Like most of the rest of the country, I’ve been struggling to keep up with developments as Britain discovers that Boris Johnson, that famous scholar of the Classics, failed to explain before the referendum that Brexit was actually Ancient Greek for “ohmygod, I don’t have a clue what to do now”. To put it briefly, the entire political establishment in in meltdown, except for viewers in Scotland who have their own programme. Once which for once doesn’t involve Dougie Donnelly and indoor bowling from Coatbridge. Scotland is now the proud owner of the only part of the British state whose political leadership haven’t descended into gibbering madness, are in hiding, or are too busy knifing one another in the back in order to do the job they were actually elected to do.
Our Prime Minister and his Chancellor have been in hiding since Dave appeared briefly before the press on Friday morning to say he was resigning. Osborne may in fact be tied up in a terrible bondage game gone wrong, and the rest of the country is feeling much the same way. We know we’ve all been screwed. There are Loch Monsters and alien visitors who are easier to find than George Osborne over the past few days, and there are squashed hedgehogs on the A9 with a higher public profile. Which is fair enough, because it’s certainly true that Davie and George’s careers are now impossible to distinguish from roadkill.
Davie and George didn’t have any contingency plans for what to do if the vote went against them, because they believed that their own arrogance was all that they needed to carry the day. The last couple of days have shown up the elite of the British establishment to be culpable of the most tragic display of ineptitude since the Donner wagon train en route to California decided to take a short cut through Death Valley and ended up becoming a byword for cannibalism. There are gibbons swinging through the trees in Borneo who demonstrate a higher level of forward planning than Davie and George. Gibbons at least ensure that they have a branch to cling onto. Davie and George don’t even have a withered fig leaf. If they were bus drivers they’d be arrested for dangerous driving and putting the public at risk.
Meanwhile the Leave campaign has been revealed to have been an annoying cat all along. For the past few years it has been pawing at us repeatedly in order to get the door opened, and then when the door does open it just sits there and stares vacantly into space, refusing to budge. It’s become clear that Boris and Michael Govefish have had as much of a Brexit plan as their former pals in Downing Street. It was all just a jolly jape substituting for a Tory leadership contest, they didn’t really believe that anyone would take them seriously. Only now they’ve won the referendum and have as much an idea what to do next as a budgie whose swing has been tied up. All they have left is staring at themselves in the vanity mirror.
What degree of selfish entitlement does it take to lead an entire campaign to take the UK out of the EU, and not to have a clue about what to do once you get the result you campaigned for? I’m not entirely sure, but that’s because I never went to Eton. Boris doesn’t bother his tousled head about little details like what comes after a vote, about ensuring that policies are in place, because that would be work, and he has always had staff for that sort of thing. Often immigrant staff. Like Michael Govefish, or Adam Werrity’s pal Liam.
The mass ranks, which were mostly rank it has to be said, of the British press hounded the SNP for months over its plans for independence in 2014. Presented with a thick doorstopping volume of Plan A, the media took it apart to the subatomic level. Then they demanded a Plan B to stick into the Large Hadron Collider so that they could smash it until the quarks bled, and if that wasn’t enough there would be calls for Plans C through Z-squared. Boris and his risible Leave campaign presented a plan on the back of a fag packet saying “We’ll work it out as we go along, eventually, but only after we’ve dealt with more serious issues, like Boris’s career”, and the bulk of the British press went, “Oh that will do nicely.” Davie didn’t have a Plan B, and Boris had no plans at all. If the British media had subjected either of them to one tenth of the scrutiny that they subject Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP to, we wouldn’t all be in the mess that we’re in now.
Over in the Labour party, at a time when the Tories are rudderless and leaderless and have as much idea of where they’re headed as a kitten in a sack on a canal side, you might just think that the People’s Party would be poised to step in as the voice of reason and the defenders of the working classes. But instead they’re far too preoccupied with playing stick the knife into Jeremy Corbyn. This attempt at a Blairite coup may or may not be related to the uncomfortable fact that the Chilcot report on the Iraq war is due to be published in a fortnight. So my money is on may. That’s the Labour party for you, whenever there’s a crisis you can rely on it to step up to the plate and kick another Labour politician in the nads.
Then on a special edition of BBC Question Time this evening, a slew of Tories and Brexit apologists queued up to explain why the Leave Campaign’s slogan Take Back Control came with terms and conditions attached. Those terms and conditions being that the offer wasn’t valid north of the border. Scotland isn’t to be allowed to take back any control of its own, and the terrible unfairness of England being subject to policies it didn’t vote for isn’t such a terrible unfairness when it’s England subjecting Scotland to policies Scotland didn’t vote for. But that’s terribly divisive of me to point that out. How dare Scotland resist the decisions made for it by people who love it and care for it and know better than Scottish voters do what’s best for Scotland.
The only politician in the entire country who has any plan, who has the remotest idea of how to get out of this sorry and entirely unnecessary mess is Nicola Sturgeon. A whole load of former No voters now agree with her. There’s been one of those major shifts in public opinion in Scotland. There is no future for an outward looking, progressive, social democratic Scotland in a Britain in which Nigel Farage is a national hero and Boris Johnson is tipped as the next Prime Minister. We need another independence referendum, and we need to get out of this dysfunctional state where internal party politics are more important than the national good. Britain has no idea, no clue, no plan, but Scotland does. We don’t have to follow the Donner Party Britain into its fine dining. We have an escape plan, let’s take it.
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