Tory cat food

Charlottesville is an event that is based in a tragic American history of racism and discrimination against minorities which has long blighted the Land of the Free. For too long Free meant male, middle class and white, and there are still powerful and violent groups in the USA who are determined to ensure that the only freedom that matters is the freedom to discriminate, the freedom to hate, the freedom to oppress. Those groups were manifesting in all their ugly hatefulness in Charlottesville, and the reaction of the American president was to equate the practitioners of hate with those who opposed them. Democrats and Republicans both have condemned his moral cowardice. Trump’s racist mask has slipped and Americans across the political spectrum have denounced him for it. Trump said after he was elected that he intended to unite the American people, and now he’s done exactly that, just not in the way he planned.

In Scotland we look askance on an American president who is incapable of making an unequivocal denunciation of Nazis. The so-called Alt-Right protesters in Charlottesville aren’t merely hyperbolic Nazis, they’re not just metaphorical Nazis. They’re you’re actual nasty Nazis. They’re overtly racist, openly anti-Semitic, proudly homophobic, aggressively misogynistic. Our politicians, we like to think, are better than an American president who draws a moral equivalence between Nazis and people who protest against Nazis. And by and large, and to their credit, they are.

Ruth Davidson has rightly condemned Donald Trump for drawing a moral equivalence between Nazis and people who protest against Nazis. On Tuesday evening she tweeted “The President of the United States has just turned his face to the world to defend Nazis, fascists and racists. For shame.” She deserves credit for that. It’s a far stronger and clearer condemnation that that which her boss managed. Theresa May avoided referring to Trump directly. I don’t often say this, but well done Ruth.

But, and it’s a big but, it’s safe to condemn an unpopular American president. Now show some proper leadership Ruth. Prove that you’re not just a self-publicist who is jumping on a popular bandwagon and condemn Scotland’s home grown bigots and extremists in equally strong terms. And I’m not talking here about independence supporters being rude on Twitter.

Ruth’s very keen to condemn independence supporters who misbehave. That’s easy when you’re the head of the most aggressively British nationalist of Scotland’s major political parties. Condemning bad behaviour amongst your opponents just counts as point scoring, not as leadership.  Real leadership comes when you’re able to speak out against the nastiness that lurks under your own flegstone. Ruth is a whole lot less keen to say anything about extremist British nationalism even though the actual fascists, the racists, and the sectarian bigots are overwhelmingly on the red white and blue side of the Scottish constitutional debate. I’ve never even heard her condemn the British nationalist trolls who infest the comments section of the Scotsman. You’d think that would be easy.

More seriously, Ruth avoids condemning sectarian organisations. She has never overtly and unambiguously disassociated the Conservative party from the Orange Order and made a strong and unequivocal condemnation of the bigotry and discrimination which that organisation fosters. She says nothing about the Orange Order and the Protestant supremacism which so many members of her own party cheerfully dog-whistle to. Ruth says nothing about the slew of Tory candidates who were revealed to have connections to the far right or to sectarian organisations which espouse Scotland’s home grown racism, the racism of the anti-Irish variety.

From the perspective of a Scot from an Irish Catholic background, the Orange Order and the white supremacists of Charlottesville are creatures cut from the same racist cloth. They all march in paramilitary uniforms. They all have an ideology based in exclusion of sections of the community because of who they descend from. They all think that the only freedom that matters is the freedom to discriminate. Both of them claim that they’re only expressing their culture, and both have a culture of hate. Both have colours that don’t run, they just drip with hatred for those who aren’t like them.

The English born US talk show host John Oliver spoke about Trump this week and how Trump is lauded and applauded by the American far right. Referring to Trump’s refusal to make a clear denunciation of yer actual Nazis, John said that Nazis are like cats. If they like you it’s because you’re feeding them. We could say the exact same thing about Ruth Davidson and an Orange Order which adores her.  Aren’t you upset Ruth, to be loved by a sectarian organisation?

Ruth Davidson isn’t a racist. She’s not a sectarian bigot. But she never clearly and unhesitatingly condemns those on her own side who are, and there are lots of them. If Ruth Davidson had the courage of her undoubted anti-racist convictions, she’d make the Orange Order hate her. You’re not a champion of anti-racism when you pick and choose amongst racists. And I’m not talking here about people who say things that some people find offensive. I’m talking here about people who actually put their offensiveness into practice.

