BORIS Johnson visited Scotland this week. The charlatan, who has a history of racist and homophobic comments, took a trip to Shetland then sneaked out the back door to avoid protesters.
I have been the target of a group of angry people shouting at me in protest about something and I have no problem admitting it is a stressful and extremely intimidating situation to be in.
I didn’t have a full security team and a motorcade helping me, it was just me and some staff from my office, but we stood there trying to speak to the protesters until the meeting we were heading into started. That is what you are supposed to do. You are supposed to listen.
Listening to the majority has always been beyond the ability of the Prime Minister, however. He has built his career on listening to the most extreme subsections of the UK’s right wing and amplifying their opinions on massive platforms – see him calling gay men “tank-topped bum boys” and Muslim women in burqas “letterboxes” and “bank robbers” as examples.
Take backing Brexit to galvanise the more extreme parts of his support base ahead of trying to become Prime Minister as another example. If you didn’t know, the Johnson infamously wrote two columns ahead of the EU referendum; one in favour of Leave and one in favour of Remain.
He waited a while to cynically make his selfish political calculations as to which side would benefit him most before deciding on the Leave version.
I talk about listening to the majority because it is, of course, now the majority view in Scotland that we should break away from the disaster that is the United Kingdom and become a fully independent country.
According to reports, there is panic throughout the UK Government about the growing support for independence and the high approval ratings of the First Minister.
That panic really undermines its current messaging strategy that Scotland has only successfully navigated the Covid-19 crisis due to the “sheer might” of the Union.
That’s why the Prime Minister made his trip north of the Border. It also explains why the Scottish Tories have given up any pretence of being a sincere opposition – but their story of growing irrelevance can be discussed another day.
The spotlight placed on Scotland by the recent polling and the trip north from the Prime Minister has once again highlighted just how out of touch the London-centric media are.
There had been a hope that after the long debate on Scottish independence in 2014, they would have finally realised that Scotland is not, in fact, the impoverished and barely alive shell of a country they think, and is, in fact, a modern, vibrant, innovative, thriving country. No more “too wee, too poor, too stupid” rhetoric.
“Too wee, too poor, too stupid” was the main thrust of the No campaign arguments in 2014.
They started with “UKOK” because they thought Scotland was happy with the status quo and swiftly switched to Project Fear hoping that it would save them from their plummeting support.
I guess they’re looking back now and thinking that it was that pivot that saved the Union then, but anybody who was paying the mildest bit of attention – or anybody who wasn’t getting their views on the Scottish independence campaign from London-based columnists – knows better.
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WHAT saved the No campaign in 2014 was in fact the “UKOK” message. There were many who looked at the state of UK politics and thought, “this is terrible, but Scottish independence might be the same or worse so let’s give the Union another chance”.
Now we have been forced out of the European Union against our will. We have lived through increasingly incompetent Tory governments for another five years and witnessed Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings welcome Trumpian politics in the UK.
Most people have no interest in continuing down this path.
The majority want Scotland to be independent. The majority want the Boris Johnsons of the world to get out of our politics so we can focus on our policy goals without hindrance and distraction from the bumbling racist down the road.
The majority do not want talk about how we can’t do things without the help of Boris Johnson when what we achieve is demonstrably in spite of him.
The majority want an independence referendum so we can vote Yes and leave this madness.