The Daily SiegHeil is the favourite newspaper of the frothy tendency of the British right. The British press is renowned around the world for its extremism, its bile, and a dedication to the truth that makes Walter Mitty seem like the editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, but the Daily Mail is the worst of a bad bunch. Although it does have to be said that there’s a lot of competition. When you manage to be the most vile right wing tabloid in a field that includes the Daily Express, you have to be as appetising as a wasp byke in a cup of vomit soup, flavoured with the essence of bile and spiced up with the sour decay of lost Empire. Only in a society where the checks and balances on media ownership have gone seriously awry could the Daily Mail be a major organ. In this case it’s one which is necrotic. At least Mussolini had the decency to name his fascist organ Avanti! which means forward, the Daily Mail wants to take us all back to the 1950s. Its concept of a united society is one in which the lower orders know their place, and ethnic minorities and gay people are invisible.
Anyway, according to the far right propaganda sheet that somehow masquerades as a newspaper, Nicola Sturgeon is no longer welcome in Number 10 Downing Street. It’s not like she was ever particularly welcome. No one ever seriously thought that Theresa would have glanced out the net curtains to see Nicola coming up the street and thought, “Oh goodie, there’s that lovely Scottish woman,” and then instructed a lackey to get the kettle on and bring out the Peek Freans and some slices of Victoria sponge. We all know that Downing Street looked forward to visits from Nicola Sturgeon as much as a middle aged man looks forward to a visit to the proctologist, or indeed as much as anyone on the planet looks forward to seeing Michael Gove at any time or at any place.
According to the Mail, in a story which was picked up by some other newspapers, but not by BBC Scotland, an “unnamed minister” had told the paper that the Scottish First Minister would no longer have face to face meetings with Theresa May, but would instead have to meet with David Mundell. According to the unnamed minister, this is because Nicola needs to be taken down a peg or seven. How dare she imagine that she’s the First Minister of a constituent nation of the UK. She’s just too full of herself that Nicola, going around as though she’s the elected leader of the Scottish government with a mandate and everything.
The minister went on to add that the Prime Minister of the UK is only going to meet with really important people, like an opposition MSP with a penchant for posing for photo opportunities in military uniform or on top of a tank. Someone whom, in fact, that Mussolini could have related to. This is doubtless why she gets such glowing reviews in the Daily Mail when her entire political platform consists of giving “Scotland doesn’t want another divisive referendum” as the answer to every question as she poses for another whacky photo-op along wish some dumb beast – who happens to be a Tory list MSP for Aberdeen.
So in future, according to this unnamed person who for all anyone knows, or indeed cares, might have been Michael Gove speaking to the Daily Mail because no one else will speak to him, Nicola Sturgeon will only be meeting with Fluffy Mundell as he’s equivalent in rank to her. He can tell her what the British government position is, if anyone bothers to tell him that is. Being told things is way above his pay grade.
The Mundane One’s usual position in the British cabinet is to be the lackey who gets the tea and the Peek Freans and Victoria sponge sorted whenever Theresa spots Nicola striding up Downing Street. Although he’s not allowed to slice the Victoria sponge, as dividing up the cake is a reserved matter, and besides, no one trusts him with sharp objects. To be fair however, even if the Fluffbucket was important enough to be told the British position on Brexit, there would still need to be a position for him to be told and there’s no evidence that there is.
Downing Street has now attempted to distance itself from the unnamed minister’s comments, although it hasn’t directly contradicted them. The Prime Minister’s office released a statement claiming it “did not recognise the comments” which is a long way short of saying that they’re not true. The only representatives of a devolved administration that Theresa May has met with since March, during a time of unprecedented uncertainty and insecurity in the UK, have been Arlene Foster and Ruth Davidson.
It’s utterly sickening that there are actually people, Scottish people, on social media who have been exhulting at a report that the Prime Minister of the UK is refusing to engage with the First Minister of Scotland. Those are people who put their party political loyalties before their consideration of what is good for Scotland. Irrespective of what you think of Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP, she’s the First Minister of Scotland and the leader of the Scottish Government. It’s the whole of Scotland that the Tories want to put in a box, not just Nicola Sturgeon. The alleged refusal of a UK PM to engage with a Scottish First Minister is an attack on all of Scotland. It’s a reduction of a constituent nation of the UK to a glorified English county. Scottish Tories are apparently happy with that, but then there are some people who are in chains and who love their shackles because they think that they’re jewellery. That’s what 300 years of the cringe do.
Remember how in 2014 we were told that Scotland was an equal and valued member of a family of nations? Remember how we were told that Scotland could lead within the UK? Remember how we were told that we were loved, wanted and needed, that our distinct Scottish perspective was essential to making the UK something more than the expression of English nationalism? Well how’s that all working out then? David Cameron’s respect agenda is as dead as his career and as trashed as his reputation, and so is the UK as anything other than a nasty right wing exclusionist English nationalism masquerading as non-nationalism. The Scottish First Minister should be meeting with the UK Prime Minister, not meeting with the tea boy.
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