Under the microscope

Like observing the random twitching and squirming of pond-life under a microscope, watching the antics of the British parties in Scotland can be strangely hypnotic. It’s easy to imagine that, if you just keep looking a little longer and concentrate a bit harder, you might discern order. pattern and meaning in the chaos of contradiction, inconsistency and vacuousness.

There is something jarring about reading of Ruth Davidson’s efforts to exclude the more ‘toxic’ elements of her own party from the ‘Scottish’ Tories’ conference while being mindful of her trumpeted abhorrence of ‘division’ in politics. It is difficult to reconcile her desperation to portray a clear divide between the slightly Scottish bit and the rest of the very British Conservative Party with her oft-declared detestation of the perfectly legitimate divisions which characterise normal democratic politics.

Apparently, the pretence of a separate ‘Scottish’ Tory party is acceptable, but the reality of a distinctive Scottish political culture is deplorable. It’s OK to try and deceive voters about the nature of the British Conservative Party as well as Ruth Davidson’s role and status within its hierarchy, but to speak to people openly honestly about their constitutional options is a heinous offence.

If we’re thinking at all, how can we avoid asking why it is in Ruth Davidson’s ‘One Nation’ British state that the same British Tories who are electorally endorsed in England can be such a liability in Scotland?

Ruth Davidson acknowledges political differences between England and Scotland such that even an ideological Unionist cannot countenance inviting prominent members of her own party in the former to attend her wee bash in the latter. Yet the same Ruth Davidson is determined to impose on Scotland a ‘One Nation’ British Nationalist constitutional settlement which gives precedence over policy-making in Scotland to the very people she herself is embarrassed to be seen with.

I’m going back to watching pond-life. It may not make any more sense than Davidson. But at least it’s honest.

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About Peter A Bell

Thinker. Listener. Talker. Reader. Writer. No attitude immutable. No conclusion final. No opinion humble. Lifelong campaigner for the restoration of Scotland's independence.
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1 Response to Under the microscope

  1. Alan Magnus-Bennett says:

    Quite agree the analogy. You can trust snails and slugs to behave as slugs and snails in pond water.


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