Johnson and the so-called union, both living on borrowed time

The whole thing is unbelievable. As I write these words, Gordon Brown is still holed up in Downing Street. He is like some illegal settler in the Sinai desert, lashing himself to the radiator, or David Brent haunting ‘The Office’ in that excruciating episode when he refused to acknowledge that he has been sacked. Isn’t there someone – the Queen’s Private Secretary, the nice policeman on the door of No 10 – whose job is to tell him the game’s up?

Boris Johnson, the Spectator, 10 May 2010.

Ever since the First Minister made her announcement about the Scottish Government’s route map to another lawful vote on Scottish independence, the anti-independence parties aided and abetted by Scotland’s predominantly anti-independence media have been showing their true British nationalist contempt for democracy in Scotland by falling over themselves to delegitimise any democratic route to giving the people of Scotland that to which those same anti-independence parties have always insisted Scotland has an absolute sovereign right, the ability to make a democratic choice about the form of government best suited to Scotland’s needs.

The British nationalists – which is precisely what they are no matter how much they assert their opposition to ‘nationalism’ have been engaged in a shameful exercise of conveyor belt goal posts. When those seeking to put the issue to a popular vote attained the mandate for one which was demanded prior to 2014, all of a sudden the question is to be decided by cherry picking opinion polls ,or it must be postponed to some date which is conveniently far in the future, because reasons. You can be quite certain that if we waited patiently until that date there would be some other reason why a referendum cannot be allowed.

It is obvious that the British nationalists – that would include you, Labour branch office in Scotland, were blindsided by Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement that if they block a referendum then the next UK General Election in Scotland will become a de facto referendum on independence. This is a lawful vote that they cannot prevent from taking place, and since it is an election for Westminster MPs they cannot boycott it either, instead they are reduced to asserting that the SNP and the other pro-independence parties ‘cannot’ stand on the single issue of seeking a mandate from the people of Scotland for independence, again, because reasons. As I have remarked on this blog before, the British nationalist parties may have no qualms about undermining Scottish democracy, but their power does not extend to telling other parties what platform they are allowed to stand on. The possibility of a plebiscite election is one which the British nationalists were not expecting and which they have no real idea how to respond to.

So for example we had the recent pronouncements of Alister Jack,forgotten but not gone. The Governor General for the northern territory is clinging on to his job solely because his boss won’t accept the democratic verdict of his own party and is floating around in Downing Street like an especially persistent turd which refuses all attempts to flush it away. Jack remains one of Johnson’s greatest champions in the cabinet, not least because no other Prime Minister would give this useless patrician waste of space the time of day, never mind a cabinet seat.

If during the next election the Dumfries and Galloway constituency campaign isn’t plastered with with leaflets and posters detailing every time Jack stood by Boris Johnson, despite all Johnson’s lies and deceit, someone will not be doing their job properly. Even as his colleagues were resigning en masse, Jack said of Johnson “He has never said one thing and done another and has never tried to pull the wool over my eyes.” He never needed to pull the wool over your eyes Jack, because your tongue was always rammed so far up Johnson’s arse that you could lick his tonsils. It’s the kind of statement we’d expect from Jack, who is certainly not about to jeopardise his chances of a peerage in Johnson’s resignation (dis)honours list.

Jack recently asserted tha the SNP ‘cannot’ use a UK General Election to win a mandate for independence because the constitution is a reserved matter. It’s a delusional argument. It’s not even an argument. In a UK General Election Scotland is voting to express its views on reserved matters.

Meanwhile Jackie Baillie claims that a UK General Election cannot be used to win a mandate for independence because ‘people will be voting on other issues’. Ahem, Jackie, I appreciate that you might not have noticed, what with what you believe to be your god-given right to ignore the result of last year’s Holyrood election, but you can’t actually dictate to the electorate what they will be casting their votes on. That’s ever so slightly fundamental to this whole democracy thing that you appear to be struggling with. If the pro-independence parties stand on a platform that a vote for them is a vote for independence, and they win a majority of votes. That’s a mandate for independence no matter what you say.

Labour has shown that it and the Tories are merely two cheeks of the same Brexit supporting Scottish democracy denying arse. Adopting the exact same tactic as Douglas Ross, Baillie refused to set out what the democratic route to another independence referendum actually is. The British nationalists insist that such a route does exist, but it’s top secret and they are not going to say what it is because that might encourage people to use it.

Meanwhile Johnson continues to cling on in Downing Street hoping against hope for something miraculous to crop up and save him, just like British nationalists trying to fend off a vote on Scottish independence.

We all know what the real reason for the British nationalist reticence is, even though it’s the last thing that they would ever admit to. They are terrified of the verdict of the Scottish people on the contempt which Westminster has shown for Scotland since the 2014 referendum. And they know that they cannot simply state that they will never allow Scotland a vote on independence if they fear that they might lose that vote because to do so would explode the traditional foundations of Scottish unionism and alienate thousands of soft-noes and undecideds. It’s a delaying tactic whose time will soon be up. Both Johnson and this so-called union are living on borrowed time.


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