A wolf in wolf’s clothing

I detest Alister Jack. More even than Boris Johnson, Jack epitomises – to my mind at least – all that is vile about British Nationalism in Scotland. Boris is the enemy at the gate. Jack is the worm-tongued agent of that enemy within the walls. There is a certain character type – someone who will not only offer up their granny on the sex slave market but attempt to persuade her as they have persuaded themselves that they are doing it for her own benefit by providing her with an opportunity to make new friends. I’m not saying Alister Jack is such an individual. I’m merely suggesting that if somebody was making a film in which such a character featured, then Alister could probably play that part without stretching his acting abilities at all. I’m certain there were captains of the ships that plied an earlier slave trade across the Atlantic who considered themselves honest, upright, god-fearing men and who had entirely convinced themselves that they were rescuing their heathen cargo from a worse hell than they currently endured in the stinking holds of his ship and taking them to a better life – gawd bless their dark-tainted souls! I’m not saying Alister Jack is such a person. I’m just saying that when I imagine that captain standing on the bridge of his ship proudly confident of his place in heaven – not to mention a tidy profit in the meantime – he has the face of a bearded Alister “Union” Jack. And he’s thinking more of a place in the House of Lords than in heaven.

Having thus (hopefully) avoided a defamation suit, I move on to observe that Boris Johnson would be relatively harmless but for functionaries such as Alister “Union” Jack. The ‘Evil Genius’ is a comic-book fiction. In real life, tyrants are rarely Mensa material. They succeed by forming symbiotic relationships with people cleverer by far than themselves. The geniuses behind the evil get power by proxy as well as a certain deniability, insofar as the ‘only following orders’ plea can ever be a defence. You may be wondering at this point who the geniuses are in Johnson’s entourage. Especially if you saw the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor Dominic Raab on TV at the weekend. Strike him from the list of candidates for genius-behind-evil. Although there is a theory that Raab and others only pretend to be sub-mollusc stupid so as Boris won’t consider them a threat and inflict some horrid fate on them. Like making them British ambassador to France.

Personally, I don’t think Raab was putting it on. I’m pretty sure he’s every bit the dolt he appears to be. Just as Boris Johnson is every bit the bungler he appears to be. Intelligence is not a requirement of the job. It might even be a handicap. The British political system is such that genuinely clever people seldom rise to the top. We could enjoy a wee detour into the subject of why this is and how it operates. But I want to get back to the matter of the geniuses behind the evil. An interesting phenomenon in its own right. Such people have always existed, of course. Power always begets hingers-oan. What is, perhaps, extraordinary about the British political system is the extent to which this class of political actor has evolved to be a formal part of the system rather than something operating on the fringes. And how, in the process, they have come to enable ever more ‘unlikely’ holders of high office such as Boris Johnson.

It’s almost as if these brains-behind-power were showing off by demonstrating their ability to get the likes of Boris into the top positions. As Raab was making an excruciating arse of himself on the Andrew Marr Show I imagined some smirking Svengali off-screen smugly calculating their winnings on bets that they couldn’t insinuated somebody that bug-dumb into the role(s) of Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor.

Boris Johnson is bad for Scotland. All British Prime Ministers are bad for Scotland. It is necessarily so because they are creatures of the Union and the Union is very, very bad for Scotland. But the ones to watch; the ones we should really worry about, are not the sheep who are kitted out with a variably convincing wolf-suit and pushed on stage, but the actual wolves working back-stage or as seeming bit-players in the production.

There is at the moment, much agitated excitement about the prospect of Boris Johnson being forced to take his act back to the circus. But removing Johnson won’t benefit Scotland in any way so long as there are political actors in Scotland ready, willing, able and emboldened to treat all of us as they would their dear reasonably priced old grandmother.

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7 thoughts on “A wolf in wolf’s clothing

  1. I think we have to accept, Peter, that there are people who walk among us who do actually verge on the inhuman. They probably can’t help being utterly soulless, with a dark pit where their soul should be. The French had more than their fair share in WW II, clustered mainly in Vichy, but also elsewhere. They operate when and while they believe they are safe to do so without repercussions, so we can take it, I think, that our very own Vichy Scots feel invulnerable. For now.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s difficult not to see them as you describe. The Union is just so obviously a bad deal for Scotland that supporting its preservation has to be regarded as betraying Scotland’s interests. KNOWINGLY!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Johnson, like Trump, is an excellent choice of front man, if I don a wolf cape and peer from as close to the Westminster Den as I dare venture in such a flimsy disguise in order to take their view. He’s the perfect magician’s apprentice, clumsy, amusing, even witty at times (pity he didn’t stick to hosting Have I Got News for You, he was good at that), outrageous, blatant, always the best distraction you could wish for if you want to seize the real levers of power and steer the train off the tracks so you can pillage the steaming wreckage… these guys are very bad news for Scotland and the UK, rUK or however you wish to call it, whatever your views on the future of all on these islands. I’ve always been more concerned about the people behind these charismatic clowns, it worries me that so few can pull their eyes away from the front of stage antics and characters. It made me wince and growl with frustration to hear several people from pro-independence parties make silly playground comments about the PM during the election when they above all should know better and be directing everybody’s attention to the hand inside the gaudy glove….
    That’s enough metaphor stew !
    Best wishes and thank you for continuing to articulate some very important points.

    Liked by 1 person

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