Bojo’s tour of the provinces could have gone worse – possibly. He offered a bribe to Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast so small (£300 million between them) that it barely registered. Where leaders sought clarity on No Deal, he offered bluster.
Farmers who wanted to know about post-Brexit payments and business people who craved information on tariffs were left with nothing.
Still, he visited a nuclear submarine on the Clyde as if to hint that the old tactic of Mutually Assured Destruction has switched to BAD, Boris Assured Destruction.
In truth, the glaring omission of his trip was not to bother with the North of England – it suffers financially more than any of the Celtic countries, and will be decimated if manufacturing jobs go post-Brexit.
It is not a devolved area – its residents must regret the day they rejected self-government in the 1990s.
Scotland did chose self-government, and now faces the logical conclusion of that 1997 vote.
Boris is the worst of the Tories, and Scots gave up on them along time ago.
Brexit the worst of the UK electorate trumping the Scots.
No Deal the nadir of Westminster.
Independence has to be better – right? Yet there is no sign the Scottish Government has the confidence to state this.
Repeat the cry for Indyref2, sure, but not amplify that call with actual detail on the benefits of independence.
Whatever the reverse of crying wolf is, the SNP have it down pat – they have called for Indyref2 ad nauseam, but haven’t been able to show why every delay is damaging. As I write, I don’t have one clear, credible message in my head from the SNP beyond the process of another referendum. This is bad politics.
The only big offer from the Nationalists is more voting.
Where’s the hope in process, when process has given us the Brexit shambles and resulted in Bojo at Number 10?
The SNP Government could start by recognising the things most of us hate about today’s politics.
We don’t like being lied to before big decisions.
The Scottish Government could do a lot more about bolstering the power of the Electoral Commission in Scotland to ensure a degree of honesty in any future referendum, and set stricter rules on the use of social media.
It could also suggest tight rules about outside interference in votes, and clarity over funding.
It can’t legislate on this, but could have measures prepared for when negotiating for Indyref2.
Voters also loathe the fact that Brexiteers made an argument about something they didn’t understand – hence the surprise at “divorce” bills and the confusion over customs unions.
The Scottish Government could do a lot more in making the steps to independence clearer.
This would involve explaining it would take at least two years to negotiate our independence after a vote, during which time we would still be in the UK (and presumably out of the EU).
As we would have voted on the question “Do you want Scotland to be an independent country?”, matters such as a nuclear weapons, re-entry to the EU and the role of the royal family are in truth undecided.
Rejoining the EU would surely require its own referendum? Other issues too, perhaps?
There is nothing to stop the Scottish Government outlining a broad negotiating plan.
Brexit has shown that deals of this scale and complexity simply don’t work if one side imagines they can cunningly outwit the other.
After all, neighbours have a mutual interest in fair dealing. Most of all voters worry about services and tax. They want a good NHS and education with reliable pensions.
Here we get to the guilty secret of the SNP, the truth buried beneath decades of denial – that nobody knows if this can be achieved smoothly or with a big shock.
We stand on the brink of Brexit abyss, not knowing if we shall fall a little or a lot. Voters hate this uncertainty from the people who are meant to be in charge.
The SNP threatens to lead us to another leap of faith, and that is not good enough. A lot more work could be done on sketching out a first-year budget for an Indy Scotland.
Tell us the truth about what needs to be cut, what delayed and what supported in the early years.
We are not stupid – the message is clear that we can not replicate UK spending.
So tell us how Scotland’s spending looks if you protect the NHS, education and pensions and do not raise taxes excessively.
A cut to defence, cautious spending on new embassies, some tightening of belts – tell us the truth.
The time has come to let it all out, to suffer the initial outrage, then live free in the truth of the argument.
The electoral advantage is that old attacks will lose their edge main while doubters to the cause can see it stands in stark contrast to the Bojo bluff.