The Scottish branch office of the Three B’s party, British, Brexit and Boris, is exulting today that it forced a u-turn from the Scottish Government’s education minister John Swinney on kids returning to school in August. For weeks now the Scottish Sychophants for Boris party have been campaigning to get children back in schools. Not because they genuinely believe that it’s safe, not because they genuinely think that the scientific advice shows it’s not a danger to either children, adult staff, or that children who themselves may be at low risk won’t pass the virus on to vulnerable members of their families. No, it’s all about point scoring and SNPbad.
In pursuit of this goal they’ve put forward failed political candidates who have done interviews with an unquestioning Scottish media presenting themselves as concerned and angry parents. It’s noticeable that the Scottish media was happy to present us with party members posing as members of the public angry that their kids are not at school, but it couldn’t be arsed enough to go out and find some parents who are worried about their children returning to school too early. There are plenty of parents in that category, but their worries don’t fit the agenda of SNPbad, so the Scottish media isn’t interested. What passes for news in Scotland is all too often just grubby, dirty, and nasty political opportunism from the Tories, amplified and broadcast by a Scottish media that’s as terrified of independence as the Tories are.
You don’t have to be gung-ho in full support of the Scottish Government’s education policy to be disgusted by the behaviour of the BBBs. To which we ought to add a fourth B, for Basterts. James McEnaney, who is a trenchant critic of the Scottish Government’s education policies, is appalled by just how low the Scottish Conservatives have been prepared to go. In the Scottish Tories we have a party which is cheerfully prepared to risk people’s lives in order to score a few cheap political points against Thatessempee.
This is a party which would demand that the Scottish Government force everyone to march off a cliff if that happened to be the policy that Bloviating Johnson’s government was imposing in England. In fact that’s pretty much what he’s doing. He’s getting rid of the 2 metre social distancing measure, despite experts like Sir David King, a former senior scientific advisor to the British Government, warning that it’s far too early. He’s allowing shops to reopen, travel to be unrestricted, and households to meet up. England is courting the risk of a second wave of infections, but the British Government is more concerned about what it’s told in focus groups that by what it’s told by scientists.
The opening up in England is politically driven, not driven by science. This is the model that the BBBs want Scotland to adopt uncritically. They are so terrified that any difference between Scotland and England might translate into increased support for independence that they are prepared to allow people to die. It’s bad enough to have to contend with a lethal virus, but Scotland has to contend with a Conservative plague as well. Thousands of extra deaths is a price they’ll happily make us pay if it means that they can avoid a rise in taxation levels. Given a choice between protecting people’s lives or protecting the profits of Wetherspoons, it’s a no brainer for the Tories.
The truth is that the Scottish Government is not caving in to the demands of the Tories. Schools returning in August is contingent upon measures remaining in place to drive down transmission of the virus. Plans for what’s called blended learning will remain in place in case they are needed. It turns out, surprise surprise, that the Tories had previously supported this, but now that their bosses in England want something different they’ve changed their minds. But then lying, dissembling, and being generally irresponsible is very much the Conservatives’ USP these days. The BBBB’s in Scotland are merely taking the lead from the blustering bloviator in chief.
Today Lying Bastert Johnson once again lied shamelessly to the House of Commons. Defending the utter failure of the much vaunted contact and trace app – the one which the Scottish Conservatives had insisted that Scotland must adopt too – he breezily asserted that there’s no country in the world which has a functioning contact and trace app. Which must come as a surprise to all those countries which do have a functioning contact and trace app. Countries like Germany, Singapore, or Iceland. Germany’s contact and trace app has been downloaded over 12 million times. Reuters reported that the app employs existing Apple and Google technology and measures close contacts using Bluetooth short-range radio. Contacts are logged securely on the users’ devices rather than a centralised server. Similar technology is being used by Australia, Poland, Latvia, Denmark, Japan and Italy. Iceland has a track and trace app which relies upon GPS tracking rather than Bluetooth, as of this week it has been downloaded by 38% of the Icelandic population. https://fullfact.org/health/coronavirus-track-and-trace-app-boris-johnson/
Johnson’s casual approach to the truth is matched only by his casual approach to doing his job. He’s more concerned about being able to tell his voters that they can go to the pub than he is about keeping people safe. He’s more concerned about the bank balances of the rich than he is about the lives of the poor. Once upon a time Prime Ministers were expected to tell the truth in the House of Commons and to resign if they did not. Instead we have a part time Prime Minister who demeans and cheapens his office, using it as a means to burnish his fragile ego. He’s no different from Donald Trump. All those Scottish Conservatives who once mounted Operation Arse to keep him away from the leadership of their party now have their tongues so far up that arse that they can tickle his tonsils. These are the same people who appear on the Scottish news to lecture us about leadership.
This is a party which tells us that we need to protect statues because it’s important to not to erase history. Then we have senior members of that party like Norman Tebbitt writing columns in the Telegraph to tell us that it’s important to defend the statue of Churchill because he fought against that left wing extremist – checks notes – Adolf Hitler. I never expected that Norman Tebbitt and the modern Tory party would so willingly admit that they are to the right of Adolf Hitler, but this is where we are now.
The Tories are a mess. They’re opportunistic, cynical, and just plain nasty. They’ve always been that way, but Norman Tebbitt can at least claim that when he was in government the Conservatives were competent in their nasty opportunistic cynicism. Now they just flail about angrily, not caring who or what they damage or destroy as they pursue their selfish careerism. Some of us remember the government of Thatcher which Tebbitt was a part of. I can’t believe that it would ever have been possible to harbour greater contempt for the Conservatives than we had for Thatcher’s government. This lot have managed it.
Scotland does better than the British Government because Scotland is prepared to diverge from it. Scotland’s more cautious strategy appears to be working. Since May the statistics for coronavirus infections, deaths, and hospital admissions for Scotland and England have been diverging. Despite England having ten times the population of Scotland, Scotland now has an average of 20 new cases daily – England is reporting 1300. Scotland is reporting 5 daily hospital admissions, England is reporting 330. Scotland is reporting an average of 3.5 deaths daily, England is reporting 130. Surname Surname and the rest of the BBBs want the Scottish Government to throw away that progress in the name of preserving their preciousssss union. (For up to date statistics on infections, deaths, and comparisons with other countries see https://www.travellingtabby.com/scotland-coronavirus-tracker/)
Their problem is that increasingly people in Scotland are coming to the conclusion that a so-called union which forces Scotland to mindlessly follow a British Government which has no concern for human life, which is chaotic, incompetent, and led by liars and charlatans, is not a union that’s worth protecting.
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