Britain is Broken opinion ScotRef

Tories continue to boost the case for Yes vote in indyref2

Written by Richard Walker

Senior Tory politicians have been busy showing why independence is such an attractive option for Scotland.

Last week’s disastrous visit to Scotland by Prime Minister Boris Johnson was capped off by a dreadful joke about Margaret Thatcher’s decimation of Scotland’s mining communities being good for the environment.

A senior member of his party in Scotland has shown that a dodgy sense of humour is a prerequisite for party membership. Tory MSP Murdo Fraser has been criticised for ‘’joking’’  that a tank could ‘’hopefully’’ be ‘’deployed on Glasgow streets to deal with protesters during COP 26”.

The massive conference to discuss the ‘’code red’’ climate crisis will be held in the city in just over two months. Mr Fraser’s tweet was made in response to a parody account’s announcement about a fictitious ‘’’eco-friendly tank’’’.

Mr Fraser’s crass joke is far from the only controversy he has sparked

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie quoted the MSP, saying: “Bizarrely, this is not a parody account.”

Mr Fraser’s crass joke is far from the only controversy he has sparked. In June he came under fire after appearing on a radio show to urge people from Manchester to ignore then current Scottish government Covid travel restrictions and come to Scotland.

Urging people to break the law and put public health at risk to score a political point was a shocking step too far.

To add to Conservative woes Boris Johnson’s cabinet was plunged into disarray over weekend reports that the Prime Minister was on the verge of demoting chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak… rumours of demotion

That was quickly followed by suggestions he was planning to ditch Priti Patel as home secretary and replace her with Michael Gove after becoming increasingly frustrated at her failure to stop Channel migrant crossings.

That move is proving too much even for some Tories. According to reports they are worried that Gove would then be in charge of reducing drug use.  One insider was quoted as describing it as an  “interesting move given his [Gove’s]  own personal experience of cocaine”.

During the Tory leadership contest in 2019 he admitted to taking cocaine on “several occasions at social events” when he was a journalist more than 20 years ago.

Signs are beginning to emerge that UK voters are beginning to lose faith in Boris Johnson and his government. Forty percent of those recently asked by pollsters rated the Conservative administration as ‘’incompetent’’.

The percentage of those who say the UK government is competent dropped to 28% in the poll carried out by Redfield & Wilton Strategies. The poll put the government’s net competency rating at -12%, while the Prime Minister’s own approval rating  dropped substantially in just one week and now stands at -11%.

Almost half of those questioned said they disapprove of his overall job performance, compared with 35% who think he’s doing a good job.

The poll does suggest Johnson is facing competition from Chancellor Rishi Sunak. When compared head-to-head, 34% of people say Mr Sunak would make the best PM now compared to 36% for Mr Johnson.

Amazingly, UK voters still seem willing to support the Prime Minister and his party at the ballot box. The Conservatives remain top for voting intention at 40%, a drop of just 1% compared to a poll conducted by the same company last week.

The Conservative party reputation is hardly being helped by the continuing controversy over former Tory Prime Minister David Cameron over his lobbying work for a now collapsed finance firm.

Mr Cameron is back in the headlines this week as new details emerged suggesting he made about £7m from Greensill Capital, which went left investors facing billions in losses when it went into administration in March.

Before the firm’s collapse, the former Tory Prime Minister tried – and failed – to persuade ministers to invest taxpayers’ money in Greensill loans

Documents obtained by the BBC Panorama programme  are reported to show Mr Cameron cashed in shares in Greensill Capital worth around £3.3m in 2019.

Before the firm’s collapse, the former Tory Prime Minister tried – and failed – to persuade ministers to invest taxpayers’ money in Greensill loans.

A government-commissioned inquiry set up to investigate Mr Cameron’s dealing with senior politicians  and Whitehall officials cleared him of breaking any lobbying rules. But MPs said the former prime minister showed a “significant lack of judgement”.

There are many positive reasons why independence offers the best future for Scotland. But the chance to escape some of the UK political so-called big-hitters is a big attraction too.

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Richard Walker

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