Theresa May keeps telling us that this is the most important election in her career, sorry, her lifetime. And so it is, just not for the reasons she thinks it is. This election is important because it’s the election in which the Conservatives seek to lock the UK, and Scotland with it, into an extreme right wing future in which the last dregs of the post WW2 consensus will finally be flushed away in a sewer of Tory triumphalism.
The good news is that the UK polls are narrowing, and it no longer looks so certain that the Conservatives will attain the overwhelming majority which was predicted just a few weeks ago. It was the prospect of that crushing majority which caused the Maybot to call the election in the first place, even though she’d spent the previous months insisting that she wasn’t going to. The polls are narrowing as a Tory candidate is charged with expenses fraud during the last General Election. It raises the very real possibility that the Tories won the previous election illegally and illicitly. The Tories may have cheated their way into power in 2015 and in 2017 they demand our absolute trust and loyalty.
What her selfish drive for a fresh election demonstrated, amongst other things, was that the promises of the Westminster Parliament are utterly meaningless. We saw that with their promise to enshrine the Sewel Convention in law and to place the position of the Scottish Parliament beyond the reach of a hostile Westminster government, a promise which turned out to be worthless. We saw it with the breaking of every single commitment made to the people of Scotland in order to secure a No vote in the referendum of 2014. And we saw it with the casual disregard for the fixed term parliaments act when Theresa May decided that it was in her personal and party interest to call an election just days before the country is due to begin Brexit negotiations with the EU. If the Tories win their crushing majority in next week’s election they will use it to crush the disabled, the poor, the unemployed, the low paid, the migrants, the Scots, and the remainers. Back in the 1990s before we were disillusioned by New Labour people talked about Cool Britannia. With Theresa May it’s Cruel Britannia and we’re disillusioned in advance.
This week the world was angered and horrified when Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the Paris Climate Agreement. World leaders queued up to condemn Trump’s selfish stupidity in the strongest possible terms. All except Theresa May who refused to sign the joint letter of condemnation supported by every other European state. Theresa just said that she was disappointed by Donald, as though she was speaking about a teenage child who’d gone to a party despite telling their parents they were going to study in the library for an upcoming exam. The man-child Donald is threatening to destroy the futures of all our children and grandchildren, to condemn the globe to potential catastrophe, to wipe some island nations from the map, and Theresa is “disappointed”. Just what would it take for Donald to do for her to be “a tad upset”?
But she’s got to suck up to the White House man-child because her government and her policies have burned bridges with just about every other country in the world. The Britain of Theresa May is a Britain that’s friends with the orange pariah in the White House and arms suppliers to Arab dictators. That’s Britain in the early 21st century, the friend of torturers and liars, the ally of people who look upon the magnificent vista of an unspoiled wilderness and calculate how much money they can make by destroying it. Theresa May makes me ashamed to hold a British passport.
The Tories in Scotland are trying to make this election about one topic and one topic only – about resisting a second independence referendum. They seek to persuade the people of Scotland that Scotland somehow exists in a vacuum, that the policies of the Westminster Union which they are so desperate to defend have no effects or influence in Scotland. So they bang on endlessly about another independence referendum and are silent when it comes to Westminster policies which have a direct impact on the poorest and the most vulnerable in our society. In their most recent party political broadcast that’s all they spoke about. Saving the Union while their pals in Westminster destroy everything that once made the Union worthwhile. The Scottish Tories have nothing to say about the tearing away of financial support from the disabled. They are closed mouthed on their English colleagues’ destruction of the NHS and their mismanagement of English eduction. They say nothing concrete about how to protect Scotland from the looming disaster that is Brexit. They want to make this Westminster election about fighting back against a party which isn’t in power in Westminster. They want gesture politics at the expense of the vulnerable. They’re treating the people like fools, and they’re aided and abetted by an all too willing Unionist media.
Theresa May will stand or fall by the outcome of this election, an election that she chose to call and that she chose to make all about herself and the questioning that she chose to hide herself away from like an arrogant bullying coward. She tells us that the EU will find her a “bloody difficult woman” during negotiations, but they’ll be doing well to find her at all, the voters sure as hell can’t. The only places Theresa ever appears is in front of a wee group of Tory activists waving placards. Theresa May doesn’t want an election, she demands a coronation. If she gets her way it will signal the rise of Cruel Britannia, a hideous perfidious Albion, a Hate Britain, and a disunited Kingdom in which social divisions pull society apart as homelessness rises, as the poor grow ever more impoverished, the just about managings fail to manage, and a tiny minority of the extremely wealthy and well-connected enrich themselves. That will be the theatre of Cruel Britannia that Theresa May has in store for us, and that’s why resisting her does make this the most important general election in decades. Vote to keep the Tories out, your future, your children’s future, and your grandchildren’s future depend on it.
Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wgd-2nd-june-2017
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