It’s time for Scottish unionists to oppose nationalism

It’s time for Scottish unionists to oppose nationalism

by Jonathan Stanley
article from Tuesday 8, September, 2020

I HAVE been selected as the prospective candidate for the Westminster constituency seat of Airdrie & Shotts by the Scottish Unionists. I expect there to be a by-election in the coming months. 

Scotland needs a unionist party in Westminster because at the moment it has none. Instead voters are given a choice between the status quo and separatism, but when the country is facing many threats status quo means failure to progress. So we choose between going backwards with the legacy parties, or going down with the SNP who blame their own screw-ups and failures on Westminster, while pointing to sunlit uplands in the future without even knowing what currency we would have. 

In desperation, Scots are increasingly looking to take that gamble. I do not doubt the current shift in polls towards independence is unreliable but the longer it appears favourable, the sooner it will become the new status quo in voters' minds. I cannot accept that without a fight. 

The United Kingdom is in critical condition. Every country in the Western World is facing economic crisis born of bad government and the inability to respond to serious threats as they arise. Instead governments have become so used to media management that every serious risk to our well-being is assessed not on how damaging it could be but on how confident the government feels it can manage the presentation of any crisis. 

From Italy to Spain to the United States to the United Kingdom we have seen the same. This Covid-19 crisis has cost many lives and devastated the economy. The pandemic and the mismanaged response to it may yet cause so much damage that economies do not fully recover, losing competitive advantage long enough for industries and services to become non-viable, and for both capital flight and capital burn up to become reality. So far, so bad. The UK has two other challenges to deal with. 

The first is the government that has handled Covid-19 is handling Brexit as badly. I am unconvinced the latest ruse to tear up the Withdrawal Agreement using domestic law is sound when all that needs done is to let it lapse. The EU is rules based and punishes anyone it sees as a rule breaker. I believe the outcome of mandating the UK Internal Market while begging the EU for a deal will simply pull all of the UK into the space Northern Ireland now sits in – back inside the EU institutions. 

The second is the collapse of anything close to credible opposition to the SNP. Clearly the PM believes there is not a single Tory MSP capable of leading the party who has not yet quit Holyrood. Think about that. 

The Scottish Labour leader is on the ropes, lashing out against critics who rightly point out he is not the man for the job. His reply is equally fair, that none of the other Labour MSPs are either. 

Instead we have two diminishing tribes that sit back and wait for the tide to wash in another supply of votes to re-elect them and their friends. It matters not to them the SNP is wrecking our country and poisoning the minds of our children. They are too comfortable playing for extra time, and boy does it show. 

There is nothing but the circling of wagons. It is pitiful and it is lazy. Worse than anything it is lazy.  Let's take a quick took at the Tory recovery plan. 36 pages. Sounds great. Read through it and the first third is SNP bad and the next is telling us the sky is blue and the Earth is round. It is classic copy and paste Ruth, a jumble of slogans and hand-holding.

A quick word search shows the document mentions the word "should" 94 times and "fund" 44 times – with no mention of where any money comes from. This isn't right. It isn't fair and I'll say it's a fraud because what can be worse during a crisis than offering up an essay that everyone knows is not fit for purpose and only serves the notion that, "Jesus is coming, look busy". 

After 10 years of Ruth and now Ross it begs the question, is this it? Is this really it? Labour is floundering. The best it can recycle is the age old National Care Service, as if handing elderly care over to a centralised SNP government is sound policy. You might as well put the late Harold Shipman in charge of drug policy. 

So, Covid-19, Brexit negotiations, and Scotland's payday unionists in bits. If we were a patient we'd be in ITU with three organ failure. I can tell you, the mortality for three organ failure is 90%. With so much of the UK being interdependent, going without political opposition, public protection and economic security is life threatening. We do not need 94 “shoulds” nailed to the door of a cathedral. We need damage control surgery. 

What does this mean in terms of a new MP for Airdrie? 

It means taking the SNP on for what it is. A narcissist insurgency that has hijacked our democracy for a pet project by turning our devolved government rogue. I am sick of the chumminess and soft pawing towards the Nationalists by establishment parties, as if politics is a gentlemanly game. If Scottish Nationalists hide their true selves behind super-injunctions, then bust them in Parliament. 

When our people are killed through ministerial negligence we should strike the offenders from government. If I caused the deaths of hundreds of elderly citizens I would certainly be struck off as a doctor, and jailed. I would like to see Freeman and Sturgeon face due process for their fatal decisions. If it means being struck off as politicians and facing jail so be it.

It means fighting for Brexit – which means real independence – for the UK. 

Locally it means obtaining the funding required to really rebuild Monklands hospital that serves our region AND restore its trauma service to make the new hospital the trauma centre for the M8, a hospital of national importance that delivers training to upskill our local workforce.

Unionism against an enemy that wishes to wreck our country should expose the unpleasant truths of nationalism. It is time for a real opposition.

Let's do this!

Dr Jonathan Stanley has worked in a variety of frontline NHS positions in the UK since qualifying as a surgeon twelve years ago.

This is the first in a series of articles to be published about the Airdrie & Shotts by-election if it does indeed materialise. Prospective candidates are welcome to submit articles for publication to the Editor for consideration via the Contact Us page.

Photo of ambulance responding to an emergency situation by from Adobe Stock

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