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Baroness Lundin Links

I’ve never witnessed anyone suffering the opposite of Imposter Syndrome more than Colonel Ruth Davidson.

So soon after the end of the career of that other titan of Scottish politics, Wullie Rennie, Davidson has also left these parts. The bizarre phenomenon that was Colonel Ruth Davidson has ascended to the House of Lords, and, in keeping with the time spent at Holyrood she started her new career talking absolute mind-blowing gibberish.

How exactly she managed the mental gymnastics to contort that entering the unelected House of Lords was a great sign of meritocracy is mind-blowing, but she did. The Courier reported that “former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has said she never believed “someone like me” could be appointed to the House of Lords, as she prepares to take up the new role this week.”

Davidson said: “As a teenage pupil at Buckhaven High School, I didn’t believe that someone like me could ever have the chance to serve in not one, but two parliaments.”

Well, it’s quite a feat.

Baroness Lundin Links – as she’s chosen to be called – joins fellow Scottish success-stories: Jack McConnell, Jim Wallace, Nicol Stephen and Annabel Goldie in the House of Lords.

How did any of this happen?

With a few notable exceptions the media were useless. They just lapped up Davidson’s stupid media stunts and photo ops, regurgitated ad nauseam her lifestyle story and totally failed to question her on the rank hypocrisy that ran though her career like she’s trademarked it.

Davidson – inexplicably reputed to be ‘great media communicator’ had a set routine: for parliament there was furrowed eyebrows/serious face, followed by other media spaces revert to ‘having a laugh’ – ‘it’s all just a bit of fun’ face. She would do an embarrassing routine at Conservative conference alternating between the Cheeky Jock and sometimes (latterly) as Prime Minister/First Minister-in-waiting, depending on what levels of wild self-delusion the press pack was going through.

At one point this got seriously deranged.

At one point, Ruth Davidson was being touted not just as a Cabinet member but as a future Prime Minister. Seriously.

Martin Kettle wrote enthusiastically in the Guardian:

“Cameron had a succession plan that isn’t on the cards this time. He had intended, after winning the European referendum, to reshuffle his cabinet for the remainder of his premiership. One of his moves would have been to confer a peerage on the Scottish Tory leader, Ruth Davidson, and make her defence secretary, sitting in the House of Lords. The aim was to help to position her to be Cameron’s chosen successor. At some point between then and Cameron’s departure, the plan went, Davidson would “do a Douglas-Home” and move to the Commons – as Harold Macmillan’s successor, the Earl of Home, had done in 1963. Davidson would remain in the government, renounce her peerage, and be fast-tracked into a safe Commons seat. There would be a byelection, and she would then be in the Commons, in a box seat to win the leadership – the best bet to stop Johnson, and all with Cameron’s backing. Who can say whether all this would in fact have occurred if events had not got in the way in 2016?”

Who indeed Martin.

Matthew Norman joined in writing: “Ruth Davidson is the relatable leader the Tories so desperately need as PM”.

John Rentoull joined the throng penning a ridiculous piece: “I’m convinced Ruth Davidson could be the next prime minister…”

Chris McCall chipped in with this “Could Ruth Davidson be Prime Minister?”

Political commentator David Torrance joined in pointing out that, constitutionally, being an MP is not a prerequisite to becoming prime minister. “Sir Alec Douglas-Home was PM for two weeks without being an MP, pending a by-election in Perth,” he said.

In an over-enthusiastic piece in the Scotsman (accompanied with gushing video), Paris Gourtsoyannis wrote (‘Scots Tories plot to keep Boris Johnson out of Downing St‘):

“Senior Scottish Tories are involved in a plot to keep Boris Johnson out of Downing Street over fears his leadership would destroy the party’s revival north of the Border.”

In a remarkable sentence Gourtsoyannis writes: “Internal party polling and analysis shows victory for Mr Johnson in a leadership contest to succeed Theresa May would boost the Labour Party in Scotland, putting at risk several of the Westminster seats the Tories won in 2017 and making it impossible for Ruth Davidson to become First Minister.”

