You’re very fond of addressing the nation from the pulpit of the national press, but you’re not so good at responding to questions from your constituents, and you run and hide whenever you’re faced with something that can’t be answered with “Scotland doesn’t want another referendum.” Your myth is the biggest myth to come out of Scotland since the Loch Ness monster, and your substance is every bit as elusive. Yet on Sunday you took to the pages of the Mail on Sunday in order to lecture the people of Scotland about what they can or cannot do, as though someone voted you the arbiter of Scottish democracy.
You present yourself as the new face of Conservativism. You’ve only been successful because you get an easy ride from your pals in the Scottish press. You complain about members of the public following you in the street to ask you a question, the Scottish media sure as hell doesn’t do that. They reserve that treatment for SNP politicians, and they collude with you when you make up stories about burly men and abuse. You’ve been successful because you avoid difficult questions. On the rare occasions you have been subject to more rigorous interviewing, you collapse like a drunk after an Orange Parade. You are all flute and no toot, all big drums and no boom, an aggressive swaggering walk that leads to the past. The British media might buy it, but we don’t.
What your soft focus media treatment doesn’t probe you on is that any success you’ve enjoyed has been built on the back of dog whistling to the most reactionary and regressive elements in Scottish society. You’re the darling of the Orange Lodge as well as the British media. Ever since you became leader, your party has been mired in the scandal of one Tory after another being exposed as a sectarian bigot, a racist, a supporter of the extreme right. Other Conservatives have come out of the closet to complain about how you surround yourself with a wee group of sycophants and the only means to advancement in the Scottish Conservatives is to sook up to Ruth.
None of that happened under your predecessor. Auntie Annabel wouldn’t have tolerated the bigots and racists that fill Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservative™ cooncil seats. She was far more a modern Conservative than you could ever dream of being. She at least had respect for democracy. You preach the politics of modernity, you practise the politics of the past. You don’t care who you tread on, who you crush. Anything at all to get you to the top. You are the ultimate practictioner of Conservative politics, the politics of greed, the politics of selfishness. It really is all about you. You’re well matched with Michael Gove, a man whose ego and estimation of his own abilities is every bit as inflated as your own.
We’re sick to the back teeth of listening to your stuck record. You’re very keen for the SNP to respect the result of the 2014 referendum, but you’re not so keen on respecting the promises and commitments that your own party made in order to win it. The people who need to be held to account for the outcome of popular votes are not the people who lost them, it’s the people who won them. Democracy didn’t stop in 2014. The people of Scotland did not hand you and your party a blank cheque to do with us as you please for as long as it suits you. The No vote in 2014 was a conditional vote. It was conditional on the promises and commitments of the Better Together campaign which you actively supported. You’ve failed to fulfil your party’s commitments. We are here now on the verge of a second referendum because of your failures, your shortcomings, your betrayal of your promises. You don’t get a free pass. You don’t get to cry that it’s only the SNP that needs to be held to account.
One of the promises that your party made was that the powers of the Scottish parliament would be enshrined in law, and that no Westminster government would ever make any changes to the devolution settlement without the express consent of Holyrood. Remember that Ruth? Because we do. We also remember that the UK Supreme Court ruled that this provision in the Scotland Act has no legal force, we remember that the supposed legal guarantee of the permanence of Holyrood and the devolution settlement was nothing more than meaningless sophistry. We remember that you told us that the only way Scotland could remain in the EU was to vote against independence. We remember that you told us that if Scotland wanted an independence referendum then the people of Scotland needed to vote for a party which had that as a manifesto commitment, and then that party needed to secure a majority in the Scottish Parliament.
If you were so eager to ensure that the result of the 2014 referendum was to be respected, then you’d be fighting tooth and nail against your own government’s proposals to use the EU referendum result which Scotland voted against in order to undermine the devolution referendum result which Scotland voted for. Even on your own terms you fail. You demand that Scotland remains a part of the UK, but you refuse to stand up for Scotland within the UK.
We know your type. You’re the consummate opportunist. You’re an ego-driven lookitme. We know that if you sincerely believed that you could win a second Scottish independence referendum for No by a handsome majority, then you would be the first to be calling for one. Then you could pose as the saviour of this so-called Union that’s not a union at all. Your opposition to a second independence referendum is founded in fear, the fear that you’re going to lose. That fear is the only realistic thing about your politics.
So even if you’ve forgotten who you really are, we haven’t. You’re the jumped up leader of a minority party. If you want to lecture the Scottish people and the Scottish government about what they can or cannot do, then get a majority in Holyrood. It’s called democracy. Your determination to block something that the people of Scotland have already voted for, which the Scottish parliament has already voted for, shows that you’re nothing near to the modern caring sharing compassionate Conservative of your media hype. You’re just a 21st century Scottish female version of the Ulster Says No of the last century. You’re Ina Paisley. You are no friend of democracy. You stand for the paternalism and passivity of the past. You’re yesterday’s news wrapped up in 21st century dressing, you’re as pointless as instagramming the 1950s. You do not speak for Scotland. You do not even speak for everyone who voted No in 2014. You speak for the Scottish Conservatives, a minor party with just 31 MSPs out of 129. Holding less than a quarter of the seats in the Scottish Parliament doesn’t give you the right to determine the path Scotland takes.
Here’s the thing Ruth. Here’s what you either don’t remember or don’t wish to think about. Here’s what you certainly don’t want the people of Scotland to realise. If Scotland wants to hold another independence referendum, your permission is not required. Theresa May’s permission is not required. This referendum is above all about whether a minority Scottish Conservative party gets to dictate the future of Scotland to the rest of us, and that minority Scottish Conservative party sure as hell isn’t going to dictate whether that referendum happens or not. We will be having our vote Ruth, and you’re not going to stop it.
1.6 million Yes voters
Mapa Gàidhlig na h-Alba / Gaelic Map of Scotland
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