This Tory government is detestable


The Tories, whose relatively few supporters in Scotland spend their time on social media telling us how much they hate the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon – whom they usually refer to by some infantile insulting nick name – and (irony of ironies) ‘nationalism’, are this weekend clutching their collective pearls at the ‘dangerous’ political rhetoric of the First Minister, who told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, in between interruptions and being talked over the top of, that she detests the Conservatives and everything that they stand for. These are the same Tories whose supporters regularly take to the unreadable comments sections of the Herald and the Scotsman to berate the SNP and its supporters as ‘simpleton racist neds’.

Naturally the First Minister’s comment was the lead story in the Herald on Sunday, a publication which never misses an opportunity to trivialise and infantilise political discourse in Scotland. It was equally predictably heavily publicised by BBC Scotland, who claimed that what it insisted on describing as a ‘row’ has overshadowed the SNP party conference while doing its utmost to make sure this non-story overshadowed the SNP party conference.

As SNP president Mike Russell told the National what Nicola Sturgeon is “saying is very, very clear. The Tories were not elected by us, we have an unelected government. We have a Tory leadership that won’t even speak to her, we see the appalling right-wing policies that led to complete financial chaos next week. What is there not to detest in that?”

There is no row, most of Scotland detests the Tories and everything that they stand for, but when BBC Scotland broadcasts it never ever explains why that might be. Saying that you detest the Tories is in most of Scotland as non-contentious as looking out the window and noting that it’s raining again. In the case of the Tories that would be a shower of bile and contempt for Scotland and everything that a large majority in this country hold dear – decency, humanity, compassion and empathy for those worse off than ourselves.

Nicola Sturgeon’s comments are shared by the majority of the Scots public who detest the policies of a right wing government that Scotland hasn’t voted for, but which has given us austerity, food banks, attacks on the weakest in our society, institutionalised xenophobia, cruelty and callous contempt as government policy, corruption and the destruction of democratic safeguards. That remains the case irregardless of the shrieks of performative outrage from the Scottish Tories. I also detest the Tories and everything they stand for. I am very far from being alone.

However as ever, one of the most fundamental problems with UK political media is its apparently unshakeable belief that it’s far worse to be rude about people who do terrible things than is is to actually do the terrible things. Although I don’t recall a similar torrent of outrage and hand wringing from the Scottish media when Labour’s Emily Thornberry said that she hated the SNP. British nationalist double standards much?

So the Tories think that divisive rhetoric is bad now. That’s grand. Their outrage would be a whole lot more convincing if their party leader hadn’t just been cheered to the rafters at the Tory party conference after presenting a list of enemies whom she described as the “anti-growth coalition”, and the Home Secretary hadn’t said that her dream was to see a plane taking asylum seekers on a one way trip to an oppressive Central African dictatorship. Seriously, Tories, grow up.

This is not a row, this is only some pot stirring journalists who are apologists for British nationalism and a Tory party eager to deflect from its own not inconsiderable difficulties and a very real row about how Truss and Kwarteng have wreaked economic havoc in their very short time in office.

Naturally the comment provoked the Tories into their usual victimhood claiming response, which is the instinctive reaction of detestable bullies whenever they are called out for their detestable behaviour. As pointed out in this blog a few days ago, a recent study has shown that Conservative policies have been responsible for tens of thousands of deaths, as the party implemented policies which castigated the poor and the vulnerable in order to put more cash in the bank balances of the rich, but it’s the Tories who are the real victims here.

The real story here, which BBC Scotland and the Herald choose to bury under this childish idiocy, is that the UK is meant to be a voluntary partnership of nations but if we’re told by the UK Supreme Court in the coming days that Scotland can’t even choose to ask itself if it wants to become independent then the UK is no longer a voluntary partnership. The court sits on Tuesday to start consideration of the issue, a decision will be published in the coming weeks. If the court rules against the Scottish Government, as many expect it will, it would mean that under Westminster control there is no mechanism for Scotland to democratically decide its future for itself.

This would be a development of immense historic significance, of hugely greater significance than the bruised egos of members of an institutionally nasty political party who are upset at being told that their increasingly extreme right wing detestable destruction of public services and standards of decency and accountability in public office, and their redistribution of power and wealth to those who are already powerful and wealthy is in fact detestable.

The unpalatable truth here is that if you still support the Tory party after everything that they have done over the past few years and everything that they continue to do then you might just be a sociopath. And this party of Anglo-British right wing nationalist sociopaths could be ruled by the UK Supreme Court to have a de facto veto over Scotland’s right to self-determination. What does that say about this so called ‘Precious Union’ which Scotland has always been assured by Westminster’s apologists only exists because it is the will of the people of Scotland for it to exist. Yet how can that be the case if Westminster denies Scotland any mechanism to determine whether it is in fact still the will of the people of Scotland.

A mechanism for a Scottish independence referendum which can only be activated when opponents of independence are confident that they are going to win and can veto the process if they fear that they are going to lose is no democratic mechanism at all. It’s a mechanism for Anglo-British nationalist domination.

Democracy in Scotland is facing an existential threat, people are literally dying because of Conservative policies which punish the poor in order to benefit the rich, Tory mismanagement has caused economic melt down and thousands are facing penury as a result, yet BBC Scotland and large parts of the print media are concentrating on ephemeral political gossip and childish point scoring. I have said this before and no doubt I will have to say it many times again, but if Scotland had a mature media which accurately reflected the true breadth of political opinion in this country, we would be independent already.


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