Liz Truss is back...regrettably

LIZ Truss has signalled an attempt at a political comeback with an extraordinary 4000 word whinge in the Telegraph newspaper on Sunday in which she blames the “left wing financial establishment” (Yes, you read that right) for her downfall.

Who knew that the Bank of England, the OBR, the bond markets, and currency traders were fully paid-up members of the Socialist Workers Party. It only proves that there is no delusion like Tory self-delusion and that the Tories are dangerous not just because of the damage they do but because they are incapable of apologising and taking responsibility. Given half a chance would do the same thing all over again.

Dominic Raab drags Rishi into hot water 

Allegations of bullying continue to dog Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab. There are now complaints of bullying and intimidating behaviour from at least 24 civil servants who worked under Raab, who has vehemently denied the allegations.

Questions are being asked about when Rishi Sunak knew of the allegations. So far, Sunak has denied that he knew there were questions about Raab's behaviour when he appointed the former Foreign Secretary as deputy prime minister.  But it has since come to light that Sunak was warned about Raab some months previously and appointed him anyway despite Sunak's promise to restore integrity, accountability and professionalism to government.

Rishi rips up EU legislation

There are fears of a trade war with the EU as leading European politicians warn that Sunak's plan to scrap all remaining EU legislation by the end of this year will trigger retaliatory measures, including tariffs on British goods exported to the EU.

The EU is concerned that the UK is about to lower standards in areas such as employment rights and consumer protection, a breach of the 'level playing field' provisions which were a key part of the UK's Brexit deal with the EU.

We can be sure that the Tories did not take us out of the EU because they wanted to strengthen our employment and consumer rights. Once again the UK is showing itself to be a bad faith actor.

Sunak has also signalled plans to take the UK out of the European Convention on Human Rights amidst reports that he and Home Secretary Suella Braverman are finalising proposals for the most extreme immigration legislation the UK has ever seen, legislation which will take the UK to the “boundaries” of international law.

The fact is that if your immigration laws - laws introduced to placate the right wing press - conflict with an international convention on human rights, it's not the convention on human rights which is the problem, it's your cruel and inhumane immigration policy.

The denial of Scotland's democracy continues

But today I want to look in more detail at a story which Scotland's anti-independence media has for entirely predictable reasons chosen to ignore. Yet again the Conservatives have confirmed that the traditional understanding of the nature of the United Kingdom as a voluntary union is dead.

This weekend Scotland Secretary Alister Jack wrote to the SNP's deputy Westminster leader to say it was 'obvious' that the people of Scotland can decide on their constitutional future in a referendum.

His remarks come after repeated failed attempts to get the Prime Minister to set out the democratic route to another independence referendum. Cutting through the usual waffle, Jack's argument boils down to an assertion that the people of Scotland can have another independence referendum, but only when there is a cross party consensus that they should have one.

In other words, those parties which the electorate of Scotland reject at the ballot box should be allowed a veto on whether there should ever be another referendum. To paraphrase Spock from Star Trek: "It's democracy Jim, but not as we know it."

The only reason that the Conservative government of David Cameron agreed to a referendum in 2014 was because he arrogantly believed that the No campaign could secure a crushing victory which would settle the matter in Westminster's favour for the foreseeable future.

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No Westminster government is going to make that mistake again, so the 'consensus' that Jack speaks of will never be repeated. Jack knows that fine well, but it is politically vital that the Conservatives and Labour maintain the fiction that the UK is a voluntary union.

No Conservative or Labour Prime Minister will consent to another independence referendum as long as there is even an outside chance that Yes might win, and if there is no realistic chance of a Yes victory they'd deny a referendum on the grounds that there is no demand for one.

Jack said that the 'duck test' would make it clear when the majority consensus for indyref2 had been reached. "If it looks like a duck and it sounds like a duck and it waddles like a duck then it's probably a duck."

We could say much the same thing about Jack's denial of democracy. If it looks like denial of democracy and it sounds like denial of democracy and it waddles like denial of democracy then it's probably denial of democracy.

As Mhairi Black commented: “It is not for the people of Scotland to decide our future then, it is for them to decide. Are we to be at the mercy of the UK's political party branch offices for eternity when it comes to Scotland's democratic rights?"

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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