It wasn’t that long ago when Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives™ got a fitba team and two subs’ worth of MPs elected to Westminster, much to the creaming elation of Ross Thomson. The news was met by much of the Scottish media as though it was the Rapture and Scotland had now got 13 Tories in British nationalist heaven with all the power of angels. The new saints were going to stick up for Scotland. They were going to be a strong voice for this country and would speak truth unto power. They were there as delegates for the Supreme Ruth herself, and would vote as a bloc in order to defend Scotland’s interests. Halleluiah, the Union had been Savioured at last.
During the election, Ruth’s face and name were first and foremost on election literature. Voters were told that they were voting for Ruth’s men and women, she was the leader and this was her crew. Now to be fair, the SNP has done much the same kind of thing in the past, putting Alicsammin’s name on the ballot, but no one was ever in any doubt that he was the leader of the SNP and that the SNP is a distinct party answerable to no other. Putting Ruth’s name on the ballot and downplaying the Conservative party was a way of trying to break the association in voters’ minds between the Scottish Conservative party and the Conservative party in the rest of the UK. That’s despite the fact that the Scottish Conservative party, rather like its Scottish Labour equivalent, is a branch office of the British organisation. Imagine that eh, Tories dissembling and misrepresenting themselves. The media in Scotland, naturally, enthusiastically went along with it.
Fast forward just a few months, and those MPs for the Ruth Davidson party are standing up for Scotland in the exact same way that Donald Trump stands up for a thorough investigation of Russian meddling in the US election. It’s not just Ruth’s mob, not a single non-SNP MP could be bothered enough to turn up to a meeting of the Commons’ Scottish Affairs Committee in Fife to discuss the vital issue of how immigration would be affected by Brexit and how Scotland’s unique needs are not being addressed. Admittedly Labour’s Coatbridge and Chryston MP Hugh Gaffney has a good excuse, he’s not allowed out without his care assistant in case he says something racist or homophobic. For parties which claim to defend the Union, they’re pretty lax when it comes to defending Scottish interests within it. But then their role isn’t to promote Scotland within the Union, it’s to promote the Union within Scotland, and that means keeping quiet on the numerous occasions that the so-called Union is doing damage to Scottish interests.
But the Conservatives are easily the worst, even though being more hypocritical than the Labour party in Scotland takes quite some doing. Some of Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives™ aren’t too keen on standing up for what Ruth says she stands for. Inspired by the Brexiteers’ message of freebooting trade deals with countries we’ve already got trade deals with because we’re still in the EU, they felt the need to buckle some swashes. Three Scottish Tory MPs decided that they don’t care what their supposed leaderene has said, they certainly don’t care what the Scottish government’s Brexit impact papers have said, they don’t care what their own government’s Brexit impact papers have said, and they don’t care what harm will be caused to their constituencies. They’re far more keen on becoming the Three McBrexiteers, starring Colin Clark of Gordon as Pure-dross, Stephen Kerr of Stirling as That-toss, and also appearing there’s Alister Jack of Dumfries and Galloway as Arse-miss, because he cannae find it with a map. Then feeling left out, wee Ross Thomson piped up that he wanted to be the fourth McBrexiteer because there’s no one better suited than him for the role of Durrty-yin.
Even though the Brexit impact papers of both the Scottish and British governments have demonstrated that a hard Brexit will wreak considerable damage on the economy, costing thousands of jobs and harming businesses, particularly the agricultural interests which figure so large in the economies of their own constituencies, the four McBrexiteers are hell bent on an ideologically driven hard Brexit. These are the very same people who rail against Scottish independence for the uncertainty it would supposedly cause and the damage it would supposedly do to the economy, yet they’re determined to pursue a form of Brexit that everyone except spittleflecked hard Brexiteers acknowledge is bad for Scotland, bad for the rest of the UK, and bad for businesses and jobs.
Bugger the farmers of Galloway and Gordon, their MPs want to flood the country with chlorinated chicken and beef reared on genetically modified corn. They want to abolish free movement and leave crops rotting in the fields because there’s no one to harvest them. 90% of vets in abattoirs are EU citizens, after a hard Brexit the meat industry will struggle to find anyone to fill those posts. Tory MPs want a bonfire of regulations which means that Scottish produce would no longer be considered fit for export to the EU, its largest market by far, while Scottish producers would be edged out of the domestic market by cheap imports from countries with even lower standards. Oh, and you can wave goodbye to your Common Agricultural Policy subsidies after the five years during which the British government has committed to guaranteeing them.
How’s that standing up for Scotland’s interests working out then? What happened to Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives™ voting as a bloc to defend Scottish interests? Never mind any of that. The Scottish media has its finger on the pulse. The Scottish media knows how to hold politicians who don’t belong to the SNP to account. We can look forward to Ruth popping up in a radio interview to talk about her favourite Bake Off recipes and doing an impression of the invisible man whenever the topic of Brexit is aired. For all her posing and posturing, Ruth Davidson has no power to ensure that Scottish Tory MPs vote the way she wants them to, and her much vaunted standing up for Scotland is as mythical as a good Brexit. She’s been cut down by her own McBrexiteers.
The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.
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