The Leopard Cannot Change its Spots – Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Tories are still toxic
Ruth Davidson has been very busy in the last few months embracing the agenda of a compliant Unionist press and the BBC broadcasting images and reports always favourable to Unionist parties. So no change in the well practised anti – devolution dogma of a media funded by the very people it seeks to deny unbiased information.
But Ruth and her unionist colleagues exercise no control over the ever increasing power of information exchange on the “Social Media” scene. And truth will out, in the long run. Her agenda is to present the Tory Party and herself as a modernised entity who wish only to do good things for Scotland.
But the truth does not measure up to the rhetoric. The Party is on its last legs in Scotland. Division and strife perpetuate meetings and policy direction and the in fighting will worsen.
This article highlights a series of events confirming that the “right wing” agenda is still very much the way forward in the minds of many Tories. Hence the duplicity of the Tory Party in Scotland under the leadership of Ruth Davidson designed to present a “public face” acceptable to the Scottish electorate.
Young Tories at Play
26 November 2010: Glasgow University Conservative Association – St Andrews Night Dinner
In support of the foregoing, ponder the decision by the Glasgow University Conservative Association to extend to the Ultra right wing Tory, Roger Helmer (1) (MEP) a “Guest of Honour” invitation to attend the dinner, and as the after dinner speaker to address diners on matters of current political importance.
Sixty or so Tory’s tucked into traditional Saint Andrews fare, Scotch broth, haggis with neeps & tatties, cranachan and port. The group included (Ruth Davidson, Leader in waiting) a couple of MSPs and a host of candidates seeking public office.
The main speaker, Roger, enjoyed the reaction of an enthusiastic audience. In his speech, a reference to Dan Hannan (2.), (ultra right wing Tory MEP) was met with a burst of spontaneous applause and when he commended the Daily Express “Get Britain Out of the EU” campaign, they cheered to the echo. and his dismissal of “climate change hysteria”, brought raucous approval.
Summarising his visit to Glasgow, Roger stated that the success of the dinner proved that the Glasgow University Conservative Association, under the dynamic leadership of Ruth Davidson and President Ross MacFarlane was no mere debating society or social club. They are serious campaigners pounding the streets of Scotland on the Party’s behalf. He went on “They are the future of the Conservative Party. And like so many conservatives they’ve had enough of the EU, and they want out. They’ve also lost patience with the global warming lobby. They don’t believe it, and they won’t pay for it. They wonder just how long David Cameron can lead the Party deeper into the EU, and into the battle for “climate mitigation”, before he notices that the troops aren’t following behind. He risks becoming dangerously exposed.” Full report here:
Roger Helmer & Ross McFarlane
(1.): Roger Helmer brief history
16 January 2011: Tory MEP makes ‘turn’ homosexuals remark
Tory MEP Roger Helmer on Twitter: Why is it OK for a surgeon to perform a sex-change operation, but not OK for a psychiatrist to try to “turn” a consenting homosexual? Roger Helmer MEP has a long history of such nonsense. A couple of years ago Helmer said that the word homophobia was a “propaganda device”. He wrote on his blog: “And while we’re mentioning semantic issues, let me point out that the neologism “homophobia” is not so much a word as a political agenda. In psychiatry, a phobia is defined as an irrational fear. I have yet to meet anyone who has an irrational fear of homosexuals, or of homosexuality. So to the extent that the word has any meaning at all, it describes something which simply does not exist. “Homophobia” is merely a propaganda device designed to denigrate and stigmatise those holding conventional opinions, which have been held by most people through most of recorded history. It is frightening evidence of the way in which political correctness is threatening our freedom.
12 August 2013: UKIP MEP In Child Sex Comments Storm
Roger Helmer, MEP for the East Midlands when asked his opinion caused a storm when he claimed that 15 year old girls can consent to sex with pop stars. Helmer said “Suppose a 15-year-old girl is at a club with a pop star, and he says ‘how about it, dear’? and she says ‘yes please, I was hoping you’d ask’. In most people’s book, that constitutes consent. Legally, she cannot consent, but in real terms, she can.”
Helmer also claimed that if an underage child asked for sex then they were contributing to the problem. This isn’t the first time the former Tory MEP has caused controversy by making disgusting comments.
On May 2011 Helmer wrote on his blog that there should be two categories of rape, “stranger rape” and “date rape” and that a woman who is date raped “surely shares a part of the responsibility”.
