Whoops there go my neurones

I went to visit a friend last night, who insisted that she had to watch her favourite telly show – Celebrity Big Brother. Katie Hopkins is in it, taking refuge from that part of the Scottish population which is overcome with the urge to force feed her a Mars bar deep fried in ebola. Which is to say about 5 million of us. But don’t let it be said that you cannot learn something from a telly show which is to intellectual insight as a Labour party manifesto is to political philosophy. I learned that there really are people on this planet who are more vacuous and attention seeking than Katie Hopkins, and not all of them are elected representatives of the Labour party in Scotland like Mr High Jumpy. Although to be fair, he’s still way more inflated than anything put into Katie Price by a plastic surgeon.

But after a wee while I could feel neurones in my brain giving up and taking early advantage of the Scottish Parliament’s proposals for assisted suicide. I’d not felt my IQ drop so rapidly since having the immense misfortune to watch Prime Minister’s Questions earlier in the week. This week’s Parliamentary bonfire of the synapses consisted of Davie Cameron and Ed Miliband each telling the other that they were either a chicken or were feart. Or rather ‘frit’ in Westminsterspeak, because they’ve always got everything Rs-first over elbow.

The topic of the yah-booh suckery being Davie telling Ed that he wasn’t going to take part in any televised debates before the election unless Caroline Lucas of the English and Welsh Green party got a chance to trade insults too. Ed said that this made Davie a free-market chicken, and Davie retorted that Ed was a chicken fritter, and another little bit of British democracy died along with a few tens of thousands of synapses. Westminster Parliamentary debates are even less satisfying than that wee pang of disappointment which you get when you take a swig from your mug of tea only to discover that you’d already finished it.

This development has nothing to do with Davie’s pre 2010 electoral commitment to be the greenest government ever, a commitment which went much the same way as the commitment of the Lib Dems not to raise student fees – and buggered off in the same ministerial motor. Davie’s new-found fondness for fecund Greenery has a lot more to do with countering the disadvantage he feels at being out-reactionaried by the grinning mug of Nigel to his right. So Davie wants the Lib Dems and Labour to have to deal with a leftish party which does actually possess some principles. It’s not so much that this will make Davie’s lack of principles look any more like he might actually have some principles, as it will help to drag Nick and Ed down into the murky depths of unprincipled Tory-dom alongside the other bottom feeders.

The only surprising thing about any of this being that Davie was worried that other people might have a high opinion of Ed or Nick that needed to be brought down a bit in public estimation. But then none of them ever spend much time in the company of normal human beings and naturally their views about what normal people think are about as accurate as Magrit Curran’s views on what constitutes a good telephone voice.

Naturally none of the parties involved really give a toss about the inclusivity of our political process. Neither do they much care about ensuring that the electorate is fully informed of the range of democratic choices before them. But mostly they were fully in agreement that that Nicla shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the proceedings. We’ll be having none of that nasty Scottish separatism spoiling a perfectly yah boo debate with that being principled stuff. Besides, they’ve heard how during the independence referendum she shredded a couple of Scottish secretaries and met Johann Lamont full on in stairheid rammying, and would, if pressed and received cast iron assurances that it was deffo off the record, confess in private that they wet their pants a wee bit at the thought of the prospect. And not in a sexy way.

But Nicla isn’t going to be allowed anyway, because despite the No vote in the indy referendum, being Scottish isn’t quite British enough. You can be the biggest party in Scotland, you can be the only party in Scotland, but unless you stand for election somewhere that people who write for the politics pages of the Daily Mail can actually pronounce, then you’re not properly British. Middlesbrough or Melton Mowbray yes, Milngave or Mauchline no.

The debates and the pointless point-scoring it generates only highlights the problem of a media which still thinks it’s the media of a centralised state. Yet Scotland is one of the constituent parts of Britain is it not – the BBC said so. An equal partner in the most successful union of nations in the history of anything narrated by Simon Schama.

