IT was Easter weekend, the holiest time in the Christian calendar, and our Conservative Prime Minister took the opportunity to preach at us about the message of the god that she worships.
Presumably that would be the one who said blessed are the poor, for they shall inherit a benefits sanction; blessed are the disabled, for they shall have their Motability cars taken away from them; but blessed above all are the high earners, for they shall get a tax break that allows their private school-attending children to get extra riding lessons and a second skiing holiday this year.
But what she didn’t tell us was that she was planning another General Election on the back of broken Labour Party and in order to silence her critics within her own party.
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Blessed are the Tories, for they have a crushing majority in England in the opinion polls. This General Election isn’t about uniting the country, it’s about uniting the Tory Party. It gives May the chance to kill off the Conservative Remainers for good and to secure an unassailable majority in a supine Westminster.
She doesn’t want to unite the country by achieving consensus, she wants to unite it by crushing all opposition, and Scotland is a part of that opposition. There’s little that’s Christian about her politics.
In the gospel according to Theresa May it says: “And Jesus said: So I say unto you, ask and it shall be given to you; search, and ye shall find; knock, and the door shall be open for you. Except if thou art a disabled benefits claimant, for thou canst take a hike after Theresa hath kicked away thy crutches.
“And thou canst take those rape victims and their children with thee as well. For verily this government is united in its determination to get a rich man’s camel through the eye of a needle and the rest of you can put up and shut up. For yea, if we put our fingers in our ears we cannot hear the protests and can tell ourselves that the country is united.”
That would be the same gospel in which, when it said “suffer little children”, Theresa thought it was a commandment. There’s a special place in hell for politicians who dress up cruelty as Christianity.
Theresa is not only reading some version of the gospels that no-one else has ever seen, she also seemed to be suffering from the after-effects of a hallucinatory Easter egg.
The whole country, opined Theresa, is united in striving to get the best from Brexit. To which the tiny number of people who had made it through Theresa’s robotic delivery and were still awake screamed, “No it isn’t!” at the telly. Wild buffaloes ridden by Ruth Davidson could not compel most people in Scotland to get behind Theresa May, except possibly if it was to shove her Brexit bus off a cliff, taking her offensive and inhumane policies with it.
The General Election to be held in June will give the people of Scotland their chance to have their say on the Tory Party. Despite trying for the past four years to present herself as a caring compassionate modern Conservative who’s put the nasty party label to rest, Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Tories have been revealed in all their obnoxious and inhumane horror as apologists for and supporters of the same heartless inhumanity that the Tories have always stood for.
Not only does Ruth refuse to condemn the abhorrent rape clause, forcing women who have been victims of sexual assault to go into the details of their abuse with a potentially unsympathetic and untrained DWP official, she had the sheer gall to try to take the moral high ground, claiming that it was up to the Scottish Government to mitigate the policy as though that somehow absolved her party from introducing it in the first place. Now Ruth’s name is forever linked with the rape clause. In June if you vote Tory, it’s a vote for cruelty.
ALL that is bad enough, but the build-up to next month’s council elections have seen a series of Conservative candidates exposed as supporters or former supporters of some very unpleasant far-right politics. For one candidate to have been revealed as such would have been unfortunate, two would have been embarrassing, three a bit of a PR disaster. But when it’s eight or nine or more, it says that there’s something systematically wrong at the heart of Tory selection policy.
It says that the party finds a far-right past to be perfectly acceptable in its candidates. It says the Tories seek to normalise the divisive and nasty xenophobia of the likes of Ukip. And then they decry independence supporters as divisive for wanting to engage in civil politics.
In need of something to distract the media from the fact that the Tories are, to put it kindly, a bunch of offensive and morally bankrupt reprobates without any policies other than saying no to a referendum, the Scottish branch of the nasty party are threatening that if the Scottish Government presses on with its manifesto commitment to hold another independence referendum, the Tories are going to flounce out of Holyrood in a huff. To which anyone who is opposed to their vile policies can only reply, “Good. And I hope the door slams on your backsides on the way out.” Some of us would even start a crowdfunder to pay for their fares so they can go as far away as possible. New Zealand is nice this time of year. That’s where TV presenter Neil Oliver went to avoid the SNP. They could join him in petulant hair tossing.
Perhaps it might help the Tories to get some C-list celebrity support from the broader Unionist campaign in order to improve their image. Neil Oliver’s not the only TV presenter who opposes independence. Neil opposes independence because he hates nationalism, except for the British variety which is better than any other nationalism because it isn’t nationalism at all.
Dan Snow opposes independence because his wife’s family have a Highland holiday property the size of West Lothian and that’s a better metaphor for the British Empire than all of his telly programmes put together. Ben Fogle opposes independence because he thinks he’s a mountain in Wester Ross. He’d be Beinn Fhoghail in Gaelic, which means a mountain of offensiveness. Which is an even better metaphor for the British state than Theresa May’s government have in mind for us all after June, come to think of it.
There’s nothing great about Theresa’s Britain, except for a great deal of poverty, inhumanity, inequality, and selfish greed. The biggest division in this country isn’t the division between independence supporters and unionists, it’s the division between the haves and the have-nots, and those are divisions which are being fostered and made worse by Conservative policies. They have no intention of bridging Scotland’s divisions, only in widening them for their own selfish ends. They’re divisions which are far worse than divisions of opinion, they are divisions of life chances, of opportunities, of access.
The Tories are likely to secure a crushing majority in England in June’s election, which they intend to use to force Scotland to shut up and bow before them. That’s how Tories propose to achieve unity. This is Scotland’s chance to stand up and say that we will not consent, that Scotland will have its say. In June, we can vote to say that we reject May’s Brexit, we reject her theatre of cruelty that poses as Christianity, and we reject a Westminster that refuses to allow the people of Scotland to determine their own path. We can vote to give the SNP an explicit mandate for a second referendum on Scotland’s future.
May’s election call will certainly strengthen her position in England, but it will even further weaken her in Scotland. All the polls show the Conservatives will win a majority of seats in England, and the SNP will win a large majority of seats in Scotland – and that gives an unquestionable mandate for a referendum. This is so-called unity election that will bring about the end of the Union.