There was a major scoop in the Scotsman newspaper – well, I say “newspaper” – yesterday. I’m not giving a link because it only encourages them. The paper breathlessly told us that they’d put in a Freedom of Information request, and as a result had discovered that Nicola Sturgeon had put in some late night calls to advisors just before the news about Derek McKay broke. I know. Colour me shocked. This is the new Watergate. I hope that the Scotsman has tied up the movie rights. They could call it “Woman makes some phone calls as part of her job.”
Yes, that’s right, the Scotsman really did run a story in which they tried to make out that a politician doing her job in a perfectly normal way is something that we should be appalled about. Tomorrow the Scotsman will publish an exclusive scoop to let us know that Thursday follows Wednesday and that there are countries in the world where it doesn’t rain as much as it does in Scotland. Someone ought to put in a Freedom of Information request to see if the Scotsman is in the running for the No Shit Sherlock Prize in the Scottish Press Awards this year.
What the content of this content free attempt at some SNPbaddery boils down to is – fancy that, the First Minister spoke to her advisors just before one of her key ministers was about to resign because of a scandal, and in the process potentially wreck the announcement of a crucial Scottish budget. Don’t know of any other world leader that would do that. Well, at least not in the UK or the USA. Maybe the Scotsman thinks it would have been better for her to do what Boris Johnson does, and just make things up as he goes along. That’s the British way, not this Scottish separatist nonsense of preparing properly for things. You get the distinct impression that they’re no longer really trying with this SNPbaaaaad stuff. They could at least put some bloody effort into it.
Back in the real world, which wouldn’t be the one that the Scottish media lives in, it would be far more shocking if the Scottish First Minister didn’t speak to advisors when she knew that it was soon about to become public knowledge that her finance secretary would be resigning in disgrace just a short time before the Scottish budget needed to be presented to parliament. Then the Scotsman would be publishing a story telling us in pearl clutching terms that the First Minister wasn’t doing her day job.
I’ve been convinced that we’ve reached a new nadir in the British nationalist press in Scotland more often than the Scotsman and the Herald have confidently stated that we’ve passed peak SNP. But just when you think that it can’t possibly get any worse we get pieces like the Herald’s shameful photo montage of mass murderers which it was artfully not linking to Alex Salmond nudge nudge wink wink and now this piece of content free nonsense from the Scotsman which has far less substance than a speck of navel fluff. There are times when the British nationalist print media in Scotland makes Reporting Scotland seem like a hard science documentary on quantum mechanics. The real disgrace is that those times come pretty thick and fast.
There’s considerably more shock horror in what’s going on in the British Government of Boris Johnson, but that rarely seems to attract the same attention from a Scottish media which is desperate to stave off independence, whatever the cost to democracy, to Scotland, or even to common decency. On Tuesday it was announced that Chris Grayling has been appointed to chair the vital intelligence committee in the Commons. No, that’s not a joke, a man who is famed throughout British politics only for his a wilful stupidity is to oversee intelligence. Chris Grayling is the man who more than any other is responsible for the mess that passes for a railway network in the UK. Then he went on to singlehandedly ruin the probation service before giving a ferry contract to a company that didn’t have any boats. Now he’s being given the chance to wreck the security services too. It’s like putting a monkey in charge of a mission to Mars, and then giving as your reasoning the fact that the monkey throws its own poo so it has an understanding of ballistics.
Then, to add to the you couldn’t make it upness of the merdocracy that is the Conservative Government, Nadine Dorries, who’s a health minister, despite being like Chris Grayling notable only for her wilful stupidity, came down with coronavirus while in the act of signing the regulation making coronavirus a notifiable disease, and then didn’t tell anyone about it for five days. Our thoughts go out to the coronavirus at this difficult time. I wouldn’t wish Nadine Dorries on anyone. I learned about Nadine’s health from BBC’s Newsnight, while I was waiting for Jedward to come on and talk about the realpolitik of communicable disease and how it impacts on the economy. The programme told us that Nadine self-isolated because she ‘knew what she was doing’. That must be a first for her.
Nadine spent the past week in Westminster, where she met hundreds of people, she held a constituency surgery and met dozens of her constituents, and she even attended a No 10 reception hosted by Boris Johnson last Thursday. Has she been at any cabinet meetings this week? Asking for a friend. Nadine is now self isolating, although sadly she’s not gone away to hide her head in shame. That requires a degree of self-awareness that no one in the Conservative party possesses, least of all Nadine. Boris Johnson has reportedly told her to take it on the chin. He told her over the telephone while he was wearing a gasmask and was sitting on a stockpile of toiletpaper.
Half the government might now have to self-isolate, although if Boris Johnson did self-isolate no one would notice any difference. Most of Scotland would prefer that the Conservatives self-immolate, but we must be grateful for small mercies. I did always think that Nadine had the potential to take down the government, although admittedly not like this.
But hey, Nicola Sturgeon made some phone calls to her advisors. That’s the real story here. The British media in Scotland tells us Scotland is rubbish and needs the UK to look after it. And they’re a totally disinterested and unbiased party. Ammarite?
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