Boris Johnson must be removed from power as soon as possible
Last week’s events at Westminster were unlike anything I’ve ever seen before in UK politics.
I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot over the last three years, as the Brexit mess has lurched from crisis to crisis; as the last Prime Minister was forced to resign; and as the current Prime Minister loses control of the House of Commons.
But in the last few days we seem to have entered completely uncharted territory.
First there was the Supreme Court’s ruling that Boris Johnson had acted unlawfully when he shut down Westminster for five weeks.
Of course, it had been patently obvious to everyone that his claims that he needed to shut down Parliament in order to work on his legislative programme were complete rubbish – the only thing he wanted to shut down was any attempt by MPs to scrutinise his Brexit plans.
It is truly historic and unprecedented in our modern democracy that a Prime Minister has been held to have broken the law in order to – in the words of the Supreme Court – “frustrate or prevent the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions”.
The UK Government wasn’t defeated in court on a technicality. It was a unanimous decision by all 11 judges.
We should pay tribute to the campaigners in England and those in Scotland, led by the SNP’s Joanna Cherry MP, who brought these court actions.
But Boris Johnson’s week of disgrace didn’t end there.
Dragged back to Parliament to explain himself, rather than apologise or show any contrition, he instead blamed everybody else – using some of the worst language I have ever heard spoken by any politician in the House of Commons.
And when one MP pleaded with him to tone down his inflammatory language, reminding him of the appalling murder of MP Jo Cox just before the Brexit referendum, he described her comments as “humbug”.
Politicians, especially in leadership roles, must strive to act respectfully in everything we do – whether that is on a national level in parliament and the media, online, or locally in our constituencies.
And when that agenda of respect slips and behaviour is not of the standard expected of us we should not hesitate for one moment to condemn it.
After his deplorable behaviour last week it has never been clearer that – in both his deeds and his words – Boris Johnson is not fit to be Prime Minister.
He needs to be removed from power as soon as possible.
After an Act of Parliament passed earlier this month, the Prime Minister is legally required to write to the EU seeking an extension to the Brexit deadline so we don’t crash out without a deal at the end of this month – with all the disastrous consequences that would entail.
But Boris Johnson appears hell-bent on subverting the law – and if he will not send the letter, we need a Prime Minister who will.
Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures – frankly, we are running out of time.
That’s at the heart of the plan the SNP have been putting forward over the last few days.
Our proposal relies on MPs from across the political spectrum working together for the good of all the nations of the UK.
After removing the Tories from power via a vote of No Confidence, the opposition parties can then unite around an alternative government, led by an alternative – and very temporary – Prime Minister.
This technocratic government would only be in place for a few days – long enough simply to send the formal request to extend the Brexit deadline.
It would then dissolve itself and make way for a general election, giving the people of the UK the opportunity to elect new MPs and decide how they want to proceed.
One potential candidate to be that temporary Prime Minister would be the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn. Now, I am certainly no fan of the Labour leader and I am not pushing for him to fulfil this role. But matters are so serious right now that we don’t have the luxury of ruling options out either.
However, there are plenty other potential candidates for caretaker Prime Minister, who might command the support of a majority of MPs for this short-lived government – so it absolutely does not need to be the Labour leader.
But to repeat, we are running out of time – and any option that prevents a no-deal Brexit needs to be considered if MPs can get behind it.
Once the threat of crashing out of the EU has been averted, I would absolutely relish a general election – the chance to put our case to the people.
It would allow us to make the case once again to protect Scotland’s place in Europe, and to give the people of Scotland the right to choose independence.
Taking a step back from the seemingly endless Westminster mess, Scotland deserves better than this. We didn’t vote for any of it, and Brexit or not, we should not be subject to the whim of chaotic and dangerous Tory governments.
No wonder more and more people are seeing independence as the best option for Scotland’s future.