DID anyone else think that it was quite the most extraordinary thing that a member of the Tory party – a member who had been in the party for 50 years, Andrew Boff, who quietly disagreed with Home Secretary Braverman’s stance on LGBT+ rights – was immediately leaped upon, hardly a second after his utterances had passed his teeth. Leaped upon by a policeman in uniform. The TV cameras picked up the whole story – were they pre-warned that this would happen?

I wonder what the whole story really is, because the incident continued and photographs and video appeared in newspapers of Mr Boff outside the conference hall. Braverman said that hecklers were “silly”. One could think it was a set-up to bring more attention to her stance, or was it a genuine plea from a Tory party member for a softer approach to the hard-right policies which continue without mercy?

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If you are someone who has read some of my previous letters you may recall that I have often said that the further to the right politics goes, the fewer freedoms the populous enjoys. Freedom to express one’s opinion even if it disrupts the conference speech of a politician is a particular “right” which seems to have just been extinguished.

What it actually shows is that Suella Braverman is not a performer, as anyone with proper speech making skills would have taken a heckled comment and turned it around to support their own ideology and agenda. A little sympathy for the other side’s point of view, a little bit of humour to soften a situation. Of course it requires a quick wit and a fast working brain and a thicker skin than that of the delicate Braverman, who is quite happy, along with her Cabinet colleagues, to rain down all manner of unpleasantness up those who are less fortunate. It seems they cannot listen to a voice which is different from their own.

Fundamentally, politics is about everyone getting a chance to input to the discussion and reaching some sort of compromise which kind of makes whatever issue it is acceptable to the majority. In the 2019 General Election the Conservatives received 43.6% of the vote, which means that more people voted for other parties than voted for the Tories, yet because they have the largest number of seats they can do anything that they like and claim that the majority of the population back their actions.

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Even from a Scottish perspective I cannot believe that the majority of English people agree with the outcome of Brexit, the stance on migration or LBGT+ rights, the lowering of standards in every direction. The appalling way they have trashed the relationships they have with our neighbours in Europe. The breaking of international law. Their refusal to comply with United Nations requests. Their inability to be honest with the public and say “you voted for Brexit and that means the standard of living for ordinary people in the United Kingdom is falling”. The trashing of the climate targets. I cannot believe that the majority of people think a situation where there are a few people who have mega amounts of money whilst others struggle and have to use food banks is a good situation. Yet there is money for nuclear weapons and submarines for the South China Sea.

I was in the room when a heckler interrupted Humza Yousaf. He stopped his speech and went over to the woman who had called out and listened to what she had to say. A few days later he went to her house to talk over her concerns. On his return to the stage he said that this SNP was successful because it values people and that everyone has the right to be heard.

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I cannot comprehend why anyone who claims to be Scottish can support the idea of the United Kingdom when the voices of citizens are clearly suppressed by a right-wing government which obviously can only see life in terms of punishment or reward. “If you do not work as hard as we say you should we will take away your benefits”. “Bankers need unfettered bonuses to ensure that they are working as hard as they can”.

The quickest way to gain us Scottish independence is to vote for the SNP. Waiting around until Alba or the Greens can form a government would mean a very long wait.

We need to do this as quickly as possible because the Internal Market Act has blown a hole in devolution, our parliament is under threat and invisible forces are providing narratives to which the general public are responding in ways that will keep us locked into the Union to our detriment, whilst our resources are plundered and our freedoms are curtailed.

Cher Bonfis
via email