I didn’t get up to watch the, ahem, debate on the Scottish Politics Show on Sunday morning. It was another of BBC Scotland’s sterling efforts to disengage punters from politics. A news announcer on Sky News called it “lively”, which is a bit like calling a lynch mob lively. I caught the debate on iplayer later in the day. Well I say debate, it was more three Unionist politicians in a tag team throwing buckets of shite at Nicla Sturgeon while Gordon Brewer polished his nails and wondered when it was all going to be over.
Calling it shouty is an unkindness to crazy people who scream delusional madness in the street. Shoutiness at least involves coherent words, sometimes even entire sentences. This was just inchoate screams from the grave that James Frances Murphy BA Politics (failed), the Action Krankie, and Wee Wullie the driver of the Number 17 to Kelty are collectively digging for the Union. And Gordon was happy for them to get on with it, when he wasn’t contributing to the screaming himself. At one point Jim Murphy asked him – are you still there Gordon? And he’d have been as well going off and making everyone a nice cup of tea for all the positive benefit he brought to the proceedings.
This is what happens when you start from the default position that politicans deserve respect, when in fact what they really need is to be yelled at – Haw you! Aye you! Ya rude bastert – shut yer geggie or leave the room. A’ll no be tellin ye a second time. Which is what I’d have said. And this is why I’ll never moderate a rammy on BBC Scotland. The reason our politicians behave so badly is because they are allowed to.
To be fair, Nicla did her share of shouting back, it was either that or drown under the torrent of dementia being poured on her by Jim and Ruth, although she did actually keep quiet at times when it was the others’ turns to speak. Something you can’t say for Jim Murphy, who brought smug creepiness to an entirely new pitch of demented shouting. It would appear that Jim thinks that high fiving the Tory representative and ganging up with her against the SNP is going to bring disaffected Labour voters back to the fold, and this brings us a lot closer to understanding why he’s a BA Politics (failed) and why most of his colleagues are soon going to be ex-MPs. Jim clearly has failed to internalise the fact that it was cosying up to the Tories that has reduced his party to the dire state it’s currently in – drowning in an onslaught of odium from ordinary punters.
Meanwhile I discovered, courtesy of a gloriously delusional article from Andrew Gilligan in the Telegraph, that I’m an evil bullying cybernat because I said unkind things about Magrit Curran. Or “Margrit” as the Telegraph puts it, twice. Of course you can’t really expect the Telegraph to copy things accurately, or to be familiar with the Glaswegian vernacular, or indeed Scottish politics, and all these instances of ignorance were fully on display in Andrew’s article, which was funnier than anything I’ve ever written. Only he didn’t do it on purpose.
Of course I’ve still got a very long way to go before I reach the dizzying heights of evil cybernatdom achieved by Stu Campbell of Wings over Scotland. Stu Campbell is so evil that even things that haven’t happened at all are still his fault. Stu Campbell was on the grassy knoll in Dallas and shot JFK with a kitten he’d infected with ebola and stuffed into a polonium laced teapot. And the kitten was English. True fact that. It will be coming to an SNPout hashtag near you very soon.
Anyway, apparently I’m a prominent SNP supporter. Gosh. I fully intend to put the word “prominent” in large letters on my gay dating profile as it will certainly increase my chances of finding a man to go out with. But the thrust – there’s another word I could put on my gay dating profile – of Andrew’s piece was to make out that I am part of some organised campaign directed by the SNP. Which is big bollocks. Oh there’s another phrase for the profile.
While it is true that I fully intend to vote for the SNP’s Natalie McGarry in Glasgow East – because unlike Andrew Gilligan I live there and actually know where Shettleston is and have seen at first hand how Labour has let it down for generations – I am not a member of the SNP, I do not receive directions, finance, or support from the SNP, and no one in the SNP has ever told me what to write or not to write. And if they ever did I’d tell them bugger off.
It suits the Telegraph’s narrative to depict Scottish working class people as sheep who need to be directed and told what to say and do – that’s how our Westminster masters see us after all. They are incapable of comprehending the truth – that I’m just an ordinary East End punter who calls things as he sees it, and I don’t see anything of merit in Magrit. I don’t prevent anyone else speaking. I don’t shout down those I oppose politically. I mock, I make fun, I slag off, I flyte. And I refuse to be patronised by morons with an agenda.
But then it’s bullying of me to point that out. What’s really scary for the Andrew Gilligans of this world is that I am far from being alone. There are thousands of opinionated lippy Scottish people, and we found our voices during the independence referendum. We scare the Telegraph columnists of this world. And we scare politicians who think they have a right to shout over the top of those they disagree with.
I fully intend to keep on scaring them. And I know there are thousands who are doing the same, with wit and with words and with humour. We are all still here, even if Gordon isn’t, holding them to account. We rewrote the rules last year. Welcome to the new Scotland.
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