The world ended yesterday, according to some mad churchlet of Christian fundamentalists. And in equally accurate predictions, according to the equally mad breathless fanboys of the right wing press, after today’s speech to the Tory party conference Davie Cameron is the new voice of the left. In other news, Hannibal Lector is the new voice of veganism, Ian Paisley is the Vatican spokesman on ecumenicalism, and the BNP are the new UN Commissioners for Refugees. Although that last one isn’t too far from the truth because in part due to the support of our Tory government, Saudi Arabia is now chairing the UN human rights council. If you think Cameron is centre ground, you need a new GPS because the one you’ve got has led you up shit creek. That’s where much of the UK media is currently marooned, having confused a Telegraph editorial for a paddle.
The purpose of Davie boy’s pleadings was to use his speech to try and entice some of the Blairite factions of the Labour party over to the Even-Darker Side. We got to witness the leader of the party which has been the main historic agency of discrimination use the struggles of the discriminated to make political capital. He railed against sexism, he complained about people with foreign sounding names not getting called back for job interviews, he moaned at the unfairness of racism and homophobia. But he didn’t say what he was going to do about any of it. Discrimination will magically vanish in Greater Britain just because Davie and his oh so modern Tories think it’s a bad thing. They don’t propose taking any steps to end it, because that’s the sort of thing that the Daily Telegraph doesn’t like, as it damages the life opportunities of middle class heterosexual white men. We’ll have none of that sort of thing in the Tories’ Greater Britain. It’s not clear what Dave meant by Greater Britain, although it’s a phrase he repeated a dozen times during his speech. Possibly it means more Union fleg bedecked pastry programmes on the BBC, because we don’t have many of those as it is.
Of course Davie’s newfound fairness was all just fluffy window dressing from a man who wants to withdraw from the European Treaty on Human Rights, a distraction technique to mask his dog whistle attacks which appeal to the right. Compassionate conservatism is like part time virginity. The real way in which the Tories intend to screw us all was revealed just the day before by Theresa May.
It wasn’t all pretendy cuddly. Davie attacked Jeremy Corbyn like he was attacking a pork pie. He accused the Labour leader of hating this great country which Davie loves like a bacon sandwich, in an entirely non-nationalist way of course. If it had been a Scottish politician who supports independence who had accused Labour of a Scotland-hating terrorist sympathising ideology, the newspapers would descend in a feeding frenzy that would make the Michelle Thomson piranha attack look like breadcrumbs in a goldfish bowl, but Davie can do it with impunity because British nationalism isn’t nationalism at all. British nationalism remains invisible, even when it wraps itself in a Union fleg and marches across the stage of the Tory party conference. The great thing about British nationalism is that it allows British people to be better than the foreigners and Scottish people who suffer from nationalism.
Maybe one day the UK press will realise that what pisses people in Scotland off isn’t that the SNP is criticised, it’s the media’s double standards. But that’s as likely to happen as David Cameron and the Tories actually doing something to combat discrimination instead of just using it to score cheap political points.
Davie got his loudest applause for a lie. He claimed that Jeremy Corbyn had described the death of Osama Bin Laden as a tragedy, and used the claim to launch into an attack on the Labour leader which the delegates loved. Naturally the BBC news didn’t examine the claim, which was as truthful as Davie’s intention to take real action to end all the discrimination he complained about in the same speech. What Jeremy Corbyn really said was that not bringing Bin Laden to trial was a tragedy. The tragedy he referred to was a tragedy for us not a tragedy for a mass murderer. But nuance is lost in hysterical headlines and in a BBC whose coverage of the speech consisted of little more than gushing guff. But then the speech was likewise gushing guff, so for once the BBC was accurate.
He’s going to ensure there are affordable houses for people who earn enough not to need social housing. If you earn £77 thousand a year then you’ll be able to afford one of the Tories’ new starter homes. But then if you earn £77 thousand a year, approximately the same as a backbench MP, then the only reason you should need help from the state with your housing is if the housing market has been irredeemably buggered by successive governments which have used an ever inflating housing bubble as a replacement for economic growth.
Davie’s rhetoric crashed into reality exactly like the asteroid promised by the Bible text interpreters. It’s a fantasy, but the world has indeed ended. We no longer live in a world where our political masters make any sense, or where they have to make any sense, because much of the UK media doesn’t report on them criticially. When the leader of the most right wing Tory party in history is described as making a bid for the centre ground, you know that Greater British politics have lost any anchor in the real lives of people in Scotland, where just 10% of us voted for this farce. Scotland isn’t a democracy, that’s the reality, and we are forced to pay attention to the prancing of what by any right ought to be marginal figures, because we live – for now – in this dysfunctional Union.
See that bright light in the sky? That’s reality whooshing over the heads of the establishment in Greater Britain. One day it’s going to come crashing down on top of them. Every day that passes brings us a day sooner to that inevitability.
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