dumping the entire text on her blog was wise or effective. If there is proof of the allegations made by Noor against her father, then it should be a police matter. The exception would be if there was a need for some investigation, when the evidence should have been presented alongside the allegations; in that case, defamation would not arise as the statements would be true.
3. May 20 2009; Kezia in danger of getting sued again
a. Well that’s the last time that Tory Bear (TB the Blogger) puts up a story and then goes out for the afternoon. How charming to return home to being called a liar by none other than Kezia Dugdale, personal assistant to the upstanding and honourable Lord George Foulkes.
b. TB put a story up earlier that he spotted on the “Tweet4Labour” Twitter feed this morning. With a simple”Welcome! The Chief Whip @nickbrownmp” Tweet4Labour drew TB’s attention to the fact that Nick Brown was supposedly on Twitter. He then took a screen grab of Brown’s feed and the rest they say his history. So Nick Brown’s office have denied it’s him which is hardly a surprise yet there seems to be a bit of a discrepancy in Miss Dugdale’s logic.
c. She instantly accuses TB of foul play: “It’s clearly a black op by Tory Bear – perhaps even endorsed by Conservative HQ – and it has largely worked.” Kez, TB knows that working for Foulkes can hardly teach positive moral values and a respect for the law, but that is libel plain and simple and it needs to be retracted. You have made a shoddy assumption and you have absolutely sod all to back up your claims. http://www.torybear.com/2009/05/more-labour-lies_20.html
d. Comment; Kezia acting first and thinking later. This trait will land her in big trouble one day.
4. June 14 2012; Labour MSP savaged after modern apprenticeships attack backfires
a. A Labour MSP who this week launched a high profile attack on the Scottish Government’s modern apprenticeship scheme been accused of misrepresentation after official figures showed a more than 100 per cent improvement on when her own party were in office.
b. Labour’s Youth Employment spokesperson Kezia Dugdale had accused the SNP of “massaging” numbers after official figures showed that 39% of modern apprentices had been in employment for more than six months before beginning their training. Ms Dugdale repeated her attack in the chamber during First Minister’s Questions where she asked Mr Salmond to be “straight with the people” She said: “Everyone in this chamber wants to tackle Scotland’s youth unemployment crisis, but to do so we need the facts. “The people of Scotland were led to believe by this First Minister, week after week, that these 25,000 apprenticeships were created to help the 100,000 young Scots out of work. “But now we know at least 10,000 of these went to folk already well-established in jobs.”
c. However in response the First Minister launched a withering attack on the Labour MSP and pointed out that there were now double the number of modern apprentices in Scotland than when Labour left office. “I have to say I have watched Kezia Dugdale over the last few days in what I think has been one of the most disreputable campaigns against the modern apprenticeship scheme.” he said.
d. Mr Salmond went on to reveal that the system that Ms Dugdale was criticizing was the same one that was in operation when her own party was in office and that the figures for those Scots aged 16 to 24 had dramatically improved. The First Minister compared the figures now with 2006 and added: “I have had a look at the figures” said Mr Salmond, who pointed out that Labour had voted against the SNP’s modern apprenticeship policy of 10,00 places per year. “I have looked in particular at the very heart of Kezia Dugdale’s complaint, and that is of course if you look at the 16 to 24 year old who dominate the courses … the number who had been in employment for more than six months is 23 per cent. “That means 80 per cent of new workers going into apprenticeships in the 16 to 24 age group. “I have looked at what is the comparison, what is the figure when the Labour party were in office in 2006. “The figure is 49 per cent. “In other words, when Labour were in power, with a reduced number of apprenticeships, half of young people had been in a job for six months or more.” Mr Salmond ended his reply by angrily condemning what he described as Ms Dugdale’s “affrontery” in attacking the current modern apprenticeship scheme.
e. Commenting, SNP MSP Marco Biagi – a Member of the Scottish Parliament’s Education Committee accused the Labour MSP of having misrepresented the programme and said: “When you’re in a hole, stop digging. Labour clearly are not content with just voting against 25,000 modern apprenticeships, now Kezia Dugdale is intent on trying to misrepresent the Modern Apprenticeship programme itself. “Ms Dugdale accused the Scottish Government of ‘massaging’ the figures on Modern Apprentices – even though it runs the system in the same manner as when Labour were in power, and that under the SNP the number of apprenticeships has vastly increased.
