Get out the red white and blue bunting. Arrange the Great British patriotically themed street parties. Bake a cake in the shape of a tank. Huzzah and hurrah! Ruth is back to save the union and to tell us that we can’t have a referendum, not now, not before 2021, and not afterwards.
Ruth is angry that Nicola Sturgeon is calling for another independence referendum. In the Ruthiverse this is because the SNP is failing on policing, education, and health. It certainly has nothing to do with a British state which is failing on everything, up to and including basic competence in government, and which has abjectly failed to fulfil the promises and commitments which it made to the people of Scotland in 2014. Oh no.
Ruth wants us all to believe that we’d be far better off entrusting her with control of Scotland’s police, education and health systems, because the Conservatives are making such a fine job of dealing with them in England. If you define “a fine job” as meaning running them into the ground and provoking a crisis on a scale unlike anything we’ve seen in Scotland. Ruth wants to import all the same failed policies into Scotland. In all this she is assisted by her chummy relationship with the Scottish media pack, a media pack which not so many years ago she herself was a part of. For the Scottish media, holding Ruth to account means taking a cheeky photo of her as she poses with a barnyard animal. Anything to disguise the fact that her party is an ethical desert notable only for its opportunism, its ruthless pursuit of its self-interest, and its hypocrisy.
In a lovely cosy soft soap interview on the BBC, billed as Ruth telling us how motherhood had changed her, it was all fluffy bunnies and bonhomie. Ruth told us that she wants everyone to come together. Because that’s what the Conservatives are most noted for, bringing everyone together, reaching out across party divides, seeking consensus, and building bridges. And in the exact same way Ant McPartlin is most noted for his contribution to road safety.
It was in very marked contrast to any interview with just about any SNP politician you care to mention. There was no interruption, no insistent repetition of questions, no holding to account, and certainly no bitter hollow laughter at the sheer and utter gall of a Conservative politician preaching about the evils of division. There was no attempt to interrogate Ruth on her change of mind. It wasn’t so long ago that she acknowledged that it was for the people of Scotland to decide when they wanted a referendum. Now she thinks it’s for the British government. It was all terribly polite, terribly douce, and a terrible failure from the BBC. We have Hello magazine for that sort of thing.
However it’s Ruth’s remarks on Brexit that really unmask the intellectual vacuuity at the heart of the Davidson project. Ruth wants everyone, leavers, remainers, Norway plussers, and no-dealers, to coalesce around a common Brexit position. She doesn’t say what that position might be of course, because it doesn’t exist. She can’t even get Scottish Conservative MPs to support her, and they were elected as representatives of the Ruth Davidson’s Ruth Davidson for Greater Ruth Davidson Party. They were, let us not forget, supposed to vote in a bloc to defend Scotland’s interests within the UK. It was Ruth herself who assured us of that.
On Brexit, what she’s really saying for Scotland is that she wants Scotland to put up and shut up and to accept whatever it is that Westminster decides. She has nothing positive to say, no policy initiatives, no concrete suggestions. It’s fine that Scotland has no input on Brexit. It’s OK that we haven’t been consulted. It’s just dandy that the British government has used Brexit as an excuse to undermine the devolution settlement and to rip up the explicit promises it made not to change the powers of Holyrood without Holyrood’s express consent. Ruth is fine with all that because Ruth doesn’t want agreement. She wants submission. Her proposal for dealing with the divisions that she claims so exercise her is to demand abject surrender. Everyone needs to compromise except Ruth and the Tories.
Ruth asserted that she doesn’t want to be Prime Minister, and won’t be throwing her hat in the ring for Conservative leadership. That’s because a remain supporting Scottish lesbian has precisely zero chance of securing the support of the English nationalist reactionary Brexcrementalists who make up the majority of Conservative party membership. Ruth may be deluded about her own capabilities, a delusion in which the Scottish media fully collaborates, but even she recognises that she’s never going to lead the UK Conservatives and will never be prime minister. Instead, she’s focussing her efforts on a goal which is every bit as much of a fantasy. But then it can’t be a fantasy because the Scottish media keeps telling us it’s a serious prospect. And to be fair, it is true that it’s not a fantasy. It’s a bad joke that wouldn’t even grace a Christmas cracker. Ruth wants to be the next First Minister of Scotland.
Realistically, my dug has a better chance of becoming the next First Minister than Ruth does. She leads a party which has already reached its ceiling of support and which is set to lose votes hand over fist because of its mishandling of Brexit and its appalling management of public services in England. We get the English news on the telly in Scotland Ruth, your party made sure of that. We can all see what a poor job your colleagues are doing.
We see the ill effects of Conservative rule in Scotland too, the foodbanks, the increasing poverty, the growing gap between rich and poor. We see the demonisation of the poor and the normalisation of deprivation. We see how the UK has become an international laughing stock, insecure, unstable, and marching blindly into an unknown future where the vultures of the Brexit extremists threaten to sell off what’s left of our public assets and privatise what’s left of our public services. That’s the future you promise us Ruth, and we’re not convinced by your cheery grins and your homely anecdotes about how motherhood has changed you.
Even if, by some miracle, the Conservatives do manage to become the largest party in the 2021 elections, who is going to go into coalition with them? There are not enough Lib Dems, and not even Labour is that stupid. But back in the real world, the Conservatives in Scotland are facing huge losses in the elections to come, and no amount of fantasies from the Scottish media ruthiverse are going to save them.
Ruth is yesterday’s news. Very soon even the Scottish media will have to add her to the long list of saviours of the union who couldn’t even save themselves.
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