General Election: Boris Johnson once thought it acceptable to call Scots ‘a verminous race’ – Angus Robertson

The Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats are already guilty of actions that would be finished off election campaigns in years gone by, writes Angus Robertson.

Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 6:00 am
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tastes some whisky during his recent visit to Diageo's Roseisle Distillery. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tastes some whisky during his recent visit to Diageo's Roseisle Distillery. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images

It’s only week two of the General Election campaign and the state of the Westminster political ­parties makes it clear that the UK political system is broken. In past decades, moral, ethical and journalistic opprobrium would have finished off party campaigns for less than we have seen from the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems.

Starting with the Tories, who now enjoy the backing of Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party, you would have thought it was bad enough that Boris Johnson is a liar, bigot, peddler of racism, philanderer and a national and international embarrassment.

As Spectator editor, Johnson infamously printed ­material describing Scottish people as “a ­verminous race” who should be exterminated as “tartan dwarves” who were “polluting our stock” and suggested that the country should be turned into a “ghetto” with the inhabitants submitted for “extermination”. Why would anyone in Scotland want to vote for bozo BoJo?

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In his sole election venture north of the Border, Boris Johnson made a whistle-stop photo opportunity at one of the only distilleries on Speyside ­surrounded by a security fence and with no visitor facilities to avoid the general public. No wonder the Tory panellist on BBC Question Time was laughed at when she claimed that Boris “loves Scotland”.

At a national level, his cabinet ­colleagues have been caught red-handed publicising doctored videos of both Labour and SNP opponents, Keir Starmer and Ian Blackford. At a local level, they have selected a social media troll as their Kirkcaldy candidate who posted Twitter abuse against Nicola Sturgeon.

Labour’s worst result for 100 years?

As for dodgy campaign funding, the bad Tory smell continues. For a long time, the Scottish Tories have been happy to take money from a man whose business had dealings with Serbian war criminal Arkan. Now the Tories have delayed a report on Russian interference in UK elections until, you guessed it, after the election. Apparently nine Russian business people are named in the secret intelligence report after giving money to the Conservative Party.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party is so split that they have been haemorrhaging experienced moderate parliamentarians like Tom Watson. Two of their MPs standing down say they are voting Tory. Dogged with allegations of anti-semitism and unacceptable online postings a range of candidates have been removed, including those for Edinburgh South-West, Gordon, ­Caithness and Sutherland. Polls ­suggest they will have their worst result in Scotland for 100 years.

The Liberal Democrats continue with their illiberal and undemocratic nonsense in total opposition to the people of Scotland having a real say on their future. They have finally been called out for their misleading campaign claims, with Jo Swinson left red-faced on TV having to justify the inexcusable. It’s bad enough listening to the sanctimonious cant about winning the election when they can’t even reach 15 per cent in the national polls.

On the main dominant election issue, the Tories are promising to deliver Brexit that a clear majority of Scots voted against, while Labour can’t even say whether they support remain or leave. It is a farce and voters deserve better.

At least in Scotland we have the SNP that puts country before party, is opposing Boris Johnson and a damaging Brexit and will give people the choice about the future of the nation.

That’s why I and many other people will be voting SNP.