Trapped between a rock and a party place

We are now at the point where it would be easier for Boris Johnson, the leader of the Let’s have a party party, to list the days when there wasn’t a booze up in Downing Street, rather than grudgingly admitting when there was. It’s now clear that Johnson presides over a booze fueled Downing Street which takes its cue from his personal sense of entitlement and his deep seated belief that the rules do not apply to him. This is a government which is corrupt to its very core, which repeatedly trashes the rules, conventions, and customs which pass for a British constitution, and which seeks to neuter and by pass any of the weak and inadequate means which the Westminster system provides for holding the powerful to account.

It’s safe to say that it’s been a dismal week for the British establishment, the Andrew formerly known as Prince is to face a civil trial in the USA following allegations, which he continues to deny, that he sexually abused Virginia Giuffre, who as a teenager was forced to provide sex to the rich and powerful by his friends, the convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, and her boyfriend the paedophile and serial sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein.

In an effort to protect the reputation of the Windsor clan, Andrew Windsor has been stripped of his royal and military patronages and the HRH title that no one with even a five year old’s grasp of morality and ethics would ever use for this sleazy and disreputable individual anyway. Andrew, who continues to enjoy a lavish lifestyle despite having no obvious means of supporting it, can count on the protection offered by his mother’s wealth, money which ultimately comes from you and me, the taxpayers of the UK. That wealth will undoubtedly be used to allow him to buy his way out of the consequences that arise from his sleazebaggery while the British media force feeds us a nausea-fest of sycophancy as we are commanded to celebrate 70 years on the throne of the monarch that many in Scotland choose to refer to as Elizabeth the Last.

Protected as it is by the instinctive deference and obsequious toadying of the British media and establishment, the monarchy will no doubt survive this latest scandal, just as it is likely to survive the other scandals about the entitlement, bad behaviour and hypocrisy of other senior members of the family which are bubbling away beneath the surface but which the royals, aided and abetted by a supine press, are desperately trying to suppress.

However it’s the Conservatives, and particularly the Scottish Conservatives, who face a far greater threat to their survival. Faced with overwhelming evidence of Johnson’s repeated and habitual contempt for lock down rules, Scottish Conservative branch office manager Douglas Ross called on Johnson to resign, only to be slapped down by Johnson’s fellow old Etonian Jacob Rees Mogg, who dismissed Ross as a disloyal lightweight. In doing so, Rees Mogg gave Douglas Ross and the Scottish Tory MSPs who backed him a big helping of the same arrogant patrician contempt that the Westminster Conservatives regularly pour on Scotland, the other Scottish parties, the Scottish Government and Parliament, and the devolution settlement itself, to applause and cheering from those same Scottish Tories who now find themselves on the receiving end of it.

They deserve no sympathy, helpless obedience to Westminster is what they signed up for. They were happy to “back Boris” when he was winning them elections in England, they never cared that he and his British nationalist Brexit remain anathema to a substantial majority in Scotland. His entitlement and obvious unsuitability for high office was something they were happy to go along with, no matter what damage it did to Scotland and the rest of the UK. They only developed a “conscience” when Johnson’s repeated misbehaviour started to damage the electoral prospects of the Conservative party and even the useless Labour party of Keir Starmer started to develop a lead over the Tories in UK wide political polling. Their sudden discovery of morality is entirely self-interested.

The Scottish Tories are now in uncharted political waters. They have disavowed the Prime Minister whom they insist should rule over Scotland, and have very publicly declared that they believe the leader of their own party to be unfit for office. The Scottish Tories have made it known that the Prime Minister of the UK is not welcome at the conference in March of the most vehemently British nationalist political party in Scotland, which leaves them in the deeply uncomfortable position of having to argue that Scotland is best served by remaining under the control of a Westminster which allows such an evidently corrupt individual into the highest office, and which then has no effective means of holding him to account.

Ross and the Scottish Tories will be praying that the Sue Gray report will bring about Johnson’s resignation. Never before in British political history has a Prime Minister been forced to resign because of a report from a civil servant who is answerable to the Prime Minister who is judge and jury in any civil service investigation into the behaviour of the Prime Minister. It’s unlikely to happen this time either. Johnson has spent his entire life refusing to acknowledge the consequences of his behaviour, he’s not about to start now. His allies have already been briefing the press that the Gray report will not find that any laws have been broken, and he will do his utmost to cling on to power, He will try to brazen it out, aided by a Conservative party in England desperate to put this episode behind them.

This will put the Scottish Conservatives in an impossible position, not that Johnson and his cronies care. They will be the party of British nationalism in Scotland which wants the British Prime Minister to be sacked. They will have to try and defend the indefensible position that they want Scotland to remain under the governance of a man that they believe to be unfit for office and to have to explain why they want Scotland to remain powerless in a position which they themselves believe to be intolerable. Johnson might wriggle out of his current political problems but the Scottish Tories can’t wriggle out of theirs, they are trapped between a rock and a party place.

Update:  Many thanks for all the kind messages of support. My mother in law – who is fully vaccinated – has only experienced mild symptoms of covid, so it looks as though she will be OK.  It just shows how important it is to get vaccinated.

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