I think I’ve finally got a handle on the No campaign. A No vote is all that stands between Scotland and a descent into grocery-based anarchy. Jim Murphy went out to give us the message, with the assistance of a loudhailer, a bus and a wee clique of party hingers on. He didn’t go to get the messages in. You’re not supposed to give the messages to Jim Murphy, and certainly not in the form of an egg on his shirt. Listen reverently and eat your cereal instead. Jim has things to shout at you through a megaphone.
I’m certainly not defending ovoid acts of terror. Eggs are evil, you could have someone’s eye out with that ballistic potential chicken. Eggs are razor sharp ophthamological instruments of intimidation. You can’t debate with an egg, although to be fair you’d probably get a more coherent argument from a broken egg than you would from a Labour politician explaining the party’s plans for more devolution.
But it’s full confession time. I’m not greatly moved by Jim’s travails with a flung fowl foetus. Readers, I too am a grocery based terrorist, although I retired a long time ago. Honest, your free range Yes eggs are safe.
Back in 1980 I threw a bag of flour at Michael Heseltine when he came to Glasgow University to make a speech and tell us how fabby Maggie and nuclear missiles were. It was not an organised terror attack. I organised it myself with some self-raising McDougal’s from my maw’s kitchen cupboard. It was disorganised and uncoordinated, a bit like my flinging skills really. He was only 15 feet away, and I missed. I throw like a wee girly. The shame of my crime against grocery-flinging haunts me to this very day. I wondered – if only I had hit Michael Hesiltine with that bag of flour perhaps he’d have had an epiphany and thought “You know, Thatcherism is really bad and I’m going to devote my life and wealth to campaigning for peace and alleviating poverty.” But then I grew up. So. Naaa. Throwing groceries at them just gives them an excuse to harrumph and attempt to claim some moral high ground.
Same goes with Jim Murphy. Standing on a soapbox didn’t work for him, so he stood on an egg instead. Flinging an egg at him is not an attempt to silence him. He’s hardly shut up about it since. It was an attempt to fling an egg at him, in the long and hoary tradition of immature people flinging foodstuffs at politicians that get on their tits, and the politicians dining out on it.
The UK media has naturally reacted with outrage to the foul heartless assault on Jim’s laundry and cooked up an egg fling flan. Yes Scotland has hatched a plot to organise a campaign of egg flinging, Alicsammin must condemn it immediately and call off the eggstremists. Did those caring sharing people in Better Together not warn us that the referendum would create discord and division – and now look what’s happened. Jim Murphy’s got to wash his shirt. Or rather, give it to Patronising BT Lady to wash it for him. Where will it all end? Will no one think of the children? Now eat your cereal. Naw, ye cannae have a fried egg. Your cybernat da took them to fling at Jim Murphy. Men eh, what are they like?
It was only a fecking egg. Grow up for God’s sake. Sometimes I find myself possessed of an irrational urge to herd Westminster politicians and their media hangers on into a room and force them to watch Humpty Dumpty cartoons until they learn to conduct themselves with more maturity than a week old chick and stop with the collective clucking like battery hens. An egg flinging is not symbolic of an intolerant oppressiveness lurking beneath the shiny happy faces of Yes supporters. It’s symbolic of an immature eejit that flung an egg and a No campaign that’s making a meal of it because their substantive arguments, such as they are, have long since been scrambled, scotched, and fried, consumed, crapped out, and flushed.
The hunt for the egg-flinger is boiling. Or rather, Yes campaigners are keen to identify the individual. Jim Murphy doesn’t appear too fussed, because an unidentified egg-flinger could be anyone at all, Alicsammin in a mask, and that means he can continue to claim there’s a coordinated plot to prevent him preaching nawness to a handful of passers-by in Fife. It’s all a big egg-based conspiracy right up until the time that it turns out that the egg-flinger was some random drunk guy who’d just been to Aldi. Patronising BT Lady had sent him out to get some cornflakes, but men eh, can’t get anything right.
Meanwhile there are those in the Yes campaign who are equally keen to prove it’s all a dastardly plot by Jim Murphy himself, mainly on the basis that three quarters of the population would probably agree to the proposition that Jim Murphy seems like the kind of person who’d break a few eggs to make a political omlette.
But the truth is it doesn’t really matter. It’s only an egg. But let us imagine that we are in some dystopian alternate universe – one that’s even more dystopian than the one we inhabit so some alcoholic refreshments may be necessary before you can liberate your imagination sufficiently. It’s a universe where Scotland is having a typical independence campaign. In typical independence campaigns there are disappearances, shootings, bombings, internment camps, civil unrest, and states of emergency. In that universe someone going to work on Jim Murphy with an egg would pass unnoticed. Jim’s wails of oppression would be laughed at, if anyone except Patroning BT Lady paid them any attention at all, and she’s only wondering what powder to use to get the stain out.
Back in the real Scotland, this one we actually live in, not the one on the news, the only reason the media is able to whip up an egging into a souffle of accusations is because Scotland’s independence campaign is peaceful, democratic, good natured, and inclusive. There has been no violence to compare, not even remotely, to the Troubles in Northern Ireland or the violence that has disfigured the Basque Country. This is Scotland, we don’t do terrorism, we don’t do civil unrest, we don’t do riots. We have the occasional nutter who flings an egg.
You only notice a plook on an otherwise unblemished face. Jim Murphy is that plook and the UK media delight in squeezing it.
Vote Yes – it’s a plook cream for Scotland.