IF I ate porridge and if I read The Sunday Times, I would have choked last weekend.

According to the paper, and apparently in all sobriety, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has made the “social justice” case to the cabinet for easing lockdown. Sunak went on to qualify this by adding “young people and BAME people are most likely to be hit hardest by the crisis, so opening up the economy safely is a matter of social justice”.

Sunak has some brass neck to utter those two words “social justice” in the context of his position within this most unjust and socially careless UK Government. After all, it is this government, and their previous incarnations under Theresa May and David Cameron, that brought the UK to its knees and entrenched structural inequalities and racism across the board. These were the heartless policies that moved the United Nations to declare that they infringed basic human rights.

And as for protecting BAME communities and young people? The reckless dash out of lockdown before England’s Covid death rates have fallen to zero is hardly the actions of a government which really cares a jot about keeping people safe.

But here it gets even more far-fetched. Sunak’s pronouncements were shortly followed up by an absurdly disingenuous speech from Michael Gove at the annual Ditchley Lecture. In discussing what motivates him in politics, he stated that “my driving mission in politics is to make opportunity more equal. I want to ensure that whatever their background, every child has the chance to succeed and nothing we do should hold them back”.

This is the written version of smiling Tory photo ops at food banks made flesh. How revoltingly hypocritical, how completely divorced from reality and what an abuse of historical fact.

Morecambe and Wise were once the top comedy duo. Before them it was Flanagan and Allen. Now it’s Ant and Dec. But these legends of laughter should step aside for the new regents of the ridiculous – Sunak and Gove.

The parade of nonsense continued with a rare broadcast interview with the master of inaction Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Times Radio this past Monday. Johnson suggested that there will be no return to austerity by offering this mind twister “what you can’t do is go back to what people called austerity, it wasn’t actually austerity, but that’s what people called it”. Try telling that to a single mother living in poverty with her children and not enough money to feed or clothe them properly, or indeed any of the four million of the hungry children who live in poverty in 21st-century Britannia.

And so on to Dudley yesterday where, even as Leicester plunged back into lockdown, Johnson spluttered forth to promise a “New Deal”. Given this man could not even build a garden bridge there seems little chance of the imagination, vision and above all the performance to build a bridge to economic recovery.

Dudley boasts one of the largest fossil sites in all of England. The town lends its name to the “Dudley locust”, a trilobite with the scientific name Calymene blumenbachii that was uncovered in the local limestone pits. Now the great hairy Borissorris lumbers into the same mire to be trapped and held fast. Over time the flesh will disappear and only the skeleton of spin will remain.


HOWEVER, this three-pronged assault from Sunak, Gove and Johnson represents serious political gas-lighting by the UK Government, inflammatory, disrespectful and downright dishonest. And it’s Trumpian in its reach. It’s also rather curious that Johnson should pretend that his party wasn’t really responsible for the cruelty of austerity, while simultaneously saying that he is modelling his relationship with the new Chancellor on the Cameron-Osborne model, as Times reporter Stephen Swinford relayed, moving together in “lockstep” to avoid the “pitfalls” of the kind of warfare we saw between Blair and Brown.

All the more nauseating then that this grand plan may have been hatched at a cosy wee barbecue (with social distancing no …) in the Number 10 garden between Johnson and Sunak, with partners in tow. Over their halloumi burgers and beetroot slaw, these privileged elitists may well have mused about just what to do with the ordinary people, how to stick an enormous great plaster over their party’s self-inflicted wounds to the economy and people’s livelihoods and then market their great new plan for prosperity to distract from the looming chaos of Brexit.


SO, the question remains, who is actually falling for any of this sleight of hand and contortion of reality? Thankfully, not Scotland, if recent polls are anything to go by. It would seem that with each preposterous pronouncement from Johnson, Gove and co, and with each silent and resigned endorsement from the hapless and headless Scottish Tories, the Scots are moving further and further away from these manipulators. Scotland has no time for a party which rails against taking a knee for Black Lives Matter but is prepared to happily prostrate themselves before the likes of Dominic Cummings.

Similarly, trouble for Johnson is also looming in Northern Ireland where even the DUP have admitted that the Minister for the Union Boris Johnson is on their “naughty step” and faith in London’s Brexit ambitions is in increasingly short supply. In Wales, too, First Minister Mark Drakeford has finally found his voice during the Covid-19 pandemic, declaring that the Welsh Government prefer to plan before announcements, unlike their nearest neighbours. It would seem that Johnson’s credibility is shot to pieces across the increasingly disunited kingdom.

On an individual level and as a BAME person, I don’t have a shred of faith in Sunak’s social justice arguments, nor do I believe a word that comes out of Gove’s mouth. And Johnson is just another hollow man, following a script written for him by Cummings. But as an independista, I do believe that for every far-fetched pronouncement they make, for all the over-marketed and focus-grouped phraseology they weaponise, the Scots are turning away from Westminster in droves.

Yes, that sound you can hear is the final few nails being hammered into the Union’s political coffin. The people are willing but do consider this – our national anthem is no longer Flower Of Scotland but fast becoming Oh Why Are We Waiting?