Why would anyone in Scotland back Boris Johnson’s toxic brand of Conservatism?

THROUGHOUT most of my life, politics wasn’t a major deal. Family and friends varied over who they voted for, and several like me were never consistent from one election to the next.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 7:00 am
Several English MPs have deserted the Conserative Party under Boris Johnson, so why haven’t at least some Scottish Tories followed suit, asks Helen Martin

I was only 17 in 1970 when 18-year-olds were first allowed to vote, so my first election was in 1974.

I started with Liberals, though it was always the case that either Labour or Tories would win. Labour succeeded with a narrow majority of only a few seats. Surprisingly the SNP acquired seven seats when previously they’d only had one MP.

Scotland had no devolution, so in general elections it was (to my young mind) a flick of a coin as to whether left or right wing took control.

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Five years later everything changed as Margaret Thatcher became PM, and life in Scotland became worse. We were her testing country for poll tax. Over half Scotland’s homes were owned by councils, so when Thatcher launched the sale of council houses it was disastrous, not to mention her closure of industries and selling off national public services.

Many hoped Labour would somehow correct all of that, but it was 1997 before they won. And PM Tony Blair turned out to be like a left-wing Conservative. Yet he, and subsequently David Cameron, were involved establishing our devolved parliament. Even then I had friends who voted for different parties and we still respected each other.

Chatting with a pal I spoke about Scotland having a different culture and a socialist attitude compared to England. She denied that – a Tory of course.

Now there are some neighbours, friends etc who vote differently but we still get on – and don’t discuss politics very much.

But with a few, friendship has ended because those who vote Unionist become angry and no longer feel like “chums”.

And that’s not surprising because we are now getting closer to an election that has less to do with political issues and is totally focused on Independence – or not.

What I cannot understand is why anyone in Scotland can remain Unionist Conservative with Boris Johnson and his cabinet leading that party. Even several English MPs have deserted them. Why haven’t Scottish Tories?

Around 37 NHS surgeries (in London) have already been sold to a US private health insurance company. Public money from tax and borrowing has been paid to Boris’s mistress, and several Tory financial supporters with contracts for pandemic services they were not able to provide. Brexit has been based on misleading and proven lies, killing the UK’s economy and trades. International law has been broken and the GFA is at risk. Westminster does nothing to support the poor, homeless, unemployed, or hungry children. And Scotland is being maintained as a nuclear Trident dumping ground.

The SNP must be get a majority if we are to achieve independence and EU membership. But we won’t be governed for ever by the SNP. Some Labour voters want independence, and if Scottish Tories pull themselves together, reject Unionism and current Conservative corruption, learn to work for their own country and adopt at least a little socialism, one day they could also help to govern our future, as a genuinely Scottish party.

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