Johnson can’t stop Scotland going now

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Parliament is in recess. Schools have broken up. Summer is officially here. And Scotland is to get a rare visit from a tourist who is usually reluctant to go so far beyond the boundaries of privilege. Boris Johnson is heading north.

Johnson is not, of course, going to enjoy the scenery or the company, although we can be sure that the company in question will have been very carefully selected in advance to prevent disquiet to the Prime Minister. Nicola Sturgeon is not amongst the invitees. Instead they will all be reinforcing what Johnson thinks is the case for the Union.

The reason is not hard to see. As Politico notes:

A poll earlier this month found support for Scottish independence at 54 percent, versus 46 percent for remaining part of the U.K. Polling expert John Curtice said it was “the first time in polling history” that backing for independence had been ahead “over such a sustained period.”

Johnson chose to give himself the title of Minister for the Union when becoming PM. So far he's proved dismally poor at it. And that is hardly surprising.

Scotland does not want any Brexit, and it is getting a hard one.

Scotland has resented interference and messaging from London on Covid 19 when it has  managed many aspects of the crisis better than London has.

And in the summer bail-out package, of whatever limited new money there was (and there was not much) Scotland got just £21 million.

At the same time there are new and enormous threats to devolved powers.

Of course Scotland resents this. For those who do not come from the environs of London or have a south east England mentality,  it is almost impossible  (apparently) to understand that Scotland is another country. It is not a region, as Jacob Rees Mogg would have it. Nor is it just another part of the UK.    For a majority of Scots it is a distinct and separate nation with a shared parliament with other countries in the United Kingdom. And that's rightly thought, because that's true. The Act of the Union did not remove Scottish nationhood.

Does Johnson get that?

Or will we hear yet more of his ‘project fear' that claims Scotland is too small and so could not survive as an independent state today even though that's glaringly obviously false as Scotland would be a mid-sized state in world terms if independent.

What should worry Johnson is that previous PM's could say this and enough would believe it. But Johnson has three problems.

First, he's trashing the U.K. as a whole, so Scotland now believes it could not be worse off.

Second, no one believes a word Johnson says any more. His credibility is shot.

Third, Scotland believes as a result that it can do better.

And based on that Scotland will, when Sturgeon finally has the courage to do so, or is pushed out by those who have, go for independence. And I think it will win it.

Johnson's days in Scotland are numbered. It's now a question of when and not if Scotland goes, in my opinion.

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