Tories added to Wikipedia list of ‘right-wing dictatorships’



Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox looks through the sights of a machine gun aboard a Chinook helicopter at RAF Odiham.


Photographs: Ben Cawthra/REX,, CHRIS ISON/PA ARCHIVE

If you saw this Daily Mirror headline in June 2015, you might have laughed at the cheek of someone using a government computer to make the addition of the Cameron regime to a list including Spain’s General Franco and Greece’s ‘Regime of Colonels’. No one was ever caught and the list duly amended. Yet, only a year later we heard Tory PM, Theresa May, and home Secretary, Amber Rudd make statements strongly suggestive of a dangerous drift toward fascism at their party conference. We heard that:


  • employers, including universities, will be told to maintain lists of foreign workers
  • foreign doctors will only be allowed to stay until enough British doctors have been trained
  • to cut the numbers, only some universities will be allowed to recruit foreign students


Then we heard Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, the clearly not very honourable, Liam Fox, refusing to give assurances to EU citizens in UK that they would not be used as negotiating chips. He even described them as ‘one of our main cards.’ That’s the essence of fascism, a psychopathic lack of empathy and will to control human beings as if they were objects.

 The path to fascism is one of many, sometimes quite small, steps but once ambitious self-centred people like these are walking, bad things can happen.

Within days, SNP First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon had accused the Tories of xenophobia and their policies as being ‘deeply ugly’. Also, she made it clear that foreign workers were welcome in Scotland and that she would support any firms refusing to list foreign workers.

These are fine sentiments but how securely based are they? Clearly the UK government can override anything it wishes but there is a developed cultural system here protective of human rights which would make that highly unpopular and difficult. See this short extract (page 93) from a January 2014 report I missed at the time and which I don’t think much was made of in our media, ‘Equality, Human Rights and Constitutional Reform in Scotland: A Report for the Equality and Human Rights Commission’:

‘Scotland, within the UK, can point to having taken a different approach to equality and human rights. Even when human rights have been politically challenging for Scottish Executive and Scottish Government ministers, they have never suggested a lack of commitment to the Human Rights Act, or the ECHR (although they have criticised Supreme Court judgments). In fact the current Scottish Government has stated that in the event of the UK repealing the Human Rights Act, it would incorporate it for Scottish devolved powers, and the Government’s plans for a written Constitution and an independent Scotland, include a clear commitment to European human rights standards.184 Similarly, there is no suggestion in Scotland of a political appetite to amend or repeal the Public Sector Equality Duty. The supremacy of human rights, defined by ECHR and EU law, over the Scottish Parliament is also distinctive from its status under Westminster – the Scotland Act 1998 permits the striking down of Scottish Parliament legislation if it is not competent, e.g. if it breaches ECHR.’

The full report is 102 pages long and full of ideas for further embedding human rights in a Scottish Constitution. Again, the UK government can override anything it wishes but given the now strong roots of human rights in Scotland’s politics, society and legal system, dare it try to pull them out?


Equality, Human Rights and Constitutional Reform in Scotland: A Report for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, January 2014, at:



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