f. “Labour’s grand accusation was that some apprenticeships had been in employment for over 6 months – this has always been the case and provides welcome opportunities for many to improve their skills in their workplace. “And as the First Minister revealed today, a far higher rate of unemployed young people have entered apprenticeships than when Labour were last in power.”
g. The Labour campaign has featured prominently on BBC Scotland with TV and Radio appearances for Ms Dugdale. The story was featured on Sunday’s politics show with news bulletins throughout the day, it also featured prominently on BBC Radio Scotland on Monday and BBC Scotland’s online news. However, in Thursday’s BBC Scotland broadcast of First minister’s Questions the broadcaster cut away from the programme just as Mr Salmond was preparing to highlight the figures from 2006.
h. On Monday, appearing on Radio Scotland in order to address Labour party claims, Scottish Government Minister Angela Constance twice attempted to draw attention to Labour’s record from 2006 but was prevented from doing so by presenter Gary Robertson. http://www.newsnetscotland.scot/index.php/contact-us/donations/5173-labour-msp-savaged-after-modern-apprenticeships-attack-backfires?format=pdf
5. July 13 2013; Labour’s new youth employment minister
a. For a politician who cast her first vote just seven years ago, Kezia Dugdale’s swift journey to Labour’s frontbench has been nothing short of stellar. But she has nothing of the usual ruthless strut of rising stars. A coffee percolator bubbles vigorously in her cosy Holyrood office, stuffed full of cushions, cheery pictures and four hard-working aides. Her manner is easy-going and direct. Everything seems decidedly normal. Except she’s not normal.
b. She was elected with the 2011 intake, aged 29. A few months later, despite campaigning vigorously for a rival candidate to Johann Lamont in her party’s leadership election, she was appointed youth employment minister. “Sometimes on a personal level, I worry about not having the space to grow and to maybe control,” she admits. “I know there’s a huge amount I need to learn.” When asked what she thinks of being tipped for Labour leader she says: “I think that would be incredibly arrogant at this stage,” going on to air caution about her unique position. “Meteoric rises are meteoric. It’s very fast and it’s very rapid and it doesn’t always have a positive ending – it bursts and it explodes.” Her maiden speech riveted the chamber. In it she made reference to the “deep-rooted” and “entrenched” child poverty she says Scotland is ravaged by.
c. But she is aware of how high the bar has been set. “It’s a bar I don’t want to drop below,” she says. “I’m very aware of the pressure to maintain that. That’s energizing. But it also creates a degree of nervous energy as well – that sometimes goes beyond being helpful.” But if your political heroes are the ebullient Mo Mowlam and former chancellor Alastair Darling, the bar will always be sky high. However, during FMQs, Dugdale has proved to be a confident and articulate challenger of SNP policies on youth employment.
d. It took a while for the politics of the Aberdeen-born Dugdale to form. But in 1999, the minimum wage was set at £3.60 an hour. That summer, Dugdale worked at a doughnut shop for just £2.75 an hour. She shudders at memories of all-white uniforms laced with pink. She says: “I could see how horrific it was to make a living from that wage.” Since becoming an MSP, she has been campaigning vociferously for parliamentary interns to be paid a living wage. Although a high-achieving head girl at Harris Academy, in Dundee, by her own admission struggled under the restrictive constraints of a law degree at the University of Aberdeen. It wasn’t until she moved to Edinburgh and undertook a masters in policy studies that she decided to join the Labour Party.
e. “A lot of people assume that I was a Labour student,” she says. “I didn’t cast my first vote until I was 23.” Shortly after joining in 2003, she met Iain Gray who – along with his wife Gill – became her mentor. “Between the two of them, they totally took me under their wing and gave me the most amazing early experience in politics,” she says. “I think that he is the most amazing man and I’m very sorry that he’ll never serve as Scotland’s First Minister. It’s an absolute tragedy.” A hectic two years followed during which Dugdale completed her masters, held down a full-time job as a welfare adviser for Edinburgh University Students Association, and ran Sarah Boyack’s election campaign. From there she moved swiftly up the ranks of the Labour Party to become elected as a list candidate to the post of Lothian MSP in 2011. In December, Lamont asked her to join the front bench. And Dugdale has thrown herself into her new role.
