by Colin Campbell
BORIS Johnson made a one-day visit to Scotland and the SNP/nationalists tried to cover him in ordure, with nonsensical claims that he was breaking travel restrictions.
Johnson responded, angrily it seemed, by saying he is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and nothing and no-one will stop him visiting any part of it that he chooses.
His response was as welcome as it was well-merited.
The SNP/nationalists are fond of repeating the same mantra time and time again – they do like their mantras – that every time Boris Johnson travels north of the border he increases support for independence.
That may or may not be true. We have no way of knowing.
But what is undeniably clear is that every time the Prime Minister appears in Scotland he is subjected to an onslaught of vile abuse from the nationalists. They seem satisfied to be putting “the buffoon” in his place by spewing out their bile, bigotry and in some cases hatred.
Johnson is only human – although some nationalists will barely even concede that. And what will he make of the filthy treatment he gets from them every time he “dares” to come to Scotland? Will he become more endeared to them, more sympathetic to their cause, more understanding of their desires.
No he will not.
Instead, every time he heads back south his absolute determination to deny them a second independence referendum will have been strengthened. Not only for political reasons, but for personal ones also. When people are subjected to extreme vitriol and abuse, do they react with the serenity of Gandhi, the Dalai Lama or Mother Theresa and seek to understand and forgive their abusers? Normal people don’t, and Boris Johnson won’t either.
His visits may or may not increase support for independence but it will make rock solid his determination to prevent it. Rightly or wrongly he didn’t buckle under intense pressure to sack Dominic Cummings, and he didn’t buckle in the negotiations over Brexit either. The nationalists think of him as a “buffoon”. It’d be more realistic if they thought of him, as Americans describe it, as one cussed sonofabitch.
No matter the outcome of the Scottish Parliamentary elections in May, no matter how many seats the SNP win or how many votes they acquire, a demand for a section 30 order for another referendum from Westminster will be thrown back in Nicola Sturgeon’s face.
And then what do they do?
Try and hold an illegal referendum? It would be boycotted by everyone other than independence supporters and would not only be illegal, but would be meaningless.
Do they mount a court challenge, which would end up in the Supreme Court? They would lose.
Do they embark on a campaign of “civil disobedience”? That would alienate many undecided voters and Sturgeon and co know it.
They have no idea what to do based on any kind of consensus, which largely explains why they are in such turmoil just now.
So on his latest visit to Scotland they tried to cover the Prime Minister in manure again and may have felt the better for it. But much good it will have done them. We had our “once in a generation” referendum in 2014, and as long as Boris Johnson with his 80 seat majority is in office, which means for the next four years at least, we won’t be having another.