Ruth Davidson and Michael Gove have announced the launch of a new think tank, because what the world really needs is yet another right wing think tank. The think tank is to be called Onward, as in onward and off a cliff with Brexit. Michael Gove is one of the most reactionary hard line Brexiteers in the Conservative cabinet, and Ruth is, at least according to the British press, providing the progressive gloss. Memo to the British press, just because you’re gay doesn’t automatically make you progressive. If the campaign for lesbian and gay rights means anything, it means judging gay people on their actions, not on their sexuality, and no one who supports the rape clause can claim to be progressive.
Michael Gove is involved in the new think tank because he’s apparently one of the Conservative party’s most influential thinkers, which is a bit like saying that the algae munching bottom feeder is one of the most influential fish in your fish tank. The difference being that the bottom feeder makes a more positive contribution to its ecosystem than Michael Gove, and it looks less like a goldfish. Also your fish tank is unlikely to contain sharks, which you can’t say about the Conservative cabinet. Anyway, here’s an idea for Michael’s shiny new think tank – maybe try not putting massive lies on the side of a bus.
The purpose of this new think tank, according to Ruth, is to develop policies for the Conservatives to enable them to attract younger voters. There she was the other day going on in the Guardian about how her party needs to do more to get down wid da yoot, and now she’s saying – Look who I’ve teamed up with kids! There hasn’t been a double act less likely to appeal to modern youth since Cannon and Ball.
What we can be sure of is that the policies dreamed up by this think tank won’t include free education or doing anything meaningful about the Conservative policies which have ensured that affordable housing is increasingly out of reach of the young. What its real purpose is is to come up with plausible lies to sell avaricious capitalism to those who have been impoverished by avaricious capitalism. Ruth and Michael want to be seen to be kissing babies, but they’re still going to steal their sweeties. They can dress it up any way they like, but what it boils down to is that they’re trying to find ways of selling 19th century politics to 21st century people.
Essentially this is a branding exercise on the part of Ruth and Mikey the Fish, positioning themselves for advancement when Theresa May goes belly up and her leadership floats dead in the water. It is every bit as cynical and self-serving as just about everything else that Ruth or Michael have ever been involved in. Michael Gove is, let us not forget, the man who when he was education secretary not only insisted that a copy of the Bible should be delivered to every school in England, he also insisted that it should be inscribed with his name. It’s not that Michael thinks he’s Jesus. That would be crass. He thinks he’s better than that. Besides, Jesus would be a Middle Eastern migrant who’d fall victim to the Home Office’s hostile environment. But it must be admitted that Michael Gove is, like Jesus, capable of miracles. His career was killed off but rose again.
Ruth, meanwhile, preaches to the UK press about one thing safe in the knowledge that they won’t pull her up for having done the exact opposite in Scotland. Although she can do that in Scotland too, safe in the knowledge that her pals in the Scottish media pack won’t pull her up either. No reputation has been built on so little since Rylan was offered a chat show on the telly, but he at least has great teeth. Which means that the most vacuous talk show host in the UK is more capable of getting a bite on a topic than Ruth Davidson is.
Today the darling of the cheeky photo op is due to give a speech in London in which she will call on her party to be less London-centric. This is just a week after she’s told the Scottish Parliament that it needs to be more London-centric, and to shut up and do what its British betters tell it to do. She instructed Scottish Conservative MSPs to back the Westminster power grab that undermines the devolution settlement, while Scottish Conservative MPs in Westminster back a hard Brexit. If she really believed in rebalancing the power and economy of the UK she’d put her vote where her very gobby mouth is and would fight to strengthen the Scottish Parliament, not to weaken it. She calls on Westminster to ensure that even those of us in Scotland who support independence feel that we have a stake in the UK, while supporting the British government’s court case against the Scottish parliament. Words are cheap. It’s actions which matter, and where her actions are concerned Ruth fails Scotland every time.
Even by her own standards of standing up for Scotland within the UK, Ruth fails. The harsh truth is that if it were not for the repeated failure of the British government to respect and comply with the promises and commitments that it had made to the people of Scotland, then there would be no drive for another independence referendum. Ruth has consistently supported the actions of the British state, and has not once condemned or even mildly criticised her Conservative colleagues for the way they have traduced every promise they have made to Scotland. Instead she has colluded with them and enabled them.
If the measure of Ruth Davidson’s leadership of an anti-independence party is how she has managed to quash support for independence and prevent the independence movement retaining its foothold, she has failed utterly and miserably. The independence movement is stronger now than at any time since 2014, and a second independence referendum looms on the horizon, one in which Ruth will have nothing positive to say to the people of this country. The press might not have been paying attention to the mismatch between Ruth’s mooth and her actions, but we have.
Mapa Gàidhlig na h-Alba / Gaelic Map of Scotland
The Gaelic map of Scotland is now available, the cost is £15 plus £7 P&P within the UK. Please note P&P outwith the UK is more expensive. P&P to Europe is £10, P&P to the rest of the world is £15. If you require multiple copies of the map, you only need pay once for P&P, up to 4 copies of the map.
You can purchase a copy of the map by Paypal by clicking the donate button at the end of this page and entering the requisite amount. Please also include the address to which the map should be posted. If you prefer another payment method, please email me at email@example.com for alternatives.
Please note that the map is currently at the printers and I won’t be able to start posting maps out to buyers until the week starting May 28.
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.
Wee Ginger Donations & Speaking engagements
Or you can donate by making a payment directly into a special bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send the necessary information. Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.