6 May 2014: Ukip’s seal-hating, gay-baiting, victim-blaming Newark candidate, Roger Helmer
He doesn’t think homophobia exists, blames rape victims, and seems to be sexually confused about Earl Grey tea. Ukip has announced its candidate for the Newark by-election: the MEP Roger Helmer. Surely Ukip is just trolling us now?
Here are a best-of, or worst-of, his most incendiary remarks: Disliking gay people is like disliking Earl Grey tea. He told the Sun that Brits should be able to dislike homosexuals, like they don’t like certain types of tea: [some people find homosexuality] distasteful if not viscerally repugnant… Different people may have different tastes. You may tell me that you don’t like Earl Grey tea. That may be a minority view but you are entitled not to like it if you don’t like it
Helmer later told the Independent that people may prefer “heterosexuality or homosexuality”. The Sun also picked up and printed remarks he quoted in a 2000 pamphlet “Being gay is abnormal and undesirable and not to be “celebrated”. Homosexuality is “not a lifestyle worthy of valid equal respect”.
Equal marriage is like incest. Helmer raised the question: “If two men can be married, why not three men? Or two men and a woman?… Why not a commune? If two men have a right to marry, how can we deny the same right to two siblings? Are we to authorise incest?”
The distinction between “date” and “stranger” rape:
In May 2011 Helmer imagined, probably stroking his trademark moustache during his musings, a date scenario to distinguish between ‘two types’ of rape: The first is the classic “stranger-rape”, where a masked individual emerges from the bushes, hits his victim over the head with a blunt instrument, drags her into the undergrowth and rapes her, and the leaves her unconscious, careless whether she lives or dies.
The second is “date rape”. Imagine that a woman voluntarily goes to her boyfriend’s apartment, voluntarily goes into the bedroom, voluntarily undresses and gets into bed, perhaps anticipating sex, or naïvely expecting merely a cuddle. But at the last minute she gets cold feet and says “Stop!”. The young man, in the heat of the moment, is unable to restrain himself and carries on.
In both cases an offence has been committed, and the perpetrators deserve to be convicted and punished. But whereas in the first case, I’d again be quite happy to hang the guy, I think that most right-thinking people would expect a much lighter sentence in the second case.
Rape is always wrong, but not always equally culpable. My two scenarios also give the lie to one of the popular over-simplifications trotted out by the feminist tendency in these cases: “Rape is always about power and control and domination, never about sex”. In the first case, that may well be true. In the second case, it is clearly not true. While in the first case, the blame is squarely on the perpetrator and does not attach to the victim, in the second case the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility, if only for establishing reasonable expectations in her boyfriend’s mind.
5 November 2014: Climate deniers: Ukip in bed with corporate America
Three of Nigel Farage’s MEPs, including its energy spokesperson Roger Helmer, added their names to a letter signed by over 200 US state lawmakers and organised by the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec). This is not a body most political parties in Britain would be keen to associate with. It is a powerful lobbying group sponsored by corporate interests and is a favourite of Tea Party types. It bankrolls climate change
sceptics and promotes a ‘model’ climate change bill will suggests global warming is “possibly beneficial” to the planet.
Helmer labelled climate change the “Great Climate Myth”, and spent £9,000 on a poster campaign for climate change scepticism. His slogan was the inspiring: “Green climate change policies: Probably unnecessary, Certainly ineffectual, Ruinously expensive.” He responded to critics by saying ” I am speaking for the majority of British voters”. On his blog he wrote this about homophobia: ” Let me point out that the neologism “homophobia” is not so much a word as a political agenda. In psychiatry, a phobia is defined as an irrational fear. I have yet to meet anyone who has an irrational fear of homosexuals, or of homosexuality. So to the extent that the word has any meaning at all, it describes something which simply does not exist.
“Homophobia” is merely a propaganda device designed to denigrate and stigmatise those holding conventional opinions, which have been held by most people through most of recorded history. It is frightening evidence of the way in which political correctness is threatening our freedom. It is creating “thought crimes”, where merely to hold a conventional opinion is seen, in itself, to be unacceptable and reprehensible. I’m sorry, but I don’t buy it.”
When he was a Conservative MEP (he defected to Ukip in March 2012), he tweeted an astonishing response to the London riots in August 2011: “Memo to COBRA: Time to get tough. Bring in the Army. Shoot looters and arsonists on sight.” Then a gentler response… “Let’s try water cannon/plastic rounds first. But if the police lose control completely, tougher measures are called for.”
