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There’s delusion, there’s drug fuelled delusion, and then there’s Scottish Tory delusion. The last is a very special sort of stupid, accessible only to those who long since abandoned reality in favour of arrogance and an overweening sense of entitlement. Today (Monday) in The Telegraph, otherwise titled The Boris Fanzine, three Scottish Tory MPs gave their, ahem, considered and well thought out reasons why Boris Johnson is going to be the saviour of the Union and the destroyer of the Evil Nats. The Scottish Conservatives’ Operation Arse to ensure that Boris Johnson never becomes Prime Minister has bowed to the inevitable recognition that the Scottish Tories have zero influence on the decisions of their Westminster masters and mistresses. It’s now Operation Kiss Arse.
Well, I say that their reasons were considered and well thought out, but if I were to tell you that the three comprised Ross Thomson, Colin Clark, and Douglas Ross, you’d realise that everything is relative. What counts as considered and well thought out for that lot would count as a capricious whim for a snottery nosed toddler in the middle of a temper tantrum. Although to be honest it is getting increasingly difficult to distinguish the Scottish Conservatives from a snottery nosed temper tantrum. Don’t wanna another referendum. Noooooo! Don’t wanna! It’s not fair! Nooooooooo! Anyway, can we all just pause here, and give a very special thank you to Ross Can-I-Be-Scotland-Secretary-Pretty-Please-Boris Thomson for his immense contribution to the Yes movement.
According to the Three Borisketeers, their hero would swat the SNP away like a midge. Boris will stride into Scotland’s constitutional debate like a tourist armed with a fly-swatter and a sense of invulnerability. He will be immune to midges, a giant amongst us insignificant types, unaffected and unmoved. Perhaps they hadn’t noticed the opinion poll over the weekend which showed that a majority in Scotland would back independence if the object of their fanboydom becomes Prime Minister.
Unlike Scottish Tories, we all know that the really fearsome and voracious creature is not the midge. It is the Scottish midgie. The diminutive is important, only in this particular word it does not betoken smallness or affection. It is the equivalent of familiar names like Auld Nick for Satan. The diminutive in this case is a form of psychological defence against a fearsome danger. It’s not for nothing that the midgie is considered Scotland’s most dangerous predator. It swarms in clouds. It is legion. There is no such thing as “a midgie”. There is only a vast horde of them. Swat away one and there are two thousand behind it. You cannot swat a cloud of midgies. You can only run away and hide from them. Still, over the past few days Boris Johnson has proven himself to be very good at running away and hiding from difficult questions.
It is an interesting factoid that around 15% of people in Scotland have a genetic immunity to midgie bites. A far greater percentage have an immunity to Boris Johnson. His upperclass posh boy bumbling schtick doesn’t work north of the Border. Scotland is going to eat his politics alive and there will be nothing left but a pile of lying bones and the skin of deceit.
Boris is, apparently, a “committed Unionist who believes in the successful synergy between the nations of our United Kingdom”. Ross, Colin, and Douglas aren’t very sure what synergy means, but they came across the word once in a middle management self help manual that they found in Aberdeen airport, and according to the American author it’s a word that’s full of win. Rather like Ruth Davidson, come to think of it. No amount of management speak can save the Scottish Tories. You can dress Boris Johnson up in as many buzz words as you want, but he’s still going to be a untrustworthy liar, a charlatan, and a con man.
The Three Boristremists believe that Boris Johnson is deeply in love with Scotland because that’s what he told them when he was trying to get their votes. The fact that Boris will quite cheerfully tell other people whose votes he seeks something else entirely hasn’t crossed their minds, because they’re desperate to hear things that are going to reassure the rising sense of panic that they feel when they look at opinion polls and realise that their jobs and their precious union come with a use by date that is rapidly approaching. They are the epitome of the saying that a fool will always find a greater fool to admire.
Scotland is, as Nicola Sturgeon has pointed out, facing the greatest democratic deficit in decades. This country voted against Brexit. It voted for the devolution settlement. It has rejected the Conservatives. However we’re not only getting Brexit, we’re getting the most extreme version of it imaginable. The devolution settlement is being unilaterally undermined by a Westminister government that Scotland didn’t vote for, despite the fact that that government vowed never to make any changes to devolution without the express consent of the Scottish Parliament. And we’re being told by a Conservative party that Scotland didn’t vote for that it is ruling out, under all circumstances, allowing the people of Scotland to ask themselves about their future within a UK which has turned out to be a very different proposition from the UK which Scotland was told it was a part of in 2014.
The Three Boriscrementalists’ choice of words was more revealing than they imagined. Midge, they thought when they were having their middle management excercise in blue sky out of the box thinking, that’s Scottish. That’ll do. But what they’ve revealed is that as far as their bosses are concerned, the interests, concerns, and opinions of Scotland are trivial and unimportant and exist only to be swatted away.
Meanwhile the next Prime Minister is about to be chosen by 120,000 right wing Tories who are willing to ditch Scotland in order to achieve their Brexit wet dream. What that tells us is that they are in no mood to soften Brexit in order to compromise with Scotland. Scotland has no influence at all in this so-called synergy of nations. An aggressive pursuit of the absolute supremacy of Westminster isn’t synergy with Scotland. It’s Scotland’s submission and subservience. This isn’t just a democratic deficit, it’s democratic bankruptcy. That comes with consequences that can’t be avoided forever. These Scottish midgies will be the end of the Tories and their synergy of submission.