So Aliestair’s still there, clinging onto the face of Scottish politics like a particularly obstinate plook despite the increasingly intense squeezing of ordinary Scottish punters who are not enamoured that one of our elected representatives got his comfy well padded seat into a comfy and well padded seat on the basis of lies and smears. In Scotland the conduct of the Unionist parties, their sense of entitlement, their arrogance, their self-interestedness, was the real issue of the recent General Election, and Scotland squeezed them out of office and wiped its face with the Clearasil of electoral oblivion. One spot was out of reach, and it was only after the election that we discovered just how pustuliferous it is.
The urge to squeeze it is overwhelming, and we’re not resisting the urge. Scotland’s voters set out to clean up Scotland’s politics, only now we discover that a nasty smell remains because it was disguising itself behind a delayed release air freshener. One of those expensive ones it bought with our money.
But opening the windows to clear out the smell is a witch hunt, because it’s the punters who are doing the pursuing, and that makes it borderline fascist and the harbinger of a one party state. However when pretty much the entire UK media hound an SNP politician, it’s investigative journalism and evidence of the robust good health of British democracy. Just so we’re clear on the hierarchy of hounding, they’re a press pack, we’re the hounds of hell and the curse of the curs. We’re the self righteous priggish pugs of Michael White’s disapproving tuts.
The story refuses to die, despite the news breaking on a Friday before a bank holiday when it was hoped that attentions would be diverted by diversions, despite the disapproval of the Guardian’s Michael White. It was kept alive over the holidays by social media, up against the rapidly waning interest of most of the traditional media. It was only a little lie, not a big lie. A little lie is of no concern to the big men, little lies only bother little people. How dare we be bothered, we should look at their faces. Are they bovvered? They’re not bovvered.
The on Tuesday the Lib Dem’s Malcolm Bruce attempted to put the story to rest by ramming a rocket up its arse and sprinkling it with the sparkly dust of incomprehension. We should forgive and forget because all politicians tell lies, said Malcolm, smoothing down the ruffled feathers of public trust by walloping them with a ball pin hammer and rubbing them with sandpaper. Why, he said like it was a bad thing, if we got rid of every politician who had told a lie then there would be no one left in Westminster. You don’t say, said the public, as it gazed upon the Westminster seats that were once occupied by Danny Alexander, Magrit Curran and Jim Murphy.
And now, Malkie harrumphed, the SNP are trying to bully poor Aliestair out of office, because the poor wee lambie abused his position of power to act like a bully. It’s just so terribly unfair. How dare ordinary people express an opinion. How dare they say they don’t want to be represented by a liar and a smear merchant. The next thing you know they’ll be demanding that their MPs are accountable – and where would we be then. We’d be living in a democracy, perhaps.
It has seemingly passed Malkie by that the reason we malkied his colleagues in the recent General Election was because we had discovered that they’d been telling us lies, and we’re fed up with it. Lib Dems more than any party ought to realise the electoral consequences of telling lies to the electorate. It’s a lesson that’s flown over the top of Malkie’s head. He can’t even blame the ruinous cost of student fees for his inability to grasp the lesson, even though it’s one we’ve given his party for free.
Malkie’s maulications have reignited the story. Aliestair must be grateful that he’s got such helpful friends. But then, coming over the hill like the Seventh Cavalry comes Michael White of the Guardian, bewailing the prigs of the SNP. Not being a middle class southern English person, I’ve never been entirely sure what a prig is, so it’s a strange insult to hurl at working class Scottish people. The first rule of invective is to make sure that your barbs are felt by their recipients and they are duly wounded by them. I always thought a prig was someone who was excessively prim and proper, clearly not. But then Michael is only a little prim, he’s Primula – because he’s White, cheesy, and smeary.
In a jaw dropping opinion piece, the supposed bastion of liberal Britain allowed Primula to defend the right of politicians to lie to the public. From his lofty position floating above the little people in his Westminster bubble, Primula know that we’re all Lt Kaffees in Westminster world, we can’t handle the truth. In Primula’s universe it’s more important to protect the lying Lib Dems from the electorate than it is to protect the electorate from lying Lib Dems. The only people who should judge Aliestair should be the people of Orkney and Shetland, said Primula primly, but without allowing them any mechanism for doing so. Out in the real world in the Northern Isles, a campaign is underway to raise funds to start a court case to force a byelection. So that the people of Orkney and Shetland can judge Aliestair for themselves. If you haven’t donated yet, it’s well worth giving a quid or two.
But mainly Primula defends the lie because the lie is better than the alternative – at least when the alternative is the SNP. Aliestair must be allowed to remain as a point of principle, and that principle is SNP bad, SNP very very bad. Bad SNP bad. Primula knows that the SNP is bad because everyone who is anyone in the Westminster bubble says so. Westminster’s definitions are the only definitions allowed. We’re not allowed to think for ourselves, we’re not allowed to define ourselves. And we’re certainly not allowed to hold liars and dissemblers to account.
Aliestair must be crapping himself as he wonders who is going to stand up for him next.
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