Operation arse about face

Ruth Davidson is nothing if not consistent. She talks the talk and then consistently finds some reason for not walking the walk, or more accurately, for walking back on her previous promises. She is very consistent in her lack of consistency. She assured us that the 13 MPs elected as representatives of the Ruth Davidson’s Vote Ruth Davidson for More Ruth Davidson Party would vote as a bloc to defend Scotland’s interests within the UK and that they’d be answerable to her personally. That didn’t happen. When pressed to name a single concession on Brexit that she and her MPs had been able to wring out of the British Government, she couldn’t answer.

During the EU referendum she strode the stage telling one and all how dreadful Brexit would be, and now she’s in favour of that mythical beast “a Brexit that works for Scotland”. Which is apparently whatever form of Brexit that a Tory government can deliver.

She said that the UK government shouldn’t block a Scottish independence referendum if it had the support of a majority in the Scottish Parliament and that it was up to the people of Scotland to decide. Then Theresa May announced that she’d not agree to a Section 30 order and suddenly Ruth is in favour of British Prime Ministers having a veto power over whether Scotland is allowed to ask itself about its future.

More recently Ruth launched the Tory campaign for the Euro elections in Scotland with the promise that only a Tory vote was a vote for no more referendums. Then Theresa May went and offered MPs the chance to vote on whether to hold another EU referendum. Ruth hasn’t commented yet, as she usually goes to ground when there are difficult questions to answer, but it’s a safe bet that she’ll find some way of supporting it. She is, after all, terribly consistent in her willingness to obey whatever her Westminster bosses tell her.

Theresa May’s leadership has now entered its penultimate stage. The final stage will be when she’s physically dragged kicking and screaming out of Downing Street, yelling “Strong and stable! I’ve been very clear!” at the top of her voice. Since there’s going to be a new leader, sooner rather than later despite May’s new strategy of putting a sofa up against the door to Downing Street in the hope of keeping the 1922 Committee at bay, Ruth and her wee pal David Mundell, who hasn’t resigned yet, have signalled that they would be prepared to work with Boris Johnson as the new leader of the Tories and Prime Minister. This is despite the fact that there is no love lost between the tank riding charlatan and the tousel haired charlatan.

Johnson is miles ahead in polling of the Conservative party members who will elect the new leader, and his election seems assured if he is able to gain enough support from other MPs to ensure that he makes it onto the shortlist. Since the Tories are widely expected to have a catastrophic time of it during the EU elections, panicked Tory MPs might see Boris Johnson as being the only candidate who has popular appeal – at least in England – and who offers the prospect of reviving the party’s ailing fortunes. In Scotland he’d go down as well as an abandoned bottle of yellow liquid the day after a party, but then Scottish considerations have never figured high in the calculations of Conservatives, for all their protestations about love of the union. Ruth and David Mundell are resigning themselves to the inevitable.

It’s all a very far cry from the Operation Arse which senior Scottish Conservatives mounted last year to try and spike Boris’s leadership ambitions. This is because they believed that Boris as Prime Minister would be an electoral disaster for them, as compared to Theresa May who has been working out so well for them. A senior Scottish Tory said that they had called their campaign Operation Arse, “so we’d all be clear who we were talking about.” The party was worried that if Boris Johnson won the Tory leadership it would endanger Ruth’s plans to win control of Holyrood in 2021. I’ll pause for a bit now so you can stop laughing. Now faced with the very real prospect that Boris Johnson would win the Tory leadership contest, Ruth is willing to work with him and all of a sudden she’ll be singing his praises. So it’s not so much Operation Arse going arse about face into Operation Kiss Arse.

It’s a dramatic volte-face. Last year David Mundell accused Johnson of not being an asset to the party, and said that he was focused only on his own self-interest and not that of the country. Admittedly that’s a description which could equally apply to the David, but still. Getting savaged by Fluffy Mundell is like getting savaged by a one eyed teddy bear that’s lost most of its stuffing. Now after his colleagues describing Johnson as an arse, and himself sticking his teddy bear boot in, David thinks it’s all an SNP plot to demonise Boris and it’s got to stop.

