We say No to the Tories. And we mean it.

Without the slightest trace of irony, or indeed self awareness, the Tories have unveiled their new slogan. “We said No. We meant it.” Know who else meant it when they said no? Rape victims also meant it when they said no, but they’re still going to have to go into the details of their assault if they want to get child support for a third child. They can’t say no to the Tory intrusion into their trauma. They can’t say no to having a potentially unsympathetic DWP official going over the details of their assault. They can’t say no to identifying that a child is a product of rape.

The Tories have a nerve lecturing anyone on the meaning of the word no. Their gall is breathtaking. Without a shred of self-awareness the party of the rape clause have co-opted a slogan used to raise awareness of the sexual rights of women and to protest against sexual violence against women, and are using it in their tawdry little campaign to prevent the people of Scotland from having the right to say no to Theresa May. It’s revolting on so many levels. They’re taking a slogan used to empower and to give a voice, and are using it to disempower and remove the right to say no. And what’s most nauseating of all is that they probably didn’t even realise the connection, and even if they did they wouldn’t care.

It’s not just the shameless abuse of a slogan used to raise awareness of sexual abuse against women by the party of the rape clause which is offensive, although that’s a whole universe of wrongness all by itself. Their pithy little slogan conveniently brushes under the carpet all the myriad other things that the Tories didn’t mean in order to get that No vote that they did mean. And it’s not a short list. The only thing that means anything at all to the Tories is that they got the result that they wanted. They don’t wish to be held to account for all the many things that they said in order to get that vote and then conveniently went back on. There’s only side in this debate which has gone back on its word, and the Tories are their ground zero.

The Conservatives didn’t really mean it when they said that a No vote was the only way to ensure that the MoD would commission thirteen frigates to be built on the Clyde and keep the shipyards open. They didn’t really mean it when they said that a No vote was the only way to keep the jobs in the tax offices in Cumbernauld and East Kilbride. They didn’t really mean it when they said that a No vote would mean that the permanence of the Scottish Parliament would be enshrined in law. They didn’t really mean it when they said that a No vote was the only way for Scotland to remain a part of the EU. They didn’t really mean it when they said that a No vote would ensure continuing support for Scotland’s renewable energy industry. They certainly didn’t mean it when they said that a No vote would deliver Scotland the most powerful devolved parliament in the world. They didn’t come close to meaning it when they said that Scotland could lead within the UK and would be a valued equal partner in the most perfect family of nations that the world has ever seen.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister whose only notable talent is never giving a direct answer to a simple question that she doesn’t want to answer, didn’t mean it on any of the seven occasions when she did make a clear and explicit commitment and stated that there would be no general election until 2020. The woman who is saying no to allowing Scotland to have a vote on its future because she fears it will go against her is cynically holding a vote on her own future because the polling in England is favourable for her. Theresa May is always accusing all other politicians of playing games. Theresa doesn’t play games, at least not unless she’s made sure that she’ll win them first.

This is the election called by Theresa May so that she can crush all opposition, so that no one can protest, so that no one can resist, the blank cheque that an election victory will give her. Theresa has called this election to ensure that no one can say no to her. When the Tories said that the EU referendum vote was a mandate to restore the sovereignty of the Westminster parliament, they really meant that they were going to give their party leader and Prime Minister the powers of a dictator.

The only thing that Tories have ever meant is that they will lie, cheat and deceive in order to silence any opposition and to enrich themselves and their friends in big business. The only thing that Tories have ever meant is that they will cry foul and unfair at any attempt to hold them to account, to make them suffer the consequences for their lies and their dissembling. Vote Tory, vote to be held in contempt. Vote Tory, vote to be taken for a fool. Vote Tory, vote to surrender your fate into the hands of people who demonise the poor and punish them for the economic problems caused by the rich. Vote Tory, and vote to be a silenced puppet of Theresa May.

