It’s getting more and more difficult to come up with novel and witty descriptions of the many splendoured screw up that is our Conservative government. While the SNP government in Holyrood gets castigated and thrashed in the press for being less than perfect, even when the Scottish public service in question is out-performing its equivalents in England and Wales which are run by the Conservatives and Labour, the Tories in Westminster can’t even aspire to incompetence. There are toddlers in a playgroup smearing face paint all over the furniture who are more capable of painting a picture of the future path of the UK than this shower of self-serving careerists in the cabinet.
First Philip Hammond said that there was agreement on a transitional deal for the UK once it leaves the EU, in order to allow the smooth passage of British goods and services to the rest of the EU. Phil said that the deal would be some off the shelf arrangement similar to that which Norway has. Then up popped Liam Fox to insist that there was no agreement at all. Our warring cabinet members can’t even agree on whether they agree, never mind agreeing on the content of any such agreement. Is Britain going to arrange a transitional deal to soften the blow of a sharp exit from the EU? Your guess is as good as anyone else’s. Personally I reckon we ought to ask the finger painting toddlers, because anything that they can come up with is a picture of hyperrealistic clarity in comparison to anything that comes out of our Conservative government.
Meanwhile, according to a leaked interview with the Wall Street Journal which was never used, Donald Trump has decided to weigh in on the Scottish independence debate. The be-cheetoed Prez doesn’t want us to have another vote, because apparently we just went through hell. Possibly he was referring to the latest episode of River City, or maybe it was that photo of Ruth Davidson posing in an army uniform. The nature of the hell was left unclear. It may have been the howls of typically Scottish abuse that greeted the Donald the last time that he set foot in this hellish country. Whatever it was, it was hell, just like the Bowling Green Massacre which only exists in the imaginations of Trump supporters. It was hell just like that Pizzagate episode. It was hell just like whatever it was that was going on in Sweden that Donald thought was hell. Only that turned out to be the early rounds of choosing the Swedish entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. Maybe the Donald has heard of an undiscovered Sydney Devine track where he’s doing a duet with Fran and Anna? We should all take to the hills.
According to Donald, after Scotland had so narrowly survived some unspecified hell, it would be terrible if Scotland was to vote for independence. Bigly terrible. Sad. If Scotland became independent what would happen to the only thing about this country that the Donald cares about? Independence would mean Scottish golf courses might no longer be able to host the British Open. He was of course thinking about his own golf courses, naturally. The president of the USA thinks of us as nothing more than a caddy for his golf clubs. But if something is bad for the Donald, the chances are that it’s good for the rest of us. Thank you so much for your public opposition to Scottish independence Donald, support for independence has just increased by a few percentage points. As I’m always pointing out to American friends, Scotland hated Donald Trump long before it was fashionable.
It’s this same president that the UK government is relying on for a trade deal to save Britain from the consequences of Brexit. In the UK we can’t even sit back and enjoy our traditional self-righteous superiority at American idiocy because our government is every bit as bad. We’ve got Liam Fox and Michael Gove. At least the Americans have only got the one deluded idiot in charge, in the UK we’ve got a cabinet full of deluded idiots and no one in charge at all.
Donald’s relationship to the truth is very much like Ruth Davidson’s relationship to policy. For Donald, truth is the single minded promotion of all things Donald, which is much the same as Ruth Davidson’s approach to the Scottish Conservatives as a vehicle for her own single minded self-promotion. Although to be fair, Ruth does have a policy. It’s the same policy for everything. No matter what the topic, no matter what the subject, no matter what the service, it can be answered by saying no to another referendum.
Like Donald, Ruth also believes that Scotland went through hell, and that’s a piece of fake news that she will promote at all and any opportunities she can get. Which is a fair few. And to be fair, it must have been pretty hellish for Scottish Tories. For generations they were able to pontificate in golf club bars about the too wee-ness, too poor-ness and too stupidness of Scotland without fear of being contradicted, and then along comes an independence referendum and loads of people pop up to tell them that they’re talking shite. There is nothing more frightening to the privileged than the fear that they’re going to lose their privileges. There’s nothing more divisive to a golf club bar bore than someone challenging him when he’d previously been allowed a clear field. That’s the divisiveness that Ruth and her pals keep talking about, before the referendum Unionists had the field to themselves. Independence was not considered a mainstream idea. Now it is, and they don’t like it.
The Unionists parties would be quite happy for Scotland to be nothing more than a caddy for Donald’s golf clubs and a caddy for the UK’s nukes. What they don’t want is for Scotland to be able to define itself and to choose its own direction. The problem is that they don’t have the foggiest idea what direction they want the UK to go in, but they’re insistent that Scotland has to tag along, into the unknown, tied to a bunch of careerists and a golf course bore while they spout off in the bar. It’s time Scotland stopped playing by their golf club rules and played by its own rules.
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