Thank God that’s over

Oh God. Am I a sucker for punishment. Am I in fact a masochist? Maybe I should spend my evenings dripping melted candle wax onto my nipples instead of watching these bloody debates. It would be less painful and probably more productive, and it might even improve my chances of finding a date even if it was one of the 50 shades of grey variety, instead of being stuck indoors having no life and watching bleedin’ leaders’ debates. Oh God.

Seemingly this debate isn’t going out live, despite the BBC announcing it would be live. This gives the BBC plenty of time to edit out any false moustaches and heckling women wearing a dead sheep as a waistcoat, which are generally the only interesting things about these affairs. It also gives time to add the laugh track.

Contrary to suspicious mutterings on social media, the delay is not at the behest of MI5, or even the Scottish accounting unit of the Labour party, it’s not even in case Patrick Harvie calls David Coburn a racist twankmonkey – which would only be fair and entirely reasonable – it’s all down to the BBC keeching itself in case any audience members heckle that that BBC is biased crap and demand Ken MacQuarrie’s head on a plate. The BBC did this during the independence referendum with their “Big Debate” with 16 and 17 year olds. That was shite too. This doesn’t bode well.

The debate hasn’t even started and I’m bored already. This is shaping up to be one of those shouty and uniforming “Let’s disengage the punters from politics programmes” which Scottish broadcasters do so well. This time it’s the same four suspects as last night, but with added greenery from Patrick Harvie and purplish populist apoplexy courtesy of UKIP’s David Coburn, otherwise known as Jibberjabber the Hutt. I strongly suspect that Coburn is a masochist, after all he belongs to a party that wants to slash the Scottish budget and send our public services back to the stone age. He loves it when Nigel is strict. I can sense a theme for this blog post developing already.

After last night’s starring appearance from False Moustache Guy, the only way the party leaders can recover the initiative tonight would be to appear dressed as the cast of the Rocky Horror Show. Jim Murphy BA Politics (failed) has a natural advantage there, what with being a horror show all by himself, although the sight of Jim in a basque and fishnet stockings would probably make an entire nation rush off and drip melted candle wax on their nipples in an effort to purge the image from their minds. Still, it might suit him better than a Scotland strip, and it would certainly be a whole lot more believable than his claims to be a socialist. Rumour has it that chiropodists’ clinics all over Scotland were packed out today by people begging for their toes to be straightened after watching Jim last night.

Turned BBC1 on ready for the debate. Masterchef is still on. Oh My God it’s False Moustache Man with pan fried gnocchi!

Right, here we go. At last. It’s going to be shouty. There are rumours that David Coburn goes off in a huff after someone pan fried his doughy balls. We can but hope.

First question – is it responsible to spend our way out of debt. Jim’s up first, looking stary. His eyebrows are running riot and he’s only just started. He’s promising to end austerity by not undoing anything in George Osborne’s budget. Has Jim cleared this with Ed Balls?

Nicla points out that the austerity programme has failed even on its own terms. Austerity has pushed a million children into poverty. Good answer from Nicla.

Ruth claims we’re the fastest growing economy. Are we? Is that an actual fact or is that a Ruthie fact? Wullie says austerity is working.

David Coburn calls Alicsammin terrifying. He can do that because he doesn’t have any mirrors in his house. He says he wants to keep Barnett but that Alicsammin wants to abolish the Barnett formula and he’s the leader of the SNP. An audience member points out Nigel Farage said on the telly today that he wanted to abolish it. David Coburn is a moron, it’s official.

Nicla says if we try to spend too much time looking for consistency in UKIP’s answers we’ll never get anywhere at all. So she sticks the boot into Ruthie instead. Gets cheer from audience.

They’re all shouting over one another now. Jim says he just wants to be honest. Well there’s a first. And they’re all shouting over the top of one another again.

Why does David Coburn sound like a toad? He wants to stop foreign aid. It’s all the fault of foreigners. He gets booed. Patrick Harvie says Coburn wants to cancel Britain’s membership of the civilised world. He points out that every person on that stage could and should pay more in tax. He’d like to see a Scandinavian approach to both taxes and public services. When Patrick’s being honest you can be sure he’s honest. This is what distinguishes him from Jim. That and the absence of mad staring eyes and incontinent eyebrows.

Nicla says she wants to end austerity so we can invest in industries and grow the economy. Then there’s some shouting about Full Fiscal Autonomy and I’m none the wiser. Jim Murphy says we don’t need Full Fiscal Autonomy because we can tax rich houses in London. Scotland’s too wee and too poor. This debate is turning into a rerun of the BBC’s independence referendum debates.

The Unionists are going on about the state pension now and how it needs to be protected. None of them are pointing out that the UK has one of the lowest state pensions in Europe. Not much protection there then is there.

Nicla points out that Scotland is not a petroeconomy. Even without the oil our GDP is the same as the rest of the UK’s. This is about taking responsibility for our own resources and our own economy. She’s on fire here.

