2007 - 2022

Come Together on Plague Island

As we wait each day to see what chocolatey delight Pippa Crerar’s Advent Calendar of Government Sleaze will bring us, events on Plague Island (aka Global Britain) with its pithy interchangeable catchphrases “take back control” and “get boosted now” are unraveling fast. As we watch Britain’s reputation descends further into chaos and disarray Scottish Unionists are getting more and more desperate. Adam Tomkins has come out demanding that Unionist parties stand aside at the next election putting up only one candidate for all voters to get behind.

He said: “The Yes side are united and the No side are divided, which is the only reason the SNP are still in power.” His solution is for the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems to come together: “I am interested in a much more ambitious configuration of Scottish politics, and which I think is necessary to meet and eventually defeat the challenge of the SNP.

“You’ve got to have a single, unified, anti-SNP or pro-Union candidate standing. I would lock Anas Sarwar, Douglas Ross and Alex Cole-Hamilton in a room together and not let them out until they reach an agreement. I just think it needs to happen.” He claimed: “Eventually it would lead to their defeat.”

Tomkins said the failure of his party to consider this option was a reason for quitting Holyrood. (Lols, Ed)

As a sign of desperation, it doesn’t really have any challengers. I’m not sure it would actually work, and it’s certainly not going to happen, but as a symbol and sample of where the opposition parties in Scotland are right now, it’s a lovely insight. The desperation isn’t just about how this gerrymandering comes across, it’s also an insight that the parties don’t have clear policy aims or strategies or principles beyond “defeating the SNP” or preventing a democratic vote on self-determination from taking place. The Anti-SNP Party (ASP) has at least in its favor a singular aim and message: “we are against whatever the SNP are for and we will oppose any attempt to hold a democratic vote on Scotland’s future”.

Meanwhile, Britain, the concept and the polity they are obsessed by descends further into nationalism, separatism and isolation, the irony is dark.

Here Penny Mordaunt on a US tour stakes out a ‘global battle between two competing versions of democracy’ and frames Brexit as a war on one side calling for the US to join Global Britain Inc in this war (against the EU) “because peace and prosperity don’t happen by accident.”  This is mind-numbing levels of self-delusion mixed up with weird-Brit saber-rattling:


Here – as Johnson and Starmer use the Omicron variant as a battle to posture in Brass Eye levels of closely contrived statement and ‘national broadcasts’ merging into an orgy of Statesmanship, orphaned centrists everywhere were glued to Sir Keir’s iconic presentation. As Starmer was widely panned for his innocuous language and his use of the Union Jack John McTernan wailed:

“Extraordinary that the “left” are so triggered by flags, family photos, and patriotism. It’s because I love my country I want a Labour government.”

Except of course John and his colleagues only recently campaigned against a Labour government when it was one they couldn’t control and curate.

So here we are looking at a rapid collapse in standards in public office, in open sleaze, and a torrent of lies that are exposed as such almost immediately. Post-Brexit, mid-pandemic Britain is a carnival of the grotesque and the vision from our home-grown Unionists is to imagine “a much more ambitious configuration of Scottish politics” which means a single unified party with a single unified mission.

Beyond this, there are problems with the Unionist (feint) hope that the pandemic would prove how vulnerable Scotland is – and how dependent we are on that benevolence of the Union, and Rishi’s marvelous handouts. Except that’s not where we are. As Nicola Sturgeon has said on the recent myths of “additional money”:

The net effect of yesterday’s Treasury announcement appears to be that @scotgov is £48m worse off than we thought we were before the announcement. The total we were expecting in January was £268m…we have just been told the actual amount is £220m.”

Each of the 4 UK governments is responsible for protecting public health in their own country. But only when UKG takes decisions for England is funding triggered, leaving the rest of us trying to protect health with one hand tied.

As we settle into the fourth week of the Festive Scandal Season, No voters have to ask themselves: is this what I voted for?

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Comments (14)

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  1. Squigglypen says:

    Excellent article. Cheer up!Everyone I speak to now is right behind independence ..thanks to those turds in Westmonster and beyond.

