From the Nightmares of Summer to the Winter of our discontent.
How short a time it seems since early summer, and how much has happened since.
To begin with we had the vote and the announcement in the Scottish Parliament from which the First Minister proclaimed that there would be a second Independence referendum after the Brexit negotiations were settled and before Brexit itself took place.
The mandate for this vote came about because of the significant change in circumstance which would see Scotland being taken out of the EU.
At this juncture there was no way that Nicola Sturgeon could possibly have predicted that Theresa May was about to endeavour an attempt at political suicide by calling an early and immediate General Election.
Although the vote to have another Independence Referendum had the will of the Scottish parliament and thus the people of Scotland, all the Unionists parties, Labour, Conservative and LibDems chose wilfully to ignore it and set about defying that Will.
What followed was literally Mayhem!
Theresa May against all expectations called an early and Immediate General Election despite proclaiming often enough that she would do no such thing.
Why did she do it?
She did it because the Polls were telling her that the Torys were as much as 30 points ahead of Labour. A Labour party which had been in total dissaray since Jeremy Corbyn had been elected as its leader. It had endeavoured to sack him and preventing him from standing in the ballot after the parliamentary labour party had by a large majority expressed a vote of no confidence against him. However they too misjudged their own membership and a movement called Momentum was born and which organised itself to such an extent that the hapless Jeremy seemed like a modern day British Che Guevara suddenly.
Theresa May then managed to stage the worst ever election campaign by any leader anywhere at any time ever, and the gap rapidly closed to the extent that Jeremy looked like he might even win.
In Scotland however there was a different story.
The SNP ran a completely insipid campaign, almost threatening to usurp Theresa Mays woeful effort. They actually tried to run a campaign on normal election policies, when their opponents were doing something almost as unheard of themselves, only a lot more effectively.
Ruth Davidsons Tory party ran with no policies whatsoever other than a slogan which said NO to Indyref2 , and to vote for them to get the SNP out!
Kezia Dugdale meanwhile headed Labours campaign along similar lines, to the extent that they even advocated voting Tory in areas that the Tories were most likely to be the SNPs main challenger. Labour voting Tory? Unbelievable!
The Libdems did something similar but much more low key, and didn’t stand candidates in many seats thus allowing their possible vote to vote for one of the other Unionist parties.
It worked…. The SNP took a hit but still retained the most Scottish seats, but with huge losses of Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson in the North East.
No policy had won over actual policies…. who said Scots were clever?
Labour were reasonably content, they basked in having by their standards in recent times a reasonable campaign season and won back a handful of seats, had managed to stitch up with their Tory Brothers some Councils in the Council elections, and had succeeded in cementing their place as the 3rd Party in Scotland.
The Tories while horrified at their Westminster showing were cockahoop in Scotland at becoming the winners of the General election here….. well so the BBC said anyway…and they are the prime political influencers in Scotland….. So it must be true.
The SNP went home to think again.
Finally after years of constant campaigning it was time for the MSPs and MPs in the respective parliaments to have a holiday, and for the rest of us to have a breather.
But not before Theresa May, who really should have gone, managed to bribe the DUP from Northern Ireland at the princely price of £1.5 Billion of our money from her magic tree to prop her up. We haven’t heard the last of that grubby deal by a long chalk yet.
With Racism and sectarianism having been given free rein in Mays Brexit Britain, and with some reportedly dodgy backhanders going on between the Scottish Tories and the Orange Order and the Ulster unionists along with the Scottish Tories having been encouraging and ramping up sectarianism for quite some time, the Orange Order were out in force all over Scotland banging their big drum.
Senior Labour politicians from England were over to observe the Celebrations in Northern Ireland too. On top of that sectarian abuse occurred on our transport system, online and in public more so than for quite some time.
Make no bones about it… while most Scots rightly are proud of Scots inclusive reputation, we too have our share of bigots and racists, and while their views have been subdued for long enough, they now feel confident to spout their bile and have their views spread more openly in Brexit Britain as it has seemed to be encouraged more and more from right wing views down South.
