Posted on July 21st, 2023
by Rab Bruce’s Spider
So the Tories managed to cling on to the Uxbridge constituency in the By-election, and most commentators seem to think it is because they turned it into a single issue campaign, with voters urged to show their displeasure at the proposed expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone. Since many Tories are motivated by self-interest rather than what is good for society, the tactic seems to have worked, but this really is an extreme example of Nimbyism. Reducing air pollution improves the environment and health, and it can reduce deaths. Yet, for some people it seems that being allowed to drive polluting cars is more important.
This sort of thinking is not confined to the UK, and it is impossible to introduce any policy which will not find someone opposing it, but the benefits of cleaner air must surely be visible to everyone. Everyone with the exception of Tories in Uxbridge, that is.
In a wider context, this result may be a harbinger of what to expect in the next UK General Election. Along with all the lies and obfuscation the Tories will employ, focusing on narrow self-interest may well attract voters. The only thing that might work against that idea is that the Tories have introduced so many harmful policies, and some voters may feel that a change is needed. Given that Sir Keir Starmer, aka Sir Kids Starver, offers a party which is so close to the Tories in its political ideology, even proclaiming that Greed is Good may not be enough to save the Tories from electoral disaster.
From a Scottish perspective, there is probably not much we can take from this. Scotland is very different in outlook, and we can expect both Tories and Labour to bang on about SNP incompetence and alleged corruption, while also playing the Union card at every opportunity. But perhaps the SNP can take a leaf out of the Tory playbook and focus on a self-interest campaign. Quite simply, if you don’t want Tory policies inflicted on you by Westminster, vote for independence.