  2. Stephen Cowley says:

    Another solution would be to develop a pro-self-government party of the right alongside the SNP.

    Realistically, there will not be another “generational” referendum until 2030, and good governance is in everyone’s interest meantime. This requires exploring a wider range of policy options and underlying political/cultural analyses.

    Potentially, we already have Alba and the Scottish Family Party who could fill this role, though both are somewhat centrist.

    1. Alba are polling on 1%. I’m not sure that the Scottish Family Party have registered on polling. Apart from that it’s an excellent suggestion.

  3. Robbie says:

    I believe it’s possible that England will become the 7th stripe on the American flag. “A white one” which would be appropriate . Wouldn’t it

  4. BSA says:

    Nothing rights my listing ship like a Mike Small article, but they are always accompanied by the realisation that probably next to none of this gets through to the Scottish electorate. The FM’s statement for example on English needs dictating Scottish pandemic funding is such an important political point but I’ve seen no report of it outside the independence ‘bubble’.

  5. Tom Ultuous says:

    “Better Together” – the rematch sounds good. Hopefully they’ll bring back Baron Darling of Roulanish as their leader.

    1. Wul says:

      Get Ruthie on board too? “The Baron(ess) Knights” performing “A Taste of Agrro”

  6. Jacob Bonnari says:

    I’m amazed at Prof Tomkins’ remarks. For a smart guy he doesn’t seem to have seen any downsides to this.

    If it were to happen then it would need to be up front about what their policies would be and who would get to be a minister. I’d bring popcorn for that discussion. While the LibDems would easily slot in behind the Tories any such negotiations would probably finish off the Labour Party as a single cohesive unit and a split of some form would seem likely.

    For the SNP, it’s hard to see a downside. A clear challenge would be a good thing and shake up the complacency which has crept in.

    Even if the Unionist parties were to win, keeping the unit together for the full term seems unlikely.

  7. Wul says:

    Adam Tomkins seems to be forgetting that “defeating the SNP” also means defeating the aspirations of the Scottish voters who keep returning them victorious in election after election.

    Treating the SNP as if they somehow arrived in power accidentally, without a public mandate or because we didn’t display enough Union flags is silly.

    If you are in a mutually beneficial, trusting, honest and wholesome relationship, does your partner constantly remind you how grateful you should be?
    If you are in an abusive relationship does your partner constantly tell you that you couldn’t survive without them, need their to protection and are incapable of fending for yourself?

  8. Mons Meg says:

    I suspect that what divides the Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat parties in Scotland is greater than the unionism that Adam Tompkins thinks could unite them.

  9. Gavinochiltree says:

    Andy Maciver advocates an actual Scottish Tory party. Fine, but who would fund it: could they form part of a Tory government ( forming a permanent coalition, defeating the purpose), what would their name be? They are already “Scottish Tory”, so again defeating the purpose. “Unionist” has too many bad connotations. “Democrat” would make them SDP. “Progressive”—-aye, right!

    A single Brit Nat party would be even funnier than the “three stooges” we have right now. And………as a bonus, they would be reduced from three participants in all election panels, opinion shows, and forums…….to one. Up agin the SNP, Greens and hopefully, Alba.
    Who would lead? DRossie, or Starwars or Cauld-Ham? Would they be subordinate to Boris, or Sir Keir?
    Manifesto would be of interest.
    I remember these parties producing politicians who had standing, intelligence, respect and fought for the common good.
    What happened?

  10. Jim Sansbury says:

    This morning, after the North Shropshire result overturning a Tory majority of 23000, Mr Bowie in West Aberdeenshire with his 834 majority must be feeling slightly queasy.

    1. Mons Meg says:

      A rejection of Tory sleaze rather than of Tory policy among the good people of North Shropshire?

  11. James Mills says:

    I fully agree with Adam Tomkins’ idea of locking Starwars , Dross and Coal-Skuttle in a room – permanently !

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