Tory Tank Girl Ruth Davidson has decided to campaign for the Scottish Parliament on the Edinburgh tea manifesto, ‘You’ll have had your referendum.’ Ruthie is pleased to talk down at the people of Scotland that under no circumstances will we be allowed another independence referendum, and that there are no circumstances which would justify one. So that’s us telt then. For someone who claims that the last referendum was a done deal and that the voice of Scotland was resoundingly clear, she doesn’t half stop banging on about it. Why, cynical minds might think that Ruthie wasn’t so sure after all that her beloved Union has a lengthy shelf life.
The leader of the Scottish Tories made the traditional call for a positive case for the Union. That call was made repeatedly during the independence referendum, by just about every single Unionist politician, and every single one of them called on someone else to make a positive case for the Union but never made one themselves. Here we are twenty months on from the referendum and we’re still waiting for that elusive positive case for the Union. You’d think that if one existed we’d have heard it by now. Certainly BBC Scotland would have done a special programme all about, probably presented by Glenn Campbell and giving him a reason to jet off to America. Ruth made the traditional call for the positive case, and equally traditionally failed to make one herself. So no surprise there then.
According to the wummin who substitutes a tank for principles, even if Scotland votes to remain a part of the EU but a vote in England to leave means the whole UK exits from Europe, that would still not justify another independence referendum. This is despite the fact that a promise that Scotland could only guarantee its continuing membership of the EU by remaining a part of the UK was a key plank in the Better Together campaign that Ruth was such an enthusiastic supporter of. Scotland could be ripped out of the heart of Europe and cast out into a mid-Atlantic Conservative dystopia entirely against the will of the people of Scotland, and that would be just fine with Ruth. Planks in the Tory save the Union campaign seemingly only exist in order to make the people of Scotland walk them before we are thrown to the sharks.
There were of course other planks in the Better Together campaign, mostly short thick ones like Davie Mundell or Michael Forsyth, but we always knew that those ones were rotten to the core. But it seems that none of the promises of the Better Together campaign have any value or worth, and it’s wrong for Scotland to expect our Unionist masters to be held to them. Mind you, we already knew that none of the Better Together promises had any value or worth, because the only ones that have come to pass are the dire threats of all the bad things that were going to befall us if we voted Yes, all the jobs that would be lost, the public services that would be cut, and the pensions that would be threatened. Scotland voted No and our jobs are being lost, our public services are being cut and our pensions are being threatened.
But Ruth’s lastest proclamation is Deaf-Con Unionism. It doesn’t matter how loud the demand from the people of Scotland for another referendum, Ruth will ensure the Cons are deaf to it. The Tank Turret Tactician of Torydom wants to insist that her side’s core guarantees were mere serving suggestions but that the Yes campaign’s serving suggestions, like Alicsammin’s personal opinion that the referendum was a once in a generation deal, are cast iron guarantees that must never under any circumstances be subject to revision and which everyone else has to abide by for all eternity. There’s a phrase for that sort of behaviour, and that phrase is Tory hypocrisy. If one side has to abide by perceived promises, then so does the other. But Ruth thinks it’s only Yes supporters who are under any obligations.
There’s no referendum on the agenda right now. There won’t be one until such time as it’s clear that the cause of independence is going to win. And when those circumstances occur there will be no Unionist majority in Scotland which independence supporters are obliged to respect. The reason for Ruth’s vehemence on the subject is because she knows that the majority won by the Union in 2014 was weak, fragile, and highly conditional.
Their fear comes from the fact that the Unionist parties have not been exemplary in their fulfilment of the promises that they made Scotland during the referendum campaign. In fact they have fulfilled their commitment to home rule, to the nearest thing possible to federalism, to the maxiest devo that’s it’s possible to maximise, in the exact same way that a person who sells you a clapped out sofa abandoned in a skip on a street in North London has fulfilled a promise to sell you seats at Wembley. It’s been a con, a trick, a scam. The pathetic Scotland Bill with its hauf-cut tax powers and its control of road signs is not what independence supporters had in mind when Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling promised us a modern form of Home Rule. And Ruthie knows that too, because while she is many things, she’s not stupid. So she knuckles down on the nawness in the hope that the Union will never be held to account for its mendacity and hypocrisy.
But it will be held to account. Whether it’s as a result of the EU referendum or some other future crisis which will befall the serial crisis that is the United Kingdom, at some point in the future, probably the not too distant future, there will be another referendum on Scottish independence, and this time we will win. And all the Tory Tank Girls in the world will not be able to stop it from happening. The clock is ticking.
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