But if there was a Scottish national broadcaster then the issue would be less politically toxic, because then we could have equal airtime given to the parties that people here are plausibly going to vote for. But the Scottish broadcast media is as toothless and senile as the Labour party which was its first and only true love and the Tories who constitute the official pantomime villains.

And this is why we are in the most peculiar state of affairs that no one finds it peculiar that the heid bummer of BBC Scotland hasn’t made it known that the leaders of leading political parties in Scotland ought to have the same right to representation in a British political debate as do leaders of purplish parties voted for by people in Purley or Penge. A whole lot of pee there, but then we are talking about UKIP and BBC Scotland. BBC Scotland is in fact exactly like the Scottish Labour party it fawns over so desperately. Neither of them actually exist.

So it turns out that the topic that has most bothered our political masters this week is the question of whether an imaginary broadcaster should host imaginary debates for imaginary political parties so that newspapers that no one reads can spin the proceedings in imaginary ways. And then they wonder why people are turned off and want to build a new political system from scratch. Even the brain dead denizens of Celebrity Big Brother aren’t that removed from the real world. Whoops, there go some more neurones.



28 comments on “Whoops there go my neurones

  1. diabloandco says:

    Choked on my coffee!
    Thanks for being in my in box on this fraught day for me!

  2. aitchbee says:

    A few of my neurones also died when Mr High Jumpy announced he was not a unionist, but I think they strangled themselves in all the mind-twisting.

  3. JimW says:

    I used to have neurones but my Imperial Masters had them removed. It’s OK, though, with the unfortunate side effect that I am now completely unable to vote for any of the Westminster parties.

  4. Ruth Laird says:

    Brilliant blog so good and so funny. Thank you.

  5. Unfortunate purely from their perspective I assume, Jim?😉

  6. jimnarlene says:

    Your grey matter must be made of super neurones, I think I would have had an embolism.

  7. Excellent stuff as ever. BUT… what worries me is how many neurones have already been damaged beyond repair in my typically Labour voting fellow Glaswegians??

  8. WRH2 says:

    If Alistair Carmichael has read your post he will now be hiding behind the sofa and shouting for Rhona. I’ll bet he’s been pleading with Davie not to force him to debate with Nicla on BBC Scotlandshire or anywhere else.

  9. Simply put, this is satirical political creative riteng at its unsurpassed best. And what’s more, it has total integrity and it is deeply felt too. One would have thought that there has to be a market for this form of communication. One would, one would… A wonderful wonderful read Paul, Brilliant invention and a lot of unpaid work too. What is the problem with the Sunday Herald or the National? What is their problem? What do you have to do?

  10. Simply the best as usual Paul.
    A different league from the norm.

  11. MoJo says:

    Great stuff – when’s your next crowdfunding to keep this blog going – or publish your wonderful pre referendum writings more widely ?
    The Indyref Awards vote looks very close on Bella – so hope your many fans on here keep spreading the word to get the Dug over the line….

  12. handclapping says:

    Its not fair! Those of youze wat watches telly have lost all ur newrhones and can only appreciate pictures which is why BBC Scotlandshire is 3 ahead of our dug on Bella. Its us still sentient wot can read that have VOTE DUG cos we are still littlerate and can laugh at the words the Dug uses.

    Away with McNeil and Moody, lets have real dug comedy in the National.

  13. MoJo says:

    Posting the Bella Caledonian vote link here
    3 more votes needed to put Wee Ginger Dug back in the lead

  14. macart763 says:

    Now, who was it said ‘No taxation without representation’?

    If the largest party in Scotland and the third largest by membership in the UK and the duly elected government of Scotland isn’t allowed to represent the interests of its voters and electorate in TV debate, then our reason for paying UK taxation is what precisely?