And on and on it went relentlessly, unquestioning enthusiasm for an under-achieving mediocrity. It was the apogee of style over substance, the high point of lifestyle over ideas.

This is all remarkable given that I can only think of three policies associated with her in the ten years she was leader.

First was her campaign for Better Together.

Second, although she was always described as “socially liberal” she repeatedly defended the controversial rape clause, which offers an exemption to the UK’s Government’s two-child limit on tax credits if a woman can prove a third child was conceived as the result of rape. This involves filling out an eight-page form, which includes naming the child who was conceived as a result of rape, as well as providing the DWP with evidence the rape took place, such as a conviction in which they were the victim or testimony from a professional such as a doctor or the police, and confirming she is not living with the child’s father.

Davidson has said: “All they have got to do is tick a box and put their name on it.”

SNP MP Alison Thewliss, who led the party’s opposition to the clause in the Commons, said: “Rather than just ‘tick a box’, the form clearly that a woman must fill in her own details and her child’s name, and then discuss her situation in enough detail that a third party professional can be sure that her ‘circumstances, as described, are consistent’ with her child having been conceived as a result of rape. “This cannot be done without the risk of re-traumatising the woman and worryingly that includes the child’s name – both issues of concern raised by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The third policy she is associated with is backing Remain in the EU referendum. However her outlook was fatally undermined by her unequivocal promises from 2014 that “NO means we stay in, we are a member of the European Union.”

 

Of course we would be dragged out and no apology or explanation (not that it would mean anything) would be forthcoming. She said it would never happen, then it happened, she said she’d never work with Boris, then worked with him. This was the pattern throughout of equivocation, evasion and deceit. She was effectively a buttress against the government in Westminster, for which she was both a human shield and point of projection. The Conservative electorate here could pretend that they were electing people like her not people like the Real Tories. The Real Tories could pretend they were people like Ruth not people like Real Tories. There was two problems with this. The first is that Ruth was a Real Tory, the second was she had absolutely no power or influence whatsoever.

This was demonstrated again and again and caught fabulously by this interview with Colin Mackay:

The problem with all of this is that it doesn’t serve anyone to have politicians of the very poor caliber of Willie Rennie and Ruth Davidson not just elected but leading political parties in Scotland.

Expensive

To be fair to rise to the top of the Scottish Conservative Party is not too climb across a mountain of talent and quick wits.

She was better than Annabel Goldie.

But despite the remarkable plaudits that surrounded her sustained ordinariness her political career was characterised by evasion and defeat. For long periods of time she was absent from either constituents or available to the press.

This is the woman which the fawning Scottish press described as “contemporary and modernising” joining Britain’s feudal constitutional ruins. Let’s be clear what this means. Despite Davidson’s claims the Government gives unelected unaccountable peers like her the power to decide on our laws for life – even though they’ve lost the confidence of the electorate. And they get to claim £323 a day tax free for the privilege (after a 3% expenses hike).

The House of Lords now has over 800 unelected peers like Ruth, at a cost of £1.1m a year based on the average expenses claim, the Electoral Reform Society says. Peers can usually claim £323 a day tax-free – for the rest of their lives – for signing into the Lords. Congratulations Baroness Lundin Links!

Comments (32)

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  1. Jim Sansbury says:

    Ruthie has mair faces than the toon clock.

  2. James Robertson says:

    I am with you on all of this, Mike, except for one thing: ‘She was better than Annabel Goldie.’ I have always considered Ms Goldie to be a likeable and decent person, however much I may disagree with her politics. I met her once and we had a good and civilised conversation, which did not dissuade me from this opinion. Mind you, she also went to the Lords but I think that she went believing in the principle that she did so for the public good – a principle which, to me, is unsustainable in the context of that institution. I cannot see any similar principle underlying the past or present decisions of Baroness Lundin Links.

    1. “Better” is too vague. She was deemed “better” than her electorally, as she was, though not by much. I didn’t mean to suggest that she was “better” than Annabel Goldie – neither of whom I know at all

  3. Derek says:

    She wisnae/isnae better than Annabel Goldie, who at least seemed to function as a normal human being.