Well they’re in for a shock. Scotland will hold them to account. Just as in the Holyrood election last year, in this coming May’s council election, and in June’s general election, Scotland will return a majority of pro-independence representatives and will leave the Tories in distant second place. It’s not that Scotland doesn’t want a referendum. Scotland has never said that it doesn’t want a referendum, but by the ninth of June Scotland will have said three times, loudly and clearly, that we don’t want the Tories. We say No to Theresa. We say No to the rape clause. We say No to Ruth. We say No to being denied our say. We say No to a Brexit that we voted against. We say No to the Tories. And we mean it.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wgd2-22nd-april-2017

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44 comments on “We say No to the Tories. And we mean it.

  1. Graeme Timoney says:

    Paul I would very much appreciate your thoughts, and those of your readers on Craig Murray’s post of 18th April in which he states that an SNP Scottish majority in the Westminster election must result in a Declaration of Independence.

    • brian keane says:

      Another great Post Paul Cheers.

      Graeme.. That is a good Idea..Seconded.

    • weegingerdug says:

      We’d need more than an SNP majority, we’d need a majority of voters voting for them otherwise Westminster would refuse to countenance it and we’d be left with UDI. I don’t think we’re at that point yet, not by a long chalk. There are plenty of other avenues to exhaust first, avenues which wouldn’t risk us being left unrecognised by the international community and with a Unionist contingent which would be talking openly of insurrection.

  2. donald6 says:

    Nicola should call a Scottish Parliamentary Election, then we can say no to the three Tory Parties.

  3. Another brilliant piece, Paul. You invariably sum up and express exactly what I am thinking / feeling myself. Thank you for being such a brilliant voice for all that is good about Scotland.

  4. 100% YES says:

    I personally would have thought that the SNP, would be a lot futher foward in the polls than they are with what has happened in the last two years. Are the unionist getting there point across that the SNP or Nicola are a Toxic because we don’t seem to winning the support of 56% of the electorate, what are we doing wrong, because in our eyes the Tories are doing everthing right in order for the Yes side to be gaining more support for independence. My worry is that SNP likes being a party of council, Scottish and Westminster elections I personally couldn’t see the benefit of 56 SNP going to Westminster other than to tell the UK government we have brought a majority of nationalist MP we want Independence. Why is the SNP so bent on a Referendum than sending a majority of SNP nationalists to Westminster. Why can’t Scotland just walk away from this union without begging to Westminster.

  5. TheStrach says:

    Fantastic, impassioned response to the despicable Tories. We all say No to them and Yes to a free Scotland.

  6. Bill McDermott says:

    Paul,

    Giving Theresa the benefit of the doubt, she probably was thinking strategically about the effect of the Brexit negotiations on the scheduled GE in 2020. However it is more than convenient for her tactically to call an election on June 8 to sort out her little problem of fraudulent expenditure in 2015.

    In other words there is a strong possibility that there will be a few MPs required to stand down or at least be put in a very difficult position causing her to lose her 2015 majority – General Election to the rescue.

    We must make Ruth squirm on this one. I believe, for instance, that Fluffy Mundell is one of the MPs in the frame.

  7. hoplite39 says:

    I can never understand why anyone thinks TM is a competent leader. She has failed at almost everything she has done. In England the NHS, transport, social care and the police are in a mess. Her government failed to win the Brexit court case. Her government had to U-turn on on the NIC increase. She was caught out by the EU on Gibraltar. She lied about not having a GE before 2020. She never answers any questions and usually responds in that snide and dismissive manner to any opponents. Her Foreign Secretary has made gaff after gaff. She was caught out by Trump’s anti-Muslim ban.

    The woman has been a complete failure and a liar. Yet many talk about her competence. It is just incredible. I have no confidence in Corbyn, but I would rather have him as PM than May any day.

    You know, the truth is that I am a Unionist. If you offer me real Devo-max where Scotland is treated respectfully as an equal, I would accept that over independence. But that scenario is not possible. What we have is English nationalist domination. That is not a Union. So I support Independence because it is the only real choice.

