Helen Martin: May's ignorance of Scotland a gift to SNP
Dear Theresa May . . . as Scottish voters go, I am what is known as a 'floater' or, to avoid smutty jokes, an 'undecided'.
I’ve always been that way, but I would not describe myself as “fickle”. I don’t believe in one party always being right, in fact I abhor the blind faith of party loyalty. Times change, circumstances change, policies change and thus, so does my vote.
So I’m probably as close as can be to an objective voter. I didn’t decide on my EU referendum vote until the last minute, and whenever the next indyref happens – and eventually it will – I’ll probably be swithering between Yes or No.
But even I can understand how your current Prime Ministerial attitude is an outright gift to the SNP and all those who desperately want to escape the UK.
Like some other PMs before you, I have to say, you just don’t get it. In fact, every time you open your mouth on the subject you put your foot in it.
Your standard line is that the SNP wants to “pull the country apart”. The UK is a union of four countries, not one, and your failure to comprehend that is your undoing.
Scotland is a country with its own history. Even before devolution, it had its own legal system, its own education system and its own bank notes. Its health and social services work differently from their English counterparts and of course, it has always had a different political view from England. Hence, at the last election only one Conservative MP was elected in the whole of the country.
You may like to think of it as a “region” such as Yorkshire or Northumberland, but in that you are wrong. You may believe that independence is a minority goal and thwarting the SNP government will make it go away. Wrong again.
David Cameron and Nick Clegg made that mistake too, and then panicked when the polls indicated a Yes win, forcing them and Gordon Brown to whistle-stop tour Scotland feigning respect and promising a future of an equal partnership – which never came to pass and was instantly binned following a narrow No victory.
You also appear to be under the delusion that policies which work for England will also work for Scotland, an attitude which reveals how little you know or care about geography, industry, population and politics north of the Border.
It also suggests that you ignore how much Scottish voting patterns differ from English, not just in terms of party but also wider issues such as Brexit.
Add together all these elements of your behaviour and remarks towards Scotland and its democratically elected First Minister, and surely even you can realise how that ignorant, dismissive, ill-informed stance and stubborn refusal is doing even more than the SNP to break up the union.
I voted Yes in the last independence referendum. The next one will pose greater questions, such as “what happens if we can’t remain in or re-join the EU”, or “how will we feel if Brexited England booms in the world trade market while the EU continues to struggle”?
Sands have shifted so much that whenever the referendum comes, both my vote and the result could go either way. But if Scotland becomes independent that will partly be your doing.
You may even go down in Scottish history as a motivating factor in Nationalist success.
The fur flies at Cheltenham
AS displayed at the Cheltenham Festival, real animal fur and feathers have become in vogue again or as fashionistas declare, “on-trend”.
Well, what could be nicer than killing a defenceless animal to drape yourself in its pelt? How about killing your dog or cat to make a pretty hat or collar?
I remember the days when a woman wearing fur in the UK risked being daubed with paint by animal rights protesters and scowled at by ordinary members of the public.
Today some of them will be the same distasteful, air-heads, who carry genetically miniaturised dogs wearing little ‘human’ outfits in their snakeskin shoulder bags and wear expensive cosmetics tested on caged rabbits.
I don’t know which is more disgusting – their interpretation of what looks ‘good’ or their asinine lack of conscience.
Care home funding is a No1 priority
SCOTTISH care homes’ funding negotiations with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities have collapsed, carrying the risk of closures as the under one per cent increase offered went nowhere near the 8.5 per cent increase in costs.
One major factor in the soaring costs is that more and more people live longer at home and enter care homes later in life with more complex medical needs plus advanced dementia, all of which go way beyond the care a family can deliver. Increasingly, residents need 24-hour supervision, nursing and palliative care.
The number of nurses needed has risen while the number available has reduced. One night shift can cost as much as £800.
This is a priority that trumps pot-holes, tram extension, tourist attractions and almost anything else councils fund apart from education.
There is no alternative other than leaving the elderly to die at home.
Mary knows her onions
MARY Berry got pelters on social media for admitting she’s never ordered a takeaway pizza.
Excuse me, but what wise woman would ever pay about £10 for something she could make at home for £2.50?