6. January 27 2014; The howls of the cyberbritbrats
a. Kezia was pictured in the Mail an unflattering photo which made her look like a refugee from the former East Germany who had narrowly escaped the Stasi. She was upset that she had ‘recently’ been the recipient of an offensive tweet, although it turned out the tweet was sent over a year ago. The tweet wasn’t helpful to the independence cause and was crass and stupid, but it was not a direct threat – the tweet read “dancing on the head of a pin? I wish Kezia Dugdale would dance on the head of a bayonet”.
7. April 21 2014; Career MSPs (SpAd’s) don’t live in real world
a. According to the latest research, one in six MSPs has no experience of working outside the bubble of politics and its ancillary tentacles: lobbying, public relations and research gigs. Notable bubble-dwellers include Labour’s Kezia Dugdale. Tipped by many to be a future bright light in a progressive Labour Party – an assessment that drips with irony and sarcasm in equal measure – Ms Dugdale’s employment history hitherto revolved around student politics (working for Edinburgh University Students Association and the National Union of Students).
b. Having witnessed at first-hand the buffoonery of student debates, Dugdale was doubtless the ideal candidate to be an assistant to the much-not-missed George Foulkes. The Baron of Cumnock’s interruptions at FMQs were legendary. On a school visit to parliament, my Higher modern studies class gaped agog as Foulkes sang a ditty while the First Minister answered a question. At the debriefing session in a committee room, the students’ MSP, Margaret Curran, brushed off suggestions that the behaviour of Lord Foulkes embarrassed the Labour Party. “It’s just political theatre,” she smiled, clearly at ease with the trala-dee-di-dee nonsense. http://www.scotsman.com/news/hugh-reilly-career-msps-don-t-live-in-real-world-1-3383136
8. June 2 2014; The Kezia Dugdale Show
a. In the surreal imaginings of BBC managers, Kezia is going to be a new, neutral and totally unbiased presenter during a referendum campaign. Wrap your head around that. Go on, I dare you. So in the words of the BBC’s last remaining icon, the brand new Doctor Who, the Time Lord from Planet Thick of It – What. The. Fucked. Fucking. Fuckety. Fuck.
9. September 25 2014; Colleges are at the heart of what’s different between Labour and the SNP when it comes to education
a. The safe bets are on the Labour Party going into the next election without the commitment to free university tuition that they carried into the last one. Johann Lamont signaled as much in 2012 when she gave her paradigm-shifting speech on universal benefits. http://legacy.holyrood.com/2013/09/fresh-face-interview-with-kezia-dugdale-msp/
10. October 31 2014; The organization and direction of University Education
a. The conference also heard Kezia Dugdale indicate the direction of travel on student funding in her party and that she was hopeful they would rule out the introduction of tuition fees in Scotland. http://ucuscotland.wordpress.com/2014/10/
b. Comment. This sets up a confrontation with her party leader Spud Murphy who is the architect of Student fee charging
11. November 7 2014; Newly Appointed Deputy Leader of the labour party in Scotland supports Retention of Nuclear Weapons
a. Kezia Dugdale’s website includes a statement on nuclear weapons. This fails to challenge the proposal to spend £100 billion on Trident replacement and her views are close to official UK Labour Party policy, which is to support Trident replacement. “Kezia believes that decisions made on the future of Trident should be based on evidence (including cost considerations) rather than on political party interest – and whilst she welcomes the reduction in the number of missiles and warheads that took place after the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, Kezia would like to see an end to nuclear weapons not just in Scotland, but globally.
