Why Boris Johnson flew to Orkney in order to pose for a photo-op with a large crab.


First published in July 2020.


The performance artiste whose stage name is Boris Johnson has rolled up in Orkney yesterday with his end of the union clown show. Having seen his advisors – well, Michael Gove – do an impression of Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream because of the recent rise in support for Scottish independence and a growing appetite in England for the other nations of the UK to go their own way, Johnson has decided that he needs to do something. After being informed that Scotland is moving towards a substantial majority in favour of independence because most Scottish people can’t abide him, our part time Prime Minister has decided that what we really need is more of him, not less.

Have you seen Michael Gove do an impression of Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream because of the recent rise in support for Scottish independence? / edvardmunch.org

He’s like one of those lecherous auld drunks at a party who thinks that the reason you are not succumbing to his dubious charms is because he’s not pawing at you enough. The concept that he might do better by A) not being offensive, entitled and rank, and B) respecting you as a fellow human being doesn’t enter into his head. There is no room in Boris Johnson’s ego for empathy. He is incapable of grasping that his attempts at a charm offensive are merely offensive.

Reports are that he went to Orkney because he thought that if he went far enough into the Arctic north he could dispense with the obligatory refridgerator.


However Johnson was just continuing in the hoary old tradition of Conservative leaders who attempt to sell the alleged benefits of the United Kingdom to Scotland by dint of carefully minimising any possibility of coming into contact with actual Scottish people. The real reason he’s going to Orkney is because the islands contain a settlement called Twatt, and the part time Prime Minister and full time bloviator believes he’ll feel at home there. On his next trip he’ll be going to Fannyfield in Ross and Cromarty and The Bastard near the Mull of Kintyre, both of which are conveniently far away from where most of the Scottish population can be found.

Was the real reason Boris Johnson went to Orkney because the islands contain a settlement called Twatt? / Geograph – Nick Mutton

Johnson started his love-in with Scotland by snubbing the Scottish First Minister, who only found out about his visit along with the rest of us when it was reported in the media. But it’s now become traditional for the Scottish Government only to discover what the British Government has got planned for Scotland by reading about it in the English press. This pattern is now so well-established that it to all intents and purposes substitutes for the Joint Ministerial Committee.

Did you know about the Joint Ministerial Committee? Because if you did you’re considerably better informed than Minister for the Union Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. You will all be feeling loved and wanted and leading within the UK now, as per a Better Together press release circa 2014.

Johnson started his love-in with Scotland by snubbing the Scottish First Minister who only found out about his visit in the media. / Flickr – Number 10

We’re also seeing that other traditional feature of Prime Ministerial visits to the Scotchlandshire colony, Tory politicians and supporters sending tweets about how Scotland rejects nationalism, complete with a row of union flags and insisting the Preciousssss Union™ has never been stronger. This was also the message from Johnson in a press release shortly before he embarked upon his Twatt pilgrimage. And indeed the Preciousssss Union™ has never been stonger in the exact same way that there’s no border between Scotland and England, the UK has a world beating contact and trace app, and the entire world looks up to the British Government as a shining example of what to do in a global epidemic.

The real fact of the matter, the fact that Boris Johnson either can’t or won’t face up to, is that what is driving the rise in support for Scottish independence is not that the SNP is making a compelling case for independence. As anyone who has even the vaguest awareness of the Scottish independence movement knows it is currently dominated by complaints that the SNP is not doing nearly enough to get us to a referendum and to get us out of this dysfunctional mess of a UK. What’s really driving the rise in support for Scottish independence is the rise of rampant English nationalism – a rampant English nationalism which is being propagated by one Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his pals in the Conservative party. Johnson himself, with his upper class accent and the entitlement and privilege which drips from his fingertips, is the embodiment of the British establishment’s disdain for Scotland, of an English patrician attitude which regards Scotland as a possession, not an equal partner in a union. Never an equal partner in a union. Every time he opens his bumbling stumbling fnaugh-fnaughing mouth, he reminds us that Scotland was lied to in 2014.

Every time he opens his bumbling stumbling fnaugh-fnaughing mouth, Boris Johnson reminds us that Scotland was lied to in 2014. / Flickr – Number 10

What exactly did the Tories think was going to happen in Scotland, which was already restless and dissatisfied, when they rammed through the hardest Brexit possible without any consideration that Scotland had voted to remain. Moreover they did so without taking into account that Scotland had voted against independence in 2014 partly, some would say largely, on the understanding that voting against independence was the only way to ensure that Scotland remained a part of the EU – and the Conservatives themselves were amongst those who were prominent in making that promise. Yet ever since Scotland has been told that we rejected independence in 2014 and now we just have to suck it up and do as we are told. Every single time that Johnson opens his mouth and gushes his guff about the sunny uplands, about taking back control, about the UK becoming an independent state, he’s only reminding Scotland that he lied to us. No amount of carefully stage managed visits to a creamery in Orkney will stop that from being the case. The Tories knew what was likely to happen in Scotland, they just didn’t care. Now they have no idea how to deal with the consequences of their own actions.

Meanwhile, as Big Chief Johnson attempts to distract us natives with pretty photo-op baubles in lieu of any actual respect, the news from the EU is that the UK is not being serious in negotiations about a trade deal. According to Michel Barnier there is no willingness from the UK to break the deadlock on a deal over fisheries or on the need to achieve a level playing field in trade with Europe. We are staring at the very real possibility of a no deal Brexit at the end of this year, adding to the economic damage which the UK has already suffered as a result of the pandemic. Economic damage which is the worst in Europe according to the OECD, something which is entirely the fault of Johnson and the Conservatives.

While Johnson wastes his time and ours on a meaningless trip to a part of Scotland where he can be carefully insulated by his minders from any contact with the realities of this country, his government continues to make the real case for Scottish independence. He’s a prime minister who tells the UK that it’s awful in a union where the people are not listened to or represented, and then he comes to Scotland to tell us how great it is to be in a union where we are not listened to or represented. He is so wrapped up in himself that he can’t imagine that we’ll ever spot the hypocrisy. It’s Tory hypocrisy and Tory lies which spell the end of the UK. Scotland is not going to be reconciled to Johnson’s lies, deceit, and contempt for Scotland because he flew to Orkney in order to pose for a photo-op with a large crab.🔷

Boris Johnson flew to Orkney to pose for a photo-op with a large crab. / Flickr – Number 10


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[This piece was originally published in the Wee Ginger Dug’s blog and re-published in PMP Magazine on 24 July 2020, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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(Cover: Flickr/Number 10. - Boris Johnson in Scotland. | 23 July 2020. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)

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