By Alasdair Galloway
On Rishi, Liz and the Dark Nights
And here we have Rishi Sunak exposed as the Tory he is, shamelessly boasting that he had changed funding formulas to take money away from deprived areas to the more affluent – something that “needed to be undone”. https://twitter.com/NewStatesman/status/1555476253045673987
But perhaps the most shocking thing is, I think, that he refers to the privileged area he is obviously in, is when he says he is giving them the funding they “deserve”. What criteria does he use for making this assertion? Do they deserve it because they already have more than others? Sort of to those who have shall be given, by taking it away from those who have not?
For one thing this flies wholly in the face of what is left of the post-war consensus, and even the paternalist Conservatism of such as Harold McMillan and Rab Butler, and perhaps even Edward Heath and Willie Whitelaw. Perhaps it is naive of me even to mention those names, for their Conservative Party is not Sunak’s
Kirsty Strickland was asked the other day if she would prefer Sunak or Truss and replied that being asked that was rather like being asked if you wanted kicked in the knee or punched in the mouth. I suspect she was only conducting herself in a lady like manner, for there are other more colourful ways of saying the same thing. Or if all else fails, its like being asked if you want hung or shot.
One might say at this point that it’s as well that Sunak looks unlikely to win. Until that is you remember that he is likely to lose to West Primary School, Paisley’s most infamous former pupil, Liz Truss. Nearly as much has been written about her as about Sunak, for us to know that the future is likely to be no more bright with her as PM as it would be were it to be Sunak.
This after all is who said that she would ignore the First Minister of Scotland who was no more than an attention seeker. You can find this here
Enough time has been spent on ire that she would say this – even the young man “interviewing her” (well throwing her easy balls to hit actually) was moved to point out that the FM is only the elected head of the Scottish Government. There are, though, two points from this clip
The first one is to note not just what she said but the reaction – the cheers and the applause from the audience. All Tory Party members to a man and to a woman. If she decided to act against Scotland then I think its pretty clear that she would have the support of at least the Tory Party membership – indeed she would probably be cheered on and applauded as she did so.
Secondly, she considers that what is necessary is to show us what Westminster is “delivering for them”. And what might that be Liz? Actually, all she can come up with are “investment zones and freeports”. Nothing about energy costs going through the roof, inflation possibly reaching 13% by next year, increasing interest rates, all of which make real that it is “heat, eat or on the street”.
On the same video, if you let it run, you will find Rees Mugg making similar points in that public school ex cathedra way of his. Education and health are both doing badly (are you listening Professor), and that the entire referendum issue is just a deflection from their failure to deliver public services to the people of Scotland. No interruption, no calling out. Just sit and listen.
Ironically the Times reports on its front page that in England “Winter of woe means long waits for patients
Only six in ten will be seen within four hours. Bed shortages, an increase in demand, rising Covid infections and the prospect of resurgent flu mean that the NHS faces a fraught winter
As few as six patients in ten will be dealt with by hospital A&E departments within four hours this winter, ministers have been warned as concern grows that the NHS is heading for an “unprecedented” crisis.
Whitehall projections suggest that the health service in England is on track to miss the mandatory four-hour waiting time target by a record margin as it struggles with a shortage of beds and exceptional demand on services.”
In other words, its not just if this happens, but that they know that this will happen – that 40% will wait for at least four hours to be seen at A&E. What punishment would befall poor Yousaf if this happens in Scotland? Are you listening Prof????
In his National column yesterday, the Dug argued that this Tory Party election was taking a “dark turn”. Specifically he is arguing that “We may now be facing a Conservative government and party which being bereft of any compelling positive case for the Union and unable to make significant inroads into the electoral support for pro-independence parties is now toying with the idea of criminalising so-called “separatism”.
Sunak has after all suggested that if elected he would extend the definition of extremism to include those who “vilify Britain”, who “did not just want to attack the UK’s values but also the country’s very existence”.
It is arguable here that Sunak has in mind Islamic extremism, but it’s an easy argument to suggest that those seeking Scottish independence, or the reintegration of Northern Ireland into the rest of Ireland are attacking the very existence of the UK.
To draw all this together, the critical point is that both candidates seem set on a campaign to monster and vilify others. From our point of view, most notably the Scottish Government and its ability to run government affairs here, even if this means actually telling lies as Rees Mogg did in his clip. Arguing for your point of view is, according to Truss, “attention seeking”, but following the suggestions on amending current legislation could become something much worse. And let’s not forget repeal of the European Convention legislation and its replacement with a “British Bill of Rights”. We have already seen Truss’s view of the right to protest, the perpetrators in this case being described as “infiltrators”, which is an interesting choice of word if the Tory Party is set on “othering” anyone who disagrees with them, or even worse tries to obstruct them.