Points of View
Posted on December 7th, 2017
by Rab Bruce’s Spider
Yesterday provided some insights into the way UK politics has hardened views in some people and made others question what on earth is going on.
Taking the hardened attitudes first, David Davis’ comments on impact assessments took most of the headlines because either he lied when he said they existed, or he was lying yesterday when he said they didn’t.
The alarming thing is that Davis will apparently not be punished in any way for misleading both Parliament and the people. It doesn’t really matter whether the impact assessments exist or not. If they do exist, the only conclusion must be that the contents are so awful that the Tories dare not release them. But what is significant is that Davis, who obviously told at least one blatant lie, is to escape censure. The reason? Because the committee he was giving evidence to had ten Tories and one DUP member, and their eleven votes beat down the eight opposing members. So, never mind the fact that he’s a liar who treats Parliament and the public with apparent disdain, if he’s our liar, then we support him. As an example of putting Party above country, that’s about as blatant as you can get.
But, believe it or not, there was another dreadful statement from a Tory MP. Philip Hammond has blamed the UK’s falling productivity on the increased number of disabled workers.
Let that sink in. The Tories have gone out of their way to force disabled people into work, even at the cost of many of those people losing their lives, and now they are blaming those same people for a decline in productivity. Talk about Heads, I win, Tails, you lose.
The falling productivity is almost certainly the result of a combination of factors, including Brexit, decades of under-investment, and a taxation system which does not incentivise companies to invest in new production techniques. But the big picture is complicated, so let’s just blame the disabled.
Honestly, just when you think the Tories can’t sink any lower, they still manage to astonish you.
But this is part of their modus operandi. They blame everyone else for the problems they have created, and the tame media does nothing to highlight their mendacity. It is quite appalling to see BBC journalists on social media simply reporting what a Government Minister has said while offering no challenge to the statements at all. Yet the BBC has proudly announced that it will be sending representatives into school to teach pupils how to spot fake news! If that’s not an irony overload, what is?
On a brighter note, the latest Scottish Opinion Poll suggests that support for remaining in the EU has increased since the Brexit referendum. Hopefully, more and more people will begin to realise that the only way Scotland can remain in, or rejoin, the EU is to become a normal, independent nation.
Even some diehard Unionists are expressing anger at the actions of the UK Government, while some Scottish voters who elected Tory MPs and Councillors are now up in arms about the closures to local amenities and the pathetic performance of their MPs in Westminster. On this front, some Yessers have been gleefully making, “We told you so!" comments on Twitter and Facebook. Now, this is perhaps human nature, and we know that people like Blair McDougall and J K Rowling will never alter their views on Scottish independence, but we really ought to rein in the gloating as far as others are concerned. People who voted No in 2014 or who elected Tories in 2017 made a serious mistake. We know it, and so do some of them. But pointing fingers and laughing at them isn’t going to help them make that fateful decision to come over to the Yes side. We should also bear in mind that job losses and closure of public amenities affects everyone, not just those who voted for them out of loyalty to the Union.
So, please let’s adopt a more conciliatory approach. If someone is angry about how the Tories are behaving, then use that as a reason to discuss why they ought to reconsider their opposition to independence. After all, the only way we will ever win IndyRef2 is if people change their minds. For many, that’s a difficult step to take because nobody likes admitting they were wrong. We need to encourage more of them to change their view, and we won’t do that by laughing at them.