  15. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Not for the first time I am going to be a bit contrary.
    TV debates between politicians are primarily for entertainment. They don’t inform; they don’t stimulate debate; they don’t challenge; and they don’t dissect. In short they amount to “sound and fury signifying nothing”.
    What politicians should be doing is going round the country attending town and village halls, putting their cases to ordinary folk and being properly scrutinised – no vetting or vetoing the questions; everything up for discussion and debate; and no recording equipment allowed save an aural transcript to prove people said what they said.
    Glamour TV debates democratise nothing – they are the antithesis of true in-your-face democracy.

  16. Laura says:

    *imagines being back in the call centre, but with Magrit Curran as the colleague who sits next to me*

    Well, that’s enough thinking for one day. I’m off to lie down in a darkened room and contemplate bursting my eardrums with a spoon.

  17. I have my own wee twopence worth on the leaders’ debates on Newsnet – http://newsnet.scot/2015/01/tv-debates-bring-52/

  18. Alabaman says:

    IF indeed they, the B.B.C. do exclude the S.N.P. from a televised debate, what would the reaction in Scotland be eh?, yes the diehard Scottish Unionist would not care one way or the other, but the wavering “no” voters, along with the “yes” voters, would make up one hell of an electrical percentage !.

  19. Paul am getting worried about you hide that bloody remote Celebrity BB indeed its a wonder you hiv any neurones left. Whit channels Andy Pandy oan .

  20. There clearly has been a decision made to ghettoise the sweaty socks by an Establishment that is contemptuous of us. I guarantee that someone from the uncle-tam nomenclatura who’s not the full shilling (my money’s on Carmichael [not the brightest bulb on the christmas tree]) is going to offer the bromide that confining us to televised debates broadcast in Scotland, simply means we are “separate but equal”.

    The decision not to include the SNP in UK-wide debates on the basis that it is a regional party constitutes a race-based apartheid. After all the three main pro-Union parties are regional too, with no presence in NI. UKIP like the LibDems (who are facing an extinction-level event on May 7) has zero chance of winning the election, yet they are to be included.

    It’s now official, Scots are the new black, and Ofcom and the beeb, obeying their masters, have told us to sit in the back of the bus.

    The dominant pro-Scotland party, the third largest in the UK, that recent opinion polls have predicted will win 40-50 seats, is being excluded simply because it IS Scottish, and that is by definition a racist act.

    In tandem expect concerted efforts to de-scotify Scotland. They’ll start slowly. Make the nationalist scum carry the Union Flag with them wherever they go – PUT IN ON THE DRIVING LICENCE! Brilliant Cedric! What a wizard prang!

    Better to assume the risks of being apart in an independent Scotland, than a part, as a neglected and reviled low-opportunity Celtic backwater, of a Greater England.

  21. A Meringue says:

    What a good article. I can’t think of much to add except to ponder that this is what Scotland voted for as I bang my head on the keyboard.

    Och hell mend them! They will be laughing on the other side of their unionist faces on the morning after the GE in May.

  22. fionan says:

    just voted in bella Caledonian, WGD has fallen way behind so get voting folks, don’t let the dug be beaten by bbcscotlandshire, they were nt the funniest by a long chalk.

  23. hektorsmum says:

    Fionan, having voted and the Hubby having voted I can only use the Dug, but am prepared to for Paul.

  24. hektorsmum says:

    Poor you Paul. caught a very small glimpse of the “That Woman” Husband was flipping channels at the time. Never card to watch Big Brother or indeed any of that trash, watch a different sort of trash I will admit.
    On the Subject of the Televised Debates, I considered that the last ones were anti democratic when they excluded the SNP I considered them to be anti democratic now by excluding the smaller parties they kept the focus on themselves, but how did it work out for the Lib Dems. They were stupid enough to fall into the death embrace of the Tories. This is not one of the Continental Countries who have PR and who know how to manage coalitions.

  25. Wee Jonny says:

    Ace as always Paul. Love your piece in the i.Scot. Well done.

  26. Macbeda says:

    Who the hell is Katie Hopkins

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