Anna does a soubry

Scotland’s facing a cut of £178 million to its budget, the Labour party are still acting like pettit lipped weans and are refusing to support any SNP anti-austerity amendments, but what certain sections of the media want to talk about is that Alicsammin made a sexist remark. During a particularly tetchy exchange in the Commons over Scottish membership of the Commons Health Committee, Tory minister for small business Anna Soubry was acting like a complete and utter dickhead and giving a masterclass in over the top histrionics, refusing to acknowledge that Scotland has a case for representation on the committee. This resulted in an exasperated Alicsammin snapping at her – “Behave yourself, woman.”

The condemnatory headlines were predictable, and they weren’t condemning Anna Soubry for acting like a Tory dickhead, even though she was indeed acting like a Tory dickhead and has a long previous history of acting like a Tory dickhead. In fact, if you look up the word soubry in a dictionary of political slang you’ll find that it is defined as “over the top Tory dickheadery”. As in – that No Borders video during the independence referendum was a bit of a soubry. The infamous incident on Andrew Marr’s telly show during the election campaign, when Soubry was being interviewed alongside Alicsammin and slid uncomfortably along the sofa like he was going to infect her with ebola was yet another instance of Anna doing a soubry.

In her exchange with Alicsammin in the Commons, Anna was abusing her position of power as a government minister in order to interrupt and demean. She was doing a soubry. She was in fact abusing her power as a member of a UK government which has little support in Scotland and using it as a means of goading a Scottish MP and tauting him, reminding him of Scotland’s subservient position in the Union. Scotland is the powerless one in the soubry equation.

Anna does her soubries as a means of unsettling her opponents and causing them to make mistakes. Unfortunately Alicsammin fell for it, and in his perfectly justifiable irritation with Anna doing a soubry he was not as careful in his use of language as he should have been. Irrespective of the intent behind it or the circumstances which led to it, when a man snaps at a woman, “Behave yourself woman” – it sounds sexist.

But explaining and investigating the intent and circumstances which led to the remark is precisely what the UK media is not going to do. SNPbad, SNP always bad. And now instead of investigating why a UK government minister thinks it’s perfectly fine to abuse her position of power as a means of putting Scotland back in the shortbread tin, we are instead being invited to sympathise with her as a victim of everyday sexism. No one in the mainstream media has bothered to explain why it’s vital that Scotland has representation on the Health Committee – even though health is a devolved matter – because the setting of the health budget in England has a direct effect on the health budget for Scotland. Instead all we get is Alicsammin sexist and Scottish meddling in English matters.

The episode is a timely warning to the 56 SNP MPs that the UK media is never ever going to give them the benefit of any doubt. Some in the Scottish independence camp have tried to argue that Alicsammin’s remark and his intentions were not sexist, but they’re missing the point. The point is that the remark can easily be interpreted as sexist, and when something is capable of being interpreted in a way which is negative for the SNP, and especially Alicsammin, that’s exactly what the UK media and establishment is going to do. SNPbad, SNP always bad. In this case, Alicsammin gave them an easy target.

The media boys who cried wolf have tried to broaden their attack – wondering aloud why Alicsammin’s remark hasn’t been roundly condemned by pro-independence supporters. If the media had responded with equal vigour during the last Parliament to the far worse incidence of sexist bullying directed against a female SNP MP, when Ian Davidson threatened Elidh Whiteford, then perhaps they might now be justified in their attempt to occupy the moral high ground. But we don’t have a media which did that, we have a media which goes out of its way to invent entirely spurious attacks on the SNP. There was the entirely invented seatgate affair, there were the allegations that the SNP candidate for Edinburgh South called all No voters quislings when all he did was to post a link to a satirical BBC Scotlandshire article about Unionist politicians. But these lies are still being repeated as though they were true. SNP supporters have been subjected to a barrage of reports about SNPbad, and the media has long since used up its quota of SNP condemned.

In the cosmic scheme of everyday sexism, what Alicsammin said was hardly a ravenous patriarchal wolf who was going to ravage the village. It was more a wee yappy Yorkie biting the ankles of a privileged and powerful woman. Yet now the focus is on what Alicsammin said, and not on the soubry which provoked it. In the UK media everyday sexism trumps everyday Tory privilege and Scotophobia everyday, at least when it can be used to attack the SNP.