b. “Removing nuclear weapons from Scotland would only cause them to be redeployed somewhere else in the UK or abroad, at doubtlessly considerable expense to the taxpayer. Instead, Kezia supports reciprocal international agreements where nuclear and other mass destruction weapons are removed on a permanent basis.” She ignores research by Scottish CND which indicates that removing nuclear weapons from Scotland would be likely to lead to disarmament. http://www.banthebomb.org/index.php/news/trident/1624-scottish-labour-leadership-candidates
12. November 21 2014; One of the Reasons Why Labour Have Lost Scotland
a. Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale today marked the historic nomination of Scotland’s first female First Minister with a Daily Record column in characteristically sour style, which waited until the second paragraph before sticking in a Margaret Thatcher comparison. It wasn’t until later that it got confusing. (Actually, that’s not quite true – the very first paragraph opened with the line “I haven’t seen a coronation quite like it since, well, the coronation”. The Coronation happened in 1953, while Kezia Dugdale was born in 1981. But we’ll let that one slide.)
b. After a stream of disingenuous waffle that we won’t bother going into here, Dugdale challenged Nicola Sturgeon to act on three polices in her First Ministership:
i. “Take on the big six energy firms, forcing them to freeze bills and rein in eye-watering profits earned on the backs of working people.”
ii. “Bring back the 50p tax rate for top earners, so those with the broadest shoulders carry their fair share.”
iii. “Tax [bankers’] bonuses and use the cash to create jobs for young people.”
c. Alert readers will of course have noticed the small problem with all of those: NONE of them are within the current competence of the Scottish Parliament. Holyrood has no power whatsoever to force energy firms to freeze bills, tax bankers’ bonuses or change the top rate of tax. All are reserved to Westminster. (It took Labour almost all of their 13 years in power to raise the top rate of income tax to 50p – the rate wasn’t introduced until just before the 2010 election and was in force for only a few weeks of Labour’s administration – so hectoring Sturgeon to get it done on her first day would seem a touch impatient anyway.)
d. Only one of the three powers even has a chance of being devolved to Holyrood in the foreseeable future, so we’re a bit bemused as to what Kezia Dugdale expects Nicola Sturgeon to do about them. Indeed, she goes on to point out that: “When Nicola Sturgeon says Labour is a barrier to progress, she’s right. Because the only progress she wants to make is towards independence.” In other words, Dugdale is proudly trumpeting the fact that it’s Labour which prevented Nicola Sturgeon from having the power to do the very things Dugdale is now stridently demanding that she does. Which seems, y’know, odd. Kezia Dugdale is widely (for reasons which we must confess still escape our ongoing enquiries) regarded as the brightest of Scottish Labour’s young minds. God help them. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=552_1416570857&comments=1
13. December 19 2014; The Oil Price Fluctuates, Who Knew? – Not Dugdale!
a. Dugdale is economically illiterate, and she is attempting to spout misinformation to the electorate. She is just carrying on in the same theme that Lying Labour have constantly adopted. Pick a subject, any subject, look for fault, and blame the SNP Government. It matters not whether it is a devolved matter or not. Labour believe the Scottish public are too stupid to notice. Well, there are at least 1,650,000 of us who no longer are. Labour are devoid of talent and have no future here. Dugdale and Murphy least of all.
b. How much more ill-judged would this be if you had spent two years telling the people of Scotlandshire that they were too useless to manage their own oil resources – an asset which could only be protected by the ‘broad shoulders’ of Westminster? The very Westminster government whose £30 billion tax grab had just caused the very uncertainty which has led investors to take a short term view of the North Sea. And what new depth of hypocrisy would be plumbed by insisting the SNP take responsibility for North Sea job losses, while desperately seeking to keep the necessary powers as far from Holyrood as possible? Clearly, no sane politician would knowingly embark on such a ridiculous course.
