As Keir Starmer arrives in Scotland in the wake of Johnson’s disgrace, change can’t come quickly enough - Susan Dalgety
He will, according to the Labour press office, set out his mission to make Britain a clean energy superpower, to ensure the country moves away from “short term sticking-plaster politics” to long-lasting change.
Change can’t come quickly enough. Our country has been badly let down by the current parties in power. Boris Johnson may have got his comeuppance last week when Westminster’s Privileges Committee found that he had deliberately misled MPs (lied), deliberately misled the committee (lied), undermined the democratic process of the House (by lying) and was complicit in the attempted intimidation of the committee (he’s a bully as well as liar).
The committee has recommended that he is refused a former Member’s pass – a privilege that would allow him access to the Houses of Parliament. He may prefer to spend most of his time jetting off to places like Singapore and India, where he can make up to a quarter of million pounds for a short, rambling speech, but this exclusion will still hurt. I can’t think of any other former Prime Minister to suffer such an ignominious end to his political career, barred from the very place he once ruled over like a sun king.
But it is the least he deserves. Boris Johnson has done his level best to destroy our economy and divide society. He doesn’t care for anyone but himself, and the sooner he is consigned to a few lines in the history books, the better. And the sooner the Tories, in power now for 13 years, are on the opposition benches, the better too for all of us.
The same goes for the SNP, in power now at Holyrood since 2007. They are fast becoming a laughing stock, and the financial scandal that has engulfed the party and saw Nicola Sturgeon arrested recently has yet to reach its conclusion.
But while the tale of the SNP’s £110,000 motorhome, impounded by the police as part of its investigation into the party’s finances, has inspired a string of jokes, the way the SNP/Scottish Greens run Scotland is no laughing matter.
Their list of policy failures rivals that of the Tories. The SNP may not have supported Brexit, but they still peddle the myth of independence, which would have an even worse impact on our economy, while our NHS and other vital public services continue to decline.
Johnson and Sturgeon were replaced by two youngish men: Rishi Sunak and Humza Yousaf, but neither have the gravitas, or the policies, to transform our country. Keir Starmer may not be the most charismatic of men, but we have had enough of ‘big’ personalities like Johnson, or selfie-queens like Sturgeon.
What our country needs is a long period of calm, with no more divisive referendums. We need a leader focussed on fixing the economy, on finding solutions to climate change and rebuilding our broken public services.
Next year’s general election offers the country the chance to make a fresh start. It is up to us to grab it.