BBC Parliament was interesting. The debate on the amendement to the Bill flowed swiftly in a very socially distanced House with some contributions easier to listen to than others. Very few mentioned the big issue with the UK Internal Market Bill – the fact that it was breaking the law. In a place where you cannot call another member a lair, it should have been incomprehensible that the Bill had even reached the House; that a vote was being held on rejecting it was thankful yet still absurd. The UK’s own agreement was now to be dismissed and that the country was to enter into illegal dealings was shameful, hypocritical and dishonest. Much more than what the headlines offered, it went further affecting every single part of our lives with one of our four equal partners taking control of the leadership from their counterparts. No surprises for which one and no surprises that this was even happening. The highlight speech of the night for me was that proferred by Alexander Stafford, Conservative MP for Rother Valley. Convincing and articulate, he delivered an impassioned speech which I listened to laughing as he delivered such gems as “Are we so ashamed of our country that we cannot stand on our own two feet?” whilst urging us all to stand up and take control of our own independent destiny. Totally unaware of how ironic he was being, he was nonplussed when Joanna Cherry corrected him after he spoke about “my country” Needless to say, the amendment was rejected and the Tories, once again, live another day to wreak havoc on what remains of their precious union.
Following on from the news that Covid tests in Scotland had attempted to be controlled due to shortages and backlogs, it remains clear that Westminster will continually try to exert influence upon the Scottish Government where it does not have the remit to do so in the hope that things will not be noticed or that a weakly led administration would not question it. Thankfully we are not in that situation but it piles on additional pressures that our Government should not have to face at this moment and once again shows the need for independence so that Scotland truly can be considered equal. With the BBC attempting to curtail live screenings of the First Ministers Covid briefings, on the basis of wanting all 4 nations to receive equal air time, complaints have been quickly forthcoming. The angle is different, for years we have shouting about wanting equality and now it is being offered, we appear to be asking for special treatment – again, more proof for independence so we can make our own decisions based on what we need rather than what is felt that others need. Donalda MacKinnon, Head of BBC Scotland, is the recipient of much of this criticism as she has been in the past when decisions have been made which don’t seem to be taken in the best interests of Scotland but seem to be taken from further south. An ex-teacher of mine, a young, driven and fair woman who made a huge impact upon me and encouraged a love of learning, I look forward to seeing how this situation develops but my gut instinct is that the curtailment will not be as strong as first mooted.
Footage of Boris Johnson recently has been troubling. His physical appearance has the hallmarks of a common illness and he looks to be struggling. Rumours around that he will not be in charge for that much longer as he prepares to stand down and I cannot help but feel slightly sorry for him. A job that he has coveted for so long, finally his but the reality has not met the expectation. How easy things seem when you are in the background and it is someone else making the wrong decisions and the plan of surrounding himself with yes men and letting them deal with the minutae of decision making has backfired as the public have reached their limit in what they are prepared to turn a blind eye to because of Covid. Counting upon his popularity with the electorate to overcome whatever issues arose no longer works and once yet another Tory leader is elected from the shrinking list of dismal hopefuls that remain, the damage that has been done behind the scenes by Johnson’s cronies will be discovered and I don’t think the majority of the people of the UK have any idea about what is going to be uncovered and the fallout that will ensue.