Good old Tories!

Working-Men’s Conservative Club, Caernarfon

I have news for Nicola Sturgeon. The “Scottish Tories” completely abandoned Scotland’s interests more than half a century ago. Traditional Scottish Toryism ended in 1965 when the whole loy was subsumed into the Conservative and Unionist Party in England and Wales in the name of electoral expediency.

Many people today will find it hard to believe, but there used to be such things in Scotland as Working Men’s Conservative Associations. (The picture shows one in Wales.) Even allowing that this was about 150 years ago, the very concept seems absurd. A bit more recently, in 1931 and 1955, what would now be called Tories managed to win more than half the votes in Scotland.

Difficult as it may be to credit, Scottish Tories used to be seen as the guardians of Scotland’s national identity. Scottish Tories took pride in Scotland’s distinctiveness and were trusted to preserve it. A few Scottish Tories were even involved in the formation of the predecessors of the Scottish National Party.

But these were not Scottish Tories as we understand that term today. These were traditional Scottish Tories – with emphasis on ‘Scottish’. Traditional Scottish Tories – and they still exist – look on those who have usurped that once proud name with disbelief, horror and disgust.

I doubt I would have been a Tory even in the days of Working Men’s Conservative Associations. I probably would not have embraced Scottish Tory politics even at a time when being a working class Tory was viewed as perfectly normal and respectable. But I can at least entertain the possibility of being a traditional Scottish Tory standing up for Scotland’s interests. I do not view the idea of being a traditional Scottish Tory as akin to contracting some horrible wasting disease.

I can regard with equanimity, and even some satisfaction, the prospect of an independent Scotland where traditional Scottish Toryism enjoys a revival. But first we must sweep away the repulsive rabble that is the modern Scottish Tories.

The Scottish Tories represented by Jackson Carlaw, Ruth Davidson and all of that ilk haven’t only abandoned Scotland’s interests. They’ve abandoned every value and principle that once allowed Tories in Scotland to be regarded with respect rather than revulsion.

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A suitable candidate?

The British parties are not relevant to Scotland. It doesn’t matter who gets to sit in the comfy chair, they are irrelevant. They are not part of Scotland’s politics. They are outside interference.

British politicians squat in the Scottish Parliament like malignant, malicious cuckoos. They are interlopers intent on disrespecting, denigrating and ultimately destroying the very institution to which they are privileged to be elected. They, and their colleagues in the British parliament, don’t even pretend to try and represent either their constituents or the country they claim to be ‘proud’ of.

They are British Nationalists. They are a blight on Scotland’s democracy. They are a cancer at the heart of our nation.

It matters not at all which of the British parties they belong to or who their ‘leader’ is, they all adhere to the same ‘One Nation’ ideology and will stop at nothing to preserve their precious Union.

If anyone thinks to condemn this as a sweeping and unjust generalisation, let them first think of any MSP or MP from any of the British parties who could reasonably be regarded as an exception.

That Michelle Ballantyne is being suggested as the new pretendy leader of a pretendy party implies that she has certain qualities. Qualities which most people would feel insulted to have attributed to them. She must be dissembling, dishonest, detached from reality, lacking in self-awareness, unabashedly hypocritical, vacuous to the point of imbecility and totally unprincipled. Most of all, she must be unquestioningly loyal to the real leader of the real party and unhesitatingly obedient in serving the British establishment.

I come to this with no strong opinions about Ballantyne other than the abhorrence I hold for all British Nationalists – particularly those that infest Holyrood. Indeed, I was barely aware of her existence until now. Her gaffes and inanities are pretty tame compared to those of some of her cuckoo colleagues. But the fact that she is considered a suitable candidate to take over from Ruth Davidson necessarily means that she is the kind of individual I consider a plague on politics.

We know how to wipe out this plague. #DissolveTheUnion

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Good Tory! Bad Tory!

David Mundell

The notion of David Mundell being concerned about treating the people of Scotland with fairness is, of course, risible. While he can hardly be held personally responsible for the preceding three centuries, there can be be no bout that Mundell has played a key role in the British Nationalist ‘One Nation’ project in recent years.

Maybe he had no part in actually creating the Union which ensures that the people of Scotland are denied, in perpetuity, full and effective exercise of their sovereignty, but he has certainly taken full advantage of the fact that the Union enshrines democratic injustice in what passes for constitutional law in the British state.

The perverse logic of the British Nationalist fanatic never loses its power to stun. According to Mundell, it would be “unfair” to the people of Scotland if anything should be allowed to interfere with them getting something they voted decisively against. Mundell actually believes we should be grateful to beneficent Britannia for relieving us of the onerous task of making crucial decisions about our future. To Mundell, it is an obvious and unchallengeable fact that such decisions are better made by the British political elite, of which he likes to consider himself part.

Mundell is tasked by his masters in London with overseeing the subversion of Scotland’s democratic institutions, the eradication of Scotland’s distinctive political culture and the obliteration of Scotland’s identity as a nation. A task to which he seems unshakably committed. Let none doubt this man’s utter conviction that, if Scotland wasn’t entirely ‘extinguished’ by the Union, then it damned well should have been. Mundell seeks his place in history as the man who finally completed the ‘Greater England’ project.

When I was a boy, around sixty years ago, it was considered fairly normal for working class people in Scotland to vote for the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party, which was then a quite distinct party. It was acceptable to vote for what I now call ‘traditional’ Scottish Tories because, for all that they were Unionists, they were also perceived as trusted custodians of ‘Scottishness’. They were content that Scotland should be part of the UK, but sought to further Scotland’s particular interests – as they saw them – within the Union.

Traditional Scottish Tories of that period would be appalled and disgusted by what David Mundell and his cronies are doing. They would despise his ‘One Nation’ British Nationalism. They would be outraged that, while bearing the once honourable title of Secretary of State for Scotland, he was a leading player in an ideologically-driven effort to destroy the very things that they were dedicated to preserving.

My suspicion is that tradition Scottish Toryism still survives. I reckon many present-day Scottish Tories are distinctly uncomfortable – at the very least – with what is being done in their name. All that prevents them revolting against the odious ideologues who have taken over is residual partisan loyalty and a vague hope that the values which once made their party respectable and respected in Scotland might somehow be restored.

The great irony, of course, is that the only way this can happen is if Scotland’s independence is restored.┬áTraditional Scottish Tories face a stark choice between the values they espouse and the Union which denies their right to have those values inform public policy.

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