I often complain about Westminster’s archaic voting system – the system of filing into a room and then getting manually counted as you leave the voting lobby is such a waste of time. For once I was happy to be involved in it: I was acting as a teller – someone who oversees the Government whip who is responsible for the counting. I was able to tell the Tory “No” lobby was quite empty and so I could see we were likely to win. It was good being up there when the Government whip had to hand over the results slip and step aside. This gesture itself confirms who has won the vote before the results are formally read out. So I now brag to the whips team that I have a 100% winning record!
Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia
The UK Government has lost in court over its process and dealings of arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Human rights campaigners have long argued sales to Saudi should be stopped while they commit atrocities in Yemen. Additionally, the way they treat Saudi citizens accused of diffidence often amounts to torture and/or murder. Yet the UK Government have refused to listen and in a parliamentary answer to myself confirmed that not one export licence for arms sales to Saudi has been refused. Yet, instead of this court case being a wake-up call, the UK Government are appealing it. They literally have no moral compass.
The End of the Union
It is fair to say some people complain about the SNP having the ambition of Scotland of being independent. “Don’t break up the precious union” we are told. Yet there is now another cohort who want to break up the union, or don’t care for it – the Tory party membership. Yes, 63% of the members of the “Conservative and Unionist Party” confirmed in opinion polls that they would be happy for Scotland to be independent as a by-product of Brexit. For them Brexit is more important than Scotland being in the union and more important than Northern Ireland being part of the UK. 61% think Brexit more important than the economy and 54% are happy for their own party to be destroyed as long as Brexit is achieved! The only outcome they were concerned about as a consequence of Brexit was Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister. For that, they would rather they remained in the EU. as an aside it shows how many people think Corbyn a liability as Prime Minister and he is unlikely to ever repeat the momentum he had in the 2017 general election.
The Tory leadership candidates know how important Brexit is to the Tory membership, which is why most are advocating a No Deal Brexit if need be. So they listen to their members on this, but don’t listen to their members on the fact that they don’t care about Scotland being part of the UK. Makes you think that perhaps Scotland isn’t such a drain on UK finances as they make out, doesn’t it?
These views were first expressed in the Kilmarnock Standard.