Johnson and Sturgeon Just the Same

Marina and Hyde are the only two reasons I still bother with the Guardian. When it comes to skewering the buffoons who are ruining this country, she is incomparable. But even marvellous Marina suffers from metropolitan myopia, alas. Hence only semi-delight when I read her most recent column headlined ‘A dangerous cult now runs Britain – the worshippers at the Temple of Johnson’. Cult singular? What about the Temple of Sturgeon? Hasn’t she heard about the dark and sinister sect that has brainwashed half the population north of the Border? Clearly not. Yet, if you just substitute the word ‘first’ for ‘prime’ and ‘her’ for ‘his’ in the ensuing standfirst, you have a perfect summation of the state of our nation: ‘No matter what the prime minister does, no matter the consequences, his devotees line up to heatedly excuse it.’

If I was vulgar like that goblin George Galloway, I might describe Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon as he once described Tony Blair and Gordon Brown – “two cheeks of the same arse” – but Jaggy would never stoop to such juvenile abuse. Besides, it wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference. Just give the voters a vaccine before they go to the polling stations and re-election is guaranteed. Nothing else done in Downing Street or St Andrews House mattered a jot at the May 6 elections. These sham contests only went ahead so the Scottish and English electorates could express their gratitude to their governments simply for still breathing.

It’s no longer sufficient to talk of the Teflon FM. What we have here is the sort of non-stick frying pan even NASA couldn’t invent. I actually felt sorry for Anas Sarwar the other day when he tried to hold the SNP chieftains to account for what he called the “worst scandal since devolution” – two children dead and more than 80 others infected because of the water supply at Glasgow’s flagship hospital. Save your breath, pal, I thought. Nicola could order a Herod-style slaughter of the innocents, the length and breadth of Scotland, and her supporters would just say it was so nice of the Scottish Government to send the grieving parents a free baby box. Even as these were converted from cots to coffins, the FM would remain the Mammy of the Nation. 

Sturgeon, like Johnson, presided over the slaughter of old folk in care homes

Ms Sturgeon did, of course, preside over a slaughter of old folk in Scotland’s care homes during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, just as the PM did south of the Border. Yet she had the brass neck at First Minister’s Questions on Thursday to state the following:

Sometimes, I’m afraid, in the interests of health and human life, it is necessary for people in leadership positions like me to take very quick decisions because, as we know from bitter experience over this pandemic, it is often the failure to take very firm and quick decisions that leads to loss of life. Anybody who was in any doubt about that only needed to listen to a fraction of what Dominic Cummings outlined about what he described as the chaotic response of the UK government at key moments in this pandemic.

No mention of the fraction where the FM’s new best friend Dom described her repeatedly sabotaging Cobra meetings during the Coronavirus crisis by “babbling” about these high-level discussions at media briefings. Those babbles included – although Mr Cummings wasn’t clued up enough to mention it – the Covid press conference used by the First Minister of Scotland to effectively question the jury’s decision in the Alex Salmond trial. Not only the victim of her vindictiveness “looked on in astonishment” at that, yet Nicola’s acolytes heatedly excused it.

The reality is that, throughout this unprecedented public health emergency, Boris and Nicola have adopted exactly the same approach, constantly scanning the opinion polls before deciding what to do about the death tolls. All she ever did was wait a few days before hanging a kilt on whatever new measures he announced. And it’s always she personally who applies a bit of plaid to these identical policies, of course, dominating almost every public briefing in order to hog the headlines. At times I seriously feared the health secretary Jean Freeman might have perished from the virus but no one in St Andrew’s House had even noticed her absence.

Note how even I slip into saying Nicola. This is something the first minister and the prime minister both benefit from – even many of their fiercest critics refer to them, almost affectionately, by their first name. Not many political leaders achieve that level of chumminess with their opponents and electors.

Both Boris and Nicola have spouses with too much say in affairs

There are a few other things they have in common, starting with spouses who have more say in the governance of the nation than would be found in any healthy democracy. In fairness to Boris – not a phrase you’ll read often in this blog – Carrie Symonds is no longer director of communications (or anything else) at Conservative Central Office. Nicola’s alleged husband has remained chief executive of the SNP throughout her 14 years as deputy FM then FM. While Carrie is just selecting designer wallpaper for their dingy Downing Street flat, Peter is probably trying to work out how the Murrells might bury their political enemies beneath the floorboards in Bute House. Or maybe that’s where he stashed the £600,000 supposedly ring-fenced for fighting indyref2? Dangerous cults do tend to take advantage of their followers in every way possible.

Both the PM and the FM surround themselves with credulous sycophants, especially when making Cabinet appointments. That is why anything that can possibly go wrong gets monumentally screwed up their administrations. I have only three words to say about the recent Scottish ministerial reshuffle and one of them is hyphenated: Shirley-Anne Somerville. Why?

