I must admit I had never heard of David Hamilton (MP for Midlothian) until today, when at the “Scottish Labour” one day conference, to laughter from the audience, he mocked SNP leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as “a wee lassie with a tin helmet on” – this, presumably, given his smirks, is what he thinks of as funny:
I don’t think there has been any public apology, though the party’s deputy leader in Scotland, Kezia Dugdale, said “he was pulled up about it at the women’s reception” – which is hardly an apology. She also “answered for this” to Shona Robinson (SNP Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport), as she said in a response to Roseanna Cunningham. There has been nothing from Hamilton, however, and no announcement or apology tweeted from Jim Murphy or Kezia Dugdale.
Apart from this being confirmation (as if it were needed) that “Scottish Labour” has some male chauvinist dinosaurs as MPs, and that the commitment I’m fairly sure Dugdale signed up to on behalf of her party to oppose sexist behaviour during the election campaign doesn’t appear to have been noticed by David Hamilton, I wonder if this incident tells us something else?
Hamilton is standing down at the general election on 7. May, after 14 years as an MP. A great many Scottish Labour MPs must assume that they are likely to be out of a job on 8. May, given the way the polls are going, and I wonder – maybe this wasn’t a mistake from Hamilton? Maybe he just really doesn’t care any more? Maybe he thinks that if Labour is going to be wiped out at the polls in May, it doesn’t matter how he now behaves, since most of the MPs he has known in his years at Westminster won’t be MPs for long anyway? But if this is what we should expect from a party facing electoral wipeout in a few weeks’ time, it’s going to be a grim few weeks…