  8. Gallusquine says:

    I so hope you are right. I left my happy twitter bubble this evening and in the real world met several people – in NE Scotland! – who think TM is doing a good job and that the SNP will be wiped out in May and June. Tell me they are deluded

  9. hettyforindy says:

    Absolutely brilliant post Paul. People have short memories, so let’s make sure the people if Scotland know exactly what the UK, unionists said YES to prior to the independebce referendum in 2014. Every YES turned out to be a big, fat, stinking, lying, cheating no, as you point out in your article.

    The tories and their pals do not give a damn whether their crass wording is offensive in undermining the ‘no means no’ slogan. They know exactly what they are doing, they have their 24/7 security people working in it. It’s called propaganda, and it’s powerful.

    Not forgetting of course that Scotland has said no to the tories for a long time, most of the time, and labour, no thanks!

    9th of June, I will be singing ‘I went to Blaydon races, twas the 9th of June, 18 hundred and sixty sixty on a summers afternoon’…
    Always comes into my head, but I hope in a most happy way, this year!

    One thing of course, Scotland allows 16/17 year olds to vote, and EU nationals. They will not have a vote in the GE, UKgov work backwards and they try to keep everyone else that way. NO thanks!

  10. Lizzie55 says:

    I worry that the independence party’s are not campaigning for independence or indeed campaigning to counter the Torys who have practically no policies. Torys just have the old ‘we say no to independence’ slogan and most of the MSM on their side. The snp, by now, should have the case for independence on every corner of every street in Scotland. I see nothing. They won’t win by mearly saying to the faithful the usual rhetoric. We are up against the torys this time and they are well funded and masters at spin. I often think the snp simply are not quick enough to counter what is throw their way either in spin or adverts. They had better start reacting to hellish spin and campaigning with visual material, god knows we have the ammunition, if we don’t we will loose sets at Westminster. We should have been building on the support for indyref2 since the Brexit result but there has been nothing. Now is the time…now is defiantly the time for a huge campaign because the torys will throw the most awful muck and lies our way, that’s a certainty. If we are not ready and better equipped than them we will fail to return all our MPs, we will fail to make the case for indyref2 and the snp will fail their voters. I really don’t want this to happen.

  11. Macart says:

    A great post Paul. Been royally pissed off with the tenor of those creatures statements all week and really, REALLY feel ready for the next ballot at this point.

    Watched this vid earlier and it kinda sums up what effect the Tories idiotic narrative on Scotland has had on people:

    VID HERE.

    With all due respects to the people of Dudley, a. I’m none too enthused about their Prime Minister either. and b. What they think about Scots, Scotland or Scotland’s First Minister is entirely unimportant.

    As for the meeja this week? Pretty much ditto.

    The onslaught by the media has been relentless and savage since May declared her arse saving (cough) snap election. Clearly a rinse and repeat exercise of 2015’s Tartan Barbarians campaign. Use the Scots as bogie men and an unthinking UK electorate buys into the meeja bullshit because… witches.

    The people of Scotland only need concern themselves with one thing and one thing only.

    What KIND of country do we want to live in?

    This general election, much like the referendum which will be held in the next eighteen months, is about artificially extended governance by a Tory dominated Westminster which we didn’t elect.

    Something for folks to think about here:

    https://archive.is/fDIZz

    The Scottish government have done the people of England no harm whatsoever. Can the same be said of the UK governments past and present?

    Somehow I think, in today’s right wing mass media age, this simple question will not be asked by many. Personally I reckon we focus on ensuring we return as many of the current crop of SNP MPs a humanly possible. In the short term I believe our electorate are going to need as much protection of their rights as we can muster.

    What we’re seeing enacted by the appalling May and the media should get us angry. Worse, it should get everyone angry that their government and their media behave like this and it’s beyond heartbreaking that it doesn’t.

    The two institutions we charge with our protection, with a duty of care and responsibility, actively assault major demographics of their own populations for personal gain.