In 2016 Ruth Davidson called Boris Johnson a liar. She accused him and the Leave campaign that he led of putting lies on leaflets. During a debate she stared at Johnson and accused him of lying about the costs of Europe, of lying about the proposed European army, of lying about Turkey. In 2018 after resigning from the government Boris Johnson roundly condemned Theresa May’s Brexit deal, Ruth Davidson lashed out at him and accused him of not paying attention at the cabinet meetings he had attended when he was a senior member of that very government and pointed out that he had previously welcomed the deal he was now describing as “demented”.

What the headlines really ought to have said is that Ruth Davidson has admitted that she’ll do as she’s told if Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister. No one should be surprised by this, as telling Scotland to be quiet and do what it’s told is what the Tories are all about.

The reason for the change of heart is because the other candidate with the best chance of winning is Dominic “Oh, Britain’s an island?” Raab, who is widely believed to be even more toxic for the Scottish Conservatives than Boris Johnson. When he’s not expressing surprise that most of the UK’s trade comes via the Channel ports, and admitting that he’s never read the Good Friday Agreement, Dominic is best known for co-authoring a book which claimed that UK productivity was low because British workers are feckless and lazy.

Just think about that for a second. Boris Johnson is the guy who once said that a pound of government money was better spent in Croydon than in Strathclyde. He’s a serial liar. He was once described as someone who is considered likeable only by people who don’t know him. He describes black people in racist terms. When warned that business leaders feared that a no deal Brexit would be catastrophic he replied, “Fuck business.” He is bereft of principles other than an overweening sense of entitlement and a burning careerism. And this is the guy that Ruth Davidson thinks is the least worst option.

Tomorrow it’s the European election, where all the opinion polls point to a drubbing for the Conservatives and for Labour. It’s vitally important that every independence supporter gets out and votes for a pro-independence party. Because otherwise those who are going to be most motivated to vote will be supporters of Nigel Farage’s Brexit vanity project. The Brexit party could pick up two seats in Scotland, which would mean a series of media stories about how Scotland isn’t really that opposed to Brexit after all, and we all need to sit down and shut up and allow Brexit to take its course even though it will damage Scotland’s economy and is being used as an excuse to undermine the devolution settlement. Then we could very well end up with Prime Minister Boris Johnson being the least worst option, because the other option would be Prime Minister Nigel Farage.

The future of Scotland is at stake here. Get out and vote.

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29 comments on “Operation arse about face

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Operation arse about face Ruth Davidson is nothing if not consistent. She talks the talk and then consistently […]

  2. JSM says:

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a 50+ Female.

  3. Welsh Sion says:

    “He [Boris Johnson] was once described as someone who is considered likeable only by people who don’t know him.”

    This from fellow Tory, Steve “Shagger” Norris, previous candidate for Mayor of London in the noughties and MP.

    “Everybody likes him [Boris Johnson] except the people who know him.”


    • In order to save time, I took an instant dislike to him.
      Somebody somewhere snarled this gem about somebody or other.

      It could apply to several hundred Brit Nat Freeloaders, carpetbaggers, and snake oil salesmen today.
      My money is on a Grey Man, Stephen Barclay, being mug enough to take the job at Dotheboys Hall, and go to Brussels with his begging bowl whimpering, ‘please, sirrahs, may we have more time, ‘
      Ruth Davidson is what she was before, a vapid, cackling, guffawing nobody.

      • Iain says:

        I think you’re spot on about the Barclay guy. He is bland enough without being a comic cartoon character like the Lidlington one who is like one of Alan Partridge’s minions.
        Colonel Windbag never had a chance of being the leader of the British Conservatives. When she tried to get selected for a South-east England constituency a few years ago, she was described as an “oik” by members of the local association. She would make a passable town councillor, but that’s as far as her talents would stretch in a normal country.