The reality is that Johnson and Sturgeon are a pair of political fraudsters. Pace Samuel Johnson, patriotism isn’t the last but the first refuge of these scoundrels. Phoney patriotism, of course. Just as Boris prepared two alternative columns for the Telegraph on Brexit – one pro-leave and one pro-remain – I’m sure Nicola is endlessly swithering between pressing or not pressing for indyref2, depending completely upon what she perceives to be in her own personal interest at any point in time.

In fairness, Nicola didn’t get a large number of women pregnant

There are two big differences between Johnson and Sturgeon. Firstly, as Marina Hyde observed in her Guardian column (when she compared the current PM with Jeremy Corbyn), “Johnson is the much more classic cult leader. His decisions have led to the deaths of large numbers of people, and he’s got a lot of women pregnant.” No one could ever accuse Ms Sturgeon of such a sin. Also, in fairness, she probably does believe in social justice a little more genuinely than he does. But only a tad. Her government was quick to devolve social security powers back from Holyrood to Westminster when she feared the minster charged with implementing the changes might screw it up and hence damage her party’s popularity. The minister in question? You guessed it, Shirley-Anne Somerville. 

But who cares about poor people not having their plight alleviated? Certainly, no one in the Scottish mainstream media, it seems, which brings me to probably the biggest difference between the FM and the PM: Nicola is constantly given a far easier ride than Boris ever gets. Never has the FM had to face the sort of contemptuous question Eddie Mair famously put to the PM: “You’re a nasty piece of work, aren’t you?”

It’s only in the blogosphere you’ll ever find anyone spotlighting Nicola’s nastiness. Consequently, the Crown Office – led by chief state prosecutor/loyal Cabinet member James Wolffe QC – has been doing everything in its power to silence Scotland’s dissident bloggers, short of the Belarusian state terror tactic of hijacking planes and diverting them to Prestwick. So that’s why my favourite metropolitan columnist thinks there is only one dangerous cult running Britain. Obviously reliant upon the Scottish press (now financially subsidised by the SNP Government) for her knowledge of Scottish politics, even marvellous Marina has never heard about the House of Sturgeon.

32 thoughts on “Johnson and Sturgeon Just the Same

  1. Just as the pleb farmyard animals in Orwell’s masterpiece novel could in the end not tell the difference between the humans and the pigs I find it difficult to separate Johnson from Sturgeon.

    One might be female in a sharp two-piece suit whilst the other is male in a crumpled outfit. One mumbles faux hesitant waffle and gibberish whilst the other spouts pointless platitudes and vacuous slogans.

    Presentation keeps them apart but the substance is the same – meaningless mumbo-jumbo.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s true Rob. It seems the more dictatorial a politician is, the more people tend to refer to them by their first names. Nicola and Boris are all too often used to refer to those two con merchants. Thatcher was regularly just called Maggie, even by many of her implacable left-wing opponents. Strange.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay, this is serious:

    “I have only three words to say about the recent Scottish ministerial reshuffle and one of them is hyphenated: Shirley-Anne Somerville.”

    You either have THREE words to say and TWO of them are hyphenated, or you have TWO words to say and ONE of them is hyphenated.

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    1. Whatever. I was counting Shirley-Anne as one word and the third word was why. More importantly, is that your only response to this post, Rev? Maybe you need to stitch your Wings back on and soar over Scotland again?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How are they gettin on wae the ‘Sannox Alf – does she have any windaes in the wheelhoose yet?

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      2. J Galt

        State agencies create their own problem with officials trying to ‘specify’ ferries themselves whereas it would be better leaving this aspect to the real experts in the actual ferry industry. Whether the two poorly designed boats at Ferguson’s are ever completed or operated remains to be seen. What we do know is that at a public cost of some £300 million for these two unfinished boats it would have been possible to purchase 20 ferries of the Pentland Ferries ‘Alfred’ class each costing just £14 million: https://pentlandferries.co.uk/speed-matters/

        Mr Dey has been offered a way out of the mess in the interim, through offer of charter of the Pentland Ferries ship ‘Pentalina’, and purchase of another similar lower cost catamaran now nearing completion in Asia; both ships are designed by a Scotsman – Brisbane based Stuart Ballantyne – who has been advocating the use in Scotland of his globally successful designs for many years. Stuart also offered to build his low cost designs at Port Glasgow, an offer ministers refused and which has led to the current Scottish Government ‘catastrophic failure’ based on poor vessel designs. This is what happens when you don’t take the right advice and path, with an over dependence on a mediocre public sector meritocracy that is well out of its depth in what is a highly specialized area.

        https://scotlandspeaks.com/a-maritime-vision-for-an-independent-scotland

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    2. Read the piece again, Wing Commander (Retd.)

      “Shirley-Anne Somerville. Why?”

      Why is the third word there. You will note the preceding sentence doesn’t end with a question mark.

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  4. There is hope. Even the most devout follower of Sturgeon must surely be aware of increasing disaffection towards her and her leadership. [Thank god for the internet]. Alba isn’t going away. Alba will contest the local elections next May and if reports of a declining SNP membership are correct then Sturgeon will not have the foot soldiers to properly fight the elections. I think many folk were wary of Alba in such an important election as the recent one but will be more willing to “risk” voting Alba in May 2022. If Alba does well then and Sturgeon is still prevaricating on Indyref2 then we will see the damn burst and Sturgeon will be removed, followed by an immediate referendum on independence.

