Tory Boy Andrew Bowie, who has never knowingly managed to look as though he’s not smug despite having nothing to be smug about, has declared that the Johnson administration’s internal market bill which undermines the devolution settlement is just the start. Get used to it, he smugly declared on Twitter where his account is bedecked with a photie of himself looking smug. You couldn’t read that comment without realising that it’s finished by an implicit “or else”.
It’s an attitude which might play well with the staunch mob who comprise the dwindling base of Tory support in Scotland, to the rest of us it smacks of a rank arrogant colonialist mentality. “The UK Government is back in Scotland. Get used to it,” he declares, not even pretending to hide the triumphalism and the fact that this bill represents an assault on the devolution settlement and an assault on Scotland itself. Eat your cereal, Scotland.
What he really means is that England’s choice of government is determined to overrule and override the democratic choices made by the people of Scotland. Screw you, Scotland, and screw your devolution. We won’t be getting used to that, Andrew. And we won’t be lectured to by a smug over promoted and pompous six chip pretentious fish supper from a Conservative party students association.
In an article for Scotland on Sunday, the smug MP smugly wrote that the Internal Market Bill was good for Scotland. It’s been rejected by the Scottish Parliament. It’s been condemned by the Farmers Union, the General Teaching Council for Scotland, and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry. Theresa May – with whom a smug looking Andrew pictures himself in his tweet – cannot bring herself to support this bill, which threatens to break international law. She described it as reckless and said that it damaged the UK’s reputation. Is she one of those “separatists” that you castigate too, Andrew?
This bill unilaterally makes far reaching changes to devolution despite the promise made by the Conservatives themselves that they would not meddle with the devolution settlement without the express consent of the Scottish Parliament and despite the fact that they lost heavily in Scotland in the General Election of December 2019. The only people who think this bill is a good thing are those Tories who seek to destroy the devolution settlement and who have no respect for the promises that they themselves made in order to keep Scotland as a part of the UK.
The Tories haven’t won an election in Scotland since 1955, but they still think that they have a god given right to tell Scotland what’s good for it. In the space of just six years we’ve gone from “We love you Scotland. Lead us don’t leave us. Let us deliver the most powerful devolved parliament in the world” to “Suck it up. Do what you’re told. We own you.” Despite what Andrew Bowie so smugly claims, this bill will not save the UK, it is another reason why it’s being destroyed. And it’s being destroyed by those who claim to love it the most. Keep up the good work Andrew. That smug grin of yours is the smugness that comes from self-delusion. It’s as hollow and shallow as support for the UK in Scotland.
What is truly astonishing is that at this juncture in Scottish history, the Conservative branch office in Scotland believe that this is the correct tone to take. He represents a minority party, led by a wildly unpopular leader, and clearly doesn’t care that the attitude he displays will only alienate most people in Scotland even further. He displays that classic case of mistaken identity commonly found amongst Conservative politicians – the difficulty in remembering that they are not gods. There is no egoism more insufferable than the Scottish Conservative belief that they are untouchable. It has been said that complacency is the biggest struggle that we all have to fight. The Scottish Conservatives gave up that struggle a long time ago. The biggest problem of the Scottish Conservative elite is that it is neither smart, nor competent, nor capable. In fact they are not an elite at all. They’re simply what floats to the top in a barrel of rot and decay.
Andrew’s smugathon came on the very same day that an opinion poll was published showing that 64% of people in Scotland believe that this country will vote for independence at the next referendum. 53% are currently in favour of independence according to the same poll, and 56% believe that a pro-indy majority in the next parliament provides Scotland with an absolute right to another referendum. What these figures mean is that there is a significant number of of people within Andrew’s own support base who believe that the precioussss union is already lost. Not even his own supporters believe that what this Conservative government is doing is good for Scotland. They’ve given up on the precioussss union just as Andrew and his colleagues have given up on the battle against complacency. Get used to it, Andrew tells us, as Scotland tells Andrew that it has no intention of getting used to his party’s arrogant contempt.
There is now a strong and consistent majority support in Scotland for independence. There’s a growing expectation that Scotland will soon leave the clowns and the balloons of British nationalism to their own sad and squeaking devices. If there was a time for tact and conciliation from the British Government, this would be it. Instead what we get is an adolescent triumphalism from a Tory boy who can’t even manage to stand out in a field of six. A word to the wise Andrew, if you’re going to be triumphalist it helps a lot if you first do what’s needed to make sure you’re going to win. Instead all that your government is doing is to drive ever more people in Scotland into the welcome arms of the yes movement. It started as a trickle. It’s now a torrent. It will become a flood when your Brexit strikes. We refuse to get used to your party’s lies, its deceit, and its incompetent chaos.
Scotland will soon be out of here. Out of the grasp of Johnson and Cummings. Out of the malign cage into which Westminster has imprisoned our aspirations and dreams. Out of the sinking ship of British exceptionalist nostalgia. Your party, your Brexit, and your xenophobic regressive bunting-fest that passes for politics are finished in Scotland – get used to that, Andrew.
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