Serious concerns about Tory leader hopefuls’ intentions towards Scotland
As Perth prepares to ‘welcome’the two Tory leadership hopefuls, serious concerns have been raised about the developing Tory intentions towards the Scottish Parliament and Scottish democracy.
We all know that the Tories don’t want Scottish independence and that they remain implacably opposed to another independence referendum.
But what we have heard from them goes way beyond expressing opposition on the matter.
In a grotesque competition to win over the small right-wing demographic who have a say in this leadership contest, they now intend to‘rule out’Scotland’s right to choose and deny Scotland any say in its future.
Scotland is to remain a prisoner in what is supposed to be a voluntary union of equals.
More than that, they have their sights set squarely on Holyrood.
Leadership favourite, Liz Truss, would now‘ignore’ Nicola Sturgeon completely and both have talked of bypassing Scotland’s directly elected Parliament.
In moving beyond ‘rejecting’Scottish independence, it now seems clear that they intend to dismantle the institutions that have given rise to its support.
For the Conservatives, Scottish independence is now an illegitimate political aspiration and Scottish democracy is something that is to be routinely ignored.
Only a few thousand Tory members in Scotland will select the next Prime Minister and for the third time in a row the people of Scotland will have a Prime Minister imposed on them without any say.
This all comes of course when the House of Commons is in recess and when MPs are back in their constituencies.
This has been no ordinary summer and my office has been working flat out to address the many issues that the people of Perth and North Perthshire have asked me to take up.
From assisting constituents who want to be part of the Homes for Ukraine programme, to giving practical advice to meet the cost-of-living crisis, it has been non-stop.
Perhaps the most pressing concern has been ensuring that Scots seeking to renew their passports have them available to jet off for their holidays.
There is an ongoing crisis in the Home Office just now and people are having to wait an inordinate amount of time to secure their passport, putting at risk holidays and significant events.
We have intervened to rescue a honeymoon as well as help secure a passport for a professional athlete to compete in the Commonwealth Fencing Championships, to name just two.
I have raised this repeatedly in Parliament but there seems to be no sign that things are improving.
If you are planning a late summer holiday this year, my advice is to ensure that you check your passport and apply for a new one, if required, in plenty of time before you are due to travel.