Friday morning blues and the shameless revision of politicians

11
2949

Commentary by Derek Bateman

It’s over but who won? Not Theresa and the Tories – they had the setback of all time. Not Labour, they can’t form a government. Not the still-born Liberal comeback. Nor the SNP who dropped dramatically. Even UKIP lost their most important seat – on Question Time…

Derek Bateman

The UK sure didn’t win –we are now a weakened nation days from begining talks that will define our world and economic role for generations to come.

So can I first say thanks a lot to Theresa for screwing up so spectacularly and, of course, to Dave for getting so horribly wrong before her. And, yet again, thanks a million to the Scots who voted against their own independence when the chance arose, consigning us to a footnote in the decline of Great Britain as a serious western country.

We have now given support to parties who would deny us the basic democratic right of deciding our own national destiny, enshrined in the UN Convention. Courageous, adventurous Scots, turning away from the one way of extricating ourselves from looming disaster. And, by voting for Conservatives, some have approved a brutalised, cut-down, punitive state telling foreigners they’re not wanted. No wonder they were punching the air in Aberdeen, Moray and the Borders. That’ll show the world…

I suspect what it will show to Brussels is that Scots aren’t really much bothered by EU membership after all and certainly not worthy of making a special case of, unlike Northern Ireland where the prominence of the DUP in Westminster will ensure, along with the EU’s own negotiating stance, that the interests of Ulster will be key to the Brexit process to safeguard its interests. Scotland is now slipping off that radar.

The only chance we might have to celebrate is a change of Tory leader and a much more emollient and intelligent approach to an EU deal, involving full access to the market and the customs area.

Don’t forget the old Bodger, readers. Yaroo!

I’m not holding my breath because she hasn’t resigned and if she did we might be faced with Boris Johnson – it’s a procession of Tory clowns. But there’s no doubt it’s a chance to rethink this whole Screw Europe strategy. As one writer put it – if Remain had won by four per cent and immediately joined the Euro and Schengen, what would Leavers have said then? That’s the equivalent of where May’s ruthless strategy has led us.

I am pleased the Tories got stung and pleased that Corbyn was able to blast back at the discrimination he’s faced and the disgraceful media onslaught he’s suffered. How revealing that, when guaranteed consistent coverage by broadcast election rules, he was able to emerge as a likeable and credible character. Mind you, only a fool would believe his offer. Corbyn is not reversing the Tory benefit cuts and his party voted for the rapacious Tory spending reductions. Funding for renationalisation of rail and paying off student debt look very shaky.

SHAMELESS

Today’s delicious irony is Kezia claiming credit for seats won on the back of the man she publicly despised. Shameless hypocrisy – she’ll make a politician yet.

The theme I think is a backlash against complacency. Voters will not be taken for granted and Theresa May did that by blatant opportunism in calling an election assuming she would win – and with transparent slogans – after saying she wouldn’t go to the country. In Scotland the SNP jumped too soon into indyref2 mode assuming too much about Brexit. It was wishful thinking and looked opportunistic, giving not only a Unionist stick to beat them with but weaponising a widespread sense that they were getting above themselves. There were just too many of them in too many places. It didn’t seem right and frankly 95 per cent of seats on 50 per cent of the vote is obscene, albeit part of the system. Under PR this configuration with all main parties represented would be close to what we could expect.

Don’t take us for granted is the message, we’ll decide who we want to vote for. And I think it is an anti-SNP vote because the seats lost went to the most likely to defeat the Nat. It isn’t a pro-Tory vote or pro-Labour but anti-Nat. So drop the referendum idea? I don’t think so.

The SNP won the Scottish election asking for a mandate. It was approved in parliament. It has been endorsed again last night by the majority. More fundamentally, Brexit means our future is up for grabs and a hard Brexit could cripple Scotland. It is suicidal and irresponsible to remove the option of escaping Brexit by leaving the UK. And if, at this time of maximum national peril, the SNP puts short-term gain ahead of Scotland’s interest, then what is it for as a party?

POLICY

Look out for EVEL being cynically repealed by the way. If the Tories can only govern by votes in Scotland and Northern Ireland, they can’t win votes on key areas of policy from which we are excluded. Imagine if they got rid of it now there are a handful of Tory MPs in Scotland…

Time for a post mortem and for reflection – as well as thanks to those who lost their seats. But not time for dejection. This looks like a rebalancing after the tsunami and the SNP remains the biggest party, the government in Scotland and the national leaders. (Labour are celebrating coming third !) Labour indy supporters returned to their party because of Corbyn and aided inadvertently the Tories but they are still indy supporters. Kezia misreads the result. We remain on track.

*This was first published on Friday morning, before Mrs May marched to the Queen and promised to set up a loyal(ist) administration with her “good friends” the DUP. Ed

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

11 COMMENTS

  1. Scots after a quiet life will be content to be a foot note, an irrelevance. They’ve grown accustomed to their lowly place. The rest of us, on the other hand, are biding our time waiting for the system to implode. The UK is fracturing. The establishment has patently lost it. Our day may well be coming sooner than we imagine. The gods operate in curious ways.

  2. The SNP x 56 should have ended the union in 2015. The SNP x 35 is still a Scottish majority and can likewise end the union now the same way it began. What are they afraid of? With an Indy majority also at Holyrood, and a majority of Scots voting for EU remain, the UN General Assembly would be welcoming the democratic credentials supporting Scotland’s reinstated nationhood. Stuff Westminster and its games, or Indyref II.

    • What are they afraid of?

      The voters?

      Do you want a civil war? Really?

      Just a reminder, We had an independence referendum, you lost it, you chose to ignore that and kept banging on about it and now it seems even many of your fellow supporters are melting away.

