It is time to relax and let out a huge sigh of relief folks. Have a Cadburys caramel. Fold up your Yes Saltires and put them back in the drawer.Take your comfy canvassing and marching shoes off and put your feet up. Peel off those Indy 2 stickers from your car windows, and cancel your attendance at that community hall meeting you were going to to discuss the stepping up of a grassroots campaign. There’s no need for any of that because Scotland is saved!
Like a hero from a Walter Scott novel the red bearded champion of the hour, the one and only Westminster tory with a Scottish constituency, the Scottish Secretary, Viceroy David Mundell has stepped in to the Brexit debacle. He’s Scotland’s man. He understands your pain. He’s going to grab the reins of the runaway wild unicorn and blow in it’s nostrils to calm it down by steadfastly “ensuring Scottish voices and interests are at the heart of the Brexit negotiations.”
That’ll be that then, you’ve nothing to worry about. Sorted. No need for Independence. He’s got your backs. We can go back to our cereal boxes.
However I’m pretty sure we’ve kind of heard this sort of sooky language before somewhere haven’t we? I seem to recall in the week running up to 18th September 2014 when some geezer wearing an Eton College tie, who was influential then, but who was doing a bit of nervous sweating at the time, told us during a speech in Aberdeen before a hand-picked nodding dog audience for the cameras, behind strict security to stop real people getting in to the room, that “Britain only became Great Britain because of the greatness of Scotland” and “Scotland is shaping and changing the United Kingdom for the better – more so today than at any point in the last three hundred years.”
These were fine words in 2014, apparently of heartfelt affection, suggesting that sincere and serious consideration is given to the views of the people of Scotland by those in power at Westminster, just as Mundell’s words are now, but as usual, these statements are short on evidence of genuine sincerity. In fact there is never any evidence at all that they are actually true.
The idea is that the UK Government’s sole sales rep north of Carlisle will go door to door, with his briefcase full of snake oil, to meet with representatives of all the big stakeholders in oil and gas, finance, farmers, legal groups, Chambers of Commerce et al to get the low down from them on what their concerns are about having the carpet whipped out from under their current trading, grants and subsidy arrangements with Europe.
No stone will be left unturned as he crisscrosses the country nodding, wailing, gnashing his teeth, wringing his hands and then writing furiously as opinion after opinion on Scotland’s views of isolationist Brexitopia are expressed.There will never be a better informed politician on a subject, armed with the facts and ready to protect the interests of his country.
The pitch to voters from Conservative spin doctors is that the views of these key Scottish stakeholders that the Fluffmeister will gather and absorb will be central, and right at the forefront of the minds of the UK’s negotiators when they begin the task of trying to strategically negotiate, or con, the remaining members of the EU into giving them anything they want in terms of trading agreements, without having to have any of those pesky European Community residents popping on to the train from France, bringing their garlic and strange ways with them.
Do you believe that? No, me neither. What a load of mince. I wouldn’t trust him to be able to tell me the difference between butter and margarine. He’s pretty good at opening Food-banks caused by his party’s withering policies, as long as there’s a back door he can leave by, but that’s about it. His lords and masters at Westminster are clearly at it again. This is a further demonstration of arrogance and the reality of the lack of awareness a remote government can have about its relationship with a country who didn’t vote for it.
The Mundell initiative is just another tick box exercise. A means to allow the UK government to be able to say to Scots at some time in the future that they have been consulted, make false statements that they have Scottish interests at heart and be able to demonstrate that “we’ve had our tea” when they get to the EU crunch point. That crunch will come when Boris (between telling jokes and insulting the French and Germans) or whomever, and their team, get further along the road to negotiating European disaster. A disaster which will prompt the people of Scotland to begin the process of stepping away from the self-inflicted car-crash.
If the UK Government were genuinely interested in the views of Scots, now or at any time over the last forty years, never mind the last three hundred, they wouldn’t be in the mess they are in in the first place.