DEAR Angry,

I am writing to you anonymously with a rather humiliating admittance – perhaps even a shameful one. Before I get to it, I must stress that I am a passionate supporter of Scottish independence, having voted “Yes” in 2014, and I continue to do all I can to forward the cause of self-determination for our magnificent nation. With that said, I am not a perfect nationalist. Over the last few years there is a serving member of the Unionist faction that I have taken a liking to. Indeed, it is with great embarrassment that I must confess to being...a closet Kezia Dugdale enthusiast.

I’m not entirely sure when this bizarre fandom began, but there is just something about Kez’s smile that brightens my day. Although I am completely incapable of defending her Unionist stance or her somewhat shambolic time as Scottish Labour leader, I cannot shake the feeling that she is a good human being. With the Union Jack taken away, I get the impression that Dugdale would actually be someone we’d all take a shine to in the Yes movement. In fact, I believe that some, if not all, of her negative traits stem from her alliance to Westminster. Surely, her numerous U-turns could’ve been a nice straight road to progress under an SNP banner? She seems to want the same social justice for Scotland that we do. Surely, the day will come when Kez realises that the only way to make that happen is with Yes?

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Anonymous

IT’S true that I’ve been critical of Dugdale’s numerous back pedals in the past. However, I have always been careful to caveat such critiques with my belief that she is a nice person. In fact, Kez might even be too nice for the world of politics. Whenever you see a photo-op of her helping out in a classroom, planting trees, racing go-karts or visiting hospitals, you can’t help but think that she looks far happier in any one of these environments than she does at Holyrood. If anything, the world lost out on a great Blue Peter presenter the day that Kezia Dugdale joined the Labour Party.

For longest time, the only thing that I thought was wrong with Kezia was her job, and recently she seemed to agree with me by resigning as Scottish Labour leader. Although Dugdale sadly remains entrenched in the Unionist camp, she has begun to deviate wildly from Labour’s current political song sheet. Kez is now regularly speaking out against Jeremy Corbyn’s hard Brexit plans, and passionately advocating a second EU referendum. This is a radical departure from the “no more referendums” message that she was pushing prior to her resignation. Moreover, her new found gusto for another EU vote is mere baby steps away from her endorsing IndyRef2. Should the Labour Party wholeheartedly reject her proposals for a second plebiscite on Europe, what option would she have left but to side with the SNP in their quest for an EU-centric ScotRef?

Unquestionably, Dugdale jumping to Yes, and presumably the SNP, would be a monumental political event. An event that could completely turn the tide in favour of Scottish independence. Having one of the figureheads of the unionist team cross the constitutional divide would drive home the fact that circumstances in 2017 are vastly different to what they were in 2014. It would act as a green light for many previously forthright Unionists to follow her lead, and that is something we desperately need to encourage.

It should also be noted that Kezia has been in a relationship with a SNP MSP. Without speculating too much on personal matters, it’s hard to believe that such a romance hasn’t, on some level, altered Dugdale’s perception of her nationalist rivals. After all, most of us are reasonable and pleasant people. Perhaps Kez is beginning to realise that only judging the Yes Movement by the tiny minority of tinfoil hats who send her hate online is a mistake?

With that said, there is the small matter of Dugdale’s impending legal encounter with a certain outspoken pro-independence blogger. I won’t delve too much into this situation, but I will say that Kezia jumping to Yes during this court case would certainly make it all amusingly convoluted.

Ultimately, Yes supporters should always be welcoming of good people into our community. As much as we should still call out dodgy U-turns and careerist gobbledegook, to write somebody off as “once a Unionist, always a Unionist” is completely self-defeating. So rather than hitting likes of Dugdale with scorn and resentment, I think we should do the opposite. Maybe then we’ll see the day when #KezIsYes trends on Twitter?