Someone brings up fracking. I’m not sure who over all the shoutiness. Jim says that local communities should decide on fracking. This is the man whose party didn’t vote for a moratorium on fracking. Now he’s changed the subject and he’s going back to FFA. His eyes are still staring.

This feels like we’re in an independence referendum debate. All shoutiness and screaming, heat and no light. Seems the Unionist parties just can’t accept that they won that vote and move on. It’s like Unionist groundhog day.

An audience member asks what the panellists can’t compromise on. Patrick Harvie says he could never support the renewal of nuclear weapons. He can’t support the demonisation of the poor. He makes a call for a new and better electoral system. Coalitions, he says, don’t need to be as dishonest as the one we had for the past five years. Scotland deserves a genuine multiparty democracy.

Wee Wullie Rennie gets asked. He says he’ll only support nice things. Good things. Fluffy things. Like bunnies, and kittens, and ickle chicks. Is there a point to Wullie Rennie? Does anyone know?

Ruthie says she won’t compromise on anything that will put the union at risk. She’s still fighting last year’s campaign. She demands that Nicla will rule out another referendum forever and a day.

Nicla says that she’s not even thought about the 2016 manifesto but she’ll only consider another referendum if there is a material change in circumstances. But the basic issue is that the people decide, not politicians.

Jim comes out with one of his rehearsed soundbites. He name checks the Daily Record. James Cook asks him if he remembers what the question is. Jim doesn’t. He’s too busy trying not to blink. Apart from the red tie he looks like an undertaker. Which is in fact not that far from the truth, Jim’s burying the Labour party.

Nicla says that she wants an end to austerity and promises that the SNP will never ever vote for the renewal of Trident. Ruth demands clarification, would the SNP vote against or just abstain? Nicla says they’ll vote against – is that clear enough for you Ruth?

This is all very shouty. It’s hard to keep up. Even the moderator is shouty. I thought he was supposed to be keeping the rest of them in check and not adding to it?

David Coburn’s red line is Europe, surprise surprise. His red line is any compromise with separatism. Nicla says she’s really very pleased about that. My god the man is thick. He starts to go on about immigration depressing wages.

Jim Murphy demands that Coburn stops demonising people. Which is a bit rich coming from Jim Murphy, but there ye go. It’s still all very shouty.

Nicla says the most depressing thing about the evening is the xenophobic attitude of Coburn, he’s a disgrace. Gets a big cheer for that. Not just from the audience but from me as well.

Well that was rubbish. No clear winners there was far too much shouting. But David Coburn was the clear loser, and we can all be grateful for that.

Still, thank god that’s over.

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28 comments on “Thank God that’s over

  1. scotsgeoff says:

    Murphy rips into Coburn about demonising immigrants,
    leans back’ takes sip in contentment from his red ‘fuck the immigrants’
    Labour mug.


  2. Ronnie says:

    Brilliant as ever. Saves me having to watch it later.

  3. diabloandco says:

    Didn’t watch either of them – I left it up to you ,cowardly I know but I just couldn’t watch the freaking STV/BBBC bunch aiding ,abetting and inventing.

    So a big THANK YOU!

  4. Hargaret Modge says:

    Brilliant analysis. Just what I saw.
    No clear winner but the UKIP guy was very funny.
    Wee Wullie Winkie should have stayed at home for all the good he did.
    Patrick Harvey was brilliant. Ruth tried hard but she’s so out of touch. Mr failed Jimster was hilarious . His condescending approach was like listening a wee auld wiffie say “come on hen it’ll be aw right on the night” Loved his constant indignation. he looks like he’s lost some weight?
    The audience was better than last night.
    Well at least it was just an hour.

  5. Anne Lawrie says:

    Laughed. And laughed. And laughed. And laughed.

  6. Iona Easton says:

    Brill! I have really enjoyed your debate commentaries. Thanks for suffering on our behalf. 😁

  7. adam591 says:

    Donation submitted – many thanks for the amusing account. Glad to have missed both ‘debates’.

  8. jimnarlene says:

    Was that not “RiffRaff” then? Damn it Janet, I thought he was a sweet transmorph from new laboura-huha.
    My apologies to Richard O’Brien.

  9. macart763 says:

    God you deserve a medal, a night off and an industrial sized bottle of something extremely alcoholic.

    Gotta say I didn’t watch tonight. To be honest I think we know all we need to know about all the protagonists. Still its good to hear that Nicola and Patrick got their licks in.

    As for austerity working. Ruthie and Willie said that again did they? Let’s examine that line – AUSTERITY is working.

    Austerity: noun
    sternness or severity of manner or attitude.
    “he was noted for his austerity and his authoritarianism”
    difficult economic conditions created by government measures to reduce public expenditure.
    “the country was subjected to acute economic austerity”

    Elephant in the room. Just why would any state be subject to austerity measures? Answer – because successive governments of the day screwed up the economy in their charge. That the economic model and financial controls of successive governments (blue, red, blue/yellow) were ill considered, ineptly implemented and catastrophic for the vast bulk of their population. Not the upper two or three percent you understand, just the rest of us who carry the can for the establishment’s complete and utter clusterfuck of a macro economic model.

