We know now that it’s Rish! Sunak and the exclamation mark of ambition and the cosplaying play-doh Thatcher Liz, if you don’t like these principles I have others, Truss who are the final two candidates in the contest to become the next worst Conservative Prime Minister in living memory, although the word Conservative is probably superfluous in that sentence. The two are now trying to out-right wing bastard each other in a ballot of Conservative party members. May the gods help us all. Truss has vowed to send more asylum seekers to Africa, a promise that would not have looked out of place on a National Front leaflet in the 1970s. Not to be outdone, Sunak promises to incarcerate those who haven’t yet been palmed off on some third world dictatorship in prison ships, presumably so that their foreign feet will not defile Britain’s hallowed soil.
Truss using the Daily Mail in order to promise to send more migrants to Africa sums up this vile Tory party. There is no sense of social responsibility, no integrity. Compassion and empwthy are seen as weakness. All there is is a cruel and callous bigotry masquerading as governance in order to appeal to the profound insecurities of bitter right wing elderly white men who hanker for the 1950s when they could still tell themselves that Britain was a global power.
It ought to be obvious by now that a system which allows the members of a wildly unrepresentative political party to choose the Prime Minister is a system which is not only grossly undemocratic, but a system guaranteed to deliver an individual who is unfit for the highest office. However this is now the third time in six years that the Conservatives have subjected us to this farce and it has become normalised to the extent that the fact that it is an insult to democracy no longer warrants a mention in a British media which is too busy wetting its collective knickers about the respective candidates’ promises on tax cuts or their novel ways of being cruel to migrants and asylum seekers.
To give a flavour of how unrepresentative Conservative members are, a YouGov poll in 2021 found that 59% of those who voted Conservative in Scotland in 2019 (not party members) would support abolishing the Scottish Parliament, the only demographic group in Scotland amongst whom there is majority support for abolishing Holyrood. Only 20% of the wider Scottish population in this poll backed the abolition of the Scottish Parliament. We can assume that those who are committed enough to the Conservatives to actually join the party are even more unrepresentative of wider public opinion. Across the UK as a whole Conservative party members are disproportionately white, middle class, resident in the south of England, Brexit supporting, male, and elderly. These are the people who are going to choose the next Prime Minister.
Opinion polls of Conservative party members suggest that Truss will win. She’ll win in part because of the recent queues at Dover. No one in Britain from the media to the government to the opposition is allowed to name the real reason for those queues. It’s Brexit. We all know it’s Brexit, but it has taken a French minister to point out the obvious. The British media is only too keen to collude with the Tories and blame the French, the holiday rush, anything but the obvious. Before the Tory hard Brexit, cars were just waved through border control, but now thanks to Brexit everyone’s passport has to be stamped. Truss or Sunak won’t admit it’s because of Brexit, they certainly won’t do anything about it. Instead they will just cynically blame the French for doing what they themselves insisted had to be done.
Unfortunately the small and unrepresentative group of people who have the power to choose our next prime minister will look at those snaking lines of traffic and their Anglo-British nationalist cognitive dissonance will lead them to double down and blame the EU for castigating plucky little Britain for taking back control. They will see the traffic jams as an unjust punishment. In order to guard their feverish dreams of cake and sunlit uplands they will elect Truss, the self proclaimed champion of the Brexit myth, the defender of Johnson’s legacy.
When the Anglo-British nationalists voted to end freedom of movement it was the freedom of movement of Poles and other foreigners that they had in mind, not their own. When they decided that they wanted to take control of the border it was the UK border they thought about, not realising or caring that the point of a border is that there are two independent sovereign states on either side of it, while the mountain of luggage piles even higher at Heathrow because there are no longer EU citizens to employ as baggage handlers. Now the Brexiters are learning the hard way that Brexit means that France has taken back control of its side of the border. Truss and Sunak both collude in the comforting delusions of Anglo-British nationalism, but it’s Truss who has successfully positioned herself as the true heir to their deposed champion Johnson in the eyes of most Conservative members.
