It’s Halloween, the day that the UK was supposed to be leaving the EU, but isn’t, again. Scary clowns are very fashionable this Halloween, you cannae turn on the telly without seeing Boris Johnson, failing to die in a ditch. The idiot can’t even succeed at failing. This is the man who said, “I want everyone to know there are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels for a delay.” And then asked for a delay. Boris Johnson’s word is worth as much as the pound will be following a no deal Brexit. He’s been forced into a General Election with the leering Nigel Farage breathing down his neck and contesting the Tories for leaver votes. He’s facing a wipe out in Scotland and there’s no certainty that he can make up the shortfall with gains in leave voting Labour seats.
Now the Prime Minister is trying to blame the opposition parties for his failure to take the UK out of the EU. The opposition parties are more than happy to help Johnson die in that ditch. Instead of dying in a ditch, there’s going to be a general election instead. We’ll be quite happy to bury Johnson with our votes. Although personally I’m still holding out for the ditch. I’ve even bought a shovel.
This is an election about what sort of country we want to live in. It’s a choice between a Scotland that sets its own agenda, that steers its own course, that looks to its finer traditions of looking after the weak and the vulnerable, that aspires to be a modern liberal social democratic democracy, a beacon of human and civil rights, or a Scotland that’s under the thumb of the Tories in Westminster. That will leave us silenced and marginalised while our public services are trashed and the devolution settlement is hollowed out. It’s a choice between empowerment or powerlessness.
The Conservatives in Scotland are already preparing their manifesto, and that manifesto says simply, “Do as you’re told.” They’re preparing a future for us where British flags are plastered on everything to cover up the destruction of our public services. They’re going to preach about a union while they undermine and weaken anything and everything that makes Scotland politically distinctive. They seek the incorporation of Scotland into a unitary state, where this constituent nation within the UK will be little more than a glorified English county. That’s not a union. When the Tories tell you that they’re Unionists, they’re lying.
If the Tories really were Unionists they’d be seeking a UK in which Scotland has a strong and confident voice, a true union is a place where each constituent part has protections and safeguards to ensure that they cannot be browbeaten and dominated by the one part which happens to be the largest. That’s not what the Conservatives are in favour of. They’re in favour of concentrating as much power as possible into the hands of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, not giving it to Scotland.
This week the Conservative Prime Minister whom the Tories in Scotland are now fully behind despite their desperate Operation Arse to keep him away from the party leadership made a not so veiled threat to take control of the NHS in Scotland away from the Scottish Government. It’s only fair that people in Scotland get to enjoy the creeping privatisation and internal markets that have ruined the NHS that’s under Conservative control in England. You might think that this story would dominate a Scottish press which has consistently focussed on issues affecting the NHS in Scotland. You can’t turn on Reporting Scotland without being told about dire warnings that we’re all going to die because a new hospital has a leaky roof. You can’t open the pages of a Scottish newspaper without reading about how dreadful waiting times are.
So you’d be forgiven for imagining that when British Conservative Prime Minister threatens the future of the NHS in Scotland that it would be all over the media. But you’d only imagine that if you’d never seen a newspaper in Scotland and had never viewed the output of Pacific Quay. The lead story today is of course the awful and appalling news that the Lord Provost of Glasgow has resigned because she didn’t spend all of her clothing allowance. I’d clutch some pearls but of course that would come out of my clothing expenditure and the Daily Record might not approve.
Of all the Lord Provosts Glasgow has had, it’s the SNP one that the media has forced to resign. That same media that was strangely quiet about Glesca Cooncil when Labour was in power for decades. That same media that when a Labour Lord Provost of the city resigned after admitting to taking cocaine in his office, amidst widespread allegations of all sorts of dodgy goings on within the council, didn’t investigate those allegations. Instead it invited us to sympathise with the poor former provost’s struggle with mental health issues.
But anyway. Never mind the NHS. Never mind some of the well dodgy provosts that Glesca has had in the past. Never mind the Tory threat to Scotland and their lies about a union that’s really an incorporating unitary state in which Scotland is silenced and marginalised. Never mind that we’re facing being ripped out of the EU against our will and contrary to the promises of the Better Together campaign that the Daily Record backed in 2014, all so that the Tories can sell off the NHS in a trade deal with Donald Trump and enrich their disaster capitalist pals. SNP shoes and frocks. That’s where it’s all at. That’s the priority. If Scotland was a burning house, the Scottish media wouldn’t mention it, they’d only complain that the fire engine hadn’t been washed in weeks. In Scottish politics, unionist fear of independence trumps every other consideration.
They’re right to be afraid. Our employment, consumer, and civil rights are burning down, our jobs, our futures, are on fire, the devolution settlment is being consumed in flames, and it’s the Conservatives who are the arsonists. It’s their precious union that they’re burning down.
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