I thought it fitting to use a discredited tabloid term as title for this celebratory essay.
Who would have thought the people of Scotland had the nous to teach disreputable, unreliable, anti-Scotland politicians the lesson of their lives, and to let Westminster know Scotland won’t be cheated? Did we think our kith and kin had it in them? What a result.
For hours afterwards it was if time had stopped.
Of the fifty-nine Westminster eligible MPs allotted to Scotland the people voted in fifty-six SNP MPs, and very nearly two more had a few hundred voters not wavered at the last minute. Some swings were an unheard of thirty-five per cent and more.
Warning bells of inevitable independence from Westminster rule rang out in every grey room of Thames House, MI5 headquarters in London. Labour politicians tore their clothes, fell down in despair, and prayed the toxic spirit of Tony Blair might reinvigorate their party once more.
She’s no slouch
Nicola Sturgeon got her agenda in first. The photograph at the head of the essay was taken one day after the victorious election, the mass meeting held on Queensferry’s promenade, outside Edinburgh. Gordon Brown lives not too far away. Ouch!
The electorate had given her party a unanimous mandate. “Scotland will not be ignored,” she said, and she meant it. Surrounded by her new recruits she rallied her troops against a backdrop of one of Scotland’s great engineering triumphs and dramatic symbols. Then I remembered the image in my avatar is also backed by the Forth Rail Bridge, and I smiled.
The day after the map of Scotland turned cadmium yellow you could not fail to be amazed by the way press and media treating Scotland with tip-toe respect. Only the day before election night it was business as usual – fear the coming of the nationalists! Had we sent back only a dozen MPs to Westminster the headlines would have intensified the slur today.
That shock will not last for long. It will take the British Establishment a few days to recover before regaining its wits to plan new propaganda offensives and compose more ugly smears and insults. It is a dangerous tactic. Hacks will be allocated to scour the private lives of new SNP politicians for dirt. Bored British surveillance operatives will open another set of files dedicated to Scottish insurgents. “We need a bigger vault, Mr Bond.”
Elected to protect Scotland’s interests
Scotland’s collective political common sense dropped the guillotine blade. The head of the British state was under it. After decades of being told what to think and what is good for us, our MPs are now expected, told, sworn as oath, to put Scotland’s welfare first, not London’s, and most definitely not their own.
If you turn you head forty-five degrees to the left you will observe the door. Use it.
Justice got dispensed indirectly. One man who had humiliated Scots by placing a whopping bet on Yes losing the Referendum, won a ton of money from it and then chanced it all on a hung parliament in the general election, lost the lot. Betting shops had their odds on Tories winning, proving those who bet are mathematically challenged.
Hopeless BBC Scotland, seeing the polls and sensing impending doom for their very existence as a state broadcaster, set up a studio election night special in Glasgow staffed entirely by all-Scottish journalists. No one was going to accuse the BBC of colonial arrogance, patronising an entire nation by side-lining local staff, hence no reporter was shipped from the metropolis to cover the event, a first for BBC Scotland. All went well, our boys rising to the occasion with professional ease when, reeling from the result, BBC committed a classic error of judgment.
They sent a roving reporter with a lollipop microphone to confront unsuspecting members of the public arriving at a railway station with the objective of obtaining one-sentence vox pop interviews. A long out-of-date method of achieving shallow misleading balance, this jolly jaunt might have had no significance except on this occasion it was totally superfluous.
Scotland voted unanimously for Scotland
The only acceptable interviews to illustrate ‘balance’ in this historic instance was three Scots celebrating a miraculous political shift of power. Instead, the BBC gave us one individual from Labour, (dejected) one from SNP, (happy) and one from a stunned Englishman of indeterminate political alliance.
BBC’s propaganda machine was still running in automatic mode. Nobody back at HQ control had thought to switch it off. The Englishman was straight out of a Monty Python sketch. He was broadcast first. His remark symbolised the opposite of what he intended.
“I have just come from Stirling, and the atmosphere there is not one of jubilation but heavy, leaden. I do not want to live in a one party state, and therefore I must consider my position as to whether I want to live here!”
In full view of the world’s jury he demonstrated chauvinism with uncontrolled abandon. In his opinion Scotland run by the people for Scotland is an affront to mankind.
Some men let their prejudices buzz around their head likes flies on a summer’s day.
Shamed and soon to be shunned branch manager of Labour’s tool shed in Scotland, Jim Murphy, gave a valedictory speech, the only resignation in a night of mass suicides that didn’t mention resignation. He blamed Labour’s catastrophic demise on the SNP for promising if you “vote SNP you get Labour.” The SNP made no such claim other than if you voted SNP you got SNP.
Business as usual
Westminster announced the first to be affected by the new set of draconian cuts in Welfare is to be disability allowance. The wheelchair-bound and other non-ambulant who work with a salary will get their benefits cut or withdrawn.
Second is the reinstatement of fox-hunting in England. Blood sports are not confined to contempt for Scotland. While no one in Scotland is suggesting English are hunted down for entertainment, upper crust English want their national sport reinstated. A dog fox in Epping Forest was heard to say it could no longer abide living in a one party state, and was considering moving to Scotland.
Voting in Scotland is by proportional representation. That is the only way Tories and Labour candidates still get access to Holyrood’s Parliament so paltry are their votes.
Sending a full contingent of SNP MPs to Westminster is another matter entirely. It does not constitute a one-party state. Nor is it Mao Tse-tung’s Red Guard. Yet many a dullard hack fell into the same trap warning of all sorts of crevasses SNP MPs were sure to fall into, and without crampons to get out again. Or perhaps it was tampons to break the fall.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced his ‘simple to understand economic policy’ for another five years of extreme neo-liberal Tory rule. Here it is:
“Imagine,” he said, “My economic policy is an apple pie the Conservative party has baked for you. You take a knife and you cut that pie in half. The top half of the pie is what we will use to renew Trident, and buy weapons and armaments to defend this great country of ours. The bottom half of the pie is what we will use to invest in business and the City of London finance houses to bring more prosperity to our green and pleasant land…..and….. the other half of the pie is what we will use to protect Welfare!”
England’s democracy is a shiny apple with a rotten core.
The Human Rights Act will be the next for a kicking.
On the same day Nicola Sturgeon saw Scotland’s constitutional destiny clearly, severely disgruntled citizens of Osborne’s green and pleasant land rioted in the streets of London against Welfare cuts. The first indication of English rebellion was showing. If Cameron thinks he will have only some rowdy back benchers to worry about with his slim majority, he had better get his tin helmet on now.
Somewhere in a British newspaper a sub-editor was typing the headline: It Was The Voters What Didn’t Like It.