England, my England
This week the assault on Scotland’s democracy returned with a vengeance. It brings to mind the charge of the Light Brigade, in intellectual weight, the Lite Brigade.
The place is full of nonentities keen to do Scotland down for no reason they can muster. The crave unity but stir up dissonance whenever they can. If they get a momentary glimpse of reason they pull the drapes to shut out the light.
Just as you thought ruthless, liver spotted colonialists had relaxed into their button-backed armchairs, reminiscing of the great days in India when the click of thumb against ring finger brought you a cool gin and tonic, they return to belittle a nation’s achievers.
Spurred on by SNP’s election successes they sprang into action, doubling attacks on individuals considered an effective voice for Scotland. Even J.K. Rowling-Innit got in on the act by complaining of internet abuse, yet again, coincidentally as her latest book was published. She has become the new Jack Vettriano. Whenever he had an exhibition he complained of being spurned by the Scottish art establishment, a complete falsehood. But it did the trick. Newspapers duly published the wittering of the millionaire ‘people’s painter’, and the faithful lined up to idolize his sleazy images.
Just say no
Some while ago I thought it healthier to stop reading newspapers, and avoid as much television news as possible. It freed the mind. If you have never experienced the freedom of intrusive brain pain from pond life you’ll know what it is like to stop eating sticky toffee that lifts out fillings, and has you picking teeth clean for an hour afterwards.
If only we were like the Greeks and ignored the raving and the dribbles of our media and voted against attrition, against the rancid pudding that is the United Kingdom. Instead, too many thought Armageddon was imminent if one did not genuflect to the English class system and acknowledge Etonian rule the only rule.
At Westminster it was Etonian triumph day ratifying the death of the UK parliament, English laws for English votes, a proclamation that ‘English’ is always best. It would be racist were it not so obviously in the interest of Scottish independence in the long term to see the UK parliament transmogrify into an English parliament.
But democracy haters are back to intimidate because they see Scotland is not the subdued province they had planned to exist after the Referendum vote. Old adversaries sharpen their blunt pencils and are back at their desks, a length of soiled toilet paper trapped in the rear of their pants.
Unknowns go wild.
Mrs Darling, Maggie Vaughan, taking over where dear hubby happily left off for a withering finale in the House of Lords. (Her avatar spiel terse to the point of obtuse: “No. Just no.” Is she addressing young women?)
She utters banal notions on the Internet to show her resilience to good sense for the common good. For her to believe her remarks are in any shape or form thought provoking she must enjoy comforting weekly gossip sessions with a coterie of like-minded dim-witted friends who pop round for that well-advertised cup of Better Together tea that dispels intelligent thought.
Andrew Neil was at it too. Neil, ‘Brillo the Bull’, has a skull far too big for the few facts he keeps in it. Educated at Paisley Grammar, a former controversial editor – a euphemism for either a bully, not competent, or both – of Murdoch’s Sunday Times, was in bullish mood when challenged about his facts on Scotland’s NHS. Later he offered a good line in parsing, arguing he had not ‘advanced’ a view, but simply offered a ‘measure.’
And I’ll have a wee half, Neil.
At one point in the heated Twitter discourse, (I took part in the sad fracas) he threatened a poster with his lawyers. “They are watching” he said, as a school pupil might warn when calling upon his big brother to biff an upstart, before going on to insult his interlocutor.
Neil resorted to adolescent bickering with another journalist on Twitter, addressing him as a troll for daring to ask if he, Neil, understood Scotland had been hit by the Tories austerity ideology. His reply was ambiguous.
The aftertaste left by the exchange is one in which Neil betrayed himself as insecure, compelled to tell readers he had more property than his house in Knightsbridge, London. What professional certain of his strengths tells people he owns more than one house? A case of nay, I am richer than thee. Sucks boo.
BBC employees are charged with presenting the United Kingdom view, a mentality it’s hard to shake off when your paymasters are unionists. The trouble with a one-view attitude is, it leads viewers to assume (wrongly) that you are the informed person, and indeed that’s exactly how Neil presented his facts. How many times have we heard people say, ‘I trust the BBC’? More fool they.
What is alarming is less a professional journalist trolling Twitter as if out to