It comes as no surprise that as editor of The Spectator he published James Michie’s 2004 “satirical poem” describing Scotland as a “ghetto” inhabited by “tartan dwarves” – a “verminous race” – worthy of “extermination” for “polluting [England’s racially superior] stock.” Why should this shock Scottish people? We have been in a union with England for three centuries, we have been dominated by the products of this Anglo-Saxon master race, and as the pencil pushers and administrators of their empire we have long understood the nature of British imperialism.
Walkers Shortbread has landed itself in a spot of bother over a marketing decision. The family run business thought it would be a good idea to launch a union flag shortbread tin, thinking the Scottish public would see in it nothing more than a Scottish company doing what it takes to make a buck. One would be forgiven for wondering where the heck Jim Walker, the firm’s managing director, has been for the last few years. There is no one in Scotland in 2018 who thinks the flag of the United Kingdom – the “butcher’s apron” – is a politically neutral emblem of national identity and patriotism.
So why did we not have even the same power yesterday as the Welsh Assembly? Mark Hirst at Radio Sputnik pointed at Paul Grice, saying that his “fingerprints [were] all over it.” Sir Paul Grice KBE – recently knighted in the 2016 New Year Honours for “services to the Scottish parliament” – is the senior civil servant who babysits the Presiding Officer. As Clerk and Chief Executive of the Scottish Parliament he is responsible for delivering all services to the Parliament and its Members. He is the Parliament’s “principal adviser on procedural and constitutional matters.”
In saying that Nicola Sturgeon, as the head of the devolved Scottish government, is not an “international leader” the London government is clumsily trying to kill two birds with the one stone; remind Scotland that it is not considered a nation – as “not an inter-national leader” would imply – and curtail our government’s conversations with our European friends.
Our resistance to this London Tory offensive, if it is to have any hope of success, needs to build and strengthen alliances with the other anti-Brexit parties in every part of the UK – and this will require accommodating Tim Farron’s Liberal Democrats south of the border.
In making this demand of her Cabinet Theresa May has both signalled – as far as she is concerned – that another referendum campaign has all but begun and shown that she knows she has no power to stop it from happening.
We will not get more powers with Brexit. Powers returning to the UK from the EU are matters of sovereignty; the very power that London is determined never to return to the Scottish people.
Scotland and Northern Ireland rejected leaving the European Union and now only English Conservative MPs will have a say on the terms on which we will be exiting against our will.