Mhairi Black: Davidson’s Tories are anything but progressive

There are some Tories who still like to brand themselves as “progressive” in their views.

I can appreciate that there are those who are natural individualists who believe in liberalism before anyone and all else. Although it is a view I profoundly disagree with, I accept that some principled people believe it.

Then there are those who brand themselves “progressive” in a cynical attempt to hide the fact that their actions and policies are anything but progressive.

Ruth Davidson has been staking her claim – she’s been talking about her progressive instincts. But how can that be when she still supports the appalling Tory rape clause? What kind of person advocates a society where a parent is required to fill in a form with their child’s name, to confirm they were born as the result of rape?

It is this Tory Government who have seen the awful reality of more than a million people a week using food banks. The rise of food banks has been described by Tory leadership contender Jacob Rees-Mogg as “rather uplifting”.

It is the Tories who have pushed the austerity agenda for years, and presided over cuts to the Scottish budget by billions while allowing tax bonanza for the richest few.

Make no mistake, Davidson and her pals may tour the TV studios telling people the Tories are progressive but it doesn’t resemble reality.

It is the Tories who have a vice chairman who wants to “sterilise young unemployed men”. It is a party whose Universal Credit and cruel benefit sanctions regime is causing untold damage to individuals, families and communities across the UK. It is the Tories who defend and protect bigoted, racist colleagues who share awful posts online.

There was a time when Tories – even after the Brexit referendum – would say that they would fight to keep Scotland in the single market and the customs union, which was vital for Scotland’s economic wellbeing and prosperity.

Now they are fighting like cats in a sack and calling each other’s ideas “crazy” while we all head to their “progressive” Brexit cliff edge.

Davidson now says she wants a different immigration policy. This is something the SNP have been saying for years – yet it is the Tory Party who have fought at every turn to make sure Scotland does not have power over immigration.

It was also the Tories who created the Windrush deportation disgrace and who are still ignoring the pleas of Afghan interpreters who risked their lives for British service personnel – and our left adrift and forgotten in fear of their lives.

The “progressive” Tories are nowhere to be seen or heard when it comes to the plight of WASPI women who have been denied the pension they are due because of an “administrative error” and have lost out on thousands of pounds.

When it comes to progressive politics, the Tories talk the talk but they don’t walk the walk.