We have to wonder about the claim by Andrew Whitaker in the Sunday Herald that Murdo Fraser’s latest outburst “represents a departure for a senior mainstream Unionist politician”. How is it possible for the Sunday Herald to be unaware that, almost two months ago, Theresa May announced her intention to hijack Scotland’s local election for the purposes of her anti-democratic British nationalist cause? Writing in Holyrood magazine, the unelected British Prime Minister said,
“We will also be looking forward to the local elections in May, when voters across Scotland will have the chance to send a clear message to the SNP that they do not want a second independence referendum, by voting Scottish Conservative and Unionist on 4 May.”
Murdo Fraser is merely playing follow-my-leader. In doing so, he is sending a clear message to those who believe in the sovereignty of Scotland’s people and wish to defend our right of self-determination against those who regard the democratic process as a threat. He generously tells voters precisely what they must do to combat the threat to Scotland’s democracy posed by British nationalist ideologues.
“Every advance for the SNP at these local elections will be taken as an endorsement of a second referendum.”
There is no doubt about what Murdo Fraser is urging people to vote AGAINST. He is asking the people of Scotland to vote AGAINST their own sovereignty. He is asking us to vote AGAINST our right of self-determination. He is asking us to vote AGAINST Scotland’s democratic institutions and processes. He is asking us to vote AGAINST our distinctive political culture.
Essentially, Murdo Fraser is asking us to vote AGAINST Scotland.
But what is it that he wants us to vote FOR? What does it mean to vote for the Conservative and Unionist Party?
To vote for the Tories is to vote for people whose character, attitudes and values are reflected in things such as the appalling bedroom tax; the inhuman rape clause; the vicious welfare sanctions regime; and the whole dire dogma of austerity.
To vote Tory is to relinquish the political authority that rightfully rests with the people of Scotland and place it instead in the hands of British politicians who have been decisively, comprehensively and repeatedly rejected by Scotland’s voters.
To vote Tory is to vote for the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state.
To vote Tory is to accept for Scotland a subordinate status within a union that was contrived in a different age for purposes that were never relevant to us.
A union that we, the people, had no part in creating or sanctioning. An anachronistic, dysfunctional, corrupt union which serves none of the people off these islands well.
A union which was always intended to serve the purposes of the ruling elites. A union which, in that regard if no other, has not changed significantly in the last three centuries.
A union that sucks the human and material resources out of our communities and in return gives us government by parties that we have emphatically rejected at the polls.
A union that imposes policies which are anathema to our people. Policies which have been rejected by our democratically elected representatives.
A union which, were we being given that option now, not one of us would vote to join – but which we are nonetheless being asked to vote for in elections that should be about local issues.
And what about the other British parties? What about UKIP, British Labour and the LibDems? If Murdo Fraser sees these parties as mere second-rate alternatives to the Tories, then so should you. If he reckons that voting for any of these parties has the same effect as voting Tory, then so should you. These parties have been willingly co-opted to an anti-democratic British nationalist cause which may be led by the Tories, but which they support with all the wild-eyed fervour of the religious fundamentalist.
If Ruth Davidson is the Queen of the British Nationalists, Kezia Dugdale and Willie Rennie are her obsequious courtiers.
On Thursday 4 May, the choices are clear. They are not the choices most of us would wish to be making. They are not the choices of a normal local election. But the choices are, nonetheless, crucial. We have no alternative but to accept that the local elections have been commandeered by the British nationalists. The fact that they can rely on the support of the mainstream British media makes it pointless to resist. The local elections will be presented as a vote of confidence in our First Minister regardless of what any of us may do or say.
Murdo Fraser is right. We must use the local elections to send a message. But we can choose to send a very different message from the one he is demanding. We can choose to reject the vaunting, imperious British nationalism of Theresa May and Ruth Davidson and Murdo Fraser. We can choose, instead, to affirm the principle of popular sovereignty. We can choose to assert our right of self-determination. We can choose to defend Scotland’s democratic institutions.
We can choose to favour Scotland’s distinctive political culture over the repellent ideology represented by the Tories and their allies.
And, importantly, we can do that without compromising our local government. By giving our top tier preference votes to the SNP and the Scottish Greens and putting the Tories at the arse-end of the bottom tier, we can send a message to Theresa May and her lackeys in Scotland while being confident that we will be voting for very capable candidates who are committed to local communities and to our nation.Views: 8532
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