It is always disappointing when The National appears to be picking up bad habits from the Unionist press. There is no “row” here. Ruth Davidson’s duplicity, mendacity and hypocrisy have been amply confirmed. As have her inability to grasp how democracy works; her difficulties with simple arithmetic; and her contempt for the Scottish Parliament. There is no debate about any of this. No discussion, never mind a “row”.
Nor is there any great controversy over what she says. Davidson can stand in front of a mirror practising that look of grim gravitas for the remainder of her ignominious political career. The reality remains that she does not now, nor will she ever have, the authority to dictate terms to Scotland’s democratically elected government or to impose conditions on Scotland’s right of self-determination. The deeply furrowed brow and dour set of her mouth say more about her ability to get into character on cue than about her standing in Scotland.
Ruth Davidson is a nonentity. She may be taking a turn at being leader of the official opposition at Holyrood, but given the way she and the other British politicians squatting in the Scottish Parliament conduct themselves, that title does nothing to enhance her status.
Anybody who can be replaced, even temporarily, by Jackson Carlaw is not a person of significance.
If Ruth Davidson is so insignificant, why does she have such a high public profile? If you are asking that question, you have it the wrong way round. Davidson has been given a high public profile because she is insignificant; but, for the purposes of the ‘One Nation’ British Nationalist project, the British establishment finds it expedient to have her decked with the trappings and treatment associated with seniority.
The matter of status is important. In a properly functioning democracy, where all legitimate political authority derives from the people, status must be earned. It is in the gift only of the people, and must be won from them. But that takes time and effort. It requires talent and ability and the attributes of personality and character which combine to make charisma. Wouldn’t it be more ‘efficient’ if a suitably tractable individual could be given the appearance of those qualities and properties? What if those abilities and attributes could be applied to a person as paint is applied to woodwork? What if the desired image could be manufactured? What if the image could be tailored to the individual and, more importantly, the purpose for which that individual is being used?
Fortunately – or regrettably, depending on your perspective – the art and science of the marketing industry has provided the tools for the job. Those tools have been developed to the point where status is now a commodity to be purchased – like electricity or internet access. Celebrity can be mass-produced and celebrities can be manufactured like motor vehicles – each specified for a particular market. Would you like yours camp with sequins? Or serious in a suit? Or down-to-earth in shirt-sleeves and chinos?
Ruth Davidson is just such a product of the image industry. Her status is as illusory as the ‘gifts’ of somebody off of one of them reality TV shows. She is an appliance being used by the British establishment for a particular purpose. Like a toaster or a washing machine. She has no more claim to genuine political status than your vacuum cleaner. And rather less authority than your radio alarm clock.
Why would a fridge-freezer be the subject of a political “row”?
If you find these articles interesting please consider a small donation to help support this site and my other activities on behalf of Scotland’s independence movement.