Call for essays on the Conservative Party – a response from Scottish Unionists

Call for essays on the Conservative Party – a response from Scottish Unionists

by Jonathan Stanley
article from Monday 15, June, 2020

WHILE WE ARE PREPARING for the Holyrood elections in 2021 the executive of the Scottish Unionists has decided to intervene before our formal launch as a new unionist party for Scotland and the UK given the appalling meltdown of government in Holyrood and Westminster that has been shown by the unacceptable and avoidable death toll from COVID19. 

We have had at least a decade of Punch and Judy politics in Edinburgh and London driven both by single issue parties and by a political class who sees every crisis and challenge only in terms of public relations and media management. When parties in power focus only on perception and avoid making decisions they attract people that have never had to take risks, make decisions and be accountable in their own working lives. This means increasingly we have governments who very much expect to fail and work on that basis. 

"Who can we blame? To where can we deflect? What can we hide and what can we get away with? How can x,y and z be spun?"

Through the Bow Group I used my medical experience and common sense to call for action at our borders and to help our vulnerable in January. In March I called for the UK government to provide welfare for those most affected, including the homeless, and for a national volunteer service. After weeks and months these have been introduced but the issue is that governments simply do not have the competence and professional grounding to make serious decisions within time and within reason yet it was painfully obvious from China and Italy that we were going to be battered by the pandemic. No one cared because as a risk it was simply deflected and the media managed.

The UK now has an excess death toll this year so far comparable to the number of deaths from the Nagasaki bomb. We have had more and more targets announced from on high coupled with the threat of terror in the form of fines and prison for those who break "lockdown" for which the evidence is dubious and certainly not applied consistently. We are entering a phase whereby a Scottish government that covered up an early outbreak and has still not tested care staff pursuing a "test and track" policy as a means to easing an ineffective lockdown. There is nothing I can see that shows they are capable of doing this. It is just more whitewash.

Four months is plenty of time to reach the conclusion that we do not need new ideas and new publications to improve government. Government has neither ability nor wish to improve because it sees office as a means to power and to opportunities for them and it accepts failure as a manageable inevitability.

Payday Unionists and Postnationalists

In Scotland we have two politics. A government driven by a single issue and splintered opposition composed of heirloom parties that are lost in their glory days and tread water for an easy second third and fourth place: A losers' club where Tories still think it's early 2016, Lib Dem still think it's late 2016 and Labour still thinks we are in 2010. 

None have moved on psychologically from their respective campaigns of refusing indyref2 (even though only the UK government can do that), reversing Brexit, or keeping New Labour alive (it's very much not alive). They can do this because increasingly they rest their laurels on regional list seats which means the only efforts to be made are those to ensure party unity and then to look after loyal friends with list rankings. 

That really is it. There is nothing else except the occasional misdirected snort from a walrus attacking the SNP clumsily, just enough to remind us all the walrus is still on the ice.

The only way to make payday unionists to sit up and listen is to tell them hard truths. They have given up on the Union. 

Tories accept Scottish independence as inevitable but that now is not the time. Threats of blackmail that indyref2 will happen if you don't vote Tory is evidence of this. So too does the love of the EU by the Lib Dems evidenced by risking indyref2 by insisting on reversing the Brexit referendum result or at least not honouring it. Labour are again toying with, wait for it, another constitutional convention. It is like watching some ageing Hollywood star needing just one more cosmetic procedure under the knife. The fact organisations like Scotland in Union and Scottish Business UK work so hard is because these parties cannot be relied upon to do the job of promoting the UK. 

They champion social justice over social mobility. Never a day goes by without the parties making some reference to social justice theory whether its special interest activism, transgenderism in schools, and decrying something Donald Trump has said or done within the USA (it isn't our country or remotely our business). Our justice minister can find Islamophobia lurking in the corner of a crisp packet if he looks hard enough yet forgets to renew his car insurance. We maintain free tuition for EU nationals even while our colleges are underfunded. We have destroyed our landscape with windmills ostensibly to care for the environment while bunging billions into the pockets of landlords by slapping billions onto our bills. 

