“ You stick to Politics and I’ll stick to Bon Jovi, it’s best that way “
So said my friend Martha when we were reflecting upon the recent Council elections. The hint really was on the motor vehicles, not a Brexit coach but our cars , mine has SNP stickers her’s has Bon Jovi . But in fairness to her while she would probably recognise Boris Johnson , I’d not have a hope with Bon Jovi.
Her reasoning is very understandable, her position is less stressful and Bon Jovi is far more accessible than Westminster politics. I get that. So probably do the 22.7% of the eligible British Public who did not vote in the last general election . Although interestingly Scotland at 68.1% turn out was the highest in the UK and East Dunbartonshire at 80.3% was the highest turnout in the country.
I like Martha. I really like Martha, everyone should have a Martha in their lives if not for her ever present smile and caring nature then for the political grounding that comes with every conversation .
I sense right now, Bon Jovi ( other Iconic bands are also available) have more attention for much of the non-voting public than Westminster . So I wonder what the legion of Marthas might have thought of last night’s confidence vote in the Prime Minister? Probably very little, so I’d better have a crack at it.
When far right wing Tory MPs who lied happily and consciously throughout the Brexit campaign say you should resign because you have no moral authority, it is probably time to ‘consider your position’ . But then if you are a liar with a flexible moral compass you probably don’t quite see it that way.
When as a confused Tory MP, Jeremy Hunt appears to be the white knight coming over the horizon to save your political career, it is possibly time to consider career change .
When your political leader in Scotland begins to resemble James the Engine who got stuck on a turntable that kept spinning due to high winds in the Thomas the Tank Engine story , you know you have a problem
When four out of six Scottish MPs vote against the PM in a confidence vote there is an issue .
When the talent ( or is that loyalty) pool for Ministers in the Scottish Office is so sparse you have to rely on an MP for Milton Keynes as the effective Deputy Secretary of State, what does that say to Scotland?
We are in an interesting place, possibly in the way that the Chinese use the word interesting to describe a situation that really is less than desirable. Good politics in terms of good governance is often not “interesting” politics because that defines a state of instability .
Politics is a journey and with all good journeys the phrase “ are we nearly there yet?” will get asked . Are we nearly at the end of Boris ? Martha help us .
But consider this, the Conservatives won the last general election with 43.6% of the popular vote which , according to my maths, based on the percentage that did vote, suggests that 29.3% of the British population are responsible for putting the Conservatives in charge of this country. Due mainly to the first past the post system .
With 148 Conservatives voting against the PM last night and 211 voting for him we can look at another statistic .
So 58% of the Party in Parliament supported him. Assuming, as Nadine Dorries seems to suggest, that the rest are now political toast we have another problem. That means that 58% of the 43.6% are now running the country . About 25% of the votes that returned politicians to Westminster ? My maths, as is my faith in politics , is fading at this point
You can put it another way , 32% of the 650 MPs are running the country and they are by and large the most right wing exponents of their trade. Oh and by the way according to a political commentator today, of the 211, 70% had jobs in government. Like the proverbial turkeys they did not vote for Christmas, doubtless they followed the guidance of their moral compass.
While Douglass Ross’s compass has lost sight of true North.
Sorry to go on about statistics but there are other very interesting measures to consider. With 21.9% of the constituency votes and 23.5% of the Regional votes in the 2021 Holyrood election Conservatives hold 24% of the seats in the Scottish Parliament.
You would have thought it might have occurred at least to Scottish Conservatives that they are better placed in a Scottish system that at least guarantees a fair proportional representation of the political views ?
Consider Westminster , SNP 45% of the vote and 45 seats Conservatives 25.1% of the vote and 6 seats . But no . We will stick with the UK being one of the three European Democracies who do not use proportional representation as opposed to the 40 who do. British exceptionalism, Mother of Parliaments. Beefeaters, use whatever stereotype you like, they are worryingly accurate.
We are reaching a point where it must be obvious even to the ever spinning Douglas that Conservatism in Union is less attractive than Conservatism out of Union .
There is of course that irritating little “ and Unionist Party “ codicil that hampers things . But Douglas get with the plan and smell the Coffee. Even in a broadly social democratic country there is room for conservatism as a needed counter balance.
As someone who ( bizarrely ) has a foot in both camps this should be very clear case to consider. Isn’t it better to have 24% of a legislature on your doorstep rather than 6 out of 59 seats in Westminster ?
Poor Martha, I wonder if she read this far ? But I did pay attention, sympathies for the sad loss of Alec John Such, founding member of Bon Jovi who died very recently, he was a great bassist ( apparently .)
He will certainly be more missed than Boris but I’m not sure he (or Martha) would have appreciated the comparison .