  4. Macart says:

    “The future of Scotland is at stake here. Get out and vote.”

    THAT… with wossinames on. 🙂

  5. Welsh Sion says:

    You all know who to vote for tomorrow …

    Two wee stories of my own for you.

    You know who to vote for tomorrow …

    Two wee stories of mine. (No purple balloons deserve a mention.)

    8. (of 60.)

    The four balloons

    Once upon a time, there were four balloons at a party. There was the big, red balloon who thought he was the most important balloon there – he had been going to parties for as long as he could remember, and he thought of himself as the partygoers’ natural choice of balloon. He floated silently over the more recently arrived partygoers, but was rather startled when one of them gave him a large smack across his big, red face with the palm of his hand. In his shock, the big, red balloon floated too close to the radiator … until … BBBAAANNNNGGG! The big, red balloon exploded. Most of the partygoers didn’t seem to notice however and they carried on dancing. Others gave a loud cheer – these little, local events adding to the general feeling of mirth at the party. It would take a long time to find a replacement big, red balloon.


    The blue balloon hardly ever got a look in at parties. This was because she was very difficult to inflate. No matter how much one huffed and puffed, more hot air seemed to come out of the wee blue balloon than ever went in. The partygoers eventually decided that it wasn’t worth the effort to try and inflate the blue balloon, so they left her in the corner to wither away and become wrinkled and unloved.


    The yellow balloon was a much smaller balloon than the red and blue balloons. However, when one inflated him, one felt sure that he promised to be just as big and as good looking as the big, red balloon. Sadly though, this was very much only for show. Further, the partygoers had forgotten to tie a knot in the yellow balloon’s neck. As a result, he escaped from their grasp and spluttered all over the room, expelling hot air as he went.

    “Ppppppppppppppuuuuuhhhhhfffffffffffff” said the yellow balloon, coming to land side by side alongside the dishevelled blue balloon.


    And now we come to the gold and black balloon. The partygoers were initially suspicious of balloons which had two colours.

    The gold and black balloon took some time to be inflated. But when he did – he looked magnificent! The partygoers gave him the thumbs up as the smartest balloon in the party and they started to strike him gently with their hands – batting him to and fro between their friends. The gold and black balloon was in his element – he had become the balloon of choice for partygoers everywhere. The gold and black balloon was exceedingly happy and he was making the partygoers happy too.

    This was a win-win situation and everyone knew it.
    It was going to be the best party ever!

    Parables for the New Politics

  6. Welsh Sion says:

    59.(of 60.)

    Four men in a nightclub

    George, Dai, Jock and Mick/Mike were work colleagues at Yookay Ltd. and shared the same building. George and Dai tended to work close together (despite Dai not really enjoying such a set up), whilst Jock and Mick/Mike had a little more autonomy within their own offices.

    George tended to think of himself as being the most important member of their group – the Team Leader or the David Brent, if you like. Consequently, and in the nature of office politics at Yookay Ltd., he tried to control the work practices of Dai, Jock and Mick/Mike; a habit the other three had long grown tired of. Well, although I say the other three had long grown tired of George’s domineering persona, they had not however, as yet, taken the final step of breaking up their partnership with him.

    George then considered himself the leader of their section and tended to exert his influence even outside the offices of Yookay Ltd. Dai was of the type not to upset the apple cart and tended to keep moody silences; keeping his head down and getting on with his projects. Jock however was rather more vocal and would often raise his voice against George’s “unwarranted meddling.” Mick/Mike’s was a more special case.

