It’s been another one of those days. On Monday we discovered that the Tory leadership race had turned into a coronation, only without the bunting, and the next Prime Minister of the UK is going to be Theresa May. She’s also going to be the last Prime Minister of the UK, because by the time she leaves office there won’t be a UK any more because Theresa is a One Nation Tory, and that nation is England.
Andrea Leadsom made the surprise announcement at lunchtime that she wasn’t going to continue with her leadership bid because everyone was being beastly and nasty to her. That was unfair, because it’s the Tories who are supposed to be beastly and nasty to everyone else. Especially poor people, migrants, disabled people, LGBTI people, and people who aren’t mothers except for Theresa May. Andrea withdrew from the contest in order to spend more time with her prejudices, leaving the field clear for Theresa and her dalmatian hunting minions. Andrea was the last Brexiteer standing, so much for taking back control.
After Gordie Broon was crowned leader of the Labour party and took over as Prime Minister from Tony Tombstone Blair, Theresa was one of those who complained the loudest that there needed to be a General Election and that Gordie had no democratic mandate. That’s the Theresa who has just become the Prime Minister without any sort of a vote at all, and who gets to be the Prime Minister of Scotland even though she’s got the support of just a single stuffed toy of an MP.
There won’t be an early General Election. The Tories will only get an extra year out of it, and besides, they’d rather wait until the constituency boundary changes come into effect which gives them an even better chance of screwing over the country in perpetuity. That’s not until 2018, and the way the Labour party is going it’s not going to be in any much better shape in 2018 than it is just now.
We got a speech with sub-Thatcher platitudes about working on behalf of ordinary people, but Theresa May has voted against the interests of ordinary people at every opportunity. She voted to raise VAT, a tax which the poor and the low paid feel disproportionately. She voted against tackling increasing energy bills and the profiteering of the privatised energy companies. She said she was going to tackle tax avoidance, but just a few weeks ago she voted against beefing up the powers of the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority to deal with dodgy tax schemes.
And now Theresa May is going to get to implement her right wing Thatcherite vision unconstrained by the European Human Rights legislation that allowed a challenge to the bedroom tax. She’ll have free reign to introduce her snooper’s charter giving the state access to your web history. She claims to value freedom, but she pushed for the snooper’s charter because the security services wanted it, and she didn’t bother to ask why or what they intended to do with their powers over the people. Theresa only wants the state to have information about citizens, she doesn’t want citizens to have information about the state. She supported the Iraq war, and consistently opposed any investigations into how the decision to go to war was reached or how the war was conducted. She’s happy to wave flags and glorify the British military, but she’s consistently voted against strengthening the military covenant that obliges the British state to care for servicepeople and ex-servicepeople. She’s always voted against raising benefits in line with prices, and in favour of reducing spending on social security. And she has always voted against any extra powers for the Scottish parliament.
Theresa’s good day is a bad day for the rest of us. The future in the UK is theatre of cruelty, where compassion is treated like an unwanted migrant, where tolerance and acceptance is a sign of weakness. These are the people who preach to us about the superiority of British values, but the only value they hold true to is hypocrisy. Theresa May is the woman who invented the phrase the Nasty Party for the Conservatives, and she is its living embodiment. The new Prime Minister of the UK is a woman who neither understands Scotland nor cares for it.
Theresa had a good day, but her former opponent Andrea Leadsom had a bad day, reduced to hoping that Theresa will reward her with a cabinet position as a wee thankyou for clearing the path for her. The only person who had a worse day than Andrea Leadsom was Labour leadership challenger Angela Eagle. Her press conference was upstaged by the news from the Tories, leaving her plaintively asking the press for questions only to discover that the press had buggered off and weren’t that interested. Then her own local constituency party called for her to be deselected. Only a couple of hours into her leadership campaign and it seems that she’s got nothing to lead.
On Tuesday Labour’s National Executive Committee will meet to decide whether Jeremy Corbyn can stand in the leadership election without requiring the nominations of 51 Labour MPs and MEPs. Even before the meeting has happened it’s descended into open arguments and disagreements and whoever loses is bound to take legal action. The Tories are getting their nasty on, while Labour is mired in in-fighting and confusion. A formal split in the party is looking ever more likely.
This is the state we’re in. This is what we’re supposed to be better together with. These are the broad shoulders that support Scotland and allow us to punch above our weight in the world. On one side there’s chaos and selfishness, and on the other there’s nastiness and selfishness. The leaders of the so-called United Kingdom stand exposed as small minded little men and women who are interested only in their own careers and their short term gains. Meanwhile the country drifts along in a fog of uncertainty towards the Brexit cliff. It’s never been clearer that Scotland needs to take to the independence lifeboat. The day we do will be a good day for Scotland, we’re not going to have many good days as long as we remain a part of this dysfunctional mess of a UK.
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