One of the really interesting things about elections is the opportunity for everybody to get involved, ask questions, challenge political nonsense, whoever it comes from, and run their own campaigns to keep politicians on their toes.
Leaving it all to the politicians is what most are inclined to do but certainly not everybody. Our democracy permits campaigning groups to campaign freely during elections and this is something the Electoral Commission actively encourages by setting out rules that make it easy for local and national groups to be formed. They are not required to register as long as they abide by the spending limits set out by the Electoral Commission.
Participation in a democracy can be much more than just going out to vote. Politicians need to be made accountable during elections because after they are elected you might find out they have been lying to you.
Boris Johnson has something of a reputation when it comes to veracity free stuttering mouthfuls of nonsense. Something he somehow manages to get away with because he promises to get Brexit done and is currently leading in the polls.
Rebels get kicked out of the Boris Party
Every Conservative candidate throughout the UK has signed up to whatever Boris Johnson wants and we have the evidence of what happened to those who rebelled against him in the last parliament.
Twenty-one Conservative MPs had the whip withdrawn and 11 ended up being forced out of a party they had served for years, decades in some cases. Those with a more ‘centre position’ often referred to as ‘One Nation’ conservatives were pushed out with many deciding to call it a day like Ken Clarke, Nicky Morgan, Amber Rudd, Nick Boles. and former Chancellor Philip Hammond.
Others like Dominic Grieve are standing as independents and the feisty Anna Soubry, who left the Tories back in February to join Change UK. Soubry will stand as a candidate in Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire for ChangeUK which she is now leader of.
Their record as ‘former’ conservatives certainly does not make them centre or left radicals but they did have political experience and can be applauded for standing up to a party that is very different to the party they joined and from which they have been drenched with totally unacceptable abuse – to the extent they now require security protection to a degree previously unheard of in UK politics.
The Boris Johnson replacements, where the Tories manage to hold these seats, will be a new and unknown crop shaped by a far-right backseat agenda driven by Farage and infused with Johnson’s ‘god’ culture. The conservative party has morphed into the Brexit party on steroids.
Those who support progressive policies, oppose continuing austerity and are campaigning for a genuinely more socially just society have a special and important part to play given the nature of election coverage by the BBC and a largely foreign owned press giving the Tories a free ride.
Any Scottish Tory MPs returned to Westminster on 12th December will pay homage to Johnson, or else. A key point is that those paying homage could not be subject to more than one master. Homage is a symbolic acknowledgement that the vassal is, literally, his [Johnson’s] man.
Homage – think devotion, prostration, idolatry, deification – is when the medieval monarch of one country demanded homage by those of lesser rank for titles and land held in the subject country. John Balliol, King of Scots, was forced to concede homage to Edward 1 of England.
Boris Johnson’s childhood dreaming included a god future. No Scottish Conservative MP elected on 12th December can escape Johnson vassalage, an all encompassing on-their-knees homage, dedicated to Johnson and the damaging Scotland’s interest in a Union no longer fit for purpose.