I doubt if many reading this would change a word of the excoriating assessment of Boris Johnson’s character and competence offered by Nicola Sturgeon; unless it was to use less politic and more expressive language. Johnson is, indeed, disgusting, craven, reckless and, above all, untrustworthy.
But we already knew that. The First Minister was perfectly well aware of how untrustworthy and duplicitous and dishonest Johnson is long before he became British Prime Minister. And yet she did not modify her ‘strategy’ accordingly when he was maneuvered into Downing Street by whatever shadowy forces conrive such things. While she denounces Johnson on Twitter, in her day-to-day dealings with his regime she continues to behave as if he were just a run-of-the-mill British politician – arrogant, vacuous, venal, corrupt, incompetent, but not downright malicious and wanton and irrational.
Our First Minister acknowledges the uncontested fact that Boris Johnson cannot be trusted, but she insists on entrusting to him ultimate authority over Scotland’s democratic right of self-determination. Sturgeon scathingly denigrates Johnson in statements to the press and on social media, but maintains her commitment to the Section 30 process, thus putting Scotland’s future in the hands of a man she judges to be totally unfit to have any influence over the future of the UK.
Surely this requires some explanation. What is it that the First Minister is hoping for? Is she hoping for a final reel epiphany in which Johnson sees the sense that he has been blind to almost since birth? Does she anticipate a last-minute Damascene conversion to the ways of a sane world? Is she banking on Boris undergoing some sort of eleventh-hour metamorphosis such as transformed Scrooge overnight from grasping miser to beneficent philanthropist?
I have news for Nicola Sturgeon. Boris Johnson won’t be visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past because he is the ghost of all our past mistakes and misjudgements and misdeeds come to offer us, not redemption, but a future lived in a mire of corrosive regret. He is not a ‘bad apple’. He is the rot that afflicts all apples. He’s not Jekyll and Hyde. He’s just Hyde. He is not a freakish phenomenon thrown up by a political system in total disarray, but the inevitable product of a British political system which is inherently corrupt. Boris Johnson is exactly what he seems, and worse. He is all you take him to be, and less. He is everything you would want scrubbed, scoured and grit-blasted from the political life of any nation, and more. He is unprincipled, unscrupulous, amoral, self-serving and treacherous.
Knowing all this, the First Minister asks the people of Scotland to accept that our sovereignty be subordinated to an authority that is not derived from any democratic legitimacy, but bestowed on Boris Johnson by the corrupt British political system and imposed on Scotland by the Union.
Knowing what Boris Johnson is, Nicola Sturgeon continues to insist that he should be allowed to prohibit the exercise of our sovereignty. She persists in asserting that a referendum cannot be legitimated by the sovereignty of the people of Scotland, or by the international laws and conventions guaranteeing our right of self-determination, but only by the imprimatur of whoever has been elevated to the office of British Prime Minister by the apparatus of power, privilege and patronage which is the British state.
I find that insulting! Offensive! Belittling! Wholly inexplicable! And totally unacceptable!
I do not consent to this.
I do not consent to Boris Johnson, or any of his successors, being granted any effective veto over, control of or influence in the process by which the people of Scotland determine the constitutional status of our nation and choose the form of government which best suits our needs.
I do not consent to the sovereignty of Scotland’s people being compromised.
I do not consent to the Section 30 process.
I DO NOT CONSENT!
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