    How has it come to this; I’m defending a tory….?

  4. Tom Ultuous says:

    I’m just surprised she hasn’t been offered a slot on GB News.

  5. Alice says:

    She has probably bought herself a lovely new carpetbag. As for the Rape Clause, Ruthie, just pop it in the bag along with the undermining of Scottish society with ‘Ruthie’s boy’s’ candidates horribly translated into political reality. You are such a wee peach of a person.

  6. Wee Stonehouse says:

    Loathsome, loathsome person. And the article doesn’t have space to mention that she set up a lobbying firm when she was “spending more time with her family”.

  7. Murray says:

    If only folk knew why or how she got Boris ( a person she publicly stated “ she hated” ) . Well it was down to the 2014 Scottish independence vote ,when Ruth had a hand in the postal vote . The electoral Commission admitted that they couldn’t explain where the 361,000 extra postal votes for the No side came from . Where was no extra registration of OAPs in pension payment , medical transfers, Healthcare movements or social care transfers. Where was NO evidence to show how these 361,000 votes appeared and how they where counted as a. Lock of NO votes . If you watch the video of that referendum night and the votes coming in , which Ruth Davidson reaction when the postal votes were accepted and the officer made the statement and numbers. Some people knew there was something wrong when postal boxes appeared to building around the central belt ,with flat numbers up to 198 on a two story building . I watched the boxes being attacked the building and walls , the post van turn up and drop huge amounts of vote envelopes being thrust in . Only to watch a van turn up remove the unopened box .place it in the van a move off. I did followed the van and it removed over seventy boxes that morning . All when to a industrial building ,dropped off their boxes then went back for more. I contacted the Electoral Commission and stated what I saw, they said “ we have suspicions but we can’t
    deny or Confirm your suspicions “ their reply was more pronounced when they said CONFIRM . I asked how do I complain to ,their reply shocked me “ it’s the Westminster Government and Good Luck with that . I know the Tories and Unionists fiddled the referendum and so does Ruth Davidson,she got a seat in the House of Lords . Funny how she beats the drum for the right to choose and personal choice , but with the same stick beats them who want to choose independence . She’s a Hypocrite and a liar ,that’s uses her personal choices to beat others who see through the lies and spin. Colonist masquerading as a unionist, which she knows is a criminal offence under international law . You don’t have to believe me ,just do your home work. Mr Macdonald of the No campaign also admitted that the Westminster government used Rape and grooming data from surveys in America to win the referendum No vote .

    1. Wul says:

      Murray, you should present a clear and concise report of your concerns and what you witnessed on that night.

      You either need help with your writing or your predictive text because your comment makes no sense in parts. I’m sure others would be interested to hear what you saw and any evidence you have to back it up.

  8. Mouse says:

    A politician that has done more for the acceptance of same-sex love and family in Scottish society than any interweb blog gets slated for being a Tory / supporting Stenhousemuir F.C. / whatever.

    Scotland is a place where gay sex was still illegal in 1982, remember, and has a recent history of running two decades behind the rest of the world.

    Meanwhile, last month, a Member of the Scottish Parliament was ranting about Lothian Buses being religiously biased against Catholics. Seriously. For real. Not some madman on GB News, or the House of Lords. An elected Member of the Scottish Parliament who people voted for.

    1. James Mills says:

      Thank you Baroness Ruth for your relentless fight for the rights of LGBT citizens .
      And what reward did you receive ?
      Nothing – apart from the easiest ride by the media of any politician in living memory , a nice secure MSP’s salary + a wee bit on top as the leader of the Scottish Spiv Party , every week-end free when you DIDN’T appear for constituency duties , a growing portfolio of well remunerated part-time jobs with like-minded Spivs ,and now a sinecure for life in the HoL !
      God bless you , Ruth ! You proved that anyone who is prepared to trade principles for popularity and money is likely to succeed – if they have their path smoothed by the BBC and other friends with influence .

      1. Tom Ultuous says:

        Thanks for posting that James. Saved my typing finger.

    2. Hamish100 says:

      Mouse

      An elected Member of the Scottish Parliament who people voted for.

