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  • Writer's pictureErin Mwembo

Trumpian tactics on full display from the Tories

On March 5th 2021, the Herald reported that PM Boris Johnson was found to have misled parliament over COVID contracts. This is part of a pattern: the Westminster government has spent billions on secret contracts without tenders; on unusable PPE; a ferry company with no ships; illegal legislation intended to break international law; an illegal parliament prorogation; two snap general elections that broke the Fixed Term Parliament Act. Will Mr Johnson join his friends, George Freeman, Matt Hancock and Priti Patel, in facing no repercussions for breaching the ministerial code?

When questioned about the breach of minister code by members of his own Party, Douglas Ross claimed the situation South of the border should be dealt “with due process” and attacked the SNP, calling the party “corrupt”. It sure does seem rather bold and hypocritical, considering the way the conservatives have acted over the last 5 years. However, I think it signals a shift in approach. The Tories weren’t exactly a beacon of honesty under Baroness Davison, however new tactics have shown new depths of mistruth. The Tories attack lines are riddled with lies and false assertions, becoming increasingly outlandish. This new bolshy (rather masculine) approach is unnervingly similar to that used by Trump.

The Scottish Tories’ new line is “Let’s unite to take Scotland forward”. But we know that the Tories feed off of division. The division of BREXIT led Boris Johnson into power. The division created by individualist ideals has created a perfect storm to draw in Tory voters. Division between classes, races, religion and age fuels the Tory agenda. The divisive messaging, imagery and actions of the conservatives go diametrically against this new line. If the Tories wanted unity, they wouldn’t resort to name-calling, ignoring parliamentary processes and attempting to ban the public from a vote on their future.

At the top of the Tory agenda has been our First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. In what has been described as “naked politicking”, the Tories have prejudged the outcome of the alleged breach of minister code. In what seems like a leap into the abyss, the Tories have cowped the table and demanded a vote of no confidence in the FM before hearing any of her evidence. The FM has shown transparency and willingness to cooperate, in sharp contrast to the evident “cover-up” job South of the Border. The FM has been praised for her integrity and humility, which have been shown to be key to the success of the party under her leadership. As the first minister says herself, scrutiny is vital for a functioning democracy. Any sensible bystander can clearly see that prejudging the outcome of a parliamentary enquiry disrespects the role of the parliamentary process. It is not up to Douglas Ross and his spin-doctors to decide the outcome of the committee and Hamilton enquiry.

Recent events show that the Tories are clutching at straws. Last week, Douglas Ross said “The SNP are dragging down the reputation of the Scottish Parliament and our treasured institutions. I can only imagine what people abroad are thinking when they look to Scotland today and see the state of our nation.”. It seems to me that Mr Ross mustn’t have access to google because a very simple search reveals what the international community are really saying...

The international coverage are worlds apart. It’s clear that the Tories Trumpian tactics are being employed to stoke unease. They’re realising that their approach is not working and making little impact, as the SNP remain high in the polls. I recommend this thread which highlights the Trumpain tactics of the Tories -

It is a sign we are winning, but we haven’t won yet. We must continue to challenge bad-faith politics and call out misinformation. Honesty and transparency shall prevail.


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