The Tories can’t save a Union they want to abolish

north britainRuth Davidson, the erstwhile Saviour of the Union according to the British media, at least before she realised that her cosmetic exercise in putting some modern and tolerant drag on the reactionary and rotting body of the Scottish Tories had failed and she buggered off to the House of Lords before facing inevitable humiliation at the hands of the voters, has denied reports that she and her fellow failed politician the unreconstructed reactionary Arlene Foster of the DUP who like Ruth left politics to go and join the circus, in her case the right wing clowns of GBeebies News, are to join up and embark on a Save the Union tour.

It would have been the worst comeback since Sex in the City, more like Brass necks with no Pity. I wonder what it was about associating the cause of the Union with a dyed in the wool reactionary who is opposed to gay marriage and abortion rights and who is the darling of the Orange Order that made Ruth think that it was a bad idea? After all, this so called Union already a recipe for giving us the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson, who barring an unforeseen upset is about to be replaced by Liz Truss, a woman for whom there is as much chance of winning an election in Scotland as there is of Arlene Foster’s voter base kneeling before a statue of the Virgin Mary and praying for the well being of the Pope and a united Ireland. For the lesbian Ruth to go on tour with the gay marriage hating Arlene would not only be as implausible a double act as Cliff Richard and Slipknot, it would also serve as a reminder of how limited democracy really is under the Westminster system.

Davidson’s denial came after it was reported that Arlene Foster, who has recently launched a new “non party political Foundation” called the ‘Together UK Foundation’ which Foster claimed would “bring mainstream pro-Union voices from across the entire country to highlight the benefits that the Union brings to us all – mostly without us realising it.” The report also announced that Foster would “hit the road with the likes of Ruth and show people what the Union means.” In the case of Foster’s supporters it means bonfires, big drums, and sectarian songs about being up to your knees in Fenian blood. This would appear to be yet another of those well funded anti-independence initiatives which enjoy a suspiciously high profile in the media.

Being lectured on the benefits of the Union by Arlene Foster is like listening to Harold Shipman explain why there is no need to supervise GPs whose vulnerable and elderly patients change their wills in their doctor’s favour.

Ruth Davidson is scarcely in any position to lecture Scotland on the benefits of this supposed Union, a Union which her fellow unelected Conservative politician Lord Frost has determined doesn’t really exist. The demand for independence is above all driven by a desire for proper democracy in Scotland and governments which are elected by and accountable to the people of Scotland. As a member of the unelected House of Lords, Ruth Davidson epitomises the democratic deficit that Scotland faces as a part of the UK.

The other difficulty that Ruth and Arlene are going to have in “selling the union” is that some of their Brextremist Conservative colleagues, like Frost, want to abolish it and replace it with a unitary “single country” of which Scotland would be nothing more than a ‘region’ with no more modern political import than Mercia or Wessex. Frost, who is a prominent supporter of the Conservative front runner Liz Truss, has urged Truss to ban her ministers from referring to the UK as a union of four nations but rather to stress that the UK is a ‘single great country.’  Truss has herself denied that the UK is a voluntary union of nations but has likewise insisted that it is a ‘single great country’.

Naturally there has and will be zero consultation with the people of Scotland about this radical change in the conception of the nature of the UK. The decision that the UK is not in fact a partnership of four nations but instead a “single great country” is one which the Conservatives are making unilaterally and imposing on everyone else. The reason that they are doing so is because it allows the Tories to justify to themselves their wish to ignore the democratic choices of the people of Scotland because the people of Scotland persistently reject the Conservatives at the ballot box. It is beyond hypocrisy that the Conservatives constantly harp on about how the SNP must respect the result of the 2014 independence referendum but they have repeatedly shown that they have nothing but contempt for the result of every single election in Scotland since 2014.

However if Scotland is merely a region of a “single great country” then it doesn’t matter how Scotland votes any more than it matters how an English county or city votes. All that matters is that the Conservatives secure a majority in the House of Commons to allow them to impose their will across the entire UK. Liz Truss has already said that she will expect her policies to apply across ‘the entire country’. Truss is not going to let a little thing like the devolution settlement stand in her way. Nicola Sturgeon recently remarked that the Conservatives are coming for the devolution settlement, but it is far far worse than that. What the Tories want is for Scotland to be abolished as a meaningful political entity for the electoral and party political advantage of the Conservative party.

The Conservative antipathy to devolution is well known, because they mistakenly blame devolution for creating the desire for Scottish independence. In fact devolution was created in an attempt to contain the desire for Scottish independence by giving Scotland some means to protect itself from the excesses of a Conservative party that Scotland did not vote for. However devolution has failed because devolution has been unable to withstand a Conservative party which is determined to ignore the democratic choices of the people of Scotland and which refuses to accept that the referendum result of 2014 was conditional on the Better Together parties coming good on the promises that they made in order to win that No result which they so badly craved.

The Tories have decided that the 2014 result meant that Scotland surrendered for all eternity to whatever the majority party at Westminster decided to impose on it, up to and including the unilateral abolition of the conceptualisation of the United Kingdom as a voluntary partnership of nations. That is the road down which this Conservative party is taking us. It’s a road to the destruction of Scotland as a meaningful political entity and leaving Scotland as nothing more than a historic region of a “single country” with no more modern political relevance than Wessex or Mercia.



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