This is not representation; this is picking winners. The lack of representation is not limited to unionism. The SNP is a postnationalist party that seeks out legitimacy through globalist institutions, the European Union and the social justice trends of the day. It does not focus on freedom, family and security as issues of the nation state but undermines all three. 

It relies on national memory by keeping sectarianism on a simmer, the use of obsolete colloquialisms and invoking “Scotland” when really it means the will of the party leadership. This national memory to mask postnationalism is straight out of Habermas 101 and is nihilistic even mocking of Scotland, using what Hardin calls the “epistemological comforts of home” to wrap up left wing tat in tartan. In other words, it relies on petty tribalism not befitting a great nation. 

We have no unionist party of Scotland, only three failing parties that are based in London.  Their only plan when not to fail, is to scheme to fail together by a greater degree. Until a party for the union, from Scotland, can take on the SNP then no matter how unconvincing their national overtures are to us, they are effective because they are completely unopposed.

Scottish Unionism

There needs to be a new party in Scotland. Forty per cent of voters who voted Brexit have no voice. Even our fishing industry is STILL up for grabs. There is no party championing a dynamic society through social mobility and a dynamic economy through free enterprise and by driving down the marginal costs of industry. These barriers to profitability are barriers to social mobility. The only times the UK broke out of high debt to GDP crises, from the Napoleonic and Second World Wars, was to rapidly grow the economy. 

The UK exists as an extension of the rights and responsibilities of the people of Great Britain to Northern Ireland. That is what the United part of United Kingdom means. Unionism means equality of duty, esteem and opportunity within...these islands. The only means to achieve equality of opportunity and esteem is freedom of the individual and the rule of law that maintains that esteem. 

To have equality of opportunity we must have social mobility and this means the chance to win by ones own efforts. This means a country based on free markets and an open economy, with a safety net to limit losses and protect those who cannot help themselves. Equality of opportunity must exist, like our safety net, from cradle to grave. There we have the basics of what British Unionism should base itself on. In other words, not in ideology but on what makes Britain work when it works well, freedom indeed and fairness in need. When government intervenes it must do so democratically and by this I mean a democracy where as many people as possible are directly represented in parliament. So, unionism means rejecting tribalism by making every vote count. 

Scottish Unionist Party

The Scottish Unionist Party seeks to be the natural party of Scotland and of the British government, as the SNP has become the natural party of opposition, denying the vast majority of Scottish MPs the rights to build a free and fair British society that the people chose in 2014. While most likely to support a centre right partner in Westminster, the 59 seats in Scotland are enough to be the arbiter of power in Britain which given the number of Nationalist seats currently, is very credible and achievable. 

This places a duty and opportunity on the SUP to begin on the principles of sound government and policy, and not simply on opposing those in power on the basis we never will be. That is the place of payday unionists and it results only in the managed decline of the UK to the point of fission. We are not interested in that. While it is essential to scrutinize both the UK and Scottish governments, when dealing with the illogical negativity of the SNP I take comfort from a quote from the novel, The Last of the Mohicans: "Do not try to understand them, and do not try to make them understand you, for they are a breed apart, and speak no sense"

It is as fruitful to argue with a tapeworm as it is with a closed mind, certainly an authoritarian one that has already decided the answer to everything and wastes time confecting questions in the hope of them finding the right answer. There is nothing to be gained from those who freely admit they wish to destroy our country and base their entire programme of invective on that.

We will publish a manifesto for the upcoming Holyrood election. We will be the only party that will do this seriously and sincerely. We will draw on what makes Britain great, and what did. In other words, what works rather than what works for us ideologically. A free economy, a fair society, in a more equal union is how we can improve the lives of everyone in Scotland, and in the United Kingdom. We are the party of now, not of the past and not of a future that will never come. The policies of now are what will create our future. 

Social mobility is the only social justice worth having. It remains the British dream, as it is the American that followed, that every family aspire to afford and own their own home, means of transport and communication, and be at peace. 


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