    You see, he suffered from Dissociative Identity Disorder. On some days, the Mick personality was dominant and, after having had a bitter row with George, he would seek reassurances from his half-brother, Paddy; an ex-employee of Yookay Ltd., but who was now working successfully for himself. At other times, the Mike personality would pledge undying loyalty to George and the set up at Yookay Ltd., and not a cross word would be exchanged between him and his colleague. In such a way, the colleagues of Yookay Ltd. rubbed along, and the company itself limped on from financial quarter to financial quarter.

    Now, one evening, the four colleagues had gone to the Europa nightclub together. What George had seen in going there in the first place was rather a mystery. You will have already have gathered that George was not very much a team player or a social animal. His attitude at the nightclub confirmed all this. The music was too loud. Or it was not to his taste. The lights were too bright. The guests were performing ‘obscene’ movements as they gyrated on the dance floor. The drinks from the bar were some imported, fancy stuff – not like the warm beer he preferred in the Farage Arms pub back home. And the cost of entry! Goodness gracious! It was so exorbitant – and that for facilities he didn’t like one bit: he was minded to ask for a personal rebate.

    It was then that George announced, “We’re going home.”

    Now, it’s one thing to say that you don’t like a party and that you’re leaving. But, don’t you think it was a bit presumptuous of George to actually say “we” and including Dai, Jock and Mick/Mike in the equation and without making sure with them first? That wasn’t George’s way though. At work, as we have seen, he was known for throwing his weight about and getting his own way. In a similar fashion, he thought he could bully his colleagues into his ways of thinking outside Yookay Ltd.’s offices, too.

    “We’re going home?” Jock retorted scornfully, emphasising the “we.” “And who do you think you are telling us that “we” are the ones going home from this great nightclub?”

    “I saw you flirting with that dark-haired girl over there in the corner,” said George. “Positively unseemly. Not the conduct we’d expect from an employee of Yookay Ltd.”

    “You mean Frances,” Jock replied. He grinned. “Frances was an ex of mine and we lost touch when I started working for Yookay Ltd. We were very close. We even had an alliance to be married. I was getting re-acquainted.” The grin disappeared and was replaced by a grimace. “Until your ham-fisted approach broke up our relationship,” Jock added bitterly.

    “Why you ungrateful little creep! I’ve given you more than enough support at Yookay Ltd.! What more could you ask for?” George was shouting.

    “What more could I ask for?” Jock repeated. “Why, you could let me make up my own decisions on projects at work. You could stop looking down on me and telling me what to do all the time. And you’re not telling me that just because this Europa nightclub is not doing the things you want, that we have to leave.”

    Jock’s resentments over the years were boiling over. “In fact, George, I’ve had enough of you and your bullying over the years – I’m leaving you!” he shouted.

    “He’s right, you know,” mumbled Dai.

    But people rarely listened to him on account of his soft voice and his lack of self-confidence. It would have taken much more of an effort on his part to sound off in the same way as Jock had done.

    “Shut it!” George roared at Dai, in typical Eastenders fashion. “You told me before you wanted to leave. You’re in this with me! You know your future lies under my stewardship at Yookay Ltd. Think how stupid Jock would be throwing in his lot with this bunch of strangers, and an ex he hasn’t spoken to in years. He wouldn’t last a year with any of them – and away from us at Yookay Ltd.”

    Dai said nothing and looked down at his shoes.

    “You’re wrong, George,” Mick said softly. “My half-brother, Paddy has been coming to this Europa nightclub now for years. And he’s enjoyed the internationalism of it immensely. No more ructions with you at Yookay Ltd. He’s now free to do his own thing and make his own friends. He has a place in the world – he knows it and his friends know it. He’s a happy man. And I want to join him in that happiness.”

    “Another traitor!” George bawled. “Such ingratitude! To be honest with you, when you were in your Mike phases, I tended to over-indulge you. And this is how you repay me! Well, good riddance! I can do without the lot of you! I’m going home – and to hell with this poxy nightclub. I never wanted to come here in the first place. Come on, Dai!”

    “See you,” chorused Jock and Mick, grinning at George.

