10 reasons Nicola Sturgeon might be right to detest the Tories

10 reasons Nicola Sturgeon might be right to detest the Tories

Nicola Sturgeon says she 'detests' the Tories but is ‘disappointed’ by Keir Starmer


The Conservatives really do not like it when you make it clear you don’t like them. In August, it was over Labour MP Lucy Powell’s decision to wear a “Never Kissed A Tory” T-shirt, now in October it’s about Nicola Sturgeon detesting the Tories and “everything they stand for”.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) leader – who says she has not had a single phone call or meeting with Prime Minister Liz Truss since she took office last month, by the way – made the comments to the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg on Sunday.

Asked who she would rather have as prime minister out of Ms Truss and Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer, she said: “If the question to me is would I prefer a Labour government over a Tory government, I detest the Tories and everything they stand for, so it’s not difficult to answer that question.”

On the same programme, the chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, the minister for intergovernmental relations and the minister for equalities Nadhim Zahawi – yes, he has three jobs – described the comments as “really dangerous”.

“I prefer to work with my colleagues in Scotland on delivering the freeports, the greenports, as I want to do with [deputy first minister] John Swinney and others,” he said.

Meanwhile Stephen Kerr, the MSP for Central Scotland, confirmed on Twitter he had written to the presiding officer of the Scottish parliament about the remarks which he said were “unmistakably an incitement to further aggression”.

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Yes, really.

So on the basis we think the Tories could do with a bit of a reality check, here’s 10 things the Conservatives have done which suggest Ms Sturgeon may well have a point about not exactly seeing the right-wing party in the best light.

1. Cabinet ministers breaching public health legislation they asked the rest of the public to follow during a deadly pandemic

In the case of former PM Boris Johnson and ex-chancellor Rishi Sunak, this was known as the infamous Partygate scandal.

In the case of Matt Hancock, who went on to resign from his position as health secretary, this was known as ‘failing to understand the concept of closed circuit television’.

2. Giving the middle finger to the Covid bereaved - literally

Boris backer Andrea Jenkyns MP came under fire in July when she gave crowds gathered outside Downing Street – one individual at the gates was reportedly clutching a photo of her husband who died from Covid – the middle finger.

Addressing them after Mr Johnson gave his resignation speech, Ms Jenkyns appeared to say: “Those who laugh last, laugh loudest. Wait and see.”

We’re still waiting, by the way, and thankfully, Mr Johnson is still far away from the limelight.

Ms Jenkyns later issued a statement to social media in which she claimed a “baying mob” were “insulting MPs” and she had “reached the end of my tether”.

“I should have shown more composure but am only human,” she wrote.

We wonder if individuals angry at Tory policies can be described as “only human” instead of “dangerous”, Andrea…

3. Sending asylum seekers to Rwanda

We feel like this one – and the fact it was a policy championed by former home secretary Priti Patel – speaks for itself.

4. Comparing an anti-racist gesture to a racist gesture

Nottinghamshire MP Brendan Clarke-Smith faced criticism in June last year when he attacked England footballers for taking the knee to protest against racism… by comparing it to Nazi salutes.

You know, a racist group responsible for mass murder in the Second World War.

At the time, Mr Clarke-Smith wrote: “Following the 1936 Berlin Olympics being used as a propaganda exercise and under a great deal of pressure from both the FA and Britain’s ambassador at the time, the players were encouraged to join the hosts in making the Nazi salute prior to the match.”

“Reluctantly, they agreed and for many years since it has been a great source of shame for many of those involved, including the Football Association…"

No, we can't believe it either.

5. Changing parliamentary rules to protect one of their own accused of paid lobbying

After former MP Owen Paterson was found by the parliamentary standards commissioner to have carried out an “egregious case of paid advocacy”, and faced a 30-day suspension, Mr Johnson decided to call for the creation of a new Tory-dominated committee to rule on how allegations are investigated.

This sparked a significant backlash, and amid all of that, Mr Paterson decided to step down as an MP anyway.

We won’t talk about the 10 Tory MPs who disgraced themselves during Mr Johnson’s premiership – it would only make us angrier.

6. Voting against proposals to feed hungry school children

You would think after being shamed by Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford into providing free school meals over the summer of 2020, that the Conservatives would have learned their lesson when it came to providing the same support for the October half-term break and Christmas holidays, right?

Wrong. More than 300 Tory MPs would go on to vote against the Commons motion.

Is this supposed to be a good thing?

7. Disrespecting Her Majesty The Queen

Whatever your views may be on the late Queen Elizabeth II, Mr Johnson getting her to prorogue parliament (unlawfully, it would turn out) and chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng appearing to “laugh” at her funeral last month isn’t exactly a good look.

8. Singing about ‘having the time of my life’ just an hour after cutting universal credit

Before she was deputy prime minister and health secretary in the Truss government, former work and pensions secretary Thérèse Coffey decided it was a good idea to joyfully sing “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing at last year’s Conservative Party Conference - not long after benefit claimants were hit with a £20-a-week cut to universal credit.

While we’re on the subject of people being able to afford the basics…

9. Branding striking workers 'Putin's friends'

Speaking to Sky News in June, MP Tobias Ellwood said: “We're talking about the cost of living crisis here. We face huge economic headwinds yet here we are causing such huge self-harm as the country is brought to a halt.

“I think Russia must be enjoying this self-inflicted distraction, pleased to see that the one government in Europe that is actually standing up to Putin is completely distracted in this way.

“I do hope the unions now call off future planned strikes ... this isn’t just disrupting commuters, including key workers, but also students as well and indeed the hospitality sector.”

He added: “It’s also armed forces weekend this Saturday and that’s where we say thank you to those who serve and have served.“I say to the unions ’please don’t be Putin’s friend - return to the talks today so we can get the country moving again."

As striking workers continue to strike over fairer wages, we’re not sure they’ll appreciate being affiliated with a warmonger who invaded a sovereign country and stands accused of war crimes…

10. Crashing the economy and making the cost-of-living crisis even worse

After announcing a mini-budget which featured proposals to cut the top 45 per cent rate of income tax for those earning more than £150,000 a year (so high-earners), chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s plans prompted the pound to plummet to a record low – exactly what UK citizens needed as energy bills continue to rise in costs.

The Bank of England intervened by buying government bonds, which has prompted fears mortgage rates could rise for those looking to get on the housing ladder.

Mr Kwarteng went on to perform a screeching U-turn on the income tax plans last week.

So yeah, we’ll continue being appalled by the actions of Conservatives, Mr Zawahi – thanks.

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