That’s a real and serious issue. By indulging itself in a long and increasingly ridiculous series of unfounded attacks upon the SNP, the mainstream media has now destroyed its own credibility. Should at some time there arise a genuine and serious reason for criticising the SNP and investigating their behaviour, thousands of otherwise perfectly reasonable and fair minded people are not going to listen and are not going to be interested in the media reports. The media has lied, exaggerated, and misled too often. We have a mainstream media that’s unfit for purpose.

Meanwhile what gets lost is something that’s far more offensive than Alicsammin and the soubry. Scotland’s budget being slashed by £178 million and our schools and hospitals being put at risk by a multimillionaire. What’s more offensive is that the Labour party is still bent on acting like a spoiled child who’s had its ball taken away from it instead of growing some balls and collaborating actively with the 56 SNP MPs to challenge Tory austerity plans. The real offence is lost in the media fluff, vulnerable people in marginalised communities suffer, and the mainstream media continues to get a free pass and doesn’t do its job. That offends me far more than anything Alicsammin said to Anna Soubry.

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42 comments on “Anna does a soubry

  1. The Vole says:

    Reblogged this on The Orkney Vole and commented:
    A wise dug indeed

  2. Steve Asaneilean says:

    The SNP MPs all have to be whiter than white in everything they say or do or MSM will be down on them like a ton of bricks so they better get used to it. Welcome to the bear pit that is UK OK democracy.

    As for the £178 million – anything which further reduces spending in the NHS is going to push a teetering service over the brink. Here is not the time and place for it but as someone who has been at the heart of the NHS in Scotland for over 30 years it is my view that NHSS is hanging by a very shoogley peg.

    • Elaine Gillies says:

      I completely agree with your first paragraph, Steve, The SNP are going to have to be on guard for a long time until things settle down at WM. Everything they say and do is going to be forensically inspected.

    • It’s ‘ton of bricks’ regardless. In that sense, why worry. Just get on with being more professional than all the rest. The place has been in need of a shake up since the 90s (Westminster and the UK). The next few years will be interesting.

  3. Tris says:

    He called a woman and woman.

    Never mind the cheating and lying; never mind the paedophiles, never mind the food banks.

    Some jumped up jock called a Tory minister a woman, in a way that is completely normal in Scotland, which I seem to recall is still party of their UK.

    Call her a man next time, Eck.

    • I agree! Soubry is vile, and this kind of faux outrage does nothing for women, quite the opposite. The cuts have been shown to adversely affect women more, but Soubry would have no empathy or awareness of that! Wannabe Thatcher.

  4. Hugh Bryce says:

    The Media is like the boy who cried wolf, soon enough no one will believe what they say then we can all do a Soubry.

  5. daibhidhdeux says:

    Ms Soubry offended by Mr Salmond’s riposte is but fly boy/”gal” chaff deployed to smuggle a neo-Con nuke thru the ScotGov’s devolutionary defences.

    Irregular, dirty warfare stuff much favored by the British state regardless of who fronts its rapacious interests at Westminster (now looking like the Tory bandit elite ad aeternum given the complicit acts of omission and commission by the infiltrated LibDems and notionally Labour colluders rotted from their core by their Fabian parasites feeding off them since the party’s inception and taking over the host and destroying it in the process).

    Faced with the above, there is now an inescapable moral imperative facing all the citizens of Scotland: Abrogate the poisonous Treaty of Union which has led us down this path to this neo-fascist tipping point gussied up, or embrace it and face extinction unless one is one of the co-opted from the fringes into Ms Soubry’s Anglo-Brit übermensch elites (and these are also composed of the complicit drawn from the female of our species as the historical evidence attests).

    Out we must go from this increasingly vile status quo – every man, woman, and child of us regardless of ethnicity, color, or creed (or the lack of it) who constitute the citizenry of Scotland (Alba), today.

    This has become a red-line issue of fundamental moral, global implications for future human development and relations.

    If the electorate of Scotland fail this litmus test, “God” and our brothers and sisters elsewhere forgive us.

