English politicians kept referring to ‘Jockalypse’ as if John Hurt’s stomach.
What a truly gruesome general election campaign. Most of its tenor was predictable: ‘The Scots are coming! Hide your women! Bury your money!’ Look hard at coverage and you will see there was little discussion about the efficacy of policies, even less on what policies will benefit the people of Scotland.
Mammon rules. One party negates the other party’s policies by claiming they would cost too much. There is no money. We all now believe the British economy is in the toilet. Whatever is stuck on us, removal of welfare, privatising education and the health service, more weapons of death, corporations free of tax so they stay in the UK, all that must be good for us otherwise why are they doing this to us?
Economics, economics, money. That was it.
No politician discussed what will make us happier. We heard discussion about what will make them happier. Us not voting for the SNP makes them happier.
As for Scotland, discussion was restricted to smear and fear of the SNP. Each party leader and his minions told voters to fear the threat of ‘Jockalypse.’ For once, Mel Gibson, director of Apocalypse, has nothing to do with it.
Print journalists and television autocue readers asked over and over again, is an SNP phalanx of MPs at Westminster legitimate? Is Scotland the bastard child of Iceland or Norway? Why should a nation of five million dictate to a nation of fifty million, the very same that has dictated to Scotland for over 300 years? (Or questions to that effect.) Scots are good enough to die for England’s wars but not to vote for Scotland’s full democracy.
Yesterday Scotland was praised for being the nation so often able to punch above its weight. Today we are the nation condemned for punching above our weight. We are upstarts. Democracy, or the English version of it, can not be shared with its partners. That includes Wales, but might not exclude the Ulster Unionists.
Give the English their due, they know how to put a cheeky chippy Jock in his place. For months, Labour’s representative on earth, Jim Murphy, has been telling voters a bare-faced lie, that the party with the biggest number of seats gets to form the government. With the insouciance only a public school educated Englishman can muster, his bogus assertion was dismissed by a myriad of Oxbridge types and always in a single sentence or two. Here is the former cabinet secretary, Lord O’Donnell, responding to Cameron’s attempt to blight the SNP:
“The key constitutional requirement for a prime minister is simply the ability to command the confidence of the House of Commons. We live in a parliamentary democracy. The rules are very clear and they are laid out in the Cabinet Manual, and it says the ability of government to command the confidence of the elected House of Commons is central to its authority to govern.”
Meanwhile, Special Branch was hard at work doing all it could to muddy the waters and add to the alarm over the prospect the people of Scotland might express themselves through a party who wished their nation stronger.
Shills, sock puppets, agent provocateurs, fifth columnists, and MI5 moonlighters whipped up hysteria over supposed internet abusers bringing down the good taste of British sensibility. Cybernats refused to hold back their posts until after the 9pm BBC barrier.
Opposition politicians and their frazzled solicitors are allowed to call SNP members Nazis, or admirers of North Korea, but if one ‘cybernat’ dares to tell an outsider to mind his own bloody business and look to solving his own country’s problems he is branded an example of the violence that accompanies nationalism. Tell that to the Iraqis. Or the Somalis. Or the Afghans. Or the Libyans. Or the Argentinians. Or if you can’t be troubled to travel too far in your mind, ask the Irish.
On cue to emphasise the coming of Jockalypse we were give a wholly artificial incident in the hustings. In Glasgow there was some attempt to drown out a candidate’s lies. A politician with a megaphone and a protestor with a megaphone for a mouth had a face off. One particular BBC reporter ran the headline, ‘Chaos in the street of Glasgow,’ oblivious of the riots and looting in the capital city of London.
Bystanders and witnesses attested it was no more than a scuffle. (I had a pet hamster called Scuffles in my schooldays.) The main protagonist, Jim Murphy, forever getting into scrapes, claimed it was symptomatic of the violence of nationalist SNP supporters. His sidekick, the comedian, Eddie Izzard, a transvestite that cannot seem to find a lipstick to match his skin tone, said it was a terrible attack on free speech. (Voters expect the Tories to privatise free speech if they are returned to power.) Disgruntled, Murphy was stopped from repeating the same guff he has been repeating endlessly throughout the election campaign and left in high dudgeon. Izzard left in a taxi.
Life in Glasgow, such as it is, went on as usual.
Fear of Jockalypse
Newspaper editors heaped abuse upon abuse on Scotland, telling voters in England Scottish MPs are not worthy to enter the portals of Westminster unless either drunk or looking for little boys.
None allowed themselves to be questioned by the media about their bigotry. Portly television front man, Andrew Neil, said he was very disappointed he had not gotten a chance to berate them, forgetting his employment for the same people when an editor for Murdoch’s union hating Times newspaper back in the day.
Detached from the electorate Cameron gave the impression of being every inch the Bullingdon Man that he is, the exclusive Etonian club only the wealthy can join, which is surely something extraordinary if your parents can afford Eton’s fees yet you are excluded from the club. Sensing his colleagues were questioning his worth he declared he was ‘Pumped up’ one supposes like a Dunlop inner tube for a bicycle tyre, and began appearing at staged rallies divested of his suit and tie, sleeves rolled up. I was waiting to see him arrive in a beach mankini but he never quite went that far.
On the other hand, Miliband did his best to show he was Mr Tough guy by refusing point-blank to accept support from the SNP in the event his party did not get a majority from the electorate. The image of a drowning man throwing a lifebelt back again to his rescuers remains the abiding symbol of Miliband’s ineffectual campaign. No matter what he said or how he said it he could not shake off the image of drowning not waving.
The penultimate calls from Cameron and Milband were identical: “It’s all down to the wire now!” So, if you can limbo dance, get out and get under.
Gordon Brown, a man of no fixed integrity or job, took to his chapel dais one last time to tell his assembled congregation they must vote Labour for all other ways were an affront to Almighty Mammon. He paced back and forth across the creaky rostrum pleading to Mammon to remove the ever-widening shadow of SNP support from eclipsing Westminster’s sun. Remove the pestilence and he, his father’s preacher to a sermon, would give himself up in futile sacrifice. Such was the word of the Lord and the Holy Trinity – Cameron, Miliband and Clegg – he is certain of his gospel because he is the Chosen One, soon on his way to the Lords.
And moving among the people as if a butterfly in a summer’s meadow, Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP’s fragrant leader and First Minister of Scotland by common assent, continued to attract massive affection for speaking openly and honestly much to the consternation of the British Establishment. Wherever she went, wherever she stopped, she was surrounded by smiling, enthusiastic voters. Everybody wanted to have their portrait taken next to her. She was the master and the mistress of the ‘selfie,’ the craft of holding a mobile phone in the air without taking a close up of your thumb or ear.
Children wanted to hug Saint Nicola, grannies to kiss her. Dogs lay down in obedience. Security men in big jackets were nowhere to be seen, unless you include the sweaty four in the unmarked van that follow her around hoping to pick up a detrimental gem or two from her improvised chat with fans that they can use to smear her reputation, heroes who saved the world by averting Jockalypse by a baw’s hair. Hollywood is working on a musical soon.
No one is shocked by politicians anymore, unless they say something honest and decent.
Welcome to Britain’s new political order.