Scotland had a wee visit on Friday from Davie the Pee Em, that’s his new official title because he’s dahn wiv da yoot. Being dahn wiv da yoot is also the same reason that Osborne got that new haircut, well, either that or it was drug induced. Mind you, it’s not easy to say why leading Tories might want to get dahn wiv da yoot, what with the average age of a member of the Scottish Conservatives being 82. Although admittedly that’s still a lot younger than Menzies Campbell.
Anyway, dimly aware that in Scotland politics is the new rock and roll, Davie tried to wow the audience out of their mid-afternoon nap with a taster from his new stand up routine. The funny bit, which wasn’t funny for anyone at the sparsely attended conference, was when he proved yet again that Magrit Curran’s relationship to the truth is similar to the role that black pudding deep fried in lard plays in vegan cookery.
Just a few days ago Magrit had claimed in an interview that Davie would be secretly happy for the SNP to take seats from Labour, whereas Davie in his speech to the Tory conference – or more accurately the outing from the residential care facility – made it perfectly plain that the only thing he despised more than representatives of a party which claimed to be Scottish, working class, and left wing were representatives of a party who really are Scottish, working class, and left wing. Davie was even more pure dead affrontit – to use political terminology Magrit can understand – that the wannabe pretendy Scottish left wingers and the actual Scottish left wingers might arrive at an understanding which would ensure that Davie was evicted from Number 10, even if his party did secure more seats than Magrit’s.
Davie then attempted a joke. Or at least we must assume it was a joke. The Pee Em joshed that Labour and the SNP were planning a wedding, and were going to honeymoon in North Korea. No, I didn’t get it either. You’d think that with the entire resources of the British state at his disposal that Davie might have been able to find a speech writer who understood the concept of a punchline. But apparently not. Not that it mattered with the geriatric audience, who laughed on cue, but then they probably think that Jim Davidson is a cutting edge satirist.
The truth of course is that Davie’s real audience wasn’t the handful of geriatrics in Perth, it was the voters south of the Border who have been fed a diet of scare stories about the evil English hating SNP. The Tories have already given up on Scotland.
The Tories in Scotland do have one useful purpose however – to prove that it is actually possible to be more delusional than the leadership of Labour’s Scottish Accounting Unit. This was demonstrated yet again by former Tory list MSP Brian Monteith, the last cheerleader for Thatcher in Scotland, writing in the Scotsman on Monday. Brian, bless his little privatised socks, suffers from the quaint belief that the Conservatives in Scotland are standing on the edge of a breakthrough. And this would be true, in the same way that a cliff edge is a breakthrough in the landscape or the Gates of Hell is a breakthrough to Hades.
Brian believes that the voters in Scotland are on the verge of the collective realisation that Maggie Thatcher had it right all along, and we’re just about to slap our foreheads as we work out that destroying Scotland’s heavy industries and replacing them with mass unemployment and devastated communities while squandering the oil resources on tax cuts for the better off dahn sarf was what we’d always really wanted.
Meanwhile another blast from the Thatcher-past has got himself into a spot of bother. Former Tory Scottish Governor General Malkie Rifkind has received a malkie at the hands of Channel 4 reporters who caught him in a sting operation as they posed as representatives of a Chinese company. Malkie was caught on camera offering to use his influence for the company – for a fat fee of course. Malkie was pure dead affrontit that anyone should question or challenge the appropriateness of him seeking payment for lobbying work. It’s perfectly within the rules, he bleated. Rules that him and his pals set up in the first place. Malkie was previously the chairman of the House of Commons Standards and Privileges Committee. Convenient that. A man who wouldn’t recognise a conflict of interest if it was to jump up and bite him on the bum chaired the committee investigating possible conflicts of interest.
A man of his standing can hardly be expected to slum it on the measly £65,700 a year plus £116,000 in expenses that he gets for representing the citizens of SafeSeat in Toryshire in the House of Commons. A seat to which he decamped after making the realisation that money grubbing Tory careerists were unelectable in Scotland, where only money grubbing Labour careerists had any chance at all. Malcolm earns pin money to boost his modest income with an assortment of directorships and “consultancies” which bring him in over £240,000 a year. Clearly his job in the Commons doesn’t keep him very busy.
Malkie told reporters on Monday that he deserved this extra income because of his skill set and his vast expertise in foreign affairs. This would be the expertise that led him while he was Defence Secretary in John Major’s government to tell American senators Bob Dole and John McCain that “You Americans know nothing about the horrors of war” after they had urged the UK to support military action against the Serbian dictator and genocidal maniac Slobodan Milosovic. That would be the Bob Dole who was seriously injured by a German shell when he was fighting in the US army in WWII, and the John McCain who spent five years being tortured as a prisoner of war of the Vietcong.
But it’s not all evil Tories. Former Labour Foreign Secretary Jack Straw is evil too. Jack has always been evil so this is of course news of the “It often rains in Coatbridge” or “slamming your wullie in a door is as useful as voting Labour” variety. Actually that last one is not true, as if you are unfortunate – or stupid – enough to slam your wullie in a door, your screams of pain will be heard several miles away. Vote Labour and no one hears your pain – just ask anyone who lives in Magrit Curran’s constituency. Jack Straw is a one man conspiracy theory – just about any conspiracy you care to mention, and Jack’s most likely involved in it somewhere. Nowadays he’s taking his cue from Tony Blair, his former boss and spiritual mentor, and dedicating his charm and menace to making himself a lot more money.
Malkie and Jack are leading members of the House of Commons. Together this pair of chancers embody all that is wrong with that institution, and if Davie Cameron needed to understand why the voters of Scotland will be rejecting both his party and the Labour party in May this year, he need look no further than Westminster’s very own Francie and Josie.
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