by Colin Campbell
IN a most poignant and plaintive expression of what our departure from the EU means to some people, SNP MP Pete Wishart said: “I just want to go home to our European family. I still can’t believe that we’ve been taken out against our will and deprived of this wonderful community.”
Did I say plaintive? That’s positively heart-rending.
Unfortunately Mr Wishart won’t be able to go home to his diverse “European family” anytime soon because if he does so he’ll cop a £5,000 fine for leaving the UK and going into high risk virus countries which have made a shambles of vaccinating their citizens.
I suspect he wouldn’t go near his widely scattered European family in any case because he’s aware of that risk beyond British shores and would sensibly want to steer well clear of it.
So for now his struggling European family will just have to sort out their own mess while, safely vaccinated, pining Pete will look on from a comfortably safe distance and just be glad that he’s on this side of the Channel and not over there in the EU rampant virus zone.
He was, of course, making a political point. Bring “dragged out of the EU against our will” etc etc is, according to the nationalists, the main reason another independence referendum is essential.
Ever since Brexit their love for their European family has apparently turned into an all-consuming passion which knows no bounds. They would have been quite happy to part company from them – as they would have done if they’d won the referendum in 2014 – but now nothing in the world is more painful to them than the enforced separation.
And, as Pete Wishart says with such yearning, nothing is more important than that they can “just go home”.
But pining Pete was laying it on just a bit too thick, even by the SNP’s capacity for stomach-churning hypocrisy.
There has been a complete absence of sympathy among the nationalist chancers for their beloved European family at a time when they are in their hour of greatest need and are struggling desperately with the vaccine, miles behind the UK.
I’ve read a thousand or 10,000 online virus vaccine comments from them and I’ve yet to see one that has included a scintilla of sympathy for their stricken “European family” as they desperately wait to be vaccinated.
Given the unbreakable bond they now profess to share with the citizens of Paris, Berlin and Warsaw, you’d think there might be just a hint of compassion or fellow feeling for them as they wait in a long, long queue for an armful, so far behind citizens of the UK. But no, there is none.
The vaccine rollout on this side of the North Sea has been the greatest British triumph of my lifetime. Secured by the foresight and financial muscle of the UK government and distributed fairly and evenly across the home countries, it has been a lifesaving success without equal.
Yesterday I received a letter with an appointment for my second dose of the vaccine next week and that is not something I take for granted. Compared with people across the world, and in the rest of Europe, we are incredibly fortunate to be so far forward in the vaccination programme. Tens of millions of people in France, Germany, Italy and other countries are still waiting for their first vaccine dose.
Some nationalist ingrates would rather go down with a fever than utter a word of acknowledgement or approval for this Great British success but a majority of people know and are thankful for the unity and the Union that brought it about.
Pete Wishart wants to go home to his “European family”. Not just now though. He’d be scared he’d miss his second jab.