What is Boris Johnson’s Scotland problem?

He endorsed a poem saying Scots should be exterminated, and that's just the start of it.

Boris Johnson has a Scotland problem.

It dates back to 2004 when in his position as editor at The Spectator he chose to publish a poem calling for the “extermination” of the “verminous Scottish race” written by James Michie.

Michie, who was at the time a staff writer on The Spectator, supposedly wrote “Friendly Fire” in jest, but saying Scots are “polluting our stock” is … not exactly a joke. 

And the Commission for Racial Equality in Scotland agreed, with then-director Maureen Fraser describing the poem as “very offensive” and “deeply inflammatory”. 

“It does nothing to promote race relations and undermines relations between Scotland and the rest of Britain, and our relationship with other countries,” Fraser said. 

Johnson’s problem is rooted in much more than past mistakes.

According to YouGov, nearly three-quarters of Scottish people think Johnson is incompetent – and it doesn’t stop there.

65 percent of people in Scotland think Boris Johnson will make a “poor” or “terrible” Prime Minister. 71 percent think the new PM is untrustworthy. 

  • A quarter of Scots would liken BoJo to a snake
  • 71 percent of people in Scotland think that Boris Johnson is “Britain’s Trump”
  • 68 percent don’t trust him with the NHS
  • 64 percent don’t trust him on the economy
  • 71 percent think Boris Johnson is untrustworthy.
  • 62 percent think he’s putting on an act.
  • 76 percent say he’s out of touch.
  • By 2 to 1 people think he’s racist.

The numbers don’t look great for poor old BoJo, and they’ve even curbed a cabinet meeting that was set to take place in Glasgow on Monday. 

Moreover, Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, has said that a second Scottish independence referendum may be the only option for the country unless Johnson “changes course” on Brexit.

In her letter congratulating him on his new position, Sturgeon warned that Scotland must have an “alternative option” to leaving the EU without an exit deal, which she said would cause “lasting harm”. 

We all knew that the incoming PM would have a lot on his plate in the lead up to October 31st, but we can’t imagine he wants to have the break-up of the United Kingdom written into his legacy.

Meka Beresford is a freelance journalist. Follow her on Twitter

As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

21 Responses to “What is Boris Johnson’s Scotland problem?”

  1. Patrick Newman

    Ruth Davidson can’t be too pleased about Johnson becoming Prime Minister and positively horrified at his heavy anti-EU rhetoric. There are 13 Tory M.P’s – more than the DUP. They will be under pressure to oppose a hard Brexit fearing a Scottish backlash against Johnson and by association the Tory Party in Scotland!

  2. steven penn

    I look forward to the new Prime Minister taking a casual walk along Sauchiehall Street engaging with the locals.

  3. Dave Edd

    Not half as bad as Corbyn paying his respects at a memorial to Palestinian terrorists who murdered Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.

    Or meeting and supporting IRA terrorist murderers.

    Or claiming Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists as his friends.

  4. Chester Draws

    Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, has said that a second Scottish independence referendum may be the only option for the country unless …

    Hardly relevant. Sturgeon’s response to everything is Scottish independence.

    And there is almost nothing that any Tory can do that she will agree with. If Johnson was to propose separating Scotland from the UK, Sturgeon would complain that it was being done the wrong way

  5. Will Cotton

    And what about Corbyn & Labour’s anti-semitism problem?

Comments are closed.