Project Fear has got around to delivering a special fearbomb just for Scotland’s gay community, or more specifically, middle aged gay men who find the Eurovision song contest hysterically funny. Exploding in a shower of sparkly dust and some cast off feather boas came the threat that Scotland won’t be allowed to enter the Eurovision song contest if we become independent.
The rest of Europe will enjoy an evening of expressing historical grievances through the medium of collective camp, but there will be no spangly tartan fabulosity for Scotland set to a dire tune with meaningless lyrics, and we’ll be left with the drab surroundings of a karaoke hymn night at John Mason’s church. Or if we’re really lucky, indoor bowling from Coatbridge.
The Daily Mail, thrilled that it had finally found a way to piss off gay people, lovers of kitsch, and Scots simultaneously, reported that an independent Scotland would be forced to leave the European Broadcasting Union and would have to reapply to join. The EBU is the international association of broadcasters which organises the Eurovision Song Contest, and entry is only open to EBU members. So it’s the whole EU schtick all over again, only this time we’ll be vetoed by a Slovenian drag queen dressed as an airhostess.
According to the Mail, when they telephoned the press guy at the EBU fishing for a quote they could manufacture into a scare story, he told them that membership of the organisation is not automatic.
So there ye go. Membership is not automatic. That’s us telt then. Without the blessings of the UK we’ll never get to score nul points. That’s just how crap we are, we can’t even fail properly, we need the BBC to fail on our behalf. Scotland could never dream of producing an artiste with the expressive range and sensitive vision of a UK Eurovision entry like the Brotherhood of Man. We have no clapped out performers well past their sell by date as we’ve exported them all – there’s another Union benefit we’d never considered – although it might be a possible new career for Ian Davidson after independence. Mind you the thought of a bespangled Ian Davidson singing Save All Your Kisses For Me goes so far beyond the line between bad and so bad it’s funny it ends up somewhere deeply disturbing. So maybe not.
However it seems that the substance of the Mail’s scare lay in nothing more than the statement that membership of the EBU is not automatic. Which presumably means there are conditions which must be fulfilled for membership. The Mail did not specify what these conditions might be, it sufficed to tell us that the list was “long and complicated”, but it’s probably a safe bet that one of them is that there must actually be a Scottish national broadcaster to apply for membership, and a set of Scottish broadcasting regulations for it to operate under.
Unaware that telling us we don’t currently have a Scottish national broadcaster or control over our own broadcast media is actually a reason for independence and not a threat as such, the Mail ploughed on in its very own descent into so bad it’s funny kitsch.
In all seriousness, the paper warned that Spain might veto Scottish membership in case it gives the Catalans the subversive notion that they too have the sovereign right to demonstrate an affection for camp self mockery while singing Ring-dinge-ding. Mariano Rajoy is already looking for a clause in the Spanish constitution that forbids it.
Certain by now that Scots will vote no when we realise that we won’t be able to join the Nordic block voting bloc after all, and smugly exchange douze points with Iceland every year because we’re both world renowned experts in tastefully shot videos of people in knitwear singing on mountaintops in the rain, the Mail explained that we’ll lose the UK’s opt-out, or rather opt-in. The UK is one of the big five you see. Britain’s vapid pop star wannabes are vapid pop star wannabes with a seat at the big table. The BBC, and the national broadcasters of Spain, Italy France and Germany pay the largest share of the costs of the contest, their entries automatically get through to the final so Graham Norton can witter some cheery double entendres about them.
Scotland would have to go through the qualifying rounds and get to the back of the Graham Norton banter queue. It could be like the World Cup in Argentina all over again, same piss poor choreography, only with sequins. The very horror.
However the number of Scots whose decision about how to vote in September depends heavily on our chances of Eurovision success is probably equal to the number of votes secured by the UK’s dire Eurovision entry in 2003. It scored nul points too. And falling into the category of ye couldnae make it up, the song was called Cry Baby.
Project Fear, another Cry Baby that’s scoring nul points.