Boris Johnson's 'Operation Moonshot' could be the final straw that sees Scotland boldly go into independence –  Jim Duffy

James T Kirk and co always won in the end, but things may not go so smoothly for Boris Johnson and the crew running the UK as they attempt ‘Operation Moonshot’, says Jim Duffy
With William Shatner as Captain Kirk, the Klingons were always certain to get malkied (Picture: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock)With William Shatner as Captain Kirk, the Klingons were always certain to get malkied (Picture: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock)
With William Shatner as Captain Kirk, the Klingons were always certain to get malkied (Picture: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock)

Roll Up! Roll Up! For 2021... Forget 2020 and the stuff that is going on. You’re currently living in bad dream. You’re Elton John’s Rocket Man drifting in space, comatose and waiting for good news. You’re that airplane flying in a holding pattern awaiting air traffic control to clear you to land. You’re that bingo player sweating on one number, but it just isn’t coming out. So, forget 2020 with its ‘two steps forward, one step back’. The year 2021 will see all your dreams come true. At least that is what we are being told, right?

Covid-19 is about to get zapped, in England at least. Time to get on board and behind Downing Street’s Starfleet Team who will lead you to a prosperous 2021. As I watched bungling Boris this week try his very best to look prime ministerial as he delivered his “moonshot” strategy for mass Covid-19 testing, a range of emotions started to percolate around my head.

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The first, of course, always pops up when I see him. That one is contempt as my gut always tells me he is the pied piper taking us all off a Brexit cliff. Then, a swoosh of neurotransmitters buzzed in my head as I listened more. I would not trust this guy to run a cafe never mind a moonshot strategy. And from thereon in I am stuck. My brain is gummed and choked and it stops processing the words emanating from Dominic Cummings’ script. Exactly, BoJo isn’t capable of creating strategy. He just delivers the theatre.

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Cummings has gone into stealth mode recently as he creates his “mission control” inside Downing Street. I confess I do like the sound of that as it paints a picture in my noggin of Captain Kirk – William Shatner, no less – of the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek.

Sitting in his big comfy chair, James T Kirk was the archetypal starfleet leader. I always knew that, when he was at the helm, the Klingons would get malkied.

So having Wee Dom take the hotseat next to Captain Bojo at Starfleet Command makes me feel excited and a little nervous too. Now he can deliver his moonshot. The phasers are set to kill, the shields are up and its warp speed 8. This spaceship is gonna take on Covid-19 in England.

Sitting on the bridge also in Starfleet Command, we have Gavin Williamson. That super, highly intelligent, highly competent communications first officer – or rather the guy who created an omni-shambles at the Education Department. ‘Yes we are, no we’re not. Algorithms are the bee’s knees, er maybe not.’ And this guy is sitting in the seat beside First Officer Cummings?

As you can see, I’m already wavering over how successful this mission will be. But, all is not lost as Captain BoJo has his secret weapon. A man who would be more at home as James Bond 007 than Chief Engineer Sunak.

As the lift door swooshes open and he dances out onto the bridge – with his notes showing – Engineer Sunak is starry-eyed and in awe. He could never have hoped in his wildest dreams at Conservative starfleet command training school last year that he would rise up the ranks so quickly. And now he’s an integral part of Captain BoJo’s team. Only one problem though. That pesky First Officer Cummings is glued to the boss’s right-hand side and “Suny” might not get his own way.

And to complete this awesome starfleet team, we have Lieutenant Priti Patel. The hard-talking navigation officer who did such a ‘fabulous’ job on immigrants crossing the English Channel. Put simply, the more she pontificated on what she would do, the more immigrants came across. Stellar eh? She’s not afraid of First Officer Cummings and he knows it. Patel and Sunak want the hot seat one day. Cummings knows this and will whisper the name of the successor in the ear of Captain BoJo.

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All present and correct for this episode and in 60 minutes time, Covid-19 will be wiped out.

And as dramatic and far-fetched as that seems, that is where this episode grinds to a halt for me. My holding pattern has resumed. Perhaps I should just hang around in space like a Rocket Man and not wonder too much about the future. As I remember they are politicians, writers and consultants and, in effect, dreamers, incapable of thorough and laser-like execution. Ideas are easy, but try making it happen and this lot will fail miserably.

And that saddens me as we will then start 2021 playing the blame game. Look at all that money you spent on the power of “six” and it was a waste of time, blasts Nikki Sturgeon. We’re off to play with the EU. Yes, our new big pal with lots of money, despite the fact that half their members would be bankrupt if they were operating on their own.

Folks, this single policy from Johnson and Cummings will, in my humble opinion, be the dealbreaker for many of us Scots sitting on the independence fence. If Starfleet Commnad at No 10 fails, after spending billions, to get a grip on Covid-19 without shutting down the country, then many will cast their eyes inward to Holyrood.

It may no longer matter that Scotland would be indebted up to the eyeballs to Europe, if it gets into the club. By that time, we have made our mind up that being run from Westminster is just not worth it anymore.

But that is one episode of Star Trek that I’m not sure I want to watch to the end…

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