    “We should have left you and Yookay Ltd. long ago. We’re going to stay and enjoy the party atmosphere here at the Europa,” Jock added defiantly. “Too bad you can’t stay!”

    George stormed out, muttering threats against Jock and Mick under his breath. Dai stood on the threshold, a confused look on his face. He was less sure of where his destiny lay.

    Parables for the New Politics

  7. Robert Harrison says:

    No wonder the frist minister said shame flip flopping isnt an Olympic event as ruth davidson would be a certified gold medallist.

  8. grizebard says:

    Y’know, when indyref2 comes around, you should be the one to front it, Paul. There’s a world out there just waiting to discover your laid-back pithy take on the shit creek situation that we’re in. And the effing BBC would no longer be able to studiously pretend you don’t exist. That alone would make it worth the wait.

    You have the necessary secret weapon: the abiity to make people laugh at the empty balloons who presume to keep us in servitude.

    Once most of start laughing at the Union and all its perverse works, it’s game well and truly over.

    • diabloandco says:

      D’you think either Scottish broadcaster would let him anywhere near a microphone?

      Much as I wish it, it ain’t going to happen!

  9. Millsy says:

    Boris Johnson : All one needs to know about Bojo is to be found in Eddie Mair’s skilful dissection of the man in his interview ( circa 2013 ) where he is described as ”a nasty piece of work ! ” and accused of various lies and threats – which he does not deny .

    I’m surprised that this interview has not been broadcast more – particularly before the Brexit Referendum , when he was ( again) found to be lying .
    If used by his Tory opponents then surely ( ? ) he would not be elected leader .

    But then this sordid history did not prevent him being elected Mayor of London ( twice ) and an MP , so perhaps the Tory voters see him as the best man to reflect their own attitudes ?

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Any notion that Boris is the messiah of the Tory (124,000) members is as accurate as his straight EU banana story, the man is despised, so was/is Cameron, so was/is May, Tory members support whom they are told for the sake of the party remaining in power, continuing to protect their benefactors.
      His role as “journalist” in the 30 year anti-EU campaign won many influential friends who will back him all the way, or at least until he is no longer useful, the Members will fall into line…

  10. Welsh Sion says:


    That BJ interview in full:

  11. Charles McGregor says:

    Feel a wee bit sorry for Ruth Davidson.

    Her primary asset to the Tories is the rare ability to bark out statements with a tone of great authority and candor then, if required, bark out the complete opposite a week later with just as much again, if not more.

    That is a rare and valuable gift.

    Whether it was acquired during her time in the BBC or her time in the Territorial Army (regarding the latter, it is very reminiscent of Captain Mainwaring) it is just the kind of asset the Tories, particularly the important matron fixated contingent, will use to the max.

    But, unlike the true Tory brood she has not been nurtured, reared and selected from the hive for greatness, she is still, essentially I feel, a human being.

    I thus worry that as such, she may struggle emotionally to comply with the complete absence of empathy required of cabal whom are currently attempting to execute their long prepared coup.

  12. Iain says:

    If we’re talking about the Conservatives’ campaign to make Ruth Davidson relevant, do we call it Operation Arseface?

  13. Malcolm Pate says:

    Theresa still on about her beloved country (United Kingdom) Does she still not know that the UK is not a country.

  14. Welsh Sion says:

    May resigns as PM, you say?

  15. Robert Graham says:

    Mrs Mayhem a total LIAR even as she is chucked out of office she cant utter anything truthful .

    A totally delusional abject LIAR who once led a party full totally EVEL people .

    Just wait , we aint seen nothing yet , lets see what emerges from the swamp next .

  16. Macart says:

    Just a thought mind. But about Ms Davidson, Mr Mundell and their many, many, many, many pledges to resign and who they would and wouldn’t work with…. 😎

  17. Isabel Rayborn says:

    Love it….”Dissociative identity crisis.” Would they even know the meaning of the word?

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