In 2006, Helmer commented that beating “dumb” seal cubs on the head was a “humane” way of killing them, and he told a 17-year-old animal rights campaigner to “save your concerns for people rather than them.” In a bizarre accusation, he also condemned seals as “guilty” of eating too much fish.
He wrote to A-level student: I think it’s mawkish, sentimental and unhelpful to adopt a Bambi attitude to animals. Your sympathy for dumb animals does you credit but save your concerns for people rather than them. And another good reason for a badger cull — it would bring down the exorbitant price of shaving brushes.
(2.): Dan Hannan brief History
Nauseating Tory MEP Dan Hannan should be sacked says colleague. Tory rifts over the Prime Minister’s hopes of clawing back rights from Brussels have been laid bare after a Tory MEP launched a vicious broadside against a Eurosceptic colleague.
Senior Tory MEP James Elles, writing on his blog, took issue with “nauseating” comments from his parliamentary colleague Dan Hannan in which he warned that the “idea that we can renegotiate with the EU is pure fantasy”. Elles went on to call for Hannan to be sacked for his dissent.
Here is someone running for re- election for the European Parliament next year, who is also Secretary General of the Alliance of European and Conservative Parties, well ensconced in the electoral system. He should be sacked immediately in this role, otherwise it shows that anyone in the Conservative Party can contradict the leader of the Party with impunity and get away with it.”
Ross McFarlane pictured with the Boss
26 November 2010: But outside the venue all was not so sweet and rosy – Impromptu Demo Against the “St. Andrew’s Dinner”
The freezing evening saw thirty or so protesters – predominantly from the Anti-Cuts Movement – gather outside the Glasgow University Union in an emergency demonstration against the annual “St.Andrews Dinner” hosted by Glasgow University Conservatives.
The protest was modest but clearly voiced their opinions against the hypocrisy of throwing a decadent dinner party in light of the fact that universities (and other institutions) across the UK are facing drastic cuts.
Students in Glasgow have seen lecturers losing their jobs courses disappearing and facilities unable to develop due to these cuts, all the name of government “austerity” promoted by a Conservative led coalition in Westminster.
The protestors wanted to know how money could be spared for events like this, but not for the preservation of education – especially on the campus of one of Glasgow’s most important education institutes.
Three police vans (later joined by at least three more) and a disproportionate amount of police officers, had been deployed, for what was clearly a legal and peaceful picket line. The police found it necessary to have a strong presence, although protestors stated that they were mostly not a threatening or obtrusive force.
The police only asked that the protestors refrain from swearing in their chants, because children may be present. But police conflict occurred when a member of the Glasgow University Conservatives found it difficult to get past protesters. In the subsequent melee, three protestors were deemed to have acted aggressively and were arrested. They were later released with ASBOs. Roger Helmer in his speech referred to the protesters as the “unwashed proletariat”.
It was at this point that the tension rose, as police refused to answer exactly why protesters had been arrested at a legal protest – and a rumour swiftly swept round that it was under the “terrorist act.”.
Questions were also raised concerning the provocative actions of some G.U Conservative members towards the protestors – but the police did not comment. The protest continued peacefully, with the protestors leaving in unison.
Glasgow University Conservatives
26 November 2010: after a Glasgow University, St Andrews dinner EU drunken Conservative students commit breaches of the peace
Young Conservative, President Ross MacFarlane, (still dressed in the robes of Glasgow University) and a number of friends ended up in Hyndland in Glasgow’s west end, at 2am after the dinner.
Three people, including McFarlane and another individual draped in a Union Flag, conspired to burn the EU flag on the pavement. Struggling to set the cloth on fire, McFarlane says “F**k sake”, before adding: “Get a lighter.” An off-camera voice is heard to say: “Douse it.” At this point it becomes clear the group is planning to burn the flag using alcohol and a lighter. McFarlane is then seen to pour liquid onto the flag, prompting an associate to say: “What a waste of vodka, by the way.” A frustrated McFarlane exclaimed: “Somebody get a lighter.” An unnamed individual is heard saying: “Some c**t has it.” McFarlane repeats his demand: “Pass down the lighter.” The failure to destroy the flag then becomes a source of merriment for a member of the group off-camera. He can be heard saying: “There’s more chance of f**king seeing the Pope confess to paedophilia.”
The group laughs. The same person then says: “There’s more chance of Hugh Dallas [ex-football referee] telling us he’s a f**king tarrier.” “Tarrier” is a derogatory term for an Irish Catholic; the jibe prompts more laughter. McFarlane finally sets the flag on fire.
