THE results of the Labour leadership election are due today. With the same degree of probability that the Lib Dems will tell a porkie pie and then get all sanctimonious about it or that Wile E. Coyote isn’t going to catch the Roadrunner, Jeremy Corbyn is going to win.

Not coincidentally, Kezia Dudgale this week announced a new all-singing, all-dancing, more- autonomous-than-ever autonomy for the Scottish accounting unit. That would be the Kezia who said not too long ago that she’d rather dook for chips which don’t have any sauce put on them than have Jezza as a boss. I paraphrase.

We’re assured that Labour in Scotland are really going to be Scottish Labour now and a totally self-governing party who decide their own policies. You know, like a dug gets to decide where it’s going to go for a walk, at least within the constraints of its lead. This is not dissimilar to what they were telling us way back when Wendy Alexander was leader.

Only she was kept on a very short leash after Gordie Broon told her she wasn’t going to bring it on after all. Then we had Iain Gray being as charismatic as a comatose accountant with a set of holiday slides of a visit to a caravan park in Skegness where he met with comrades to discuss dry wall insulation and its application in mobile homes

Iain may have been the leader of a totally autonomous Scottish Labour party, but no-one could stay awake long enough to find out for sure. And so it has progressed with every Scottish Labour leader since. They’ve all claimed to be the leader of an autonomous party that makes its own decisions. Except for that unfortunate incident with Johann Lamont and the branch office comment. Jim Murphy was the most devolviest Labour leader in the history of devolving. Jim assured us that if he wanted he could declare war on Russia, set the tax policy for the UK Treasury, and get James Kelly, the only man on the planet who makes Iain Gray appear engaging, a gig as a stand-up comedian.

Only then Jim was very publicly chucked under a battle bus by Chuka Umunna who told the British press that Jim only had the authority to decide how many bottles of Irn-Bru to bring to the party conference. The London office was still going to determine the catering arrangements.

With every leader, the leash gets a tiny bit longer, but there’s still a leash, and the Labour Party in Scotland assures us that it really is completely self-governing now. Unlike the country it seeks to govern. The party whose former UK leader issued the vow and then spent its time during the subsequent Smith Commission trying to remove any substantive content from it now wants full autonomy for itself, just not for Scotland. Now there is, dare I say it, a vow that Scotland’s Labour Party is a completely autonomous entity. Kezia is so autonomous that she doesn’t even have to remember to vote.

The branch office will be able to decide their own policies on everything, including non-devolved issues such as dry wall insulation. They can have their own policies on taxation, and on whether or not to invade a caravan park in Skegness.

However, their MPs, if they ever manage to become plural again, will still be subject to the UK Labour Party whip. Which means that if UK policy is different from Scottish policy, Labour’s Scottish MPs will be obliged to do what the UK party tells them. The chain is still firmly in place and still there to be yanked.

And yanking our chain is pretty much what Labour are doing with the electorate with their repeated claims to be a fully autonomous party in a country it refuses to allow to become fully autonomous. Labour likes to press our buttons. It’s just a pity Kezia can’t remember to press her own. But the recent announcement isn’t really about ensuring the Labour Party in Scotland are responsive to the unique political landscape of Scotland; it’s more about ensuring the Labour Party in Scotland are responsive to the unique political landscape of the current leadership.

There are rumblings from dahn sarf that party members of a Corbynite tendency are looking to take revenge on the disloyal politicians who tried to toss their manhole cover collector down a very deep manhole. That wouldn’t bode well for either Kezia or her former shadow Scottish secretary.

What we can be sure of is that the Labour Party, both north and south of the Border, will be unelectable and divided for years to come. Neither the head office nor the branch office are capable of opposing the Tories.

In fact, some suspect that the reason the Scottish branch office wants more autonomy is so that they can ally themselves with the Tories and keep control of some councils after next year’s local elections and build a common front to oppose another bid by Scotland for some real autonomy of its own. That’s typical of Labour in Scotland, claiming cosmetic autonomy of its own in order to deny Scotland real autonomy.

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