  6. gavin says:

    I have come to regard the *media* as colonial in its attitude to Scotland, with East German standards of journalism. And about as democratic as the GDR.
    If you just juxtapose the Telegraph, or Mail, or Scotsman etc, etc, with the Neues Deutschland, then it becomes much easier to explain how things work in the newsrooms of these organs of State Propaganda.
    The Big Lie is their standard fare.

  7. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Maybe we should name, within ourselves (big secret) any interruption for a Tory MP, as a Sourbry motion?

  8. mary docherty says:

    We’re gonnie get gubbed on a regular basis.Waater aff a ducks back….but protest at msm is needed.So whit tae dae ???

  9. says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  10. Joyce Cox says:

    this woman gives me a headache

  11. Saor Alba says:

    It becomes clearer every day that we need to be rid of the corrupt and lying British establishment. Nothing less than full independence for Scotland will do.

  12. beestonia says:

    I’m one of her constituents, sadly. I’ve been writing about her for several years, and can confirm she is a slanderous, lying, nasty, sweary, misogynistic vile tory. While I think Salmond’s use of language is unwise, for Soubry to pretend to be a paragon of verbal virtue is staggering in it’s hypocrisy (even for a Tory).

  13. arthur thomson says:

    No matter what we say we will be criticised because the media is corrupt. Women for indy should be slating Alex for what he said and then accepting his apology on the understanding that he won’t go there again.We must discipline our own. And we need to make it clear that we won’t take guidance from the hypocrites who underpin the warmongers, paedophiles and liars that make up the British establishment.

    I notice one of the nonentities who is standing for the Labour leadership has criticised Alex. Another useless red tory who won’t stand against ‘austerity’ (a euphemism for state imposed poverty) but will do anything to undermine those who seek to stand up for Scotland.

    Above all others I despise those who have control of Labour. They have stripped Labour of every shred of decency.

    I am upset that Alex walked into such a trap. It probably shows.

  14. macart763 says:

    These people treat us they way they have always treated us Paul and that won’t change ever as far as I can tell. We have no right to exist you see. We have no right to complain, no right to redress, no right to speak. We are a non nation, a silent partner, a dog brought to heel.

    Whether its Edwina on GMS telling us to move on because we’ve had our referendum, the odious Soubry and her theatrical ignorance or indeed the casual racism of a tory giving a maiden speech…

    “The constituency was represented by Francis Pym—yes, a Conservative, but not always a supporter of his Prime Minister—who once said, “Landslides do not on the whole produce effective government.” So our Prime Minister can rest assured of an effective and smooth five years. And it was the home of Oliver Cromwell, who defeated the Scots at Dunbar, incorporated Scotland into his protectorate and transported the Scots as slaves to the colonies. Now, there is an answer to the West Lothian question—but not one, of course, that I would recommend.” Lucy Frazer Conservative MP (South east Cambridgeshire)

    …it matters not a jot. This is how we’ll always be seen and treated by these people. Its who and what they are and we are dust beneath their chariot wheels… Believe it!

    As for a fair hearing in the media? They OWN the media. There will be no fair hearing, or measured tone. They will always seek to portray the Scots and their representation in the worst possible light, weak, poor, incapable. Our MPs will be misrepresented, ignored when possible and grudgingly given their place when to ignore them proves impossible. Openly assaulted by this media on a daily basis and as and when they win for us any concessions? The mind boggles.

    In case anyone is in any doubt, the political union is a sham and always was. The only union in these islands which truly matters is the social union. The political one is simply legalised theft and graft on a grand scale. There is no family of nations, no governance of equals. There is only an establishment institution which doesn’t give a shit about party politics except as a means of keeping the natives divided and in their place. These people wrap themselves in false national identities whilst convincing you that yours does not exist or is somehow just plain wrong. The ones at the very top of the tree really couldn’t give a monkey’s about any form of national identity, they have their caste and order to maintain dontchaknow.

    Very soon people will have to make a choice. How much more of this arrogant, condescending, racist fuckwittery are they willing to ignore? How much longer do they think they should place their lives and the futures of their children in the hands of this institution and its callous inhabitants? How many more invasive taxes, loss of services or human rights are they willing to take? How many more scandals and crimes with too many victims and no chance of bringing a parliamentary culprit to book?

