It’s been a busy few days up here both personally & politically.
I’ve spent the last two days either wielding a paintbrush or gardening whilst desperately trying to keep up with the news – it’s hard being a politics junkie and having a life at the same time – so tonight I’m squishing two blogs together.
Yesterday May ventured north to Glasgow & East Kilbride (I am aware there’s a difference) She came, she saw and well that was about it to be honest.
She had a captive audience at the Department for International Development whose applause may have looked more spontaneous if their manager hadn’t been caught on camera telling them to applaud ((at 4 mins 30)
She could have visited HMRC also in East Kilbride, but then it’s due to be closed along with the site in Cumbernauld with 2500 to lose their jobs.
She praised work being undertaken by the University of Glasgow in combating the Zika virus,unfortunate that Anton Muscatelli the university Principle has described Brexit as disastrous. Doubly so as the project she referred to whilst receiving £1 million from the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Funds also received £10 million from the EU, funding which will dry up after Brexit.
This was part of 12 minutes of soundbites which included gems such as Brexit would bring the UK together (tell that to Northern Ireland), Britain would be an unstoppable force (I bet the colonies felt they had been steamrollered at times) and that the UK is one of the greatest forces for good in the world – second largest arms seller in the world.
As per usual no questions were taken from the press.
Later she met Nicola Sturgeon in Glasgow – not in a secure Scottish Government building but instead a hotel room. (?!) And again it sounds like not a lot of substance was said. The promised powers outed all weekend by the media were non-existent.
And again no questions were taken from the press, in fact she was sneaked out of a backdoor.
This amazes me, if we are to believe the Scottish Conservatives May is only second in popularity to Ruth *most popular Scottish politician* Davidson, so why not go out and meet her adoring public in Glasgow. Let one of the Yes cities show how much they no longer want a referendum, how they have returned to Britannia warm embrace.
So what was yesterday about? Because it seems a pretty pointless exercise. Is it just a UK tour (she did Wales the other week) so she can say she’s spoken to the devolved administrations? If so she’s left it a bit bloody late. It’s not like this referendum hasn’t been sign-posted from the minute Scotland voted to stay in the EU.
Of all the parts of the UK she needed to be in yesterday, Northern Ireland would seem to be the most in need of attention. Something the Irish press are keen to point out.
May is juggling a lot of balls right now, and even with my limited juggling skills (yes I can juggle, just) I know you have to keep your eyes on all of them.
And then we come to today and the Section 30 vote in Holyrood..
So in summary:
- Tory Amendment to derail the bill defeated: 31 to 97
- Labour amendment for Federal UK defeated: 28 to 100
- A non-starter at the best of times
- Green amendment to include 16-17 year olds and EU citizens in referendum franchise passes: 69 to 59
- yes that’s right, Tories, Labour & LibDems voted together against those listed above having the right to vote on their future in Scotland
- Lib Dem amendment fails: 28 to 100
- something about uncertainty, federal blah, blah, who knows, who cares
- Bill as amended passes: 69 to 59.
The Scottish Parliament shall now request a Section 30 order from UK Government.
It then took SEVEN minutes before the Governor General said No. However as he is the monkey and not the organ-grinder I shall wait for Theresa May’s response to a formal notification. She’s been obfuscating all this last week with “Now is not the time.”
We don’t want one now (actually I do, but luckily I’m not in charge.) We want it in 18 months time once we see the results of the Brexit negotiations. An informed choice – which would be a nice change.
Of course, if Westminster does give a flat-out refusal against a democratically elected government, then it might go to court. It could be the European Court of Human Rights which would be worth it just to see the Brexit Bunch foaming. (Now it’s time for your regular reminder we only have devolved governments thanks to the Council of Europe.)
And if this week wasn’t exciting enough, tomorrow May sends the letter that will start Article 50, so that brand new pound they launched today will probably be worth 90p by the end of the day. I notice she’s picked up the Trump habit of having the document signing recorded.
Have I missed anything? Oh yeah they’ve found another shit-tonne of oil off Shetland.
Featured image from @raiphsays