      You apparently cannot see the irony of utterly ignoring the democratic vote in 2014, then using your wish to ignore another democratic vote in 2016 as an excuse to overturn the 2014 one and then boasting about having “democratic credentials

      Oh and another reminder Scots voted for the UK to remain in the EU, the ballot paper didn’t mention Scotland or independence, I know because I read it before ticking the remain box; that’s another area where your “democratic credentials” are questionable, i.e. you and the First Minister trying to hijack my remain vote to justify an obsession with independence.

      For goodness sake give it a rest…

      • If you reject the well established understanding that a majority of Scotland’s MP’s can dissolve the union of parliaments, at least insofar as Scotland is concerned, you therefore reject the constitutional reality that a simple majority of Scotland’s MP’s created the union in the first place. What was done, constitutionally, may be undone in the same way, regardless of unionist threats.

        • Yeah, whatever. I’ll not hold my breath for it happening, or for it ending well if it does. Your 35 SNP MP’s were elected by less than 37% of voters. If you think that is a sensible mandate to to try and enact a coup go ahead, good luck. On the other hand you could stop being obsessed with 300 year old history and just accept that you lost the independence referendum and despite over two additional years of bleating on about it the SNP still don’t seem to have convinced enough people, in fact in recent months Sturgeon’s obsession about foisting it upon us appears to have actually put even more people off her and her party. Perhaps she will convince us one day but probably not by following the route you propose above.
          One wonders what other 300 year old political practices are you in favour of?

  3. Another beautiful article, Derek, and so typical of Scotland, and we masochistic Scots – when asked if we wanted to control our own resources, for the benefit of ourselves and the World in general, we rejected that – as a young boy in Edinburgh, I dreamed of the sort of progressive country we could become, so voted YES in the ’79 election : 51.6% was NOT enough for the majority that I was proud to be part of, and now as an old goat, I need to add that to my list of missed opportunities, dry my eyes and re-read my Bible: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/159210.How_the_Scots_Invented_the_Modern_World

    We had the chance, and rejected it again – we must enjoy the poverty and pain, so I just have to learn to get used to it (here’s a wee hint, I never will) 🙁

  4. Yup, as you say Derek, there is no need for dejection. This shambolic Tory government still has the potential to destroy the union which, in Scottish terms, was just about their only campaign topic. If Indyref 2 has to be put on the back burner for a little longer, the gas is still flowing and the flame is still alight. The SNP will need to focus for a time on getting the best deal for the UK regarding Brexit.

    I can’t see May lasting long and her successor will not be a lame duck, more legless and totally flightless, I’d say. There will therefore be yet another General election possibly as early as the autumn. As politics in Scotland is ever changing we have to hope that the rest of Scotland votes as Glasgow did on Thursday – SNP 5, Corbyn’s labour 1.

    It’s a chance for the rest of Scotland to excise the shame of voting in such destructive numbers for a party which vilifies many minorities and hasn’t a scooby how to negotiate any foreign policy, never mind a deal over Brexit. We may yet see a labour SNP informal coalition maybe aided by some Libdems and the posssibility of full UK membership of the EU or the the Norway option of EFTA membership being very much back on the cards. These are prizes worth fighting for and failing success there, the swing towards Scottish independence will be irresistible. We shall get there in the end and the overall timescale may not be much longer than Nicola Sturgeon envisaged before Thursday’s setback. Just let the Tory/DUP coalition of regressiveness weave its destructive and incompetent path through the coming months and the pendulum will swing back our way.

    • “..we have to hope that the rest of Scotland votes as Glasgow did on Thursday”

      They won’t. The reasons why specific areas like Perthshire, Highlands & Islands, Aberdeenshire, Borders, west/central Edinburgh, NE Fife, Stirlingshire voted unionist (and mainly ‘No’ in 2014) are primarily because: a) this is where many of the wealthier are settled, retired etc; and, b) this is also where large numbers of people from rest-UK have come to live in Scotland (over one million people have come to Scotland from rest-UK during the last 20 years alone, according to census data). People from rest-UK coming to Scotland therefore replenish the unionist and No vote by up to half a million every decade, whilst about half this number of Scots depart elsewhere to seek opportunities that do not exist for them here. This trend has been ongoing for at least the past century, according to census data.

      • Great isn’t it? Of course the SNP administration in Holyrood are all for immigration, I could have sworn Nicola was banging on about attracting people to Scotland, are you not for that too?

        The worrying thing about the way you have articulated reason b) is that if you substituted ‘Britain’ for ‘Scotland’ and EU for ‘rest-UK’ in your post it could have been written by Paul Nuttall, or one of his carers. While your post doesn’t actually say as much it gives a strong impression that you might dissaprove of people being ‘wealthy’ (I note you didn’t specify exactly what that means) or of them settling in Scotland from the rest of the UK, I hope that wasn’t what you meant, but it’s a concern for many Scots that a significant minority of independence supporters do think that way, a post written like that is unlikely to help your cause much.

        • The word you are perhaps looking for here is ‘colonisation’, in the sense that Scotland appears to be undergoing, based on census data, a process similar to that which has already occurred to a similar extent in Wales, and previously in N. Ireland. In this regard such a development appears to have some consistency, wouldn’t you agree?

  5. Look out for EVEL being cynically repealed by the way. If the Tories can only govern by votes in Scotland and Northern Ireland, they can’t win votes on key areas of policy from which we are excluded. Imagine if they got rid of it now there are a handful of Tory MPs in Scotland…

    I’m not sure what you mean by that, there are 533 MPs for England and 297 are Tories, deduct the speaker and they still have a majority in England of 31 MPs, or is that wrong? If it’s not then it would seem that EVEL votes are the least of their worries….

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here