Alison Thewliss – 2022 Speech in the No Confidence in the Government Motion

The speech made by Alison Thewliss, the SNP MP for Glasgow Central, in the House of Commons on 18 July 2022.

In Scotland, 2022 is the Year of Stories, so it is nice that Conservative Members have come in today with their contribution to fiction and rewriting history. The Prime Minister and his Government, the Ministers who support him, sit in a parallel universe of self-delusion. This is the kind of situation that happens in failed states with an autocrat in power and no written constitution.

It is impossible to have confidence in this Tory Government because they do not even have confidence in themselves. Resignations proved that they do not want the Prime Minister and it is ludicrous to pretend today that they ever did—although perhaps that is why Conservative Members were so rowdy earlier. Having seen some of the leadership candidates coming forward, they are feeling a bit of regret, guilt and remorse. The problem with those leadership candidates is that they were all loyal to the Prime Minister. They stood up to defend him and they now claim that somehow, magically, they had absolutely nothing to do with him and the failures of this woeful Tory Government.

The Government’s failures are legion, whether we are talking about PPE contracts, the people excluded from support schemes, the failure to support businesses through the cost of living crisis, or the Home Office’s ludicrous incompetence, as I know from all manner of constituents I see in my surgeries on a Friday. The Government are completely neglecting the COP26 legacy, just as we see the climate crisis on our doorstep here in Parliament.

There is also the denial of democracy. The Prime Minister said earlier that he stands up for freedom and democracy, but that could not be less true. My Glasgow Central constituents look to this place and see nothing that Westminster can offer them. In Scotland, democracy did not stop on 18 September 2014. The right to self-determination is not a one-time thing. It is the right of the people to decide how they want to be governed, and the people of Scotland will have that right again.