    In my opinion we win the fight where and when it counts at this point. We cut the white noise of metrocentric, bubble oriented, fuckwittery out of the equation, along with the frankly gratuitous shite spouted by the Conservatives and their cheerleaders in Holyrood. 50% of our fellow Scots know what needs doing. We each get out there and convince at least one other person.

    Personally I’m done with Westminster government. I’m done with arseholes who rob us blind, demonise the populations in their care and treat us to steaming piles of patronising, arrogant, pig ignorant, little Britain horseshit week in, week out.

    The establishment won’t quit what they’re doing fer sure, but they’re about to find out that neither will we.

    • Les Bremner says:

      “Personally I’m done with Westminster government. I’m done with arseholes who rob us blind, demonise the populations in their care and treat us to steaming piles of patronising, arrogant, pig ignorant, little Britain horseshit week in, week out.”

      Come on now Sam, say what’s on your mind.

      • Macart says:

        About now? Pretty much a contempt that registers on the Richter scale.

        The parties of the establishment have managed what I thought was the impossible in the past two weeks.

        They’ve actually gone through the bottom of that barrel.

        • Les Bremner says:

          Sam, I was attempting to be humorous. Your second sentence is a concise summary of how many of us feel.

          The main point for me in what you say is that they don’t accept that they have people in their care.

          They are worse, much worse, than animals. I know of no other creature which deliberately, callously and methodically harms its own kind.

  12. FM says:

    My son is severely disabled. Initially we were denied DLA. It took us 18 months to revisit that form and successfully appeal the decision. Unless you are involved in these things you really do not get it. This is why the Rape Clause is so awful.

  13. Andy Anderson says:

    My sentiments entirely. Well said.
    I still worry about the difficulty of turning many good people to the cause. I have had some success but it takes ages to convert a politically naive person to open their mind. The mainline media has all my life (67 years) been anti Scottish and since the 70’s anti EEC/EU.
    If only the opinion polls would show me that those people who voted Yes in 14 but plan to vote No next time due to their anti EU views have seen the light about Westminster and see the EU/EEA/EFTA as for them a better option.
    Needless to say the extreme media bias pisses me off.

  14. Brilliant, Paul. Thank you!!!

  15. Therapymum says:

    Brilliant post, WGD and I agree with every word, and the passion behind it.

    I also tho relate to the posts by Andy, Lizzie55 and 100% as they express similar experiences to mine. The post by 100% is relevant as like 100% I would have thought support for the Tories would be reducing and the SNP would be a bit higher in the polls, especially with the policies being forced on us by the UK government and the benefit changes.

    John Curtice is in The Times this morning with a poll specifically about Scotland, indicating a growth in Tory voting intentions with a possible loss of at least 6 SNP seats. This coincides with a report by, I think, Labour List, identifying 9 seats held by the SNP that are being targeted by the unionists. The report suggested that 3 of the identified seats were less likely to be lost, but identified the weaknesses in each. The two items together gave me a bit of a shock! If it were anyone other than John Curtice, I would have ignored it, but his predictions are usually correct, even when all the other polling says something different. But it does suggest that maybe we have been sitting on our hands a bit, and we need to get our strategy and policies out as soon as.

    The loss of 6 seats, still gives the SNP a fantastic result, but this will be a nasty campaign and an even nastier future Parliament. Any reduction, and that applied to local elections as well as WM, will be hammered home as a weakness and therefore that Ms Sturgeon has no mandate for any referendum. More likely the result will be the removal of the legislation for devolution, as that gives The May carte blanche to use devolved resources for her own ends.

    What I really don’t understand is how anyone could look at what’s happening and vote Tory, particularly in Scotland. There was even a suggestion in one of the papers that the fury over Ms Davidson’s support of the rape clause has backfired, as Ms Sturgeon could reverse it. Basic misunderstanding of the circumstances, but the pressure of MSM sticks as we found out with Brexit. To anyone with a social conscience the Tory bandwagon should be abhorrent. I will be pointing that out to anyone who asks, and even those that don’t, but we do need to think about why this wave is developing and how to stop it.