Truss shares many of Johnson’s worst characteristics, the boorishness, the contempt for democracy and accountability, the lying, the naked ambition, and the chameleon like willingness to change her, ahem let’s call them beliefs, in order to appeal to whichever constituency can further her career. What she lacks is Johnson’s upper class twit shtick and the patrician showmanship and Etonian charisma which to Scottish eyes are unfathomably appealing to a section of the electorate in England. Truss is so robotic in her delivery that she makes Theresa May seem warm and personable. She is easily the favourite amongst the Conservative party membership, despite warnings that she is incompetent and ineffectual, with her sole talent being her ability to take credit for the achievements of others. Dominic Cummings refers to her as the hand grenade because she destroys everything she comes into contact with.
Truss concedes that she may not be the most slickly presented, but insists that with her “what you see is what you get,” which is a bit of a worry because what we are seeing is an incompetent opportunistic and unprincipled idiot who cosplays Thatcher. What we are going to get is whatever promises her power, and that will consist of pandering to the far right Anglo-British nationalist frothers of the Tories’ European Research Group. To say the outlook is grim is an understatement.
Both Sunak and Truss have said that they would not “allow”, note the choice of words there another Scottish independence referendum. This is despite Sunak being on record as previously supporting another Scottish referendum after Brexit had been achieved, and Truss once stating that constitutional issues should be decided by a referendum. Naturally neither of them believes that they should be bound by their previous statements, however they are determined to ensure that the entire electorate of Scotland is bound by the campaign rhetoric of Alex Salmond and the SNP in 2014.
Meanwhile Johnson openly boasts that he will be back in number 10. Cummings speculates that Johnson is backing Truss because she will quickly crash and burn as Prime Minister, allowing him the opportunity to make a comeback. Johnson doesn’t care about the havoc she will wreak in the meantime. As long as Scotland remains a part of this dysfunction that calls itself the UK, we will have to care about the havoc, because it will continue to blight all of our lives.
This bout of fatigue isn’t lifting, not helped by the fact that I’ve had additional stress these past few weeks. I got ripped off by a seller on eBay, thankfully I’ve got my money back now, I got a bigger tax bill than I had been expecting, and a decision on my husband’s visa renewal is due this week. All this was stressful enough.
However to cap it all I finally got a decision on my PIP application. They have awarded me the lowest daily living payment, but have ignored at least five factors which would give extra points and entitle me to the higher rate. It’s a shocking ruling. It seems that they were just not listening to what they’ve been told about my condition and the help I need with daily living tasks.
Worst of all is that in their wisdom the DWP has decided that because I can hobble 50 metres with the aid of a stick and having to stop and rest halfway, I am not entitled to any mobility payment at all. In effect they have ruled that there is no difference between me and someone capable of running a marathon. They have ignored the facts that I suffer from post stroke fatigue, that I have fallen several times and have injured myself without being aware of it due to the lack of sensation on the left side of my body. They have ignored the fact that I have been ruled medically unfit to drive and have an inattention to the left which makes me liable to walk into lampposts and the like. They have also ignored the facts that I cannot stand for any length of time even with a stick, that I cannot carry anything because I need my working hand for my stick, so shopping is impossible, that I easily lose my footing because I have no instinctive sense of where my left foot and leg are, that I cannot leave the house at all when it is icy out, and that using public transport is, to put it mildly, challenging for me. None of this seems to matter. Even though I am utterly dependent on someone driving me about, apparently I have no mobility needs. It’s a nonsensical decision and a total farce.
Obviously I am going to appeal, but all this is additional stress and hassle that I really don’t need. I’d be lying if I said it was not affecting my mental health. I’m going to take some time off from the blog to prepare and submit this appeal and to find my equilibrium again. I hope to be back next week.
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