AT this point, we should just rename the Conservatives the “Let's Have A Party” party. Whatever else you might criticise the Conservatives for – and there are so many, many reasons – you can't say that they couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery. They could definitely organise one in a brewery, and also in the gardens of Downing Street, in the Tory party HQ, and quite possibly in several other UK Government departments as well.

The latest revelations in the ongoing saga of Boris Johnson not giving a toss about anyone or anything other than himself is the news that No 10 staff held a boozy party the night before the funeral of Prince Philip. To be honest, this was fair enough, because the TV was absolutely dire, and you can't really blame people for trying to find something to distract themselves from the wall-to-wall Nicholas Witchellcraft that had cast an evil spell over the broadcast media.

Prince Philip’s funeral was restricted to 30 people and the PM declined to attend, supposedly in order to make more space for family, but more plausibly it's because he was off attending a booze-up in the gardens of Downing Street. 

The National:

Apparently the party the night before the funeral also included a DJ and suitcase full of wine, which raises so many questions, not the least of which is: Who is it who thought to take a suitcase to work so they could use it to disguise bringing large quantities of alcohol into the office? It's this sort of attention to detail that makes the Conservatives the natural party of rule. A suitcase full of booze and a DJ, do we even need a civil servant to tell us this was a party?

Like many of the readers of this newspaper, I have no great affection for the obscenely entitled Windsor clan, and especially not for the Andrew formerly known as Prince. The issue here is not that it was an insult to the Queen that Downing Street partied as she was forced to sit alone and socially distanced at a funeral for her husband that had been greatly scaled back because of Covid. Many thousands of us have lost loved ones during this pandemic and have been unable to attend their funerals because of Covid restrictions. My own sister in law in the USA died of Covid just a few days ago. Due to Covid running rampant over there, my husband's family have decided not to have a funeral for his sister. The Queen's grief is not more important than the grief of anyone else who has lost a loved one – for whatever reason – during this terrible time.

The behaviour of Downing Street staff, who take their cue from their boss Boris Johnson, is an insult to everyone who is unable to process their grief because Covid restrictions mean it has not been possible to give their loved one a proper farewell.

However, this is the same government that is weaponising the royal family as a part of its determination to manufacture a jingoistic British nationalism in order to deflect public attention from its many and manifest shortcomings. This year we are to be force-fed royal events in an obligatory British nationalist glee-fest in order to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, and just as it did during the run-up to the wedding of Will 'n' Kate, BBC Scotland will be desperately casting around for some distinctively Scottish angle to the events in the face of a Scottish populace who are resolutely unimpressed as the British state tries to use the discredited Windsor family as a prop to shore up the collapsing Union.

What these latest revelations tell us is that despite all their “patriotic” assertions to the contrary, the Conservatives don't really care about the royals either – they are just cynically using the monarchy as stage-dressing in order to perpetuate their own rule and a corrupt Westminster system which works to their advantage.

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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