Go on Ruth, prove to us all that you are as committed to anti-racism as we all want to believe you are – you can do it by explicitly stating that membership of the Orange Order is incompatible with membership of the Conservative party, and that support for the big drum bangers means exclusion from your party. Say that the Orange Order is what it really is, an an organisation founded in order to perpetuate and promote a racist ideology aimed against people of Irish Catholic origin. Crack down on the Tories who use social media to nudge nudge wink wink support the boys who march in their uniforms to the music of hate. And it would be nice if you could apologise for the historic role of the Conservatives in being complicit with sectarianism in Scotland as a means to protect the Union.  Prove to us that the Conservatives in Scotland have a zero tolerance policy for sectarianism.  Condemn it like you condemn Trump.

We all want a better Scotland, a peaceful and peaceable Scotland, an open, tolerant, and inclusive Scotland. That’s not going to happen when it’s only one side in this constitutional debate which is expected to be self-reflective and to examine its own sins. We need all Scotland’s politicians to have the moral authority to condemn an American president who draws a moral equivalence between Nazis and anti-Nazis. But that’s not going to happen unless those politicians also have the moral fibre to identify and condemn the equivalent evils that still blight Scotland and which infest their own party in the way that American bigots infest the US presidency.


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0 thoughts on “Tory cat food

  1. I think we are in for a long wait if we expect Ruth to condemn her own bigots and racists, simply because they are on her side. That makes them supporters and she will not risk alienating them. We should remember that it is only the “Separatist Cybernats” who are abusive.
    As long as the Tories and their hate-filled newspapers are free to abuse and insult minorities, it will become the norm to see these views as acceptable. We should challenge them at every opportunity to ensure that those who peddle this filth are shown up for the disgusting human beings that they are.
    The sort of behaviour we are seeing in the US, and making a comeback in Scotland, should never be allowed in any civilised society.

  2. Hypocrite that’s all ruthie is a damn hypocrite though and though she was a remained during the eu refurendum then was a born again brexiteer she bad mouths us indy supporters over a few bad ones yet surrounds herself with bigots and racists in here own party plus she even let’s thersea may and every English tory be anti scottish yet when we call it out for what it is were being anti English plus she’s saying she’d be better for Scotland yet in ge2015 she let the daily mail run the headline 9/10 of Scots are a burden to the state complains about the snp not using the new 15% power over tax yet said Scotland shouldn’t get that power as we don’t deserve it bicth she is I could go on but you get the idea

  3. Like you, Paul, I applaud Ruth’s unequivocal condemnation of Trumpekthinskin’s attitude to the tragic events in Charlottesville. But like Andy MacNicol, I know that we will wait a long time for her to condemn the bigotry in her own ranks. Those with an eye (however unrealistically) on the leadership of the Tory Party or, failing that, the role of First Minister of Scotland, cannot afford to condemn anyone who may help them to either of those ends! I will not be holding my breath.

  4. The yoons have always called the SNP fascists and racists, privately among their own peer groups. Occasionally, a bam slips up and says it in public and is forced into a backhanded apology, by saying, “What I meant was …”

    The LOL publicly brags that it has Cooncillors in all the Yoon parties. Glasgow’s Catholic led Labour Cooncil was supposed to review the excessive LOL rallies and after a meeting with them, allowed even more rallies in return for votes. Glasgow now has more LOL rallies than Belfast and Derry put together.

    The Anglican LOL was formed to combat the alliance between the Masonic led United Irishman, Catholic and Presbyterian alliance against Anglican ascendancy persecution. Presbyterians were not allowed in till the 1840s.

    The LOL is openly racist towards Irish people and bigoted towards Catholics. It is an anti Irish and Catholic organisation and as such is entitled to be banned from displaying their ignorant bile in our streets. I speak as anti Old Firm and non religious person. Up the Jags!

  5. She just ain’t gonna do that is she! Too much at stake for her personal ambitions and she’ll just blag and bluster on bandwagons forevermore , supported by the ever- diminishing- in- credibility media.

  6. Does she really possess those latent positive traits that you credit her with?

    Is her condemnation of events in the US not just political opportunism?

    Ruth appears to say just enough on these subjects to appeal to soft Tories.

    Toryism is a broad church; they are not all ultra-right nastys.

    No. I do not believe that Ruth is nice. I don’t actually believe what she says about US events.

    It’s all carefully thought through opportunistic soundbites.

    Ruth really is, to her core, the most unpleasant sort of person.
    Just like many of her Orange Order, Ultra Unionist supporters.

