Tele column – 16th February 2018

As the snow fell this week I was glad that my days of driving tens of thousands of miles a year, as part of my job, are behind me. I remember one journey from Darlington to Jedburgh on a dark snowy Wednesday night. I had to drive over Carter’s Bar which takes you from England into Scotland with the border at the very top. I managed to manoeuvre a rear wheel drive automatic up the steep and winding hill. Moving from side to side to gain grip and patiently edging forward. When I got to the top I was delighted. And then the reality hit me. The second half of the journey was going to be even more difficult. Downhill, twists and turns, a lack of road markings and signage obliterated by driving snow. Any momentum built up, unlike on the ascent, made the descent more treacherous. I couldn’t let the vehicle run away from me and so I had to keep it in check at every turn. And that readers is my Brexit allegory. The picture that was painted looked good. Getting to the leaving point was achieved, with a struggle, but the next stage of the journey, to reach its destination, is treacherous. We risk damaging the vehicle beyond repair. And now when we need strong leadership and we seek to gain confidence from those in charge we discover that the Secretary of State for Scotland, our man at the top table, either didn’t know or didn’t want to tell us that a damning report outlining the damage to Scotland existed. Another example, if we need one, that we can’t rely on lapdogs and sycophants to represent Scotland at UK government level. When we needed a terrier we got a poodle. If the UK Government wants us to go on a journey with them they could at least provide a map, a destination and some strong leadership.