So that’s you lot telt, you uppity Scottish people who dare to imagine that you have a sovereign right to choose the form of government that’s best for Scotland’s needs. Ruth Davidson, the leader of a party that came a distant second in the last Holyrood elections and an equally distant second in the last Westminster General Election, is laying down the law. There will, according to Ruth, be no second Scottish independence referendum before 2027 at the earliest. The reason she picked that date is because it’s the first year that she doesn’t have any appearances booked on TV reality shows.
This is because, naturally, coming a distant second in popular votes gives you the absolute right to make such decisions and to dictate to the party which won the vote and which possesses a mandate from the people to hold another referendum. That’s how what passes for British nationalist democracy works in the UK. It appears to have escaped Ruth’s notice that the fact that a politician from a losing party can act in the way she does is precisely the reason why so many people in this country are determined to have another independence vote as soon as possible. Scottish democracy? Wouldn’t that be a good idea.
The only bit of Ruth’s pronunciamento which was at all accurate was the bit when she said that Scotland was fed up with nationalism. You got that right Ruth. We’re sick to the back teeth of British nationalism. It’s British nationalism which has led to Brexit. It’s British nationalism which is riding roughshod over the democratic will of the people of Scotland. It’s British nationalism which is imposing austerity and destroying public services. It’s British democracy which is making the UK a laughing stock amongst the states of Europe. It’s British nationalism which is determined to prevent the people of Scotland having a say on their own future.
The Conservatives don’t do irony, and there was us thinking that an appreciation of irony was oh so terribly British. If they did do irony no one would be able to refer with a straight face to Ross Thomson as a rising star of the party. If this idiot is the talent, the rest of them must be on the same evolutionary level as an intestinal parasite.
Just a few short hours before Ruth made her announcement of a random date some time far in the future, the Foreign Secretary Jeremy Rhyming Slang stood up before the Conservative party conference determined to prove to his party colleagues that he could be equally as crass and offensive as his predecessor. And besides, there’s another Jeremy in politics that people go oooooh at, and Tory Jezza was going to ensure that he got a few ooohs of his own. Sadly for him all he managed was an ugh.
Jeremy Rhyming Slang gave a rousing speech to the Tory party conference, insofar as a man who delivers speeches as though he were the bastard offspring of an intestinal parasite and an accountant can ever be rousing. The EU, he asserted to the party conference, was acting like the USSR, and not allowing the UK to leave. Because the Conservatives would never do anything like that. Imagine that, the UK having to ask the EU for permission to hold a referendum and the EU said you can’t have one until several years after Ruth Davidson has appeared on Strictly. That would be wrong wouldn’t it. Jeremy Hunt has just said so. But when it’s the Conservatives doing it to Scotland, that’s perfectly acceptable. We are governed by hypocrites who are so entrenched in their hypocrisy and entitlement that they cannot even see it.
It’s an insulting nonsense to compare the EU to the USSR, but this is part of an emerging pattern. On Monday Dominic Raab, the Brexit Secretary, demanded before a more than half empty hall that the EU get serious and get serious now. Because what’s really been holding up the progress of Brexit negotiations is that Michel Barnier has been far more occupied in doing an impression of Marcel Marceau miming being trapped inside a glass box and not because the UK still hasn’t managed to inform the EU of any realistic proposals for its relationship with the EU post-Brexit.
Then transport secretary Chris Grayling claimed that a no deal Brexit would be like Monarch Airways. Apparently he didn’t mean that we’d be bankrupt and left trapped. He didn’t mean that after Brexit all UK airlines would be like Monarch because they wouldn’t be able to fly anywhere. He meant that shedloads of government money had to be spent rescuing people. Which only shows that Chris shouldn’t be left with sharp objects, transport infrastructure, or Brexit negotiations.
The emerging pattern is that this government is blaming the EU for the inability of this own government to come up with a remotely realistic proposal for leaving the EU. They’re setting the stage for a no deal Brexit that they’re going to blame on those nasty Germans and French. They’re going to blame the EU for their own shortcomings, and they accuse the EU of treating the UK in the exact same way that the British government is treating Scotland. Then when the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal, and there is economic disruption, job losses, and the break down of supply chains, when there’s a hard border in Ireland and the risk of the collapse of the Peace Process, the people who have created this entire mess will stir up xenophobia and blame nasty foreigners for not giving in to plucky Britain. They’ll use their so-called Henry VIII powers to override Parliament and rule by fiat.
The bottom line here is that British nationalists can have the UK, or they can have the EU. They can’t have both. The people of Scotland have made it abundantly clear that we reject Brexit, and if it is imposed upon us by a UK which is hell bent on ripping up employment and consumer rights and destroying public services, there will be no majority in Scotland for remaining a part of the UK. One way or another, Scotland will have a vote on its future, and no amount of attention seeking foot stomping from Ruth Davidson is going to stop it. Then we will escape the dangerous hypocrisy of the Conservative party.
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