Drumlanrig: Ruthless Dugdale lays down the law

Adam Tomkins. Picture: PA

Adam Tomkins. Picture: PA

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SHE’S been in the job just a few weeks but already Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has shown herself to be a sensibly ruthless sort of the type that makes Drumlanrig shudder with guilty approval.

Kez – if that’s not too familiar – has let it be known that she wants some new blood to fill up the candidate lists for next May’s Holyrood election.

This, necessarily, will mean a few of the current incumbents are for the old heave-ho.

But a fly began hovering over this particular ointment. New party members, drawn in by what we’re calling “Corbynmania”, threatened to take control the selection process, ensuring the nomination of a bunch of unreconstructed lefties and associated footpads.

This could not stand and Kez has now imposed a new rule barring anyone who joined Scottish Labour after 4 July having a say.

She’s tough on socialists, tough on the causes of socialists.

Professor is plum candidate for Tories

ADAM Tomkins (left), professor of law at Glasgow University, plans to stand for the Scottish Tories at Holyrood and word is that he’s been earmarked to top the list in his home city. This must have disappointed the Conservatives’ sole councillor in the city, David Meikle (aka Balustrade Lanyard, a star of the internet). When party leader Ruth Davidson announced her decision to stand in Edinburgh next year, Meikle looked likely to take her place at the top of the Tories’ list. Now, Meikle’s decided not even to take a run at election, citing “concerns” over the selection process. Concerns that he wouldn’t have a hope of beating Tomkins, perhaps?

Clause has intended effect

SNP MP Paul Monaghan was this week compelled by party leader Nicola Sturgeon to issue an apology for a tweet. Commenting on the Israel-Palestine situation, Monaghan (right) accused the “proud Jewish race” of “persecuting the people of Gaza”. He was, of course, sorry for his comments which were not intended to cause offence (though it seems difficult to see how they could not have done so).

I take a call from an SNP chum, who raises the matter of his party’s draconian rule that forbids MPs from speaking out on any matter unless they adopt the party line. “You only have to look at Monaghan,” he says, “to see why we needed a bloody idiot clause”.

Think again about thought control

THEY’RE a queer bunch academics, don’t you think? I’m often mistaken for one, what with my fondness for tweed, port, and gout, but where they prefer to deal in facts I favour the story that’s too good to double check.

During last year’s independence referendum Professor John Robertson, of the University of the West of Scotland, made quite the name for himself with a study identifying dreadful bias against the Yes campaign on the part of the terrible mainstream media.

Former first minister Alex Salmond was most keen on quoting the good prof, whose work, I am certain, is impeccable.

But the professor is no longer unhappy solely with the MSM, oh no. He’s written at length about the fact a number of pro-independence websites have refused to run his articles.

Is there “thought control in Scotland’s indymedia?” he asks.

“Oh, get a grip, man,” is my considered response. «

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