Part time Prime Minister and full time skiver Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has cut short his break in Scotland after his location was discovered. It was touted in advance that he was going to be spending his holiday amongst us restless Caledonian natives so that we’d feel a little bit better about this whole “The UK, it’s a bit rubbish isn’t it” thing that that Tories have delivered bedecked with more union flags than an orange parade. However love for all things Britnattery has sunk so low in Scotland these days, thanks largely to the Conservatives, that the best thing that Johnson could think of in order to endear himself to us was to hide away in a remote location where no one could see him. So just like all his previous visits to Scotland then.
The press, even the normally craven Conservative press, had been full of complaints that the Prime Minister was missing in action, again. Johnson decided that the perfect time for him to bugger off was when the UK is in crisis, the coronavirus hasn’t gone away, the economy is tanking, Scotland is increasingly turning to support for independence, and the clock is ticking on Brexit negotiations that aren’t going anywhere fast. For their part Downing Street sources have retorted that it’s unfair to say that the Prime Minister has been avoiding doing his job. While he was away on holiday amidst the dramatic scenery on the wild and craggy shores of the Applecross peninsula he was doing exactly what he would have been doing in Downing Street, drinking wine and sitting twiddling his thumbs as he stared at a cliff edge.
The Tories are blaming the SNP for revealing the location of Johnson’s hideaway to the press. Revealing his location meant that his holiday cottage was at risk of being mobbed by Scottish nationalists, they say. Some Conservatives are blaming the SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford – “because he’s local”. Applecross, Skye, it’s all the same thing really isn’t it. But who knew that the SNP had such a close and friendly relation with that bastion of press support for Scottish independence [checks notes] the Daily Mail. If the SNP really was going to leak the location of Johnson’s holiday cottage, they’d have leaked it to The National.
Johnson is reportedly livid that his holiday has been interrupted. Revealing its location meant that he was vulnerable to a sniper, sniffed the Sun. Ah yes, that infamous Applecross Snipers’ Association, bagging Tories instead of Munroes as they stalk the Gove moors. Maybe Johnson would do a bit better if he realised that people really don’t care where he’s been. They care that he’s got as much interest in doing his job as he does in admitting how many children he’s got.
According to the Tories the real story here isn’t that we have a Prime Minister who isn’t doing his job, it’s that some people had the nerve to complain about it. Of course it had nothing to do with the SNP that Johnson’s location was discovered, it was entirely his own decision to go and spend his holidays in an area where there’s majority support for independence and expect that the locals would simply tug their forelocks and defer to him. Instead one of those locals was irked enough to tip off the press. That’s how we really bag Tories these days.
The Tories are very clearly at a loss about what to do in order to counter the rising support for independence. This week’s opinion poll which put support for independence at 55% has only deepened their sense of panic. There was a report in the press that Michael Gove had embarked upon some meetings with, ahem ‘senior politicians’ from other parties to cobble together a joint plan to prevent independence. He met with Jack McConnell, George Galloway, and Danny Alexander – who remarkably is still a thing. Gove, McConnell, Galloway, and Alexander, the four horsemen of the Crappy Brits. There have been reports of late that Gove is considered the most likely candidate to head up any Better Together The Sequel. It will be just like the first one only with a less credible plot. Although at least next time it will be even more of a joke.
The independence movement in Scotland and our determination that Scotland has an absolute right to another independence referendum is driven by a simple belief. “Scotland’s inalienable right to self-determination includes the right to decide how to exercise that right… To deny it would be to say that of all the nations of the world today we had no national right to self-determination.” That was George Galloway writing in Radical Scotland magazine in 1983. Now he’s cosying up with the Tories, with the founder of UKIP Alan Sked, and with the British establishment.
However it’s clear that the Conservatives realise that they cannot prevent Scottish independence simply by saying no to another referendum. That may work as a short term tactic, but ultimately it will prove self-defeating. If Michael Gove was so confident that all his government had to do in order to prevent independence was to keep saying no, then he wouldn’t be meeting with George Galloway. Gove has already implicitly accepted that there will have to be another referendum when he tweeted that gerrymandering the franchise for that referendum was an “interesting idea”. If he really believed that there would never be another referendum, that Downing Street could say no forever, then gerrymandering the franchise for a referendum that was never going to happen wouldn’t be very interesting at all.
Meanwhile Scottish Tory MSP Rachel Hamilton has made a bit of an arse of herself on social media by tweeting that Scotland has been “overrun by SNP bigots and separatists”. Way to go to persuade all those Scottish people who support independence to fall back in love with the YooKay Rachel. All they’ve got left are insults and the frustrated wails of those who are starting to realise that their Great British castle is built on sand, and the Scottish tide is rising.
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