David Cameron is an embarrassment. It’s not just his government’s axing of the disability benefits that our multimillionaire PM claimed for his own disabled son. It’s not his toe-curling rendition of a Scawtch accent in a pathetic attempt to ingratiate himself with a Scottish audience of political cringers. It’s not even his hammy amorous episodes with porcine friends. What’s really embarrassing is the way he tried to play the underdog, and thought that voters in Scotland are so thick that we’d see the Tories our saviour from one-party statedom.
The Tories have an absolute majority in Westminster, despite the fact that less than 15% of Scottish voters support them and despite the fact that they received only 36.9% of the vote in the UK as a whole. They’re bent on ensuring that they retain a majority government in the UK, by redrawing the constituency boundaries in their favour. This is designed to make it easier for the Tories to obtain an absolute majority even though a mere third of the population vote for them. And then the leader of this party comes to Scotland to complain about another party that secured a majority of seats under a proportional voting system. That’s like Dracula complaining about unfair competition from an NHS blood bank.
Convinced that they’ve got a winner in Ruthie Davidson on her tank, the Tories plan to put her on every ballot paper in the land. When you vote Tory, you’re voting for the Ruthie D SNPbad fan club. Sort of like the teenage girls who’re obsessed with One Direction, but without the same emotional maturity or willingness to drop a grudge. It’s not exactly well rounded politics, more One Dimension.
While Labour are that creepy stalker ex-lover who keeps telling you that you’re still engaged even though you’ve long since thrown out the cassette compliation tape they made you and married someone else, the Tories don’t even rate that high. The Scottish Tories are the spotty weirdo with no social skills who has a wee shrine to you and tells everyone you’re coming back to them even though your sole interaction with them was that they once delivered you a take away promotional pizza which was inedible and had to be thrown in the bin. Ruthie is the stale anchovy on that pizza. The best you can say about the Tories in Scotland is that at least they are really cheesy.
For a few short weeks, the Tories in Scotland allowed themselves to believe the hype of their professional zoomers in the Scottish media. Scotland is the only country in the world where we have more Conservative journalists than we have actual Conservatives, and the brave wee band of boosters managed to convince themselves that everyone loves Ruthie as much as they do. The truth is that Ruthie’s appeal is very limited. You can dress up a Tory party however you want, you can give it a young female gay leader, but you’re still just putting lipstick on Davie Cameron’s pig. It’s not the packaging that’s the problem for the Scottish Tories, it’s the rank decay of their content.
That Scotland has become a one party state under the SNP is a constant trope from the Unionist parties. It’s a comfort blanket for parties which have been stripped naked by their own inadequacies. For the Tories and Labour, that nightmare where you need to make a speech only to realise that you’re standing there in the scud comes true every single day. That’s the best explanation you’re going to get for that permanent expression of revolted horror on Fluffy Mundell’s face. He knows we all see through him, through the pretence that him and his party are respected and respectable.
When you look at the Scottish Tories what you see is a bunch of unelectable chancers who’re riding the back of electoral support in another country, and then they blame the voters for not electing them. You don’t look at the Tories to see a reflection of Scotland. They are not a mirror of this land. You look at the Tories and you see Thatcherite dinosaurs, climate change deniers, pensioned off Morningsiders, unreformed sash-singers, militaristic monkeys, pursed lipped puritans, free-market yoonatics, brexiters, golf club bores, off-message journos, and social inadequates in ill fitting suits. You see people who think Liam Fox is a role model. You see a fringe party that in a normal country wouldn’t get close to power.
But this isn’t a normal country. This is Scotland, where a fringe party that obtains the support of less than 15% of the voters and which is set to come third placed in the Scottish Parliament elections gets to decide Scotland’s overall budget, gets to decide whether Scotland goes to war, gets to decide whether we get nukes based just outside our largest city. The Tories set your benefits, determine your pension age and your pension. The Tories get to decide to slash the subsidies to renewable energy industries while they invest millions in nuclear and support fracking in national parks. They set your taxes, but allow bankers and corporations off without paying. The Tories get to gerrymander Westminster constituencies to ensure they’ll be in power for ever. They decide what powers that the Scottish Government is allowed to have, they impose their will on Scotland with a majority of English MPs but restrict the right of Scottish MPs to vote on matters they deem to be English. They do all this with 14.9% of the popular vote and a single Scottish MP. And then without a shred of irony or self awareness this party that Scotland can’t get rid of despite the hammering we give it every single time there’s an election has the cheek to complain about how Scotland is a one party state.
Scotland will reject the Conservatives yet again in May. Yet again the party will fail to make any breakthrough, but that won’t stop the Scottish Tory press going on about how next time round, Ruthie will make a breakthrough on her tank.
You don’t get to complain that Scotland is a one party state just because you are so rubbish, so bereft of credibility, so lacking in public trust, that you can’t find anyone to vote for you. Unless that is, you’re an anchovy on the stale pizza of a Scottish Unionist party.
And finally: It seems my article the other day about the symbolism of the BBC weather map has attracted the opprobrium of Better Together’s favourite academic Tom Gallagher. According to Tom I’m divisive, howling, and greedily demanding a diet of caviar because this blog comes with the temerity of a donate button. How dare I ask people to donate to this blog if they choose to and don’t restrict their access to it in any way if they don’t. How demanding and selfish is that eh?
Och Tom poppet, if I’d spent a career in academia studying the manifestations of sectarianism only to discover that politically I’d ended up on the same side of an argument as the Orange Order, I’d be bitter too. xx
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