By Rab Bruce’s Spider

The Tories certainly know how to seize the moral low ground. If anyone had any doubts as to the fundamental cruelty of current Tory policies, then the refusal to feed starving children over the school holidays has certainly shown them up for what they are.

Credit is due to Marcus Rashford for not holding his tongue when offered the bribe of an MBE. If Boris Johnson thought that would buy his silence, he has certainly been proven wrong. It’s just a pity that young Mr Rashford accepted the bauble in the first place, but such is the conditioning of the British public, a great many people accept such honours, so let’s not be too hard on him. His persistence in challenging the UK Government’s cruelty is to be applauded.

Underlying all this, though, is the fundamental problem with British society. Instead of arguing over who should be feeding children, we should be asking why so many children are in such dire poverty that they need help from charities or the Government simply in order to survive. This is Dickensian, and it really should not happen in a modern state. Eradicating poverty may well be virtually impossible, but the level can surely be reduced to make it a truly exceptional thing rather than an everyday expectation for around 30% of the UK’s children. The only thing preventing a programme of eradicating poverty is the political will. The problem is that successive UK Governments have paid far too little attention to this. Under Labour, some improvement was made, but England rarely keeps a Labour Government in power long enough for their policies to have much effect, and all that work has been undone by the Tories, whose main aim is overtly to enrich themselves and their wealthy pals at the expense of everyone else.

Let’s hope the UK Government makes another U-turn, but at time of writing, this has not yet happened.

It may seem unconnected, but this leads onto another question; that of the tactics for Scotland holding another IndyRef. There is a lot of in-fighting in the Yes camp as many become exasperated at the lack of action from the SNP while the Tories continue their programme of abolishing Devolution - in practice if not in name.

Now, I do understand the logic of going through the process of abiding by Westminster rules in order to demonstrate to the world that Scotland has tried every democratic and constitutional route and been stymied at every turn. IN many ways, that makes total sense. There are, though, a few problems with that approach which I sincerely hope the SNP leadership will address sooner rather than later. The first is that it may well be too late to do anything because Holyrood will be effectively neutered by the Power grab. But even if it is not, then we really need to hear what the next steps will be when a request for a Section 30 Order is refused. Because let us be in no doubt that a UK Government which can happily see English children starve is not going to be swayed by a popular majority of pro-Indy MSPs returned at the next Holyrood election. We keep hearing that refusal to agree to a Section 30 Order will become untenable, but I honestly don’t think it will. Any Government which can sacrifice its own people to starvation certainly won’t quibble about refusing the Scottish people a democratic right to choose their future.

So, while I support the Section 30 route in principle, with some strong reservations about the length of time we seem to be putting this off, the main concern must be that the SNP really do have some Plan B which can be put into motion swiftly once the Section 30 route has been blocked. Because if they don’t, then I fear we will have lost our chance at becoming a normal, self-governing country for many years to come.