    2016 will be here soon enough people and the Scottish Government will be asking you those questions and one more besides.

    Think about it.

  15. GAvin C Barrie says:

    Now c’mon, Westminster is a nasty place, peopled by many nasties.

    How does “behave yourself woman” by Alex Salmond stand alongside THE RIGHT HONOURABLE Lucy Frazer insultingly describing Cromwell’s exploits and the selling of captured Scots into slavery? In the House of Commons, and Tory MPs laughing?

    I really do hope that the SNP MPs quickly determine to turn their backs on the contrived conventions nonsense of Westminster and its feigned politeness.

    • Saor Alba says:

      Is she a woman or isn’t she? Maybe she can’t make her mind up. Perhaps she is a womoan. Maybe she is confused.Her world must be very complicated.

  16. capt kirk says:

    Well that was unexpected wasnt it, i take it our media is doing a sterling job for the westminster goverment propoganda is good buisness nowadays isnt it these people who claim to be our betters are contemptible arent they we will not have a fourth estate worthy of the name until scotland becomes an independant country oh how i long for the day, the mahority of Scots no longer believe a word printed or on tv that our so called independant free press peddle they have cried wolve far too many times and been caught in the act, hopefully next years elections will finally remove the cancer of unionism from our fair land and we shall finally see the end of liabor lib tories and of course the selfservatives then and only then will we be able to unite our country in a sense of civic nationalism free from the xenophobic tendencies of the wider uk (read as england) whata fine day that will be the union is dead and i wont shed a tear.

  17. cirsium says:

    WGD – if John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, can say “behave yourself man” to an English MP called Ruane, surely Alex Salmond can use the same wording with the appropriate gender?

  18. Jan Cowan says:

    The reason for the bad behaviour of Establishment figures? They are afraid. Their established edifice is crumbling. The people of Scotland, in spite of the Unionists’ tricks, are moving swiftly towards independence… last.

  19. keaton says:

    If Ian Davidson really threatened Eilidh Whiteford with “a doing”, that’s intimidating and thuggish, but I’m not sure what’s supposed to be sexist about it.

  20. Neil Anderson says:

    Of course, Mr Salmond should have said, “Behave yourself you fascist bastard.” Which would have been more accurate.

  21. Alex Waugh says:

    Since the fragrant and delicate Ms Soubrey seems to have a history of taking quotes out of context in order to make cheap political points, I shall extend her the same courtesy.

    (Anna Soubrey in interview for ‘Total Politics’)
    “… I have no credibility.”

  22. smerral says:

    Nope, he did right. I hope he continues in then same vein. Bugger ’em. We’ve pandered to them long enough.

  23. Sooz says:

    Soubry reminds me of Violet Elizabeth Bott. Anyone who has ever been needled and goaded beyond the limits of human patience by an equally spoiled, manipulative brat will empathise.

  24. northbritain says:

    The mantra is ‘SNP Bad’ and the media will magnify and perpetuate even the slightest slip.

    The SNP need to be whiter than white as much as they can, for as long as they can.

    Eventually the cognitive dissonance – of one party (the SNP) behaving themselves and running Scotland responsibly in the Scottish Government being called BAD!; and the others up to no good with lying, leaking, expenses etc. and continuing a needless anti-austerity agenda abusing the weakest of our society and dismantling the NHS being called GOOD! – should become too much for all but the most blinkered Unionists. It’s when reality finally breaks in – whatever straw it takes (NHS, trident, austerity…) – that No voters can move to Yes.

    If the SNP know that the ‘SNP Bad’ mantra will always be used by the media and the Unionist politicians then the SNP should be able to effectively counter against this one tactic. The Unionist’s biggest weapon is then their greatest weakness.

  25. Satanic Mechanic says:

    To be fair even the weird peeps in the Daily Mail comment section were a bit split on this one, even perma -rage has trouble overcoming the feeling of maybe being ‘a bit PC’. So it came as no surprise that the good old DM had to hit back with something truly odious to get the rageometer into red again – and boy oh boy is this something else………………………………….

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