There is a re-colonization of UK politics taking place before our eyes.
As the more “one-nation” Tories leave the zealots behind and, like an alien life force, take over the Lib Dems. Think Heidi Allen, Sam Gyimah or Philip Lee. What they all have in common is a policy agenda and approach to politics which is shared by the new LibDem ”leader” Jo Swinson.
They are all supporters of the broad thrust of anti-social policies so enthusiastically pursued by not only David Cameron’s Tories but by Nick Clegg’s LibDems through the five horrendous years of the coalition. Little wonder that people who still think of themselves as part of the broad church of the Conservative Party find little difficulty in assimilating into their new party. From the rape clause to student fees they have voted together, they have argued together why we needed to have years of austerity imposed as a political choice.
Nor do they have any qualms about adopting the very familiar policy of lie, lie and lie again. Knowing that they will not be challenged by the tame media which disgraces the concept of having a free press.
Just think of the LibDem lie that they are the biggest anti no-deal party. We hear this lie persistently peddled but never challenged. Simple facts; The Lib Dems have 19 MPs, the SNP have 35. The LibDems have 120,845, the SNP have 125,482. (both figures from 10/10/2019) This is exactly the kind of background detail we expect a knowledgeable political journalist to have to hand, the difference between someone who just asks the vanilla questions and someone who knows who wants to speak to truth to power and have power speak truth to the people. Or the offensive claim that the Nationalism of the SNP and Scotland is the same as that of Brexit. I do truly hope that Swinson does know the difference but like everyone else I have to take her at face value. This from the “leader” of the party which kept the Home Rule flames alive while the SNP were considered part of the lunatic fringe of politics. She either knows nothing about the history and heritage of her party or she cares nothing about them.
The LibDems have decided to unilaterally cancel the result of the 2016 referendum with their policy of revoking article 50 without consulting the public. They will seek to justify this piece of political chicanery by saying that it applies if they win a majority of seats, that gives them a mandate. Small problem is that they have less chance of winning a general election than the Brexit Party. Another is that unlike a referendum a General Election is not fought on just one issue. Think student fees and Nick Clegg.
How can it be acceptable to have a policy which says that if you wing an election, you have a mandate to implement your policies and simultaneously say that they would never accede to grant another Independence referendum no matter how many votes and seats the SNP won. This is a stance with which the LibDems betray everything in their name and history. Truly the Party of Jo Grimmond, Russell Johnston etc has been consigned to history by Jo Swinson and Silly Rennie, two of the most illiberal and undemocratic leaders of modern times.
As the Tories throw out anyone who is not a “swivel eyed zealot” the refugees are steadily re-colonizing the LibDems where their austerity agenda finds ready acceptance.
For the Scottish Tories there is little to say. They have abandoned any pretence of speaking for their constituency or country. They mouth about respecting how people voted but will not and can not put their money where there mouth is and do just that! Each and every Council area of Scotland, each and every constituency in Scotland voted to Remain but we have this bunch of political pygmies who would not know what to do with a political and democratic principle even if they could find one!
The Highlands and the Borders are ripe to be regained but we need to offer more to voters than just being the only sensible party on Brexit. Let’s not forget that roughly 1 in 3 of those who identify as SNP supporters voted to Leave.
Brexit is doing a grand job of destroying the myth of Britain as a beacon of decency and honour, it’s eating away at the concept of what being “British” actually means. As we watch the daily hypocrisy of Tories both front and back bench, tell us that the only way to avoid a No Deal Brexit is to vote for “The Deal”, it’s worth recalling the fact that if it were not for the current cabinet voting against Theresa May’s deal, time and again, it would have been approved in the Commons. Certainly at the third attempt. When it comes to “Elites who are determined to force through their own narrow agenda”, this Cabinet takes some beating!
A former colleague and friend of mine refers to Rangers and Celtic as “the twa cheeks o’ the same erse”. That seems increasingly like a fair description of the Lib Dems and the Tories.