Only two days to go now, and then the general election that no one wanted will all be over. It’s been the most dishonest election in memory, and some of us can still remember Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher. This is the election that no one wanted, and this is the election that will seal the UK’s demise. We’re standing on the edge of the white cliffs and the Tories are about to push us all off as Theresa May sticks up two fingers to the world.
The Scottish Conservatives will most likely gain some seats in this election, although they don’t deserve to. They will have won them by lying, cheating, and spending money they’ve received from secret donors. They will have won them by pretending that a vote in this election is able to change history, to undo a bill that’s already been passed by the Scottish Parliament respecting a mandate that was won in the Holyrood election of 2016. The Scottish Conservatives hide behind the politics of opposition to another referendum in order to distract attention from the very real and painful divisions that their policies have created, divisions of inequality, divisions of lack of opportunity, divisions of deprivation and despair. They hide behind opposition to a referendum because it means they don’t have to talk about austerity, they don’t have to defend their appalling record on social injustice.
What use is a Tory MP going to be to you if you have an issue with the bedroom tax? It’s a Tory policy. What use is a Tory MP going to be to you if you have been unfairly and capriciously sanctioned? It’s a Tory policy. What use is a Tory MP going to be to you if you’re facing many extra years of low paid work before you are eligible for a pension? It’s a Tory policy. Working class people who vote Conservative because they don’t want another independence referendum is like voting for a horde of brain eating zombies because you’re unhappy with the low life expectancy of parts of the East End of Glasgow. Has it not occurred to them that if there is another independence referendum they’re perfectly free to vote No? The Tories want to deprive everyone of having a choice.
The Tories campaign on a lie. They claim that the independence referendum was divisive, nasty, and ill-tempered, that it divided families, tore friendships apart. They lie. Democracy by definition means disagreement, and the peaceful resolution of those disagreements at the ballot box. That’s exactly what happened in Scotland in 2014. The only casualty on the independence side was Jim Murphy’s egg besplattered shirt. The violence that did occur came from the Unionists. If Ruth Davidson claims that she doesn’t want another referendum because of the divisiveness and nastiness it caused, she’s talking about the nastiness and divisiveness of her own side and it’s her responsibility to keep that in check. But all her party has done since 2014 is to cosy up to the neanderthal element in Scottish society. They don’t call the Scottish Tories the Jaffa Party for nothing, because they’ve got an orangey bit in the middle.
The only reason we are where we are now is because the Unionist parties didn’t fulfil their part of the bargain, they didn’t fulfil the promises and commitments that they made to the people of Scotland in order to win that no vote. Ruth Davidson wants her party and her Westminster to be freed from the constraints of democracy, to be beyond accountability. It’s a profoundly cynical and undemocratic position.
It’s insane to vote Tory to avoid the supposed divisions of a referendum campaign when a Tory vote only legitimises far worse, far deeper, far more painful and lasting divisions, the divisions between rich and poor, between have and have-not, between hope and despondency. It’s insane to vote Tory in order to avoid the uncertainties of an independence referendum when the Tories will plunge us into the certainty of the damage and destruction of a planless and clueless hard Brexit.
And to their utter shame, Labour in Scotland have all too often nudge nudge and wink winked with the Tories in informal agreements to defeat the SNP. A Labour party whose priority is not to defeat the Conservatives is a Labour party in name only. It’s a sham of a party, a disgrace to the labour movement, a stain on the proud history of the left wing movement. If Labour doesn’t prioritise fighting against the Tories there is no point to their existence. They deserve to lose their last Westminster seat. They deserve to be removed from the face of Scottish politics, because they’re a distraction, they’re useful idiots for Theresa May and Ruth Davidson.
The Tories in the rest of the UK have been every bit as dishonest as their Scottish counterparts. Theresa May tells us that she’d walk away without a deal with the EU, no deal is better than a bad deal she claims. But no deal is a bad deal. No deal is the worst deal of all. The only deal worse than no deal would be to sell off the entire population into the slave armies of alien overlords and condemn us all to a future of endless serfdom, although to be honest that’s pretty much the Conservatives’ plan for the economy after Brexit anyway. No deal isn’t like walking away from a purchase in a market. No deal means massive queues at ports as exports are delayed. No deal means massive disruption to the economy, it means hundreds of thousands of families living with uncertainty and the fear of deportation. No deal means a return to the empty supermarket shelves and collapsing country of the 1970s.
But here’s the good news. However well the Conservatives do in Scotland in this election they can’t win it. Even if the worst predictions of the polls are borne out, polls which are all over the place and are as reliable as blindfolding yourself and throwing a dart at a wall, they will still end up a long way behind the SNP. They’ve put everything into a single slogan, a single policy, a single minded obsession with opposing another independence referendum, and they’re going to lose. After Friday, even if they pick up a dozen seats or more, even if they have gained 10% or more in vote share, they’ll still be a long way behind an SNP which will have convincingly won the election in Scotland, and the Tories will have lost their right to claim that Scotland doesn’t want another referendum. By this time on Friday, the SNP will have won three elections in a row, massively and unequivocally. In any democracy, that’s a mandate.
All the Tory self-harming obsession with opposing another referendum has done is to make one more likely. But they can at least console themselves with the thought that there won’t be a third independence referendum. Because we’re going to win the next one.
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