    Now call me picky, but when I hear any Tory, red, blue or yellow tell me how well they are doing managing such a clusterfuck? A catastrophe which they bear shared responsibility for by the by, then I have to say that I’m less than fucking impressed. All of them, the two who are chiefly responsible through a mixture of naked greed, corporate compromise and gargantuan fucking ineptitude for pishing our money up against a wall and those yellow spineless enablers, well they truly require a reality check.

    There are people suffering out there. Their people and their charge. People starving in the streets of their own cities and yes there are people dying out there because of austerity measures and welfare reform. These bastards standing on a stage telling us how fucking proud they are of their austerity measures? The same ones looking for scapegoats in the poor, the disabled and the furren?

    Their time is almost up.

    • Whitburnsfinest says:

      Macart, please imagine a 30-something woman standing in her living room giving you a round of applause.

      Because I just did.

      That, Sir, was magnificent🙂

  10. Margaret says:

    How they cheered when that kipper won the seat ahead of the SNP Maybe Jim isn’t aware of that He should ask Kezia she will be able to tell him how happy she was

  11. He’s no joking, youze that missed it. It really was that bad!

    • weegingerdug says:

      God it was dire, wasn’t it?

      • Whitburnsfinest says:

        Paul, I’m even more of a wimp. I fell asleep halfway through the STV one as I watched it on catchup this morning. BBC does not exist in this house. I did, however, get to see Moustache Guy so it wasn’t an entirely wasted experience 😄

  12. Clarinda says:

    WGD – at least tache-man on Masterchef despite not scoring his squid, fried his tentacles to perfection. Whereas our perpetual student could only produce mince.

  13. brewsed says:

    Many thanks for that. You dedication to the cause is much appreciated. A poor and anodyne set of questions chosen by beeb(scottish branch), possibly selected to generate more heat (shouty) than light. Has it occured to the cookie-cutter set [graun reference to a picture of three identikit middle class male party leaders a few days ago] for those watching in Englandshire, that Ruthy, BA(failed), the pantomime villian (oh yes he was) etc., are representing their parties and Ms Sturgon is getting loads of exposure.

  14. marie pickering says:

    Thanks Paul! Sore laughing at this blog! Brilliant! Wee Ginger Dug makes my day:-)

  15. Pam McMahon says:

    Didn’t watch it, nor will I. So thanks for your humerous dissection of proceedings.
    Was it the same audience, bussed up the A9 from the night before?

    I know we’re not allowed to criticize James Cook in any way, shape or form, despite having had to pay his wages for decades, because it comes under “vile cybernat abuse”, but it sounds like he had only a very tenuous grasp of proceedings, from what I’ve read.

    Shame they didn’t bring Mustachio-Man with them; I wanted another wee look to see if it was John Thurso.

  16. andygm1 says:

    This is why we pay you.

    To suffer for the cause so that we don’t have to.

  17. Albaman says:

    Hi Paul,
    Another article for “The National ” good to see, have they given you your own desk yet?.
    Re “Jim The Mouth”, some of the press, eh, loosely called the press, put “the mouth” ahead of others in that debate, well if by that, they mean he/she who can shout loudest for longest, especially if it’s over shouting others who are speaking, if that is the “presses” yardstick, then it’s little wonder that their circulatIons are taking a noise dive into the red for danger, there is only The National, and at times The Sunday Herald. ALL the rest are unionist leaning, I’ve even stopped The Courier as it is obviously against the S.M.P., therefor against anyone who wants to better Scotland, without the “help” of Westminster!.

  18. kat hamilton says:

    thought patrick harvey was a well needed voice of reason with nicola in unison to combat the mighty unionists who have damn all to offer the scottish public. truly stomach churning when the four amigos joined ranks in outrage at the prospect of self determination down the line…ruth davidson in particular nearly laid an egg at the very notion.. its one country said she…here was me thinking we had our own territory but im duly informed now, theres no such thing…one land…give me strength…

  19. Alexis says:

    I think that Jim Murphy looked like a cross between skeletor and the scream. He certainly made me want to screm with frustration at his never ending lies. The man wouldn’t know the truth if it jumped up and bit him on the ar++.
    In future, when I threaten the kids with the bogeyman, I will show them a picture of the smurph and that will fill them with terror forever!
    Don’t know how I managed to sit through and watch that melee.

  20. A Meringue says:

    Now thats what I call satire!

    Jim Murphy. Saviour of the Union.

    Absolutely brilliant!

  21. Sue de Nymme says:

    That is absolutely superb. It wouldn’t matter whose side you were on, it sent me for the tissues with laughing so much. The artwork is wonderful.

    • A Meringue says:

      It gets better the more you watch it and pick out the more subtle gags. “The ePoxy ridden slums”

      “The puppeteers skillfully maneuvering the slavering beast to make it appear sentient” (G. Brown) is my favourite. And I so want a print of “The Last Supper”!

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