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The Game is up for the Nationalists

Boris Johnson has given us a gift in rejecting #indyref2. But Nicola still wants her #pretendyref.

2020. A new year, a new decade for prosperity for the United Kingdom. Only, though, if the nationalists that blight our political landscape would accept the games up. This week, Boris resolutely rejected Nicola Sturgeon’s latest Section 30 order request; to quote Ms Thatcher: No, No, No.

Of course, Nicola will pretend to get angry; she’ll tweet a lot, she’ll receive praise from the London elites, the Welsh nationalists and remainer clique who despise the British identity. Meanwhile, back in the real world, the majority across Scotland are breathing a sigh of relief: no more divisive referendums for the next five years at least. Surely, the SNP will talk about taking legal action but alas, Nicola’s inner circle realise this will be futile. Indeed, leading academic Chris McCorkindale said that any legal action considered by the nationalists would hit a brick wall, as in his words, there are ‘no legal shortcuts, it will be extremely unlikely they would win’.

As a die-hard unionist, I’ve spent years informing my twitter followers (many based in England, with little understanding of Scottish politics) about the reality of another referendum – many mocked me, told me it was ‘happening’ and to ‘suck it up’. Only it hasn’t, and it isn’t. Not under the Johnson premiership anyway.

So where are we now? With five years of stable government guaranteed, Boris can shake off the shackles of SNP decline and work flat out to promote the union in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland. This must involve election strategies with his top team and some decent funding for the parties in Cardiff, Glasgow & Belfast. There must be focus on inward investment, regional funding for infrastructure projects and helping our youngest get ahead in society.

Sturgeon, for her part, will engage in more rhetoric and pull out the smoke machines to create the illusion that she’s holding another vote:

- She’s ‘instructed’ the civil service to prepare a new white paper for a vote. Only she hasn’t, because a new prospectus can only be written by the SNP.

- She will take court action. Possibly, but the result will end up against her and cost a fortune in lawyers.

- Grievance machine in full force till 2021 elections. Her most likely avenue. Only recent polls show people don’t want another referendum.

Nicola has nowhere to go, and she knows it. Her own supporters are finally beginning to question her leadership, with failures in government mounting up against her. She occasionally gives the activists something to chew on before quietly disappearing back behind her twitter account.

Boris must – and should – act now to preserve the union, before Nicola gets the chance to talk it down.

Matt Lomax