Johnson’s interests are his own, not Scotland’s

Boris Johnson, as you may have realised if you’ve seen Glenn Campbell getting extremely animated on Reporting Scotlandshire, is currently on a wee tour of the northern colony. His visit has been most notable so far for his refusal to meet with the Scottish First Minister while he’s here and then for him lying through his teeth about it, insisting that he had not in fact turned down the offer of the meeting that he had turned down. However it has to be said that Boris Johnson telling a self-serving and blatant lie is not in fact that notable an occurrence, seeing as how it’s something that he does on pretty much a daily basis.

Today (Thursday), the newspapers tell us that Johnson has loftily informed the people of Scotland that a second independence referendum is not in their interest. This requires us to believe two inherently implausible things. Firstly we are to believe that Johnson, a man whose experience of Scotland begins and ends with a handful of short visits which have been carefully arranged in order to minimise his exposure to any actual Scottish people who are not Conservative loyalists, really knows better than the people of Scotland what their best interests are. Secondly we are supposed to believe that Johnson cares about anyone’s interests other than his own, a notion of which you will quickly be disabused with even the most cursory look at his life and career. The only interests Johnson has ever cared about are his own.

The people of Scotland have already spoken, and said what they believe to be their best interests. They did so clearly and unequivocally. That’s what they did in May’s election when they returned a Scottish Parliament with a solid majority of pro-independence MSPs elected with an explicit and unconditional mandate to bring about another independence referendum during this parliamentary term. The anti-independence parties,especially the Conservatives, fought that election campaign on the single issue of opposition to another independence referendum and despite a well organised and suspiciously well funded tactical voting campaign aimed at maximising anti-independence representation in Holyrood, they still lost and we ended up with a Scottish Parliament with the largest pro-independence majority in its history.

Irrespective of whether you are in favour of Scottish independence or opposed to it, there has to be another independence referendum. The constitutional question is not going to go away all by itself, no matter how much or how often the Scottish Conservatives, the Labour party, and the Alexander Cole-Hamilton shaped void fan club stamp their feet and wish it were so. The only way the constitutional question can be resolved is through another democratic event, and that means another referendum. Otherwise the constitutional issue will continue to be the fault line that defines Scottish politics.

Johnson offers as supposed proof of his claim that another referendum isn’t in Scotland’s interests the fact that the “people he has been talking to” in Scotland don’t want one. Well colour us all surprised. All that proves is that when Johnson talks to people in Scotland he and his staff go to great lengths to ensure that he is only ever exposed to the opinions of those who agree with him. That’s what happens when your experience of Scottish public opinion is limited to the opinions of Scottish Tories and your minders make sure that you are kept very far away from any Caledonians in the wild who might inform you in colourful Scottish language precisely what they think of you, your clownish and entitled behaviour, and your cabinet of shysters and charlatans.

However the people of Scotland had every chance to hear the opinions of the Scottish Tories in May’s election and were not hugely impressed by what they heard. That’s why Douglas Ross only managed to win 23% of the regional vote and – despite the aforementioned tactical voting campaign and is currently the leader of a minority faction of MSPs who don’t have a hope in hell of blocking any legislation put forward by the Scottish Government.

Boris Johnson is a narcissist. Altruism is an alien concept to him. He inhabits a mental universe which places him in the centre of everything. It’s not even clear whether he would be psychologically capable of distinguishing between what was in his own interests and what’s in the interests of other people. His support for Brexit eventually came down to his estimation of what was best for him and for his ambition to lead the Conservative party and become Prime Minister, The negative effects of Brexit on the UK and on ordinary citizens, both British and European, scarcely registered in his selfish and supremely self-centred thinking.

Likewise when Johnson says that another Scottish independence referendum is not in Scotland’s interests what he really means is that it’s not in his own interests. He’s neither capable of nor interested in considering anything else. Johnson does not want to go down in the history books as the man who “lost Scotland”, a country which he views as a possession and a fiefdom. The loss of a third of the UK’s landmass, much of its natural resources and potential, not to mention the loss of the UK’s nuclear submarine bases would represent a massive blow to the prestige and standing of the UK and by extension of Johnson himself.

Just as when British nationalists preach that an independent Scotland would be too small what they are really doing is revealing their fear that stripped of Scotland, England would be too small – too small to continue successfully with the grandiose delusions of English exceptionalism, Johnson is really revealing his own fears and inadequacies and projecting them on to Scotland.

The people of Scotland are more than capable of deciding for themselves where their interests lie. And those interests lie in getting Scotland as far away as possible from the influence of the corrupt, incompetent, and anti-democratic government of Boris Johnson and his Conservative cronies. Scotland’s interests lie in undoing the damage of Johnson’s disastrous Brexit which Scotland never wanted. Democracy is in Scotland’s interests. The Scottish Parliament hasbeen given a clear instruction from the people of Scotland to hold a referendum and so there will be one.


In the wake of recent events I am determined that this site will not become a home for bigots and conspiracy theorists. They will not be welcome here. Moderation is the most stressful part of running a blog, but this site is going to continue to make the positive case for independence. With this in mind as of today a new moderation policy is in force.

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