The Conservative government of Theresa May doesn’t accept that the public might have changed its mind about Brexit, but it’s hell bent on repeatedly bringing Theresa May’s deal back to the Commons in the hope that MPs might have changed their minds. Jacob Rees Mogg changed his mind, but Jacob went to Eton and his personal wealth insulates him from any of the ill effects of Brexit, so Theresa May allows him, indeed encourages him, to change his mind. You and me, well our minds were forever pickled in the aspic of the vote in June 2016 because we’re little people who can’t cope with the complexities of decision making more than once every decade or so. There’s one rule for the Tories, and one rule for everyone else.
Now we’re hearing that if Boris Johnson manages to become the next leader of the Conservatives, then the Scottish Conservatives are considering breaking away. They don’t want independence for Scotland, but they do want it for themselves. Clearly, there’s something of a pattern here with Tories wanting something for themselves that they’re not prepared to let anyone else have.
According to reports over the weekend, the prospect of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister is so horrendous to Ruth Davidson that her and her wee band of spineless photo-oppers are considering breaking away from the Conservative party in order to establish a separate Scottish Conservative and Unionist party. It all sounds a bit like David Mundell’s resignation threats really.
However if we were to believe that the Scottish Tories are serious and aren’t just mouthing off with meaningless threats again, then they’re horrified by the prospect of a Boris Johnson government, but not horrified enough that they’ll do anything to prevent Scotland from suffering under it. This threat of theirs has considerably more to do with their desire to pretend that Boris and his government would have nothing to do with them, even while they continue to prop it up and troop into the voting lobbies alongside Boris Johnson’s Conservatives in Westminster. The move is all about protecting their own prospects of election within Scotland and Ruth Davidson’s laughably unrealistic aim of becoming the next First Minister. Thanks for that. Nice to know where their priorities lie. The real reason that the Conservatives want Scotland to remain a part of the UK is so that they have more people to troll.
The reports also mentioned that many in the Scottish Conservatives would prefer Michael Gove as a new leader, because even though he’s a Brexcrementalist and shares responsibility along with Boris Johnson for leading the Vote Leave campaign which was found guilty of breaking electoral law, he’s seen as more of a centrist. The fact that the Scottish Conservatives think that Michael Gove is more of a centrist only illustrates how far removed from reality the party has become.
Neither Boris Johnson nor Michael Gove should be permitted onto the same landmass as a shot at the leadership of the Conservative party and the prospect of becoming the next Prime Minister. These are individuals who led a referendum campaign which was founded on lies. It was a campaign which refused to define what Brexit means, and Gove and Johnson are now happy for that definition to be hijacked by extremists who claim that Brexit means no deal at all. Yet even worse than any of that, the campaign has been found to have broken electoral law and has announced that it will not appeal against the decision finding that its actions were illegal.
Both Johnson and Gove insist that they did nothing wrong, and if we take them at their word that they were not involved in any law-breaking, then that leaves only two possibilities. Either they knew that the campaign which they led was breaking the law and they chose to turn a blind eye to it, or they didn’t know in which case they are hopelessly incompetent and bereft of the leadership qualities which they are now trying to persuade us all that they possess. Either of those possibilities makes them unfit for high office, and yet they are still willing to allow the result to stand and to reap the benefits of it for their careers, despite the fact that even the Vote Leave campaign itself has conceded that it was obtained illegally.
Gove and Johnson bear a large share of the responsibility for the mess that the UK is now in. Neither of them is fit to become the teaboy in the cabinet office never mind the Prime Minister. They make even David Mundell who hasn’t resigned yet appear a giant of moral and political probity, but they’re still the favourite runners for the leadership amongst the Conservatives. This is a party which is resisting any attempts to revisit the outcome of the referendum and resisting any suggestion that Johnson and Gove’s roles in that campaign should be investigated while excitedly discussing their chances of taking the leadership. All by itself that tells us all we need to know about the moral bankruptcy of the Conservative party.
Today, Monday, the Commons is having a second round of indicative votes in order to try and cobble together something, anything, that MPs can agree on. There are four proposals being put to MPs, all of which either stop Brexit, propose a referendum, or a closer relationship with the EU than Theresa May is prepared to countenance. There’s a vote on a customs union, a Norway style relationship, a referendum to give the public a final say on whatever deal is finally agreed, and finally a vote to seek an extension to Article 50 with a vote between revoking it or pressing ahead with no deal if nothing can be agreed. Whether any of them can get a majority is anyone’s guess, but it’s a safe bet that Theresa May will continue to ignore what the Commons is telling her.
The government is opposed and has instructed cabinet ministers to abstain. Theresa May’s cabinet can’t decide on anything, and it doesn’t want anyone else to either. No one else is allowed to make their minds up, because they might make their minds up that when Theresa May says it’s her deal or no deal, that she’s only showing that the British Prime Minister and reality are not on speaking terms. We’re all in this mess because Theresa May has fought tooth and nail to ensure that the interests of the Conservative party come first and foremost, and she’s not about to give up now. If everyone were allowed to make up their own minds, they might be minded not to put the interests of the Tories first, and that can never be allowed.
Independence activists warned in 2014 that a vote against independence was a vote to subject Scotland to Conservative rule. What’s happening now is even worse than the worst fears voiced then. The entire British state is being subverted to the interests of the Conservatives. All our futures, all our prospects, all our futures are on the line, subordinated to the Conservatives’ single minded desire to put their party before all other considerations. Scotland’s needs don’t even register.
Speculation is mounting that we’re in for another General Election. This will be a vote between prioritising the interests of the Tories, or voting to put Scotland first. You know what makes sense.
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