YES HARI KARI
With possibly an element of boredom setting in with the sudden cessation of political activity… The moribund YES campaign, or that which remains of it On Line decided to get in on the Summer Madness..
There really hasn’t been much of the YES campaign since it was officially stood down after the Independence referendum. Not in the way that Better Together reorganised themselves anyway… While they continued both politically through their parties kept banging on about the SNP forever banging on about another Indyref and not getting on with the day job, with the full intent of scunnering the general public by forever hearing about it. And the SNP duly obliged by barely ever mentioning it until they announced the vote on it, thus appearing to have been going on about it all along! The activist side had got itself going with huge handouts to Scotland In Union and other groups to continually trash the idea and keep hammering home the message that Scotland is rubbish.
The YES side apart from a few well attended marches, and some local groups coming to life have really been nowhere other than YESsers chattering away to themselves on social media.
So what did they do….. They all started fighting with each other on line and created further division between various factions.. In truth….to use a Prof Curtis phrase they had been sniping at each other since 2014 as they have squabbled on issue and party lines and forgot the overriding goal needs to be achieved together or completely lost.
We might not always agree, and we don’t necessarily need to personally like each other, and indeed we might even have different expectations of the Independent Scotland we would like to see. But one thing for sure is that we will see none of what we would like to see without Independence.
There was a raft of other things too, but I am not going to have a look at them right now in depth.
Corbyns Blunderland visit where he literally said that Scotland was a Country of England, and that we didn’t have our own separate legal system.
Ruths racist Torys being further more exposed and readmitted with their sectarian and racist views unchallenged….and Ruth suddenly going into hiding and then seemingly interviewing herself for the BBC whilst falsely claiming that these people were repentant and had agreed to sessions on diversity training and had been in touch with Nil by Mouth. This after telling Trump he should bow his head in shame for similar.
The letters which gave deportation orders to EU citizens from the Home Office followed by a leaked 82 page document detailing that post Brexit Britain would operate a quasi apartheid system.
The Brexit negotiating shambles carrying on at snails pace with indications that the British government are ready to bale out on the hardest possible brexit… Corbyn and MAY showing their true colours by both wanting out of the EU and the Single Market and on immigration.
Mays Full Hitler
And now that they are back to business…
May is pressing ahead with her GREAT REPEAL BILL ….sometimes called Henry the 8th powers which are for the purpose of bypassing parliament, and stacking up the committee which chooses these statutory instruments with Brexiteer Tories… It is almost carbon copy of how Hitler took control of the German parliament and well on the way to becoming a fascist dictatorship. That taken with the other actions of that government and how they are taking away the lifelines of the most vulnerable in society, their actions/inactions on employment legislation, the intent to remove human rights legislation, the selling off of the NHS by piece meal, and her governments alignment with Trumps Right wing America are all part and parcel of it.
I don’t wish to be alarmist or a prophet of doom, so thankfully I can say that she and her government cannot fully ape Hitler as Little Britain is not that strong. But she and her kind can do irretrievable damage to those living on this Island.
There is currently a Panelbase poll doing the rounds and what it asks is alarming from a Scottish point of view. Given that these polls are not just a snapshot of opinion but can be used to shape opinion. It asks roughly if you would a) want an Independent Scotland b) prefer Scotland to be continued to be part of a devolved UK or c) to end devolution and be fully part of the UK… I don’t have the exact wording at hand at the moment but that is in effect what it asks. This is the first time we have seen devolution being removed suggested!
Which all ties in of course with what the Scottish government have been suggesting, that the Great Repeal Bill is about to be used to remove these previous areas of devolved competency that were part of the EU legislation and taken back to Westminster… In effect a power grab… But that question goes further and gets people to think about removing devolution entirely!
I don’t know yet who has commissioned this poll but it will be interesting to see.
and so on we go into the winter of our discontent with the Brexit scrambled eggs about to hit the fan.
Hang on in… It is going to be some ride!