by Colin Campbell
SOON I’ll be going along to celebrate Christmas Day with my daughter, her husband and the grandchildren, near the end of this truly cursed year. But first an acknowledgment of the festive gift that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has delivered to Unionists everywhere.
Yesterday, after four years of failed negotiation by his predecessors, he clinched a crucial Brexit trade deal with the EU. This came just two weeks after the UK became the first country in the world to secure millions of doses of the coronavirus vaccine. Not a bad month’s work by any definition.
In response to conformation of the Brexit deal, Nicola Sturgeon, in a classically desperate act of grievance mongering, was reduced to protesting that the deal was a sell-out on seed potatoes. Seed potatoes? Whatever the merits of that claim, it sounded pathetic.
If true, or more likely partly true, because it has already been disputed by some who know the industry well, buoyant Boris Johnson and his government should be more than willing to consider compensating farmers affected.
But the SNP’s hopes of reaching the end of the year with a chaotic no deal Brexit to fire up the cause of independence have now been shattered.
No one is under any illusions that this hugely welcome turn of events will halt the flow of nationalist grievance mongering, deception, half truths and outright lying which is their stock in trade. That will continue unabated.
But their favourite “buffoon” Boris Johnson is now a prime minister riding high. He has shown his mettle, his determination, his stubbornness and his ability to succeed.
He has already said emphatically that he will NEVER grant Sturgeon and co a section 30 order for another legal independence referendum for as long as he is in office, which could be years ahead, on the basis of their pledge that it was a “once in a generation” event. How many nats will now still try and fool themselves into believing he’s bluffing?
The nationalists have been squabbling furiously among themselves over what to do when that happens and as the indyref2-no deal reality finally sinks in, the internal acrimony is certain to intensify.
The SNP’s Mike Russell has boldly said that in the event of a section 30 refusal, they not only have a plan B and a plan C but a backstop of plans B to Z.
Well, what we’ve seen of their ramshackle proposals already – court action almost certainly doomed to failure, an illegal referendum, the prospect of civil disobedience – they’d probably be best starting at plan Z and working upwards.
They face some excruciatingly difficult decisions ahead, but that most definitely is their problem.
But for now I’m off to celebrate Christmas Day with the family. I hope everyone else enjoys it too, and that most certainly includes diehard nationalists.
I hope they enjoy their turkey and trimmings, carrots, neeps, and stuffing.
And their Brussels too, and of course those seed potatoes.