Mhairi Black seems to be under the impression that Boris Johnson is the problem. What chance does the campaign to restore Scotland’s independence have when the people we have elected to progress that campaign are so woefully misguided? Boris Johnson is a symptom. The Union is the disease.
Boris Johnson isn’t even a symptom of the pestilent Union. Boris Johnson is a symptom of the malady which has afflicted England’s politics. Being infected with the Union merely means that Scotland must suffer the symptoms of whatever ailment befalls England-as-Britain.
Mhairi Black is not a fool. So we are entitled to wonder why someone so astute might make the basic error of misidentifying the problem. And if we assume that she is not so foolish as to suppose Boris Johnson so be the problem, we are entitled to wonder what was her motive and purpose in penning an article that is entirely about him. Why the prolonged anti-Boris rant?
It could be because he’s an easy target. In fact, I’m certain that is part of the answer. He’s an easy individual to despise. As Mhairi Black demonstrates, it is no great task to assemble a catalogue of the ways in which Boris Johnson makes himself a fitting object of detestation among Scots not infatuated with the facile, vacuous, jingoistic clown-face he puts on the sulphurous British Nationalism that grips England-as-Britain. A catalogue which, while far from comprehensive, is sufficient to make the wordage required by The National.
Not that I’m suggesting Mhairi Black’s sole or primary reason for focusing so intently on the wrong target was as an effortless way to pad out a column doubtless written in haste as the deadline loomed and almost certainly while she was preoccupied with whatever matters so engage our SNP MPs as to distract them from the task for which we elected them.
As I mention distraction, it occurs to me that this might be the answer to those wondering what Mhairi Black was aiming for with this article. An explanation supported if not confirmed by the last few paragraphs. She doesn’t quite use that irksomely inane phrase which insists that “we’ve never been closer to independence”. But she barely avoids this idiocy. And only by coining another which is only less imbecilic than the imbecility of the “never closer” pish because the imbecility of the “never closer” pish is unbeatable. Mhairi Black’s variation on the “never closer” theme being “the Union is doomed”. There probably should be an exclamation mark appended to this portentous declamation. But not even Mhairi can get that excited about it.
It’s another empty assertion. Unless “the Union is doomed” because Boris Johnson is an arse – which seems unlikely – then Mhairi Black offers no explanation as to what exactly is going to bring about the doom which she so confidently predicts for the Union. If the Union was going to be brought down by having arses in the high offices of the British state then it wouldn’t have survived three weeks, never mind three centuries.
It seems Boris Johnson is a useful idiot extraordinaire indeed. He manages to be both a tool for forces the nature of which may be better hinted at by Dominic Cummings and a handy device by which the SNP can distract attention from the abject failure of Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘strategy’ for progressing Scotland’s cause.
When the Angry Villagers are heading your way, it’s good to have a monster to which you can direct the pitchforks of their anger. Even if only temporarily.
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