It doesn’t really matter that UKIP are in disarray, the damage is done. Instead of leading, the Tories have allowed themselves to be led. Led down a very, very dark path indeed. When Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, thinks it’s a good idea to compel businesses to produce lists of foreign workers, we are in a bad place. When David Davies, Tory MP and chair of the Commons Welsh affairs select committee, thinks it is entirely acceptable to force child refugees to undergo dental checks to verify their age, things really are getting grim. When Christian Holliday, a Tory councillor, calls for working towards the UK rejoining the EU to be considered treason, just what has Britain become?
We are now in a situation, where the rabidly right wing press, feels sufficiently emboldened to refer to anyone who dissents from their anti-everything stance as “Whingeing. Contemptuous. Unpatriotic” and to label them “Bremoaners” who wish to “subvert the will of the British people”. I’ve always been deeply suspicious, whenever politicians or the press refer to the “people of Scotland”, or the “British people”. It is (I would hope), a highly transparent, cheap attempt to give the impression that they speak for just about everyone, when clearly, they do not. If the 52% who voted in favour of the UK leaving the EU, are the “British people”, then just who are the rest of us-the 48% who did not?
Those who passionately believe in Brexit, may well be correct to say that parliamentary approval is not needed to trigger Article 50, but I doubt it would even be up for discussion, if it were not for the fact that there is a clear, pro-EU majority in the Commons. Where they are wrong, and profoundly so, is in trying to circumvent Parliament almost altogether, in the Brexit process. They do this, of course, because having won the war, they don’t want to lose the peace. Put bluntly, they are terrified that all their hard work in “pulling up the drawbridge” will come to nothing. I don’t know about whingeing, but I’m certainly contemptuous of their casual racism, general hostility to immigration and indifference to the plight of refugees. Today, I consider myself a Scottish, rather than a British patriot, and the course this crowd have charted only serves to further convince me that the UK is beyond redemption.
To understand just how far to the right Brexit has bumped Britain, you’ve only to take recent pronouncements on the NHS. I had always assumed that the practice of medicine is, and always has been, considered an international endeavour, yet we have the British Prime Minister is telling us that foreign doctors in the NHS, should be regarded as “interim”. In doing so, Theresa May, ostensibly and intelligent individual, is clearly pandering to those of a UKIP mentality. She seems to be saying, “I understand that you’d rather your doctor wasn’t beige, if you’ll just bear with us, once we’ve sorted ourselves out and trained up a few homegrown one’s (assuming Jeremy Hunt hasn’t driven them away), then we’ll send Dr Foreigner home”. What a horrible idea. Does she really believe it? If not, why is she not railing against such nakedly racist stupidity? Why is the Prime Minister not leading, instead of being led?
Does loosing their sense of purpose, explain the disintegration of UKIP, or is it simply that, in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, the hard right of the Tory party has awoken from a long slumber, rendering UKIP obsolete? Just a few months ago, it was easy to laugh off ideas such as having pensioners (in the absence of unskilled immigrant labour) pick fruit as lunacy. No longer. The lunatics have taken over the asylum.