Johnson just handed the SNP a heaven-sent gift.

His dismissal and belittling of the devolution settlement may be the moment that we remember as the beginning of the collapse of the union.

Toby Lipatti-Mesme
2 min readNov 17, 2020

Boris Johnson, our ever helpful Prime Minister, once again put his foot in his mouth. Usually this is just concerning the casual stuff, like inaccurately disseminating life or death public health info. This time it may well have been the fray that moved Scottish independence into an irreversible political reality.

Johnson did what Johnson does best, he ballsed it up. He handed the single biggest political gift to the SNP one could possibly imagine. Nicola Sturgeon will be jumping for joy, grinning like she’s just unseated Jo Swinson and Ian Blackford will be even more booming than usual at PMQs tomorrow.

The flagrant dismissal of devolution is a political blunder not even a toddler could execute so heedlessly. The post-Cummings govt is really not doing much better then the Cummings govt. Johnson, like a great Etonian decapitated chicken, has run off with our collective dinners again.

If you thought the state of our union was bad before, now it’s god awful. Couldn’t get much worse. I can’t see a path from here to the union remaining intact. A second referendum will certainly happen and I’d say independence has a 75% chance of winning right about now. No one cares about cool headed economics after a 1930s style recession, it can’t get worse.

I’m no ally of the project for separatism, but I would never suppose to stand in the way of the will of the majority of the Scottish people. They’re electing people who want a referendum, therefore they should get one. If they do well at the looming election, they absolutely have that mandate.

What Johnson’s govt should be doing is expanding devolution, and creating a new federalist settlement. Decentralise, and devolve the powers. Of course a govt that fetishizes seeing just how much power it can horde in No 10 is unlikely to do this, and I’m sure Johnson meant what he said. But couldn’t he have just shut his trap for once?

Johnson would serve the cause (unionism) his party claims to passionately care about and made a huge fuss about at the last election, by staying quiet and letting the grown ups handle things. Every time the man so much as utters the words “Scotland” or goes anywhere near anything Scottish #IndieRef2 has an (almost comical) surge in the unprecedented support it already enjoys.

It’s days like this that make me think the cause of unionism is dying painful death, and nearing total oblivion. If these are the people defending the union, there’s no chance!



Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Insightful and innovative UK journalism and commentary, from Toby Lipatti-Mesme.