Brexit will strengthen the bonds of “our precious Union” and make it more prosperous and secure, Theresa May has improbably declared as Tories huddle together in an obscure location in Scotland for fear of meeting the public.
A year ahead of Liberation Day, in an enthusiastic report Michael Blackley gushes warning: “The SNP Govt had threatened to refuse to give consent for the EU Withdrawal Bill because some powers in devolved areas will got to Westminster, rather than Holyrood.”
Well, not quite, but we get the picture.
In an unexpected turn the Prime Minister insisted:
“The UK contains four proud and historic nations, but together we amount to so much more than the sum of our parts and our Union is an enormous force for good. We see that on the global stage, where the UK stands up for liberal end democratic values and leads the world.”
Are those the same liberal democratic values that a sneering quasi-fascist MSP like Murdo Fraser relishes?
Our Prime Minister is today travelling the whole country ‘in one day’, including dear reader, her Northern region.
By lunchtime she’s been and gone, an ephemeral figure. I can’t remember the last time a senior Conservative held a public open event in Scotland. The detoxification of the Tory party – attempted under Cameron – has failed and the party has gone backwards under May and Davidson in terms of openness and toxicity. This is a ruling party that can’t show its face in public.
The mantra repeated today (the new “strong and Stable”) that “we will strengthen the bonds that unite us – because ours is the world’s most successful union” are as empty and shallow as her election slogan was.
The levels of self-deception involved in this process are revealing.
All independent research shows various degrees of bankruptcy and economic chaos resulting from the Brexit programme and the dis-unity it has caused can’t be glossed over by a morning in Ayrshire.
Here the Daily Express revels in the mainstream understanding of this as an English National Liberatory Project – with the nation (sic) ‘awaiting glory’. The iconography is unmistakable: this is England’s glory and England’s moment of triumph. That is fine and dandy but it is incompatible with the framing attempted by May and her spinners.
Nor is it compatible with the dripping contempt of Caroline Nokes as she spoke to the Scottish Affairs Committee.
Whatever happened to the “family of nations”? – whatever happened to the partnership of equals”? I hear you ask.
And it’s not just us recalcitrant Jocks.
A LBC poll only a week ago suggested more voters in England say delivering Brexit was a greater priority than keeping Northern Ireland part of the United Kingdom. Awkward.
We like the Bloody Oirish, are indispensable, peripheral, contemptible.
But then a poll out today suggest that people in Northern Ireland would prefer to join a united Ireland and maintain their EU membership, than stay in the UK and be outside the bloc, in the event of a hard Brexit.
More than 2,000 people in Northern Ireland were asked whether they would vote to join a united Ireland or to stay in the UK “in the context of a hard Brexit… leaving the EU with no deal on the border, the Good Friday Agreement or citizens’ rights”.
It’s difficult – some would say impossible – to reconcile that with the PM’s bold statement as she hides in a series of choreographed photo opportunities that:
“Having regained control of our laws (unspecified) the UK will thrive as a strong and united country that works for everyone.”
The idea that Brexit will keep ‘Britain Together’ is clearly a contrived idea – on that the Conservatives are clinging onto in defiance of daily reality. That is a tactic that will work on the pages of the Mail and Express but not on the doorsteps of Scotland. A white cliff-edge awaits for those in such serious denial.