  16. Alba woman says:

    Excellent post WGD. The comments have been brilliant. I spoke to an Irish solicitor based in Dublin yesterday evening. She was horrified by the rape clause and by the number of children who are about to officially disappear from state funding. She was concerned about what could happen next given the ease with which all of these measures were made a reality.

    All of the above discussion didn’t take too long and she ‘got it’ within minutes. What is going on that there are folk in Scotland who are actively supporting these and other such horrors.?

  17. Arthur Martin says:

    What is bothering me Paul is despite all the calamities that the Tories are bringing our way, a vote for YES to Independence remains stubbornly around the 50% mark.
    There are still a great deal of people out there that will never vote for Indy, that’s to be expected, but it’s the group that will eventually deliver Indy to Scotland that concerns me.
    They are hedging their bets and are obviously not convinced that Indy is the correct choice to make. They are also the group that will be most susceptible to the scare stories.
    I was living in my own Twitter bubble too just before Indyref1 and was not expecting a NO vote. I really don’t want to be there again. I sincerely hope that people will have the courage of conviction to do the correct thing this time and put that cross beside the YES box.

    • Craig P says:

      There are a number of people I know now in despair. They have always hated the SNP and indepedence, seeing it as narrow nationalism. Yet now they hate the way the UK is going and feel like there is no party they can support. They will likely vote Lib Dem with no great enthusiasm. It is these people still in the ‘No’ camp yet completely disillusioned with their own side that we need to work on, with patience, understanding, and a positive offer.

  18. emilytom67 says:

    Scotland a nation of fearties,pos the only country in the world that has everything in it,s favour to be free and independent/progressive yet spurn the golden opportunity,the gloom/dour and doom/miserable that often portrays us especially in the south is not far from the mark,there are a huge swathe that will never take up the cudgel,they are branded at birth as true brits and will never ever change,Im sorry but just can,t ever see us getting independence,too many fearties.

    • hoplite39 says:

      What do Unionists and the SNP have in common? They both claim Scotland is a country. I disagree with this. To be a country, you need sovereignty. Scotland does not have that. Thus we are not a country.

      England n the other hand is a country. It may not exists officially as a country. But it effectively has sovereignty and many foreigners recognise England as a country (while giving the U.K. Lip service).

      Many Unionist are happy to accept English nationalist domination, comforted by the belief that Scotland is a country. It is only by making them understand that their country does not exist, that they may change their mind.

      The SNP is in a difficult position. It is unable say Scotland is not a country without damaging its cause. But the truth is, telling Scots the cold hard fact that Scotland does not really exist unless we have sovereignty, is probably the only sure way to win.

  19. Sheryl Hepworth says:

    Please, please, someone get this blog out to the people/public!! We need desparately to get this out! How can we get the facts out to everyone without media? These blogs need printed out and pushed through doors! We need to start NOW or we are up the creek! I do not understand the attitude of so many after we have been cheated and they STILL want to vote these pariah dogs into government both local and national!! The fact that supposedly so many nay voters are coming over to yes BUT there are yes voters who will vote nay just because they cannot see that the EU & UN are our only safety net? We can settle these other matters when we are free!! How thick are some folks? The Tories have systematically denegrated the folk who need assistance and are strangling Scotland but they are blind to what will happen when WM take more powers from our SG!! I’m so angry that I’m not making much sense but I just want to scream from the top of Nevis ”Look what you are voting for, be ashamed if you go with the tories” The WM government over the last 310 years has belittled Scotland and the Scots for their own benefit and will anhihilate us if given any more power!! Surely, we can as soveriegn people, just say F*** You! You have broken the acts of union it was a contract, you broke it, We are not taking any more! We’re offski !!!!

  20. Therapymum says:

    Sheryl, I know how you feel! I made a conscious decision to stay in touch with MSM, keep an eye on what was being said, debate where I was confident of the facts, and try to,persuade people I knew that there was a better way for Scotland.