14. December 19 2014; Kezia Dawgdale ‘hacked by North Koreans’, claim SLabour
a. The BBC wishes to apologize unreservedly to Labour in Scotlandshire’s Deputy Dawdale for screening her inaugural questions in last Thursday’s FMQ’s. In the coverage broadcast live by this channel, Deputy Dawgdale appeared to blame the Scottish Government for the recent fall in oil prices and the predicted reductions in both production and investment which is widely predicted to follow. Further, she seemed to claim that the drop in oil prices was somehow a direct result of the projections published by the Scottish Government prior to the Referendum. Naturally, this would be a preposterous position to take, particularly on your first ever attempt at First Minister’s Questions. More particularly if you had just been promoted to Deputy Dawgdale from your previous post of first Fifi le Bon to Lord Ffoulksakes of Tankedupness, and therefore had so very much to prove. http://feeltiptop.com/redir.php?q=Kezia%20Dugdale&url=http://t.co/fDr9XwF7Ss
15. December 19 2014; The Toaster’s Apprentice – Bellacaledonia
a. Great political cartoons lambasting Dugdale http://feeltiptop.com/redir.php?q=Kezia%20Dugdale&url=http://t.co/uQJKTwj92C
16. U-Tube videos
1. At no point did the SNP ever suggest that in creating modern apprenticeships they were creating 25,000 new jobs. Governments can only create jobs in public services.
2. An apprenticeship provides at least three years training and work (providing the employing firms survive these hard times) and gives a level of security of employment and advanced training absent in the previous jobs/schemses to those who had jobs.
Kezia Dugdale knows that 1) is untrue, and she choses to ignore and evade the vital second point.
Scottish Labour not only have no vision for Scotland, they have few ethics in the arguments they advance. Whoever in the Labour Party gave Kezia Dugdale the task of fronting up this arrant nonsense has done her no career favours.
17. August 22 2014; GDP or Economy- Dugdale and Friend do not know the difference
What a disaster for the no campaign trying to manipulate figures to make Scotland look skint!!! We are told we are too wee and too stupid by people claiming to be Scottish on a regular basis by the no campaign. Now they have been caught out big time with lies. Trying to deceive the Scottish public is disgusting. If a large number of Scottish female voters see this they will be furious. And by the way, no foreign oil company owns rigs in Scotland. They pay for a licence to drill. The UK government control north sea oil licenses.
20 January 2015: Dundee education boss rejected claims by Scottish Labour’s deputy leader that she was snubbed from visiting her old school because “SNP councillors haven’t been yet”.
Former Harris Academy head girl Kezia Dugdale said a planned visit to the school, which is being rebuilt, was cancelled on Monday and she claimed the decision was “overtly political and completely unnecessary”.
But education convener Stewart Hunter said it was “only fair” the school’s ward’s elected representatives, which include a Labour councillor and local Labour MP, get to see the site first on a planned visit on Friday.
Ms Dugdale said: “The visit was arranged and then I was told I wasn’t welcome. The reason we were told was that the SNP councillors hadn’t visited the school yet and it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to attend until that had happened. It was overtly political and completely unnecessary. They’re building a new school. It’s a good thing for Dundee and I want to celebrate it and I want to see Dundee thrive. It’s a real shame I’m not getting through the front door.”
Mr Hunter responded: “It isn’t actually so the SNP councillors can attend, it’s locally elected members and that includes two members of her own party. It’s not politicising it, It’s just to be fair to local elected members who have been involved with this right from the start. It’s not that we were stopping her. To be fair, we did invite Miss Dugdale to attend as well, or come on a subsequent day she could fit in her diary.” http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/dundee/city-education-chief-denies-snubbing-kezia-dugdale-over-visit-to-old-school-1.796556
10 April 2015: Teacher parents: as if Kezia Dugdale didn’t have enough to worry about
Kezia Dugdale went wrong having a teacher for a parent. If I could give one piece of advice to the youth of tomorrow it would be this – never have a teacher for a parent.
Kezia’s pops is Jeff Dugdale, retired English teacher and former depute rector of Elgin High. He’s also a keen philatelist, even keener SNP supporter and now has several thousand new Twitter followers after showing his daughter the sharp side of his keyboard.
Kezia tweeted a link to a newspaper story detailing a now discredited leaked Scotland Office memo, Nicola Sturgeon and her alleged preference for a Tory party election win.
“Check facts before opening mouth, Kezia!” he responded, with the teacher parent’s typical staccato sting and utter lack of reticence about humiliating the child in public. Even when that child is the adult deputy leader of a political party. http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/columnists/teacher-parents-as-if-kezia-dugdale-didnt-have-enough-to-worry-about.122637645