We learned something very interesting last weekend. We learned that if you want to start a blog which claims to give a platform to voices that aren’t usually heard in the traditional media and puts forward radical and challenging ideas, it’s best to start a right wing blog and claim that members of the Conservative party and the British establishment are struggling to make themselves heard in the British media. For the sake of all the gods, don’t start a left wing pro-independence blog from a tenement in Barlanark. It’s only Conservatives who are really challenging and radical in a way that the mainstream media is interested in.
Call yourself Unherd, and claim that your blog is for those who want to “investigate unheard ideas, individual, and communities.” That would be unheard individuals like Ruth Davidson, who as we know struggles to get a hearing in the media, and then when she does she’s drowned out in a barrage of harsh questioning about her lack of any policies other than saying no to another independence referendum. Poor Ruth. You’d hardly know that she existed. It’s a tough life being so marginalised that you can only get a dozen press guys to turn up for your latest publicity stunt. But never fear, she’s exactly the kind of fresh and innovative voice that our new blog is aimed at providing a platform for.
Don’t bother doing a crowdfunder. That’s for the little guys. If you can, find a hedge fund millionaire to give you a shed full of money to start your new grassroots blog, and then you can get yourself an expensive office in a posh London tower block. This is much easier to achieve when your blog is providing a platform for Tory politicians with an eye on their career. It’s all the better if like Ruth Davidson they are able to invite a pubload of journalists to a quirky photo shoot with a gutted fish, which is a reasonable description of an appearance alongside Michael Gove. Then your new voice of the ordinary punter blog site will get touted on the Andrew Marr politics show as a refreshing addition to the world of British political media. Success! That’s the empowerment of the common person provided by social media. It’s just a shame that it’s as grassroots as window display in one of those shops where there are no price tags because if you need to ask how much it is then you can’t afford it.
The most surprising thing of all that we learned over the weekend was that Ruth Davidson fancies herself as the deep thinker of the Scottish Conservatives. Ruth has also been in the news this week complaining about the abuse she gets on social media about her sexuality, her size, and her uselessness. I’ve got no time at all for people who attack others because of their sexuality. I’ve got no time at all for people who attack others because of their size. There is no excuse for that kind of name-calling, and it ought to stop. Attack her for what she says. Attack her for her ridiculous attention seeking antics. Attack her for her woeful lack of policies. Attack her for her refusal to condemn the sectarian bigots on her own side. Attack her for putting the interests of her career and her party before the interests of Scotland. It’s not like Ruth doesn’t give us plenty of perfectly legitimate ammunition. Ruth Davidson’s sexuality and weight are completely irrelevant to the fact that she really is useless.
Ruth proved her uselessness with her article on Tory activist Tim Montgomerie’s new totally grassroots-no-really website. It was a very clear attempt to position herself in the Tory leadership contest while seemingly condemning other politicians who are positioning themselves in the Tory leadership contest. This was the only clever and useful thing about the article, at least from Ruth’s perspective, although the word “underhand” is probably more appropriate.
The article itself was a second rate rehashing of soundbites that would best grace an O Grade modern studies essay. This is what passes for deep thought amongst the Scottish Conservatives. But then this is a party which counts Jackson Carlaw and his crusade against Gaelic road signs as one of its heavy hitters and by comparison with that the Big Colouring In Book of Things That Go Weeee counts as a philosophical tract. It’s very easy to pose as an intellectual when your party’s historical analysis consists of banging a big drum and chanting songs about 1690.
Ruth’s article asks why people are losing faith with capitalism, and she asks this on a website which has sprung to prominence from nowhere after it’s allegedly received a large amount of funding from a right wing businessman who backed Brexit, and which then gets touted on the BBC as the next big thing. She asks why people are losing faith in capitalism, and then cites a number of examples of inequality and injustice which are a direct result of Conservative policies, such as how young people are encumbered with student debt, or are unable to get on the property ladder. She never actually mentions that these injustices are a direct result of Conservative policies. If she wants to know why people are losing faith in capitalism, perhaps she only needs to look at her own party. The Conservatives are not the solution to capitalist malaise, they are the cause of it.
However what this is really about isn’t rebooting capitalism. It’s got a lot more to do with booting Ruth’s career. It’s not a coincidence that the day after Ruth’s excursion into grassroots (TM) blogging, there was a sympathetic piece in the Unionist press about how frustrated she is with the party leadership in London and intends to use the thirteen Tory MPs in order to shift the party leadership in a direction more to her liking. That’s all fine and dandy, but those MPs are answerable to the Tory Whips in Westminster, not to Ruth Davidson. They were not exactly vocal in ensuring that Scotland received a similar benefit to the billion or so that Theresa May was lavishing on Northern Ireland. Quite the reverse, they were keen to argue that Scotland didn’t merit any consideration.
Ruth is expected to be in London more frequently, attending meetings of the UK cabinet. This comes just a few days after reports that the Scottish First Minister would no longer have meetings with Theresa May, but would instead have to meet with Scottish Secretary David Mundell, and the failed Conservative candidate for Perth Ian Duncan. An unelected politician is the voice of the British government, and a politician who failed to win an election gets a seat in the cabinet. That’s what the Tories think of Scottish democracy. So much for Scotland being an equal and valued partner in this family of nations. In the exact same spirit as the Conservative treatment of Scotland, I’ve now decided that all communications I receive on social media from Tory apologists will be referred to my niece’s hamster. Ruth’s career and that of her party and Tory attempts to manipulate the media are very much in need of a reboot. They need to be booted out of power.
Wee Ginger Fundraiser
I’m doing a fundraiser this year to keep this blog going for another twelve month and to allow the dug and me to continue visiting local groups all across Scotland. You can donate via my crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo –
Or you can donate by making a payment directly into a special bank account I’ve set up for the purposes of this fundraiser, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send the necessary information.