There has been a surge I support for the Conservative Party in Scotland and it got me thinking why?
There has been a lot of pointless thrashing about on Social Media about it from supporters of the other parties. I think it is a perfect storm of Ruth being the darling of her former colleagues in the media, disgruntled Labour Supporters looking for a new home and a general malaise once again in Scottish politics. Which is, of course what the Conservatives thrive on. They know that older, wealthier people are more likely to vote than young, working class. So they have made it a war of attrition, helped by their friends in the right wing media, where there is no actual policies discussed in any detail. Just a platform of screaming “No 2nd Independence Referendum!” That catch all phrase pulls in EU Leave Voters, No voters, Fed Up voters as well as their core support.
However, the last couple of weeks have been quite an eye opener and I would urge everyone being seduced by the No referendum rhetoric to read on and see just what is going on in the background of this party. Behind the glossy smiles and positive headlines, it has become clear that there is a lack of competency, lack of decency in some senior positions and lack of any ambition for Scotland as we move forward. So I have pulled together some examples, in the absence of any real scrutiny from the Scottish Press.
-Glasgow MSP Annie Wells tied herself in all sorts of knots last week on TV trying to defend immigration policy. It is very clear that the Scottish Conservatives are all over the place on this issue and it is an important one. Many people voting for them,voted for BREXIT and fora lot Immigration was central to that vote. While the UK Government want to reduce Immigration the Scottish Tories are critcising the Scottish Government for not attracting MORE immigrants to Scotland. So if you are voting Tory for LESS immigration in Scotland, it might be worth having another look.
-The Prime Minister, the actual Prime Minister, went on TV last week and accused the SNP of being fined for a breach of Election Spending Limits. Credit to the Chris Musson at the Sun for clearing up that this was a lie, and getting quotes from the proper authorites to prove that. It is surely a worry that the Prime Minister can,just about, get away with such a smear on a political rival.
-The Prime Minister, in the absence of any real plan it seems, on Brexit has called a General Election AFTER triggering Article 50 at a time when she has told the Scottish Government they cant have a special deal on BREXIT. Also that the Scottish people will not be allowed to vote on the BREXIT deal, despite 62% voting to remain in the EU and the Scottish Parliament having a majority for another vote once the terms of BREXIT are known.This is PM who is touring the UK hiding from actual voters, preselecting questions from journalists and refusing to debate live on TV. I am willing to bet we will all look back on this campaign and be very disappointed at the behaviour of not only the PM but the media, who should be holding this behaviour to account. Whatever your thoughts on the constiutional question you surely can see the rank hypocricy of this.
-In all the excitement in the media, trying to play down the SNP’s victory in the Council election a worring trend of New Conservative elected representative emerged.
Cllr Alistair Majury was found to be the man behind influential Unionist Twitter account Mulder 1981 which frequently used Sectarian and Racist terms, called supported of self determination for Scotland Nazis and hilariously used a website bragging about the size of his penis, giving rise to the boabygate hashtag. Cllr Majury has since been asked to step back from his role in the Boys Brigade and over the weekend featured on the cover of Scottish Catholic Observer, who condemned his language and offered support from the Nil By Mouth group. The Conservative party, while condemning his language, apparently talked him OUT of resigning his position on the council.
-Councillor Robert Davies elected on the same night to the same council has been reported for racist language used on photographs appearing on his twitter feed. Apparently it is joking to link Coloured people to Cannibalism. The photos are online,you can make up your own mind.
-Councillor Eric Holford elected for Airdrie and Shotts has been criticised for his comments on the NHS. Appearing to claim that Fleming would have been better to have not discovered penicillin and wishing to deny people life prolonging drugs due to the burdon the NHS. Cllr Holford appeared on this weeks Question Time, was chosen for questions and was asked to come back on reponses from the panel. Did he declare his position to the BBC team? It is worth seeing just to note his nods to the panel when the camera comes on him. Very telling.
-Newly elected councillor to Argyll and Bute Alistair Redman is a pretty devisive figure. A serial letter writer to the local papers, after his election he wrote the standard thank you letter but took time to highlight the “Separatists” who said he wouldnt be elected. In a letter where he claimed to be accessable to all it was surely a bit odd to use that terminology. So much for bringing the people together.
-John W. Buchan, (not to be confused with the many other Buchans in the fishin industry!) was pictured in his capacity as head of one of the fishing organisations courting the support of Scottish Conservatives with Ruth Davidson. It emerged later that his Social Media presence was pretty awful frankly. Racist, Sectarian, Homophobic language used frequently alongside some disgusting name calling towards the First Minister. Even seeming to call for Holyrood to be blown up and for physical harm to come to the First Minister. Mr Buchan is a prominent member of the fishing community in the North East, an activist for Scotland In Union and was featured in a video produced by No Borders during the Referendum campaign. Are we really to believe that his fishing colleagues, in particular the very influential and darling of the Scottish Media Bertie Armstrong, the local prospective MP (also pictured) nor the Conservative Party who set up the visit new nothing of his aggressive views? The thing about this is, most Scots, regardless of the costitutional question, are hugely sympathetic to the fishing situation. We are very proud of our fisherman and most of us agree that the CFP which the Tories signed up for is no longer fit for purpose. In an independent Scotland fishing (and farming) would be a huge part of our economy but in the much bigger UK it is as the Tories said in their briefing paper “expendable.” If this was about the future of fishing they would be engaging with all political parties, not just the ones like UKIP and the Scottish Conservatives who suit their POLITICAL and, some would argue their religious, agenda. That is very sad. But if the views of Mr Buchan is representative of the wider fishing community, they will find theselves losing the huge support they have for their cause, particularly those who wish for an Independent Scotland.