      Yeh, that’s how it works.

      1. Colin Robinson says:

        How else does it work, Hamish?

  9. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    Other bastions of the self-proclaimed ‘progressives’, such as New Statesman, Prospect, The Guardian, The Observer, the website Left Foot Forward were all cheerleaders for Ms Davidson, with some even dogwhistling that perhaps Scottish Labour should consider some way of having her in a leadership role.

    1. Colin Robinson says:

      Indeed! But she’s a unionist. And in our wee bubble, that trumps everything and puts her beyond the pale. Traitor!

      1. James Mills says:

        Bring on the tumbril while I get my knitting !

        1. Colin Robinson says:

          Indeed! The psychology’s the same.

  10. Alan says:

    I remember reading a piece in the Telegraph about her at the height of the “Ruth could be the next PM” stupidity. The article was nonsense but the comments from English Torygraph readers underneath were revealing. They loathed her Scottishness and mocked the idea that she could be PM. She was nothing but a useful house Jock to them with some wild and pathetic pretensions about her position and role in the prevailing British order. At the end of the day maybe she never really had any pretensions, it was all just her playing the British game, knowing fine, as was the case for many Scots before her, she’d be well-rewarded with gold and baubles for selling out her country.

    But maybe we shouldn’t be too hard on her as we look on at the current SNP who also seem quite comfortable playing out a fantasy role within the crumbling British state. Ruth the Mooth isn’t the only one that’s all talk and no action. We have a piss-pot independence party.

    1. James Mills says:

      Yes , they are all lining up to get into the Lords , aren’t they ?

      1. Alan says:

        They hardly have need of the the Lords when they are quite happy strutting around like peacocks in their little pretendy devolved parliament at Holyrood.

        Baroness Lundin Links seems an easy target to me, and one that’s likely increasingly irrelevant to what happens next in Scotland. I think we should all be more concerned with the ones who make endless promises, take people’s money under false pretenses, and do SFA.

        1. James Mills says:

          Your deployment of the term ”pretendy devolved Parliament ” says it all about who you are and what you hold dear !

        2. Alex Montrose says:

          Bozo has put Davidson into the HoL for a reason, she will join his cabinet to lead the British campaign during Indy Ref2.

          His coterie of public school boys just wont do, or D Ross.

  11. Ben Zyl says:

    “800 unelected peers like Ruth, at a cost of £1.1m a year” that sounds perilously bargain basement at £1,400 each, did you perhaps mean something more like the average peer costing the taxpayer £83,000 with the 814 members sucking up £67.9million? I think £1.1m would just be the new intake.

    1. James Mills says:

      No , £1.1m was the bar bill for Lord Foulkes !

  12. Robbie says:

    Can,t stand the woman,apart from parading around copying Margaret thatcher but in uniform (another areshole) and babbling trash with a tongue that could clip cloots as my mother used say ,she has done absolutely NOTHING for Scotland.

  13. Tom Ultuous says:

    RD for PM reminds me of the episode of Father Ted where Father Jack “dies”. A priest filing past his coffin breaks down and cries to the heavens “he should’ve been pope”.

  14. John Mooney says:

    Rape clause Ruthie leaves Holyrood to spend more time with her “Family” Some family that pays you £300 plus a day to stay at “Home” with them,Ruth the mooth,just another tory grifter on the make!

  15. Coinneach says:

    I fear the next move in the inexplicable rise and rise of Davidson, following a wee rest period in the Lords to facilitate loads of photo-ops (fitting out for the ermine robe, maiden speech, lots of policy-free BBC interviews etc) and collecting her daily fee, will be her appointment as Secretary of State for Scotland when the axe inevitably falls on the neck of perhaps the most ineffectual of all incumbents – the almost anonymous Alister Jack.

  16. John Watson says:

    Ruth Davidson always reminds me of the old saying “in the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is king”. It’s not hard to appear to be good when the competition is totally appalling.

    1. Colin Robinson says:

      Good for what? Leading an effective opposition to the Scottish government? Given the poor hand she had in terms of bums-on-seats in the Scottish parliament, how well did she play it?

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