You can tell that the British nationalists are getting desperate. We’re now several days into the discovery that Dominic Cummings knows more about eye exams than anyone else on the planet because he inserted a sentence about it into an old story on his blog in order to prove that he was retrospectively ahead of the curve. This is a special sort of bending of the laws of time and space that only a man who’s capable of a special sort of bending of the lockdown restrictions could possibly understand. But despite all the attempts to rewrite the past, this is a scandal that’s just not going away.
Even the Daily Star, which is normally far more interested in what’s going on in Love Island, has got in the act. Although since this is a publication which generally specialises in the antics of the rich, entitled, and vacuous talking about Dominic Cummings is well within its comfort zone. On Wednesday it published a cut out and keep mask of Dominic Cummings, so that readers can wear it and sod everybody else. It’s a joke that they stole from social media, so no points for inventiveness, but for the British Government this is a sign that anger about the Cummings scandal has broken through into even that demographic which Cummings specialises in manipulating, the so-called ‘low information voter’.
More seriously however, we’re now in a UK where the police actually have to issue an official statement telling people not to drive if they think that they can’t see properly. Michael Gove, a man whose very presence in our public life constitutes a major oil spill that pollutes the environment for decades, told the press on Tuesday that he thinks that driving to test how well you can see is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. In fact he’s done it himself.
During an interview on Sky News, Kay Burley asked the Human Oil Slick about a statement from the Bishop of Leeds who had said, “Do we accept being lied to, patronised and treated by a PM as mugs? The moral question is not for Cummings – it is for PM and ministers/MPs who find this behaviour acceptable. What are we to teach our children? (I ask as a responsible father.)” Gove would only reply, “I wish the bishop well.” When an incredulous Kay Burley pressed him on whether that was all he was going to say, he added that he respected the bishop because he was a Christian himself. That’s Michael Gove there, who would have deported Joseph and Mary for being homeless asylum seekers and who thinks that money-changing is the entire purpose of temples. I’m more of a Christian than Michael Gove is, and I’m an atheist.
In a desperate attempt to find a squirrel to point at, the Brexity British nationalists on social media demanded an investigation in the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford. He travelled 620 miles, took a ferry, and spread the coronavirus in the Isle of Skye instead of staying at home in London, they harrumphed, because they’re still living in the 1980s and don’t know there’s a bridge. Actually, they barely realise that Scotland has roads. Why isn’t the media investigating? It’s a remoaner cover up. Because as we all know in Scotland, the media is always highly reluctant to publish stories that show up the SNP in a bad light. And Dominic Cummings is up there with Jesus Christ in his self-sacrifice. Michael Gove thinks so, and he tells us he’s a Christian.
Ian Blackford went home to Skye at the same time as all the other MPs went home when Parliament went into lockdown. He didn’t have any symptoms but went into self-isolation because he’d been in London and didn’t want to risk infecting anyone. He didn’t go on to develop any symptoms. Dominic Cummings went into his work even though he was living with a person who had symptoms, then left his home in order to seek childcare despite not needing it, travelled with his wife who was already ill, went to stay at his parents’ place, came down with coronavirus, then went on a jolly to Barnard Castle in order to, ahem, test his eyesight. But sure, yeah, apart from that it’s totally the same.
Meanwhile in Scotland, Jackson Carauction has been reluctantly forced to suggest, hint, imply that Dominic Cummings ought to resign. Although he’s at pains to point out that it’s not for him to tell the Prime Minister what to do, what with him being a loyal House Jock and everything. The story is dominating the news and making it even harder for his attacks upon the Scottish Government to gain any traction. No one is in the mood for listening to a Conservative preach about the mote in someone else’s eye while there’s a beam in their own that they’re driving around with in order to test their eyesight.
None of the attacks by Jackson Carauction for the Tories and Labour’s Renaldo Losevoter on the Scottish Government appear to be resonating with the public. The media in Scotland have been banging on about the supposed cover up of the infection at the Nike conference in Edinburgh and the number of deaths in Scottish care homes for weeks now, but the public still place their trust in the Scottish Government.
Even the BBC has commissioned an opinion poll, which supicious minds are convinced was done with the purpose of generating another SNPbad story, only to discover that the Scottish public overwhelmingly trust the Scottish Government and Nicola Sturgeon’s handling of the crisis, and don’t have anything like the same faith in the British Government. Fieldwork for the poll was carried out before the Dominic Cummings story broke, so it’s likely that there’s even less trust in the British Government now. The poll found that 55% of people in Scotland think that Johnson has performed poorly in his handling of the crisis. Only 30% think he’s done well, despite the constant mantra of “we’re all in this together”. However a massive 82% think that Nicola Sturgeon has handled things well, and just 8% think she’s done poorly.
Today at First Minister’s Questions, Jackson tried to imply that the First Minister doesn’t remember that every death added to the statistics isn’t just a number but a human being. Along with the Labour branch office manager they tried to do a Dominic – rewriting history with the benefit of hindsight. The problem for the British nationalist parties is that the British Government is performing so poorly and so mendaciously that the only angle that they can find to attack the Scottish Government is to criticise the First Minister for not doing things differently from the British Government. Their problem is that we all know that they’d have been the first to attack her if that’s what she’d done at the time. So it’s hardly surprising that the Scottish public is choosing to ignore them.
What makes it worse for them is that by saying that Scotland should have diverged even more abruptly and strongly from Westminster, they’re only reinforcing the message that a Scotland which was not encumbered with Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings could have performed a whole lot better than it has done. Once this crisis is over, there will be a public enquiry, and that public enquiry will find that Scotland has suffered because it was following Westminster’s lead. We’d be a whole lot better off not being Better Together.
And finally, here’s a video from Louis Rive, a Scottish singer songwriter living in Barcelona…
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