THE most chilling, frightening statement from Boris Johnson yet when he barked back at Angela Eagle, in Westminster. After 41% of his MPs failed to support him in the vote of confidence, Johnson said: “Absolutely nothing and no-one, least of all her, is going to stop us with getting on with delivering for the British people”. The chilling bits: “Absolutely nothing and no-one ... is going to stop us.”

This is yet another step down a staircase to a dungeon. An insidious creep in the direction that the brilliant Mhairi Black described on May 28.

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Consider the following things. Peaceful protest can now turn into a criminal record, via the Policing Bill, which also affects the Traveller community. The UK Government now control the Electoral Commission. The Elections Bill requires voters to present ID to polling staff and the UK Government can decide what counts as “fair campaigning”. In recent time the UK Government have stripped people of their citizenship, easier now because of their Nationality and Borders Bill. The Brexit Freedoms Bill will remove the 1998 Human Rights Act from the statutes.

Recently our Holyrood Parliament passed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Bill into Scottish law (the UK Government has been under obligation in international law to comply with this since 1991, but they have not). The UK Government took us to the Supreme Court, where it was decided that some sections of the bill are outside the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament. All of this has shades of legislative roads taken during the 1930s, and when Johnson supporters blame different groups of people for the problems, all of us are dragged deeper.

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The UK Government is sliding around on thin ice like a skating champion with crutches. As predicted, the mess of Brexit is diminishing the standards of living of us all. Workers are in the panic that inflation causes. So unions threaten strike action – they know worker supply is short, and commodities and consumer goods have been choked off. The government blames the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Blame is a word that never sits comfortably with me, but if we are looking for scapegoats, those who support the 211 Tory MPs who said they have confidence in Johnson could be a place to start.

All this, and more, causes challenges for Kate Forbes, our Finance Secretary, who yet again has to explain to Conservative MSPs that the Scottish Government cannot have debt. We give Westminster a muckle o’ revenue and they return a wee bit for us to survive off. Various news reporters try to evoke the idea that Nicola Sturgeon and Kate Forbes drive the trains and empty rubbish bins when they knock off from Holyrood each evening.

Then there are the cursory comments about inflation in the rest of the world and how things are just as bad, if not worse, over in “they foreign bits”. I noticed a tweet from Ruth Richie on May 28, when a litre of petrol then was just under £1.70 from a supermarket here, Ruth was sunning herself in the Canary Islands, where the same amount of fuel was £1.40. She reminded that the Islands have to import all, yet here in Scotland, with a sea full of the stuff … I had to paid £1.98 a couple of days ago.

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The UK has no way out of this spiral, there is no way back to European Union. The Tory government dragging back the failures of Margaret Thatcher and the sale of council houses – a policy which, it could be argued, has caused much homelessness.

Ncuti Gatwa, the fine Scottish actor who was born in Rwanda but whose family fled from the 1994 genocide when he was just two years old, will climb aboard the Tardis and a great future as the new Doctor Who, just as Priti Patel starts sending asylum seekers to Rwanda. At the same time, or maybe a different time altogether, Boris Johnson and co continue to travel back in time.

For anyone who is in favour of this is the surreal, dystopian set-up, I will mix the sci-fi. Scotland is about to move onward and upward away from the chaos and to a future of independence: “make it so”’.

Cher Bonfis
via email