-Follow on from that then the use of terms like WATP (We are the people) by prominent Conservative MSP’s Professor Adam Tomkins and Murdo Fraser on social media. In light of the recent emegence of Sectarian language used by councillors and activists, it is very telling that Professor Tomkins has been given “puff” pieces in the Sunday Herald and the Scottish Catholic Observer this week. It is to the shame of both of these publications that neither confronted him with his use of this term and others. As a young person growing up my friends and I were frequently intimidated by poeople sreaming “We arra peepil!” in our faces. Usually around marching season or after old Firm Games. Please don’t tell me it’s about football as it was usually screamed at me by people who knew me and that knew I had no interest in either side of the Old Firm. Now I dont believe either of the MSPs are using it to intimidate, but it is playing to a particular audience and an attempt to troll another and is frankly distatesful and unbecoming of elected officials.
-Why just today, Ruth Davidson seems to be wading in to accuse Jeremy Corbyn of “wanting the IRA to win.” Now if that is NOT trying to antagonise and motivate a certain type of Scot then I do not know what is. People should be very careful of supporting this woman at this time. She is emboldened and gallus and very, very shouty. There is real concern here that the rhetoric is a return to the Scotland of old. Intemperate language is ill advised.
-No piece on the current crop of Conservatives would be complete without talking about the Family Cap and the Rape Clause. It was very telling in Ruth’s recent cringworthy interview on Radio 5 live with Emma Barnett that she is uncomfortable defending it. She could not at any time say the word “rape” and skirted around the issue several times. They have told us that it is a matter of ticking a box, getting a third party support worker to fill it in for you. They are all over the place on it.The idea of a cap on child benefit is disgusting, the idea that women who have been raped have to apply for an excemption is abhorrant. To have to re-live the ordeal, name the child, discuss intimate, personal detals with a health worker to get £13 is a damn disgace and shames everyone of us that allows it to happen. Add that to the NHS data hack and are we really sure this most private and personal information would be safe? In the same interview Ruth got into a terrible mess trying to defend the PM’s plans to reduce immigration to tens of thousands while still trying to square that with her assertion that Scotland should take more immigrants. Have a listen, it’s out there, she really isn’t very good.
-Footage emerged this week of Ross Thomson MSP trying to defend the Bedroom Tax, a policy which the Scottish Government has mitigated here. He says it is “great” but when pressed on how many of his constiuents it would affect, he couldnt answer. Out of touch and out of his depth, he rambled on and said NOTHING.
-Douglas Ross, desperate to unseat Angus Robertson in Moray, took to the papers last week complaining that he had to turn down running the line in a Champions League match because people were complaining when he missed important Holyrood business for football. However, should he take his place in the House of Commons he still plans to officaite at football as its his hobby. A hobby that bring him in substatial earnings. So it’ll be London Mon-Thursday, running the line on a Saturday and I hope the SFA do not show any favouritism in his travelling and training through the week. All that and surgeries/committees to get through. The good people of Moray should choose wisely on that one.
-Not confined to Scotland though, Tory Somerset hopeful James Heappey told a schoolgirl to “Fuck Off back to Scotland!” during a recent visit to her school.The discussion apparently got onto the prospect of Scottish independence and when she said she would vote yes, he came up with THAT considered reply. Blood and Soil Nationalism anyone? His response?? He apologised for any offence and it was a joke.
-We also had Tory Councillor Nick Harrington during the Eurovision having a bizarre rant at the Irish and Gypsies.
Now compare all of that with Professor Tom Divines fine piece in the Scotsman last week saying that the SNP had actually been a barrier to blood and soil nationalism in Scotland and in some ways commending Pro Indy Scots for NOT being affected by the big numbers of English voters who voted NO in the referendum. No pats on the backs though, we have our fair share of crazies and they should be called out and shamed at every turn. There is no place for intolerence in our country, we can disagree on the constitution and direction but we all have to do better and that has to be led by elected officials.
Compare Conservative policies like the Family Cap, Rape Clause, Bedroom Tax, Benefit sanctions with SNP policies like Free School meals for P1-3, Free Prescriptions, No Bridge Tolls, Free Bus Travel, Road Equivelent tariffs on Ferries and mitigating the Bedroom Tax. Compare performance of the NHS in Scotland with that of the rest of the UK. Of course it’s not all great. There is work do be done on Education, the Health Service and in supporting industry. In eradicating child poverty and homelessness.But these are not unique to Scotland. These are challenges faced by the whole UK. And actually in a General Election campaign where no one is talking about policy have no real bearing. But I think underline the different priorities and the fact that the SNP have to try to minimise the impact of the worst Tory policies on Scots. That is not healthy.
In closing I would ask you to compare the coverage of Neil Hay’s comments in the lead up to the last general election and the coverage of Pete Wisharts link to a chewing the fat joke at the council elections to the LACK of coverage of the racist and sectarian messages I have detailed above and ask yourself WHY is there no balance and what else are you not being told. Make an informed decision at this General Election, who will stand up for your constituency and Scotland? Will it be a back bench Tory MP whipped into line or an SNP MP driving them nuts fighting for the best deal for Scotland.? It has been a long time since Scotland had such a hard working group of MP’s in the House of Commons, so I urge you to give them another tilt at it. Lets see if they can get a deal to keep us in the Single Market yet and if there is another referendum you can always just vote no again.