    I feel frustrated and impotent, as so many people just believe the lies they read and see on TV and just keep parroting it. It doesn’t seem to matter how much evidence you provide to the contrary, they don’t believe the evidence. The level of anti-Scottish feeling in the English papers and from WM just makes my blood boil! And today’s reports in The Times were seriously not good for my blood pressure. Add to all of that the The May’s sneering at our FM today really, really got my goat! One poster in The Times today said that he was a Scot, had always voted Labour but that “The Union transcends everything!” so he was voting Tory. I nearly had apoplexy! I responded to that one and said that in my book it didn’t, and that the GE wasn’t about the constitution, but no doubt will get another series of abusive replies.

    I just don’t get it. I fully appreciate that people can have other views to mine, but in the face of all the evidence about the effect of Tory policies, how can someone like that, who clearly thinks about social justice in the same way I do, turn his back on that ? What can we do differently to persuade people?

  21. grumpydubai says:

    WGD, Can you get your friends at the National to put your headline No points about the Tories on their front page?

  22. Eilidh says:

    Can we please not panic about opinion poll predictions. They are notoriously unreliable these days. I have never seen a pollster in the street so wonder how they do their research Telephone polls only reach those who are in the phone book which tend to be older people as younger people often only use mobiles so the results are skewed.Remember Snp did much better in last general election than polls predicted some polls said they would only get 46 mps.I see Libdems are dragging out Jo Swinson as a candidate again- same old same old.She is still a person who served as a minister in 2010 coalition government with the Tories.Does the party think we have forgotten that. Libdems still have no credibility after their coalition involvement

    • Therapymum says:

      That’s my constituency, and Jo Swinson wasn’t a particularly good MP, especially after she became part of the coalition government. She might be a local girl, but there were a lot of broken policies and promises. That said, she might get votes from Labour as an alternative to SNP. John Nicholson is much better.

  23. John O'Dowd says:

    I really thought we had moved on once and for all when we eliminated the Tories from Scotland not so long ago – the Thatcher/Forsyth effect.

    We have failed to pass the lessons on with enough vigour.

    All it took was a wee charlatan with some media savvy, and sufficient numbers lacking the emotional intelligence to see through the charade.

    Those of us old enough to remember the awfulness of those T/F years must take a share of the blame for not instructing those who followed well enough.

    Well the mask slipped big time on the Rape Clause. The Tories are still the scum they have always been, and always will be. Their only purpose is achieving Power, and their only aim in doing so is to look after there rich and privileged. It’s that simple.

    The ONLY sure way of burying them for good is Independence.

    Keep telling it like it is WGD

  24. The Tories have been campaigning hard on the ground since the Brexit vote. They work through contacts, organisations, events, companies as well as on the doorstep and street. They use leaflets as well as social media to get their message out with their MSPs sending out regular newsletters to all their members and contacts via those mentioned above. Some local election candidates have been campaigning since last summer. Whereas many of us had a last minute scrabble to get candidates in place and cobble together literature.

    The Tory campaign that has been swiftly rolled out was not thought up overnight. They have been planning this, testing slogans, organising the printing of large posters and material. They charged onto the race track while the rest of us all still wondering where we left our shoes. Why did we, and our activists, become so complacent about something so dear to us?

  25. Jan Cowan says:

    To my knowledge I only know two people who are ultra strong Tory/Unionist. Both are likeable people who become vicious, verbal attackers as soon as the SNP or Scottish Independence is mentioned. Sanity vanishes. I just do not understand why their loyalty is so engrained. Both are men and both are elderly – but not old enough to have lived through World War 2. Mind you, they avidly read the Tory press!

  26. Graham Fae Fawkirk says:

    Without a shred of self-awareness? Paul…they know EXACTLY what they are doing, and are doing it on purpose, because they are sick and evil. Period.

  27. shemorvena says:

    We need to be knocking on a few doors canvassing where folk, who normally do not vote, came out for Yes. The polls are disheartening but are they really true and attempt at mind manipulation by the incessant sound bites of Mayhem. We need to increase number of Indy Party votes

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