Out of the desert

For anyone who considers that the job of Prime Minister should go to the individual best qualified to carry out the responsibilities of that high office, the Tory leadership contest must be a depressing, if not distressing, sight. The entire process seems geared to finding, not the best person for the job, but the one who is least offensive to the party’s MPs and members. The role which is, at least nominally, the most powerful in the UK will be filled by the man or woman who best manages to pander to the various prejudices and competing self-interests in a political party known and widely reviled for its unprepossessing ideology and tendency to venality.

Politics is, of course, the art of compromise. But it would be gratifying if, just once in a while, this might be a compromise among a range of attitudes and opinions that was somewhere close to being as broad as society, rather than an accommodation between barely distinguishable dogmas.

The race to become leader of the Conservative Party – and hence, by the grace of the monarch, Prime Minister – looks like being dominated by the issue of the UK’s pantomime flounce out of the EU. Which, in much of England, is a proxy for the issue of immigration. Theresa May is tainted by her failure to enthusiastically participate in the Leave campaign’s grotesque frenzy of lies, empty promises and ill-concealed xenophobia, as well as by her failure to adequately secure a reputation as the scourge of the brown hordes bent upon sucking the Englishness out of everything the English had sucked out of the world. It will be won by the candidate who best demonstrates the ability to practice that courteous, politic prejudice which, despite all protestations to the contrary, gives licence to baser bigotry.

Why should we care which of the contenders emerges victorious from this pig-pen wrestling match? As Kevin McKenna says, the EU referendum was about “creating a foe for the working class to blame while their real enemies pursued their ends”. The Tories and their clients need that foe now more than ever. The Conservative clique of the Westminster elite is in the process of selecting the candidate they think is best qualified for the task of deepening and widening the rifts in society.

Meanwhile, the Labour clique of the Westminster elite is oblivious to everything but the rifts within its own ranks. It has forsaken its role so completely that it is difficult now to discern what role it might have; or to remember it ever having a role. It has completed the process of becoming an organisation which exists to serve its own existence, rather than the purpose for which it was first conceived.

British politics is a desert of principle. An arid wasteland of compassion and competence where the vacuous and the vicious scrabble in the dust for scraps of power and personal advantage.

Scotland can do better. Scotland is already home to a political culture that is markedly different from England. A political culture which is discernibly more responsive to the needs, aspirations and priorities of Scotland’s people than the stunted, deformed politics in which only the likes of Michael Gove and Theresa May can thrive. A political culture which is anathema to the ruling elites of the British state who appoint politicians like Gove and May and Leadsom to do their bidding and serve their interests.

If Scotland’s distinct political culture is to survive and develop and facilitate the better, fairer society we hope for, we have to break free of the stultifying, corrupting influence of the British political system.

For anyone who considers that our political leaders should be chosen from among those best qualified to meet the criteria of a functioning democracy and serve the interests of the sovereign people who elect them, there can be only one choice for Scotland. Independence! Nothing less!

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5 thoughts on “Out of the desert

  1. Keith Robinson

    I think looking across at the opposition benches in Holyrood your contention that “Scotland can do better. Scotland is already home to a political culture that is markedly different from England. A political culture which is discernibly more responsive to the needs, aspirations and priorities of Scotland’s people than the stunted, deformed politics in which only the likes of Michael Gove and Theresa May can thrive.” Is a tad optimistic to say the least.

    The opposition and indeed the institutions in Scotland are just a pale reflection of their English counter-parts. I think you are setting yourself and your readers up for a grave reality check in the event of Indyref2 getting up. The ruling elite in Scotland are every bit as xenophobic as the English Lords they share a house with.

    There is so much work to be done to create a broad minded, outward looking political infrastructure in Scotland and it will take more than a generation before it even begins to look like anything remotely resembling a European, let alone a Nordic society. I long for the day when the ‘blazers’ are cleared out of the SRFU, and the SFA. Only then will a real sporting framework be able to take shape. The same goes for the education system. The latter is the biggest and hottest potato that all future Scottish governments will spend countless hours/days/years reforming. As until such times that the youth are educated together without restrictions the country will always be prone to sociological cleavage.

    Keep it real man.

  2. Keith Robinson

    With Dugdqle, Davidson and Rennie as part of “responsive” political culture. You can’t polish turd Peter.

  3. David MacGille-Mhuire

    Not those particular “turds”, Keith, but, then, what percentage of the Scottish vote did they garner?

    Like Peter, am struggling to discern what Scottish body politic you are referring to.

    What prism do your eyes see the political culture of Scotland through?

    Sounds somewhat defeatist, nihilist, and, ultimately, pro-British imperialist of hue either faux leftist/ or tattered UKIP/Tory with a soupcon of jaded and cynical “I feel your pain” LibDem.

    Thankfully, the Scots electorate does not seem to subscribe to your analysis.

  4. Keith Robinson

    Like it or not that particular group mentioned is very much part of the political culture in Scotland. In case you didn’t notice they garnered 55% of the vote in the last Indyref. So make mistakes about perceived insignificant percentages at your own peril.

    Just for the record I’m an SNP member. “Pro-British imperialist”.. you have attempted to label me extreme right across to centre lib. dem. and then faux left. Anything but what you believe an Indy supporter should sound like. The only thing I think you missed was Greens. Where or how you got to that conclusion is well beyond my comprehension. I’d love an explanation please.

    If you wish to live in an echo chamber and believe the electorate all think like you, there is no harm in that. It won’t change the last result though, of this I’m sure.

    Why you would attack me personally when I espouse a sense of realism by calling me a defeatist and a nihilist is also beyond me.

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