  7. Yes, the right words came out in the right order from Ms Davidson. However, given the latitude she seemingly allows her members from every level of her party and support to enjoy on the subject? Also given a great deal of her current voter base have a less than savoury reputation or associations, both Conservative party vote and through Better Together? I’ll maybe not hold my breath waiting on Ms Davidson cleaning her house in wholesale and open fashion. Public record of recent times has not been kind to Ms Davidson’s party representatives on the issue of religious or ethnic tolerance. (Tolerance of any kind really)

    It is however a test of Ms Davidson’s resolve, her honesty and her willingness to truly heal and ‘unite’ (there’s that word again) our society. Can she do such a thing as denounce and punish those within her own party and distance herself from those less respectable elements who associate themselves with its aims? Is she willing to do such a thing?

    Let’s see if Ruth can walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Is there a statesperson in there waiting to happen, or merely the next camera op and soundbite?

    In her own time then.

  8. A party which depends on bigots, list votes, slogans instead of policy, lies and distortions, screamed but unfounded accusations and unsavoury links to financiers wil not, definitely not, do anything to alienate its supporters.

  9. Surveying this wider issue it becomes increasingly impossible to avoid the massive elephant in the room.

    https://off-guardian.org/2017/08/17/the-story-of-charlottesville-was-written-in-blood-in-the-ukraine/

    And yet there seem to be so many in one’s own corner of the room who not only possess the ability not to see it but are in deep denial of its existence. Preferring instead the simplistic comfort blanket distraction of ‘right on’ denunciation of deliberately manufactured Goldstein caricatures.

    The elites and the establishments which serve them know well how to play this game and so far they are playing a blinder. The reason that curtain behind which they reside is shaking so much is due to the laughter going on inside.

  10. He isn’t racist, he’s worse than racist. Racism usually stems through ignorance – as do most “isms”. I don’t think he’s racist, I think he’s calculating – he knows where his core vote comes from and he’s exploiting that – which is far worse than agnorance

    • Well said! Trump IS ignorant BUT he has low, animal cunning in spades and it is that which drives him, rather than any actual deep-seated, core belief in what these knuckle-draggers stand for.

      • I believe he’s feeding his followers “intermittent reward” which, we were taught in psychology classes (all those years ago!) delivers the requisite behavioural result.

        Excellent post, Paul. Needing to be said. Thank you.

  11. I’m a Catholic and have never hated anyone in my life. Why ban my religion? its not the religions of the world that cause the fights its the people who use it as an excuse to hate someone else.

    • I think that Max and Scran were being facetious. The foundation of all religions is love, compassion and healing. However, over time an organisation becomes important for itself rather that its beliefs. At that point egos come into play and rules are developed.

      The rules cause conflict within the organisation, and open warfare with other groups who claim that their rules are the only ones to point to the only truth.

      Hamish Imlach put it beautifully in a song many years ago when he sang, “When asked what they think of religion, they say ‘Och region’s all right’. But these boys are only religious when they want an excuse for a fight.”

      • The foundation of all religion is power. Invented by people who wanted to wield power over others by threat of their particular type of bogeyman.

        • That’s true of the organisation of religion but not of the origins. The likes of Jesus of Nazareth, The Prophet Mohamed and The Buddha didn’t want to control people or wield power over them – but those who organised their subsequent worship did!

    • I’m afraid that the monotheistic and “Abrahamic” religions have been so corrupted away from their origins – which were meant to be about peace, love and doing good “unto them that despitefully use you” – as to bear little resemblance to the actual teachings of Jesus of Nazareth or the Prophet Mohamed. Judaism was always a bit on the “smite the unbeliever” side – I suppose it came of only having one god where everyone else at that time had many – and Christianity and Islam now seem to have followed suit! And both Islam and Christianity have now split up into so many different sects and cults that they spend as much time “smiting” one another as they do battering the others! A load of bitter and bloody arguments about who has the better “imaginary friend” and / or who has correctly interpreted the teachings of said imaginary friend! I’m a pagan – and glad to be so!

        • Not really …. or not in the form which is a part of my life. Perhaps pantheist describes me better than pagan – I find the divine in nature and the natural world. My spirituality is a solitary and very personal thing rather than something which anyone else “tells” me to do, think or feel. I’m probably just an elderly Hippie with pretensions, Annie! 🙂

  12. OMG You Paul are far too kind to truthless Ruth. Ruth is only interesting in one thing her self promotion and has no constant position on anything. Ruth is a total hypocrite and a very nasty person so totally at home in The Nasty Party. Quelle Surprise.

  13. You know you’re onto a hiding, when ex-convict Jeffery Archer, sees Thatcher in you as he sees her in Colonel Rape Clause Ruth-less Davidson. But then again Archer needed a plethora of editors and proof readers to correct his awful books.

    Of which he’s sold over 250 million, which begs the question Who’s reading those god awful books? and why?

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