The small group expresses its approval before one individual starts to sing God Save The Queen. The fire peters out and McFarlane says: “Shit disnae burn lads.” accompanied by two others, lit the flag, sectarian abuse could clearly be heard, including the derogatory term “tarrier” and claims that the pope was a paedophile.
The film also shows Stewart Green, and another individual holding the cloth as McFarlane tried to set it on fire. All in all quite a crew.
Professor Adam Tomkins (right wing Tory is on the Tory list)
September 12 2011: Davidson ordered to part company from McFarlane after the SNP described the footage as ‘Bullingdon Club behaviour’, a reference to the upper-class society notorious for its yobbishness and snobbery.
An SNP spokesman added: “Ms Davidson may style herself as a compassionate Conservative but her senior aide behaved no better than one of the so-called ‘hoodies’ David Cameron wants to hug.” As an MSP, the Tory leadship hopeful recently signed a motion on “fighting sectarianism and anti-Irish racism”.
When told of the video footage, McFarlane said: “Oh, right. I don’t really have anything to say about that.”
Davidson said: “Mr McFarlane has worked for me on a part-time basis since May. This incident happened before he was in my employment and I had no knowledge of it. It is reprehensible behaviour and I have terminated his contract.”
12 December 2011: Former Glasgow University students making a name for themselves with the Scottish Conservatives
The new leader of Scotland’s Tories, Ruth Davidson, has faced a tricky first month since taking the reins on 4th November. During her electoral campaign, she had to sack her parliamentary assistant Ross McFarlane, after the release of film footage of him setting fire to a flag of the European Union, whilst dressed in a University of Glasgow gown.
The incident took place after a dinner organised by the Glasgow University Conservative Association (GUCA). As MacFarlane, accompanied by two others, lit the flag, sectarian abuse could clearly be heard, including the derogatory term “tarrier” and claims that the pope was a paedophile.
Unfortunately for Davidson, this was not the only time her allies have taken part in sectarian behaviour. In her first week as national leader of the party, it emerged that Colin Taylor, of the Tory press and research unit, tweeted lyrics from the song “Here Lies a Soldier”, which sings the praises of the Ulster Volunteer Force, an anti-Catholic Northern Irish terrorist group.
In his tweets, under the name @Ulsterexile, Taylor also casually refers to “tims” another offensive name for Catholics. The account has since disappeared. As embarrassing as such behaviour may have been for Davidson, it was her response to Taylor’s tweets that has earned her the most criticism.
Taylor was allowed to keep his position, his punishment for his behaviour being no more than a “formal warning.” Labour MSPs have called this “insufficient” and demanded more “disciplinary proceedings.”
And when it’s not sectarianism damaging the Scottish Conservatives’ reputation, it’s been racism, particularly that of Stewart Green, site designer of the current GUCA website and editor of the “Tory Hoose” blog.
Green was one third of the drunken trio involved in the burning of the EU flag and in September it emerged that he had made several racist remarks online, including one tweet which read: “An Asian festival is taking place a few doors up, either that or several cats are being strangled. Can’t quite decide which.” Other subjects of his racist abuse include Jewish, Pakistani and black students.
This collection of sectarian and racist comments from her peers seems to go against what Davidson said to the Glasgow Guardian in November, when she told the paper: “I have said Conservatives never get enough credit for how progressive they can be.”
Those who stand against the Tories in Holyrood, however, argue that the behaviour of Davidson’s colleagues shows her party to be rooted in its old, “Bullingdon Club” ways.
The SNP referred to the exclusive Oxford University club, of which prime minister, and supporter of Davidson during her campaign, David Cameron was a member. An SNP spokesman described the behaviour of Davidson’s party members as: “Bullingdon Club behaviour which has no place in Scottish politics.”
And things don’t seem to be getting any better for the 33-year-old leader. It emerged last week that members of the St Andrews University Conservative Association burned an effigy of US president Barak Obama on a St Andrew’s beach.
As a result, the president of that association, Mathew Marshall, will apologise personally to Mr Obama by sending a letter to the White House. Marshall admits that the burning was “undoubtedly stupid.” He went on to say: “I apologise further for any damage this has done to the reputation of the University of St Andrews, or the Scottish Conservative Party.” Ruth Davidson, at least, will hope that that damage and the incidents before it have not left too big a stain on the party she is now responsible for cleaning up.