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    1. Yes Doug. The council elections next year gives the voters a chance to register protest, the same as the EU elections used to do. And many SNP supporters can vote Alba on their first preference and SNP second preference, if that makes it easier for them to vote Alba.

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  5. When can we expect to hear about a police investigation into the missing SNP money following the resignation of three members of the Finance Committe?
    And what is happening about Alex Salmond’s attempt to prosecute Lesley Evans?
    I would like to see some progress on both these matters.

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  6. Never got the pandemic of gruesome virus narrative propagated, initially but now retracted, by the questionable and unaccountable agency styled WHO, however, that «mystery virus» has been a god send to the global political order.
    Suppression of a bug has led to shafting the basic civil rights and freedoms of billions in the name of that now totalitarian sounding newspeak word «safety». The alleged physical health of the nations has been at the expense of the political and existential. Corrupt or corrupting systems have masked their sins in a veil of comedic faux religious altruism, and got away with it. A barometer of how little «the people» understand or care about democracy, freedom and the need to constantly monitor those who aspire to rule.

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  7. I usually enjoy Ms Hyde’s offerings when I remember to check them out. But, she’s no friend of Scotland, and probably couldn’t find it on a map. In fact, her only use to the Scot who fancies independence is her antipathy toward Boris and the Tories: an arguable case of ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’ – even when that friend doesn’t know – or care – where I live.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You start was really promising – Independence Within the UK? was great – but with the last blogs you’re just going for the plain old WOS-type Sturgeon-bashing that brings absolutely nothing to the cause. Shame…. After this Sturgeon obsession I’m just waiting for you to start writing about trannies as well…

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    1. Sturgeon is the biggest barrier by far ,that needs overcome if you want independence.
      I don’t want independence, but would like sturgeon removed as she is a show boating, virtue signalling imbecile . A complete fraud.
      I would happily have salmond back ,as he actually cares for Scotland.

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      1. You see – and that is the problem – I don’t care who delivers independence – if it’s Sturgeon – great, if it’s someone else – even better, but I want independence. Bashing Sturgeon just so unionists can gloat in it doesn’t bring me an inch closer to independence.

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      2. I have nothing against Sturgeon bashing – in some cases she deserves it, especially over the finances thing. However the blogger is letting his antipathy against her colour his “facts”, and accepting unionist media claims about Scotland being as bad or worse than England over the pandemic. Sure she mistakenly followed Westminster at the beginning but soon took her own line – or rather that of independent Scottish medical advisors. Re the care home thing, see articles on Taking up Scotland where this is debunked and the main problem shown to have been the actions (or lack of action at times) in private care homes.

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      3. Even the former health Secretary Jean Freeman – on a rare occasion when she got to talk – admitted that the Scottish Government failed old folk in the first wave of the pandemic. Aware that voters cottoning on to this could harm the SNP in the Holyrood election, Nicola Sturgeon then became overly cautious, thus managing to wreck the Scottish economy more than the rest of the UK’s. She still refuses to listen and respond to what our business community is saying. When Douglas Ross raised their justified concerns at FMQs, she cited Dominic Cummings’ evidence to a Westminster committee. Usual diversionary tactics whenever she has to account for failings, screw-ups and catastrophes in policy areas under her control. It’s a fact she used a Covid briefing to brief against Alex Salmond, indeed to imply he was guilty despite the verdict in his trial. If you don’t see how not only inappropriate but nasty and vindictive that was, then we have wholly different standards regarding proper conduct in public office.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Marina and Hyde? A typo in your opening sentence, Rob, or is it perhaps a reference (of moderate opacity) to Dr Jekyll?

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  10. I regularly look at the Grauniad Online so that I can exercise my critical faculties. Since the death of the late Sir Anthony Wedgewood Benn, it provides the important function that he used to excel at: if you find yourself agreeing with anything written in it, then you can be confident you have misunderstood the subject under discussion.

    The BTL comments are better or worse, depending on your viewpoint. Countless screeds of comments, all amounting to the same worldview: somebody with more money than the comment writer should be forced to pay for something the comment writer wants to happen but doesn’t want to pay for.

    But sorry for the O/T comments. Johnson & Sturgeon may well be a matched pair, but the reality is that Johnson got lucky just once where it really mattered – with his vaccine decisions. Sturgeon was lucky to ride his coattails. As Napoleon said, lucky generals are more valuable than competent ones.

    Ordinary punters at the ballot box no doubt feel the same way and I for one can’t fault them for it.

    There’s an another article to write on where Scotland would now be if we were “independent” but in the EU and therefore dependent on the EU for our vaccination programme. I think a lot more of us Scots would be dead, but then that article has not yet been written. If it ever is written, and it disproves my beliefs, then I will re-think my hostility to the craven and crazy idea that an “independent” Scotland must scuttle back into the EU at the first opportunity.

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