And Finally: Today Mrs May in is France to meet with President Macron. She is sure to congratulate him on the stunning success of his new party “En Marche” in the first round of the National Assembly elections. He will probably tactfully reply that the weather has been somewhat indifferent this summer, n’est ce pas?
So, a few days ago, I got a communication from the Conservative candidate in Dundee East. Kind of her to get in touch, I thought. Dundee East’s a relatively safe SNP seat these days. Previously it was a relatively safe Labour seat. So it’s a fair guess that she’s not going to be elected. But Munguin and I had a look at it, just out of interest. We were a quite a bit surprised.
Here is the leaflet:
Now I don’t remember ever getting a Tory leaflet through my door before, so I’m wondering if they have always been in the habit of calling themselves the Conservative and Unionist Party. Of course, I know it’s their full name, but I didn’t think they used it.
Next, I note that we have a small picture of Eleanor Price, so we know who she is. Under that is a bar chart with the percentage vote taken from a Sunday Times Poll from back in April. Clearly though, that was the picture in the whole of Scotland at that time, and not in Dundee, and there is no real guarantee that the vote in YES city would reflect these figures. (Since the seat was established in the 1950s it has been either Labour or SNP. Never Tory.)
Thirdly, we see a large photograph of Ruth Davidson. Why? This is a Westminster Election. Ruth Davidson isn’t standing; she’s not going to be an MP. What has she got to do with it? The UK’s man in Scotland is supposed to be the Secretary of State, David Mundell. We pay him an exceedingly generous salary to do that job… he and some aristocrat who is allegedly his deputy. So why Ruth, who is only the leader of the Scottish Branch of the Conservative and Unionist Party.? (Is there even such a legal party as the Scottish Conservatives? I can’t find it registered with the Electoral Commission.)
Lastly, we note that Ruth has adopted the William Bain Principle. In short, regardless of what the SNP proposes, she will oppose it. So that’s a nice, grown up, constructive attitude to take, huh?
Ms Price’s priorities, if returned to Westminster would be, first and foremost to oppose the SNP’s plans (do they actually have any yet) for a referendum.
She quite reasonably wishes to support local business. To be honest, which party, save maybe the Communist Party, would not? She spoils that noble idea by bringing in the somewhat discredited and incredibly overplayed “strong and stable” catch phrase.
If she spent her time in Westminster campaigning, as she proposes here, for better educational attainment, she might find that the Speaker would ask her to be seated, and her Scottish Parliament opposite number might ask her to butt out of HER job. It’s outwith Westminster’s remit (unless she knows something more than we do about Mayhem’s intention to take back powers).
The the best of my knowledge roads and all but cross-border transport (so that wouldn’t be local) are also outwith her job description…again with the proviso that she may be privy to London’s plans to reduce Edinburgh’s remit.
Of course, she’d kinda have to promise to be a strong voice for Dundee… so that’s a given.
And finally, we get a couple of photographs of her in Broughty Ferry, on her own with the castle and then with two brothers who are Tory councillors for the Broughty Ferry Ward.
I hope she knows that there is a good deal more to the constituency than that.
We’ve said it before, and we will say it again, specifically before the cut off date for getting registered to vote (May 22). Prepare to be bored.
If you are happy to accept what your dad, grandma, great-granny and their peers vote for, then skip the visit to the polling station. After all, it’s ten minutes of your life that you won’t get back and there are probably things you would rather be doing.
You might want to consider, though, whether you’d let your grandparents chose your clothes, your car, your furnishings, your choice of music or your girlfriend/boyfriend. It would save you some time, certainly.
On the other hand, living with that choice might be difficult. A Tom Jones concert and a pair of smart beige slacks?
So, if you would prefer to choose your own government, particularly in light of the upcoming negotiations to withdraw from the world, (and you might want to choose people a little more in touch with reality and the 21st century than Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox, the disgraced ex-defence minister, not to mention the frightful Theresa) maybe you should think about giving up that ten minutes and voting.
After all, your granny probably won’t want to avail herself of Erasmus or take a job in Germany or Sweden… but you might want to.
I just saw this on Twitter. A Conservative supporter is sent a begging letter by Conservative Campaign Headquarters (remember, we used to get them under the name Peregrine). Anyway, the line before the sign off reads: “We are finalising our election plans now, David…”
But, wait. It was only today that the Conservatives had their debate in parliament and only yesterday that the Cabinet agreed to put it to parliament, or so we are told.
So, how can they possibly be finalising their plans? Surely they couldn’t have planned a general election since yesterday’s announcement and be putting the final touches to it within 24 hours?
Oh, and on the subject of the Tory election campaign, it seems that those being questioned by the police over their involvement in the election fraud from two years ago will be allowed to stand as candidates this time.
I suppose the Tory press will have very little to say about that. Imagine if some other party had tried to pull that stunt?
In Scotland to be considered for a government contract a company must be able to show that it is paying what the UK government laughingly calls a living wage and that there is no exploitative use of zero-hours contracts in the organisation.
I’m not sure that anyone could much disagree with that.
I’d expect the same thing to happen in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, although I don’t know if it’s so.
But there is a new condition for contracts being awarded to companies by the UK/English government and it worries me.
They are calling it ‘Cultural Fit’. A company must fit with the cultural of the British government if they wish to work on a state contract. Does that mean they have to agree with other government policies too? If so, how many of them and which ones? Does it mean all the company’s staff have to agree with the government or just the management?
Will they be asking if you are Protestant or Catholic?
What about if you are a monarchist or republican?
Do you vote Tory?
Do you back the privatisation of all state assets?
Have you donated to the Conservative Party?
And if the government can legally do that on its contracts, will they allow companies to hire staff on that basis? What next? Will unemployment and sickness benefits be paid only to Brexiteers?
And, given the balance of opinion in Scotland, 62 to 38, does that mean that Scottish firms will be even more disadvantaged on UK government contract bidding?
I know it sounds ridiculous, but back in the 1980s Tory ex-prime minister Harold MacMillan couldn’t believe that Mrs Thatcher was selling off the family silver, and that was only the electricity, gas and telecoms companies. Now virtually everything in England is privatised. Petit à petit; pas à pas, as they might say in France, these things grow.