by Colin Campbell
SNP politicians are predicting that when he addresses the Scottish Tory conference in Aberdeen this week that it will be Boris Johnson’s last appearance in Scotland as Prime Minister.
Somehow I doubt it. But if it is, how good it would be to see him go out in style.
The nationalists’ ultimate hate figure (English and even worse, a posh boy from Eton) Johnson has tended to respond to the vitriol poured on him with polite appeasement.
When the cake loving national embarrassment who claims he “speaks for Scotland” ritually abuses him at PMQs he tends to quietly thank him for his views and responds with a mild jibe at the SNP. Even a light joke at Blackford over his weight was considered an outrageous slur on the £250,000 expenses money grubbing political hypocrite by his equally corpulent deputy at Westminster Kirsten Oswald. And somehow, incredibly, the exchange left Blackford, the “simple 10 acres crofter” being portrayed as the cruelly abused victim.
Johnson had a pungent and often entertaining way with words in his previous life as a newspaper columnist. Many north of the border would be delighted if he adopted that technique in the Granite City.
After the reckless cluelessness and ignorance of Sturgeon and her acolytes over an issue as critically important as pension payments in the land of milk and honey was exposed, they are a wide open target on so many other issues as well.
On currency, on mortgages, on a hard border with England, on the deficit, on rejoining the EU, on how they would compensate for the loss of the extra £2,000 per head people in Scotland get compared with people in England, and much else besides.
They have had eight years to come up with answers on these post-independence questions and have failed to answer any of them.
And still they get an easy ride in the Scottish media as they prepare to launch their “spring offensive” for another appallingly divisive referendum.
If it is to be his swansong, how satisfying it would be to hear the Prime Minister using his national platform to highlight their pathetically weak case for independence in the most robust terms. No one else seems to be doing it forcefully enough.
And he could pre-empt Sturgeon’s next request for a section 30 order for a legal referendum by making it clear that she isn’t going to get one, under all and any circumstances.
No legal referendum means no referendum. Any attempt by Sturgeon and her Green quislings at Holyrood to instigate “indyref2” would be boycotted by more than half the population and would be a meaningless farce. That is, if they managed to persuade councils to engage in opening polling stations and count votes, which is in itself hugely unlikely.
Any attempt by Johnson to set the record straight in the most forthright language would of course be greeted by the SNP and their media sycophants as providing “a huge boost for independence”.
How many times have they trotted out that yarn.
Brexit was supposed to provide a huge boost for independence.
Johnson’s election was supposed to provide a huge boost for independence.
His handling of covid, despite the UK Government’s lifesaving vaccine success, was supposed to provide a huge boost for independence.
And yet all these huge boosts combined failed even to deliver the SNP a majority in last May’s Holyrood elections.
And since then poll after poll has had them languishing below or well below 50 per cent.
Johnson may be held in low regard by a majority of the people of Scotland, or so we are led to believe.
But the pensions fiasco has overshadowed the partygate fandango north of the border. That’s what people are really concerned about.
The Prime Minister would gain widespread approval and acclaim if he didn’t mince his words in calling out the liars, charlatans and chancers of the SNP on their home turf.
And the “huge boost for independence” that would be claimed to provide would be yet another fallacy.