Brexit battles smokescreen as Tory hard right show teeth

by Ken Ferguson • The conventional media wisdom that the British state is in confusion post the Brexit vote is a best lazy thinking and in some respects dangerous nonsense.

The Tory right is firmly in control headed by the unelected Prime Minister May installed without a passing glance at the voters in a brutal Tory party coup in the wake of Cameron’s fall.

They are, after all, the oldest ruling class in the world with legendary ability to react to events and to shape them to their advantage. Brexit, while complex, is no exception to this rule.

Thus, without a hint of a blush, Tory politicians and their allies in the gutter press who regularly pontificate on the sovereignty of parliament and the sanctity of the rule of law turned on the judges who ruled that parliament must be part of triggering Brexit.

In a campaign of vilification described by some Tory dissidents as “fascist” the attack dogs of right wing extremism, led by the reptiles of the Daily Mail, labelled the judges, Stalin style, as “enemies of the people”.

It is beyond irony that this fury was generated by the self same forces which preached to voters on the need to “take back control” with laws made by a British parliament and enforced by British judges only now to about turn and argue for all power to secret elites in Downing Street.

The months ahead are now set for an intense period of parliamentary and legal battles which might well result in a UK general election which on, current polling, would return a Tory landslide.

If anybody has any doubts that this would result in an even more hard hearted right wing Toryism just needs to glance at the record of the supposedly pro-working class May since she took power.

As the Voice goes to press, Tory caps on benefits are set to slash payments to the poorest in the land with some losing as much as £6,000 a year to “encourage them to work” while the promised crack down on tax dodging bosses is nowhere to be seen.

Billions are pumped into the Chinese/French nuclear white elephant at Hinckley point and handed to rail profiteers who are hell bent on confronting rail workers instead of delivering service.

And in a stunning demonstration of class politics the Home Secretary and leading pro-EU figure Amber Rudd waved away calls for an enquiry into the atrocity of Orgreave on the grounds that nobody died—given the events of the day, more through luck than planning.

All this plays out against a sickening background of growing racism, attacks on migrants and an atmosphere of union jack waving pseudo-patriotism of which the harnessing of the war dead to right wing politics is just the latest example.

Now imagine this toxic mix with a big majority and a defeated Labour Party in even worse turmoil than it presently is and the hands of the free market Brexiteers in full cry to trash the minimum workers rights and environmental protection based on the EU and a real nightmare starts to unfold.

This nightmare scenario would also be played out against a background of growing right wing power in Germany and France both due to vote next year and with the likes of Le Pen drawing comfort and inspiration from a far right UK government.

It is in this all too possible context that the independence movement needs to be clear about its aims and objectives.

Central to its approach must be the clear belief that the demand for independence is a central democratic demand essential to winning a progressive Scotland free from the imposition of proto racist market led Boris Johnson Toryism.

The current presentation of the issue by the SNP government as a bargaining chip in the bigger game of EU membership is both profoundly mistaken and poses real dangers.

Indeed the truth that significant figures in the SNP such as ex-minister Alex Neil favour Brexit simply points up the difficulties of linking EU membership and a campaign for independence.

In the incredibly dangerous context facing Scotland, it falls to the progressive left which played such a key role in reaching 45 per cent in 2014 to fashion a campaign for and popularise a vision of an independence Scotland capable of convincing the millions of working class Scots that another Scotland is possible.

Such a vision needs to show how policies such as a basic income can combat poverty, publicly owned energy both meet the demand for clean power and re-industrialise sectors such as engineering and offer an approach which sees Scotland pursue a path putting the needs of people and planet before profit.

This kind of vision has the potential to mobilise progressives from the SSP, RISE, Greens and left wing SNP members and broad swathes of campaigners of no party.

It can both offer a bold vision going beyond the cautious managerialism of the Sturgeon administration and provides fuel for a campaign for real independence linked to real change.

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