Just three months after the referendum, and for much of the Scottish political class and their media hingers oan it’s back to business as usual. This consists of finding things to accuse the SNP of while displaying a moral outrage that a hormonal teenager who’s just painted their bedroom black and retired under the duvet would consider a bit immature. And then they wonder why the public hold politicians and the media in contempt.
This week we’ve had two invitations to throw our hands in the air in horror and purse our lips like a Wee Free who’s stumbled into a Gay Pride march in Stornoway on a Sunday. There may have been more SNP accused moments, but on Monday and Tuesday BBC Scotland and the Record were far too busy trying to persuade us that Gordie Broon was really one of the X-men – a superhero who’s the offspring of Mother Theresa and Gandhi with the intellect of Einstein – and I’d been overcome with projectile vomiting and had to go and lie down in a darkened room so didn’t notice. Gordie’s superhero persona is endogenous growth man – which is a bit like a verucca but with added Nokia hurling, bullying, and behind the scenes briefings. Gordie’s politics were an ingrowing wart on the sole of socialism.
Anyway, first up was Wullie Rennie, attempting to be noticed again. Wullie has to pull moronic stunts on regular basis as otherwise the rest of the world would forget he exists as something other than a character from a Dudley D Watkins cartoon – one of those who’s been badly drawn after the great man had popped his clogs. That, and the fact that Lib Dems have been staring extinction in the face for longer than a diplodocus, only far less nifty on their feet. This week Wullie’s wheeze was to reveal to a shocked Lib Dem pamphlet, one channelling a Wee Free at a Gay Pride March in Stornoway, that Scottish Government civil servants have been looking at evil nationalist websites. It’s the curse of Wings again, flying high over Scotland, and dumping guano on the Unionist establishment.
Looking at Wings Over Scotland is a bad bad thing, because civil servants must never allow their eyes to be polluted with biased sources, except those like poorly sub-edited Lib Dem pamphlets or the Aberdeen Press and Journal. But it’s not bias when it agrees with Wullie. The Unionist parties, the Unionist media, and a number of pro-independence supporters who really ought to have known better spent much of the referendum campaign portraying Stu Campbell, the author of Wings Over Scotland, as a sort of cross between a cult leader and a J Edgar Hoover without the taste for cross dressing.
Ooh that Stu Campbell is a homophobic monster, heterosexual people cried in unison, because he’d had a number of inconsequential twitter spats with inconsequential people and said some things they hoped that other people might find objectionable. It is of course a well known rule of Scottish politics that only people who are saint-like in their dispositions are allowed to make any contribution to political discourse – so that would be saints like Gordie Broon then, former employer of Damien McBride, Iraq war enabler, and the man who condemned a generation to low paid employment subsidised by those of us who can’t avoid paying our taxes while allowing the banks to run riot and selling off state assets. But Gordon’s never said anything objectionable on Twitter, so that makes everything else he’s ever said or done perfectly OK.
The real reason for the stunt was of course to provide the tame press with an excuse to accuse Nicola Sturgeon of something. Cue newspaper articles demanding that the new First Minister disassociate herself from a website she’s not associated with and has no control over anyway. Next week Nicla will be called upon to disassociate herself from North Korean pirate downloaders, a guy on Twitter who pretends to be Philip Schofield, two serial shaggers on the Jeremy Kyle Show, and a spotty child in a primary school who told the infants class that Santa doesn’t exist. Wullie was particularly upset by this latest revelation, as he’d already sent a letter off asking for his very own Danny Alexander glove puppet after George Osborne blagged the one the Lib Dems already had.
Our second invitation to ooh-aah-ery came courtesy of Wullie again, joined this time by Anas Sarwar, who’s forever looking for a deflection strategy in case folk realise that the hereditary principle isn’t the best way to select a Labour candidate. Although the offspring of Tony Blair, Neil Kinnock, John Prescott and Jack Straw may beg to differ. Anas is still hoping that he’ll get Magrit Curran’s job as Shadow Scottish Secretary after he stood down as deputy Scottish branch manager in order to remove one of the objections to the Smugurphy’s candidacy – that Jim getting the gig would mean both leader and deputy were Westminster MPs, which would prove Johann’s criticism that the party in Scotland was being dictated to by London – something we’d already guessed anyway. Mind you there are a myriad of other objections to Smugurphy getting the job, not the least of which is that Jim Murphy is objectionable in and of himself. But Magrit would have to be replaced anyway. She is widely regarded as being ineffective as Shadow Scottish Secretary because she just isn’t sneery enough, her face looks like that all the time and no one can tell the difference.
Wullie and Anas were annoyed that three SNP cooncillors from East Renfrewshire had the temerity to mock the Smith Commission report by saying it was a worthless confection of lies and visually demonstrating this by setting fire to it and dumping it in a bin. It was behaviour every bit as mature as Wullie Rennie’s, and at least had the advantage of providing something that you could toast some chestnuts on. Wullie’s party has only got old chestnuts, in the form of ancient jokes like Jim Wallace and Ming Campbell.
Wullie immediately decided that the stunt was another test for Nicla, who disappointingly obliged him by condemning the SNP cooncillors. What she should have done of course would have been merely to point out that she had no time for childish behaviour and tantrums, whether they come from SNP cooncillors or the leader of the dwindling band of Lib Dems at Holyrood.
You really shouldn’t pay Wullie Rennie any heed Nicla, unless it’s to mock him, it only makes him think he’s important and has something worthwhile to say. The last time Wullie made a substantive contribution to a debate was when he was mistaken for a bus driver and said, “No, you want the number 17 to Kelty.”
There are going to be many more “Nicola Sturgeon accused” stories over the coming months. Perhaps one day this country will have a media which spends the same amount of time and energy fearlessly accusing Gordie Broon, but you won’t be seeing that in the pages of the Daily Record or on the BBC – which is why we need sites like Wings Over Scotland. Wullie Rennie finding them objectionable is precisely why we need them.