When I’m not wondering why I have a waffle iron, and am still unclear on what a waffle iron is, never mind wondering why there’s one in the cupboard, I’ve been on the phone to utilities companies, insurance agents, and the rest of the practicalities required for a flitting. But the big day is looming, the removal van will appear at the door one week from today, and there’s still so much to do. Oh God. Panic panic. This is why you’re not getting so many blog posts of late, looking after a dementia sufferer was almost relaxing by comparison.
I’m drowning under a sea of packing cases, books, and a vast quantity of detritus that people sell on eBay as ‘collectables’, like a cracked old candle in the shape of Bugs Bunny dressed as Carmen Miranda that was given as a birthday present over 30 years ago and which will never be lit, it was much more recently joined by a stuffed toy Wee Ginger Dug made by a reader of this blog. However neither Bugs nor the wee dug will ever be sold on eBay. And probably neither will most of the rest of the crap that’s currently littering the living room carpet. It’s going to follow me around for the rest of my life like a stray dog that looks at you with big brown eyes and makes you feel guilty. He’s still following me around too, and is at this very moment giving one of his special accusatory stares, the kind he reserves for when he wants you to know that he’s not been out for a few hours …
Right, the dug has been walked now …
So, election debates, pure dead exciting innit. We can all shout at the telly that we don’t agree with Nick, and rather feel like taking Nick by the scruff of the neck and setting his pants on fire. In fact many of us want to do that with all of them. It would certainly make debates more interesting, and quicker, as party leaders rushed to explain their policies on taxation before the flames removed the last of their pubic hair. Although I don’t think anyone as shiny as Davie Cameron has any.
For the correct degree of gravitas with the gravy train arses, the programme should be presented by Dale Winton, who can ask the contestants, sorry – political leaders – for their opinions on the latest war in Iraq and whether they believe that Ermintrude from the Magic Roundabout was a right cow after she left Zebedee in the lurch at the altar and ran off with Dylan to get stoned in a hippy commune near Brighton. Dale can emote in a dayglo orange while a clock ticks and the contestants will be tipped backwards into a big pool of goo if they get the answer wrong. The eventual winner gets to take home the key to Number 10, a new motor, unlimited foreign trips staying in the best hotels, and will become besties with the presenter of Top Gear – except Ed Miliband, who’ll get a dinner date with that guy with the teeth who used to be on Big Brother, or was it the X-Factor. Then Ed can learn from a master of being famous for being famous while having no appreciable talent at all. Ben Fogle wasn’t available.
All this would at least make the programme interesting for Scottish viewers, because our full range of democratic choices won’t be only display. The SNP and the Greens are not going to be invited to the debate, because they’re not important. Scotland isn’t important either, a proposition with which 55% of the country agreed last month, at least according to the broadcasters, so they don’t have to take us into account when deciding who’s going to goo with Dale. SNP voters can see a wee cute kitten stuck in a drain in Falkirk on Reporting Scotland instead, or if you’re a Green voter there may be a beardy folk singer on BBC Alba explaining renewable energy policy through the medium of jigs and reels.
Only the leaders of parties which could actually form the government of the UK are going to be invited to participate in the main debate. So that’s us telt then. The SNP are a mere provincial regional county parish party, and don’t even put up candidates in important places – which is anywhere within a 20 mile radius of the M25 in case you were wondering. That’s why Dale won’t deign to goo them. So naturally Davie Cameron and Ed Miliband get to come along, and Nick’s got to come too because he’s their governmental vaseline.
And Nigel needs to come along as well, because he’s got an MP now and it is entirely possible that large numbers of people in important places will consider voting for him and he could be swept into power, like it’s entirely possible that the atoms making up Nigel’s body could spontaneously rearrange themselves into a candle in the shape of Bugs Bunny dressed as Carmen Miranda. I’d set light to that one, so Nigel could drip all over Dale’s shag pile and melt away to nothing.
Fair enough, although the spontaneous rearrangement of Nigel Farage’s atoms is possible, it is vanishingly improbable, but there is a law of physics that says that exact thing can happen, Newton’s fifth law of incendiary Y-fronts. You can’t say that for the SNP. This is all detailed in the BBC’s top secret election debate manual, just after the chapter where it explains that the BBC is Nigel’s publicity agent and is contractually obliged to have him on the telly every day. He’s on Bargain Hunt all this week, looking for 1950’s social attitudes at a car boot sale in Colchester. Tim thinks it’s a bit orff.
None of this means that the spontaneous rearrangement of constituent parts is always improbable, since it’s already happened. I seem to recall that just a few short weeks ago, before a certain vote, Scotland was being told it was a much valued partner in the bestest union of nations in the universe ever, but now the UK has rearranged its constituent parts and we’re back in an over-centralised unitary state again. We must be, because it’s only in a centralised unitary state that major political parties representing one part of what some of us thought was supposed to be a union can be legitimately excluded from a UK election debate. Or perhaps I just misunderstood Gordie, like he apparently misunderstood Davie, Nick and Ed when they vowed to him it was a done deal about all that devosuperpowermax federalism stuff. Although it’s considerably more probable than the spontaneous rearrangement of constituent parts that Gordie just made it all up to suit himself, just like the BBC’s debate rules.