I wrote this phrase a while ago in a blog post and I’m using it again as it seems to me to sum it what’s going on politically now. In three weeks we’ll have an election which will determine what Britain’s future will be. There can be no doubt that this is the most important election of my lifetime. One the one side there’s the Conservative Party and no the other side there’s pretty much everyone else.
“Furtive”- what a great word that is. “Sleakit” – there’s another good word. In this election campaign it seems to apply to the Conservative Party candidates more than any other. They just will not enter into any debates about their policies with anyone. Theresa May is being wrapped in such a tight blanket of insulation that it’s s surprise she’d not suffocated. The Conservatives are exemplifying those words – they are the very embodiment of furtive and sleakit. Not meeting the public, controlling the media, avoiding all and any interactions with anything that might be a question. It’s not a surprise that they are tightly controlling everything. When they do let a journalist get on with their job of asking questions they seem to lose their plot. Here’s Ruth Davidson being interviewed on Radio 5 Live – https://ayerightradio.wordpress.com/2017/05/12/ruth-davidson-car-crash-interview-radio-five-live/ – Not exactly coherent and accurate is she? And that wasn’t an aggressive journalist at all. Theresa May is avoiding any risk of anything like this by flatly refusing to be interviewed. Is that the way a “Strong and Stable” leader should behave?
Labour have published a manifesto full of policies which, if people were given a blind choice they’d be most likely to support. And yet the media hammers on and on about Jeremy Corbyn not being a leader. Maybe he is, maybe he’s not. But it would be nice to think the public would be allowed to make up it’s own mind without the media
The Scottish National Party has yet to publish it’s manifesto, so the details on it are unknown as I type this blogpost. The critical point will be what they say about holding a future independence referendum. For sure, the SNP is at an interesting point. Support of the party is at the worst level, if not still growing. They got more votes than ever before in the recent Local Authority elections and yet are being frozen out of many councils by coalitions between “everyone but SNP”. That might strengthen their appeal in the GE because it casts this GE as “Scotland vs the Rest of You”. To all intents and purposes there is no difference whatsoever between Tory/Labour/LibDem/UKIP. None of them offer anything different for Scotland. Remember that Scotland voted by 62% to 38% to remain in the EU.
The Green Party are still not getting a fair crack of the whip. Maybe, hopefully, in an independent Scotland their time will come.
The Media I can’t remember anytime when the newspapers and in particular the BBC News and Current Affairs programmes have so openly and obviously protected the Tory party. There’s no scrutiny or questioning whats0ever of them. And that’s not good for any of us.
So to the title of this post, “The Battle For (Brexit) Britain”, it’s well and truly on. The oncoming tsunami of Brexit is going to batter this country and re-shape our country in ways that we can’t begin to see yet and we’ve got to choose what we think will be the best direction to recover from this. For me, for Scotland, that’s got to be doing all we can to break free from the dead-hand of the Tory party. Independence will be essential if Scotland is to have any chance at all of prospering in the coming decades. Theresa May is lying when she says that an increased mandate will strengthen her hand. It wont. the most important election in the whole Brexit carry on was that of Emmanuel Macron in France. The EU is now far more “strong & stable” than it was before his election. (Notwithstanding problems ongoing in Greece and Italy) It is their side of the negotiations we should be thinking about. I am in no doubt whatsoever that the EU will be mercilessly blamed when the Brexit negotiations break down. Has anyone seen anything in the behaviour of the May/Fox/Johnston team which suggest they are event remotely capable of holding complex negotiations? So Brexit Britain is not going to be anything we can look forward to. And it won’t be the fault of the Tories. Nope. Not their fault at all. They didn’t hold an unnecessary referendum. They didn’t run away when the result wasn’t what they expected. Their not going to throw their toys out their pram when the EU simply sticks to it’s fair and reasonable position that to get the benefits you must be a member of the ‘club’.
It seems to me that we really are in a 3 week Battle for Britain. And regardless of how we all vote the future doesn’t look very bright at all. (Unless you’re in Scotland, as I am, when there is a ray of hope)