The media have been salivating in recent days about the prospect of a Tory revival in Scotland. There’s been much speculation about what has been driving this [apparent] phenomenon and whether the numbers from an STV local election can transfer across to a FPTP General Election? While the story we’re told is of an effervescent and media-savvy ‘kick-boxing’ Tory leader, bringing together an ‘anti-independence’ coalition, there is other evidence of the rise of British nationalism combining with a brutal lumpen extremism. Welcome to the new Tory Scotland mired in cultural self-hatred, fear and loathing of the other and with a craving for strong leadership that’s just a drum-bang away from fascism.
Don’t believe me?
Reading the words from Alastair Majury, the new Tory councillor for Dunblane, Kathleen Leslie, Fife, Ron McKail, Westhill, Aberdeenshire, Neill Graham, Paisley Northeast, Renfrewshire – and many others – should reassure you that this is no exageration. Read Michael Gray on ‘Extremist Tory candidates elected to councils across Scotland’ here.
Councillor Neill Graham is a prime example of where loyalism and the far far-right converge.
Still, best celebrate the ‘Tory revival’ and their chirpy leader.
Yet homophobia, racism, bigotry, misogyny, are the common and shared ideas expressed by many of the councillors now elected to run local services.
There’s no reason why Scotland should be immune to the rise of the far-right? With the Tories morphing into UKIP, the collapse of a discernible left voice and with an active recruiting group in the loyalist foot soldiers, Ruth Davidson has benefited from consolidating the anti-independence forces. But she’s not doing this all on her lonesome.
As Stuart Christie writes:
“The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland — the dead fly in ‘the apothecary’s ointment’— is, possibly, with a claimed membership of 50,000, the largest and most effective pressure group, both clandestine and overt, dedicated to promoting Unionism and undermining and sabotaging the idea of Scottish independence. It is these members and proxies of the GOLS, many of them previously stalwarts of the Labour Party, especially in Glasgow and the West of Scotland, who have switched their allegiance in an attempt to thwart a second independence referendum, which is one explanation for Tory gains in the recent council elections. Like other fundamentalist and tribal mindsets such as Islamic State/Daesh (other mindsets are available, but can’t think of any offhand), it is difficult, frustrating and time-consuming to argue the toss with them; the only hope is in the sentiment expressed by psychologist William James: ‘The ceaseless whisper of the more permanent ideals, the steady tug of truth and justice, give them but time, must warp the world in their direction.’”
Every country has it’s own brand of fascist.
Ours has cultivated the hatred of the other for decades, we’ve justified, colluded with and mainstreamed bigotry, giving it oxygen and airplay every week. If this has now been hyped and boosted by Brexit and the new toxic playground of social media, why should we be surprised? The Tories have been complicit in playing the bigot card for years and it’s now fair-play to blame everything from school standards to hospital waiting lists on ‘immigrants’.
If it doesn’t quite fit with the story we’re told of Britain and Britishness as the font of everything inclusive, multicultural and pan-national, against the story of those nasty parochial Scottish ‘separatists’, neither does it fit with the story we tell ourselves of a ‘Tory-free Scotland’. British exceptionalism is a fraud, but so too is Scottish. The truth about Scotland’s right-wing forces is bubbling to the surface.
This is a country drunk on nationalism, that talks about ‘reparations’ from the EU (seriously) and has fine-tuned a grievance culture for it’s own dim-witted electoral self-harming. With news that reads more like psyops and economic violence raining down on the poorest in our society, out they vote.
So we get a country that fetishises militarism, revels in its own colony status, foments hatred of its own culture and has accepted mainstreaming a fear of foreigners as a sort of panacea. You are left wondering what will they do when Brexit breaks Britain? LOL.