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Current location: Scotland
Member since: Mon Sep 7, 2009, 12:57 AM
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Johnson's visit to Scotland yesterday didn't go so well

Early on the fifth day of his honeymoon period, the newly self-anointed Minister for the Union visited HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane (a few miles from where I live), to be shown around a Trident sub, where he thankfully kept his paws to himself.

He might have wished he'd stayed down the hatch when he faced some unusually robust press questioning before his minders decided enough was enough:

Ah yes, that clandestine tryst with the hen party, as covered back in May, when his premiership was just a foreboding clusterfuck on the horizon ...

His yearning for the regimented tranquility of Royal Navy hospitality might have become more pronounced as the day wore on.

Mike Galsworthy

Boris Johnson booed as he turns up in Scotland.

Gives the word ‘divisive’ extra meaning. You can feel the UK tearing.

[Twitter video]

(If you don't do Twitter, this Mirror article gives the gist: Boris Johnson welcomed to Scotland with shouts of 'lying a***hole'.)

Sturgeon didn't seem exactly overjoyed with having to entertain him and the new Secretary of State for Scotland, the filthy rich borders laird Alister Jack.

Johnson's entry to Bute House in Edinburgh was a choice moment if you can watch the Twitter video above, as the First Minister deftly parried his attempt to usher her through her own front door with a gesture which could be interpreted as "Ach, get away in there and don't even think of laying hands on me", or possibly a feint at a below-the-belt karate chop.

The hooting crowd was still there an hour later when the joyous meeting (where the questions of Brexit and the prospects of a second Scottish independence referendum - Johnson was reportedly unsure how many we've had so far - were on the agenda) had ground to a halt, so he was reduced to sneaking out via a back entrance ...

There's now a lively Twitter hashtag which may have some longevity: #BackDoorBoris

After that, a meeting with the leader of the Scottish branch of the Tory Party might have seemed a more relaxing prospect, but ...

Johnson in Scotland: Was PM's toughest meeting with Ruth Davidson?


Ms Davidson made no secret of the fact that she did not want Mr Johnson as PM.

And in the few days since he took charge relations have already gone further south.

He ignored his Scottish leader's advice not to sack the Scottish Secretary David Mundell and replace him with the pro-Brexit MP Alister Jack.

He then further snubbed the Scottish contingent of parliamentarians when he put an MP who sits for an English seat into the Scotland office as a minister.

Ms Davidson has said publicly that she would not support a no-deal exit from the EU and that as leader of the Scottish party she does not have to sign up to any loyalty pledge to support a no deal.

She believes the PM would have sacked her if he could. But he can't - and she will take full advantage of her ability to speak out in public.


Davidson, once the media darling touted as the saviour of the Scottish Tories and a possible future UK prime minister, hasn't had a good few weeks since she returned from maternity leave. The candidates she backed for Tory leader each fell in turn, "her" MPs in Scotland have proven more loyal to Johnson than to her, and Jo Swinson's election as Lib Dem leader has left her somewhat in the shade. How much longer she'll have any stomach for her post is a question being widely asked.

Unfortunately, unless events or parliamentary developments intervene, it looks like we're stuck with Johnson for a while.

UPDATE: Here's tomorrow's National front page:

Johnson's Potemkin government

Who knows what the next few months hold in store?

But a persuasive theory doing the rounds at the moment is that the installation of Dominic Cummings as Johnson's Special Adviser indicates that the new cabinet isn't so much geared to governing (what may well prove to still be an ungovernable Parliament, probably even more so than under May) as to gearing up to fight a general election some time between now and the autumn.

This may explain the ragtag mob now assembled in the cabinet and some eyebrow-raising appointments. Here's one example: Priti Patel, the new Home Secretary, here seen being humiliated (but lacking the insight to realize it) by Private Eye's Ian Hislop on BBC Question Time over her unquestioning championing of the death penalty.

Jonathan Lis

Honestly the only positive of having Priti Patel in the Cabinet is that Andrea Leadsom and Liz Truss now appear moderately intelligent and competent. But otherwise the promotion of such an eye-watering inadequate to Home Secretary is a national scandal

[Twitter video]

Maybe you have some other examples?

For perspective:

Ruining a country near you soon: the beta males who think they're alphas

Marina Hyde

What could be more insecure than a 55-year-old bragging about Latin, or a literal president tweeting his enemies on the bog?

If the Tory leadership election unfolds as widely expected, the UK will basically be ruled by a Fathers4Injustice activist. Boris Johnson is the kind of guy who’d don Spider-Man pyjamas and scale a building in order to see less of his kids. Sorry, fewer. Even so, he remains a remarkably typical hero of our political times. “There are two kinds of women,” Harry explains at one point in When Harry Met Sally. “High maintenance and low maintenance.” “Which one am I?” Sally asks. “You’re the worst kind,” he says. “You’re high maintenance, but you think you’re low maintenance.”

After a week in which paddle-less Britain has found itself once more caught in dangerous transatlantic currents, it’s clear that there are two kinds of political men. Strong men and weak men. Which one is our most likely next prime minister? I’m afraid Boris Johnson is the worst kind: he’s a weak man who thinks he’s a strong man. See also selective antiracist Jeremy Corbyn, whose unshakeable conviction that he hasn’t been wrong in several decades has left him stubbornly incapable of being the bigger person. See also gratefully submissive Donald Trump fanboy Nigel Farage, who has spent much of the past three years hanging wanly around Washington on the off-chance of a half-hour 6pm burger with the alpha male to his beta. And see also Donald Trump himself, the leader of the free world, who spent about 48 hours this week tweeting like some homicidal 11-year-old Justin Bieber fan about the leaked comments of the British ambassador. Who, apparently, we now let him pick. More on toxic insecurity’s poster boy shortly.


It was reportedly after watching Johnson refuse to defend him that US ambassador Kim Darroch made the decision to resign. He had little choice, especially given the way the political winds are blowing. The weak strongmen are inheriting the earth. Johnson has spent weeks claiming he’s the only one strong enough to get the better of the European Union, yet his first public test saw him cravenly submit to the disgraceful whims of Trump. In the circs, it feels a little unfair to class this move as “pussying out”. What would you call it instead? Penising out? Yes, I believe we saw Boris Johnson totally penis out to Donald Trump.

During the 2016 presidential election campaign, the Atlantic asked eminent primatologist Jane Goodall to assess Trump. “In many ways the performances of Donald Trump remind me of male chimpanzees and their dominance rituals,” she judged. “In order to impress rivals, males seeking to rise in the dominance hierarchy perform spectacular displays: stamping, slapping the ground, dragging branches, throwing rocks. The more vigorous and imaginative the display, the faster the individual is likely to rise in the hierarchy, and the longer he is likely to maintain that position.” Rather than passing, this political mood has intensified. It is impossible to watch how Farage or Johnson relate to Trump, or each other, or to their own underlings, without imagining the entire evolutionary regression voiced by David Attenborough.

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