Well I am still on holiday, and hadn’t planned to write anything, but I couldn’t let the victory of Boris Johnson pass unremarked.
And so it has come to pass. The Borismageddon is upon us. The UK is now officially the laughing stock of Europe, led by a man who vies only with Donald Trump for the lack of esteem in which he’s held in foreign capitals. Better Together promised Scotland that we’d be punching above our weight, they’ve delivered a nuclear whoopee cushion and UK is the butt of the joke. EU leaders know who Boris Johnson is, and their opinions are not flattering. They’re not going to be disposed to do any favours for the man who brought the European project down with lies about bent bananas.
Yesterday in his first rambling free form speech as Prime Minister, we saw Boris Johnson lecture the nation like a gerbil on crack. He sounded as though he was making it all up as he went along, and he probably was. Amongst the faux bumbling, the spewing out of promises that he had neither the intention nor wherewithal of keeping our new PM was true to form. He lied. He lied with no sense of shame. He lied with no self-awareness. He claimed that it was merely a “remote possibility” that the EU would not reopen negotiations on the terms of the UK’s exit. Yet he knows that it’s a “remote possibility” in the same sense that it’s a remote possibility that the sun will come up in the east tomorrow morning. It’s a remote possibility in the same sense that Facebook will collect all your personal data and claim that it’s doing you a favour. It’s a remote possibility in the same sense that the British press in Scotland will collude in allowing Ruth Davidson to hide from difficult questions.
The Brextremists can long longer blame a government of closet remainers for the failure of Brexit, so the new PM is just getting his excuses in early. When the vanity of Brexit comes crashing into reality it will be the fault of the EU. It will be the fault of MPs. It will be the fault of the SNP and the Scottish Government. What it won’t ever be is the fault of the British Empire nostalgics and fantasists who created the myth of Brexit in the first place.
It’s one thing to anticipate a Boris Johnson government, but you only really grasp the true horror once it has actually happened. We now have the most right wing government in living memory, packed full of Ayn Rand fans, Brextremists, death penalty enthusiasts, and those whose only criticism of Margaret Thatcher is that she didn’t punish the working classes harshly enough. And as if that wasn’t bad enough it is led by an empty egoist who cynically acts the clown, taking the country down a path of lies, in pursuit of a fantasy that doesn’t exist.
Yesterday we didn’t witness a cabinet reshuffle. It was the wholesale appointment of a new government by a man who has no democratic legitimacy beyond the approbation of the selectorate of the Conservative party. Boris Johnson ruthlessly axed all those who didn’t give him their full support. This is a man who believes that individuality is something that only applies to him. The role of everyone else in the universe is to bask in his self-esteem.
The new Prime Minister has signalled that he’s going to pursue the most extreme form of Brexit possible and that the concerns of remainers are of no consequence. Meanwhile Scotland doesn’t even figure in his calculations, despite all the rhetoric about the precious union and the awesome foursome. The awesome foursome sounds like the title of the worst superhero movie ever, the one in which Scotland’s superpowers are invisibility and silence. No one in Westminster can hear us scream or see us protest.
We discovered the true extent of Ruth Davidson’s influence upon the Conservative government in Westminster. It’s approximately the same as the influence of a fly to reduce the speed of a car barrelling down the motorway at 90 mph when it crashes into the windscreen and splatters itself into insignificant oblivion. Despite Ruth’s gushing recommendation, all of Fluffy’s sookery was to no avail, even though by yesterday morning he was sucking up so hard that Dyson are considering marketing him as a new model of vacuum cleaner. We discovered at the very end that Mundell was concerned to protect Scottish jobs after all. It’s just that it was only his own that he cared about. Right to the very end David Mundell did not resign. He got sacked instead.
Mundell couldn’t even manage to resign and retain a modicum of dignity, at least in his own imagination. Dignity and David Mundell are two concepts that don’t generally appear in the same sentence unless there’s a negative in there somewhere. He has become the epitome of Scottish Conservatism, supine, begging, craven, utterly bereft of anything approaching a principle, and still professing loyalty even after his British masters have kicked him in his own self-neutered crotch.
I’ll admit that I was surprised when Alister Jack was appointed as the new Scotland Secretary. Mainly because I had forgotten that he existed. Poor Ross Thomson eh, like Fluffy he discovered that all that sooking came to naught. Alister is one of the least distinguished and least notable Scottish Tory MPs, and let’s be honest here, the bar was set pretty low. He’s an empty sock with a posh education, chosen for his loyalty to the Brexit project, not for his loyalty to what’s best for Scotland. Alister will cheerfully see Scotland taken out of the EU without a deal.
The Tories are now telling us that Boris Johnson will either do or die. Malkie Rifkind appeared on Sky News last night to tell us that this new government could make a success of Brexit and then Boris Johnson will be a hero in Scotland. There’s never been a greater display of wishful thinking since Theresa May bought a pair of red shoes and clicked her heels together three times in the hope that it would deliver her to the end of the yellow brick Brexit road. Even if Boris Johnson does deliver Brexit, he’ll be delivering something that Scotland has repeatedly, insistently, consistently, stated that it does not want. You don’t become a hero by forcing an unwanted dish down an unwilling throat in the hope that it will suddenly become tasty. You become a hated abuser.
Boris Johnson will be the worst PM that the UK has ever had. He is also likely to be the last. This is how the UK ends, with bombast, in self-delusion, in confusion, strangled by the egos of posh boys. It’s not a pretty sight, but amongst the manure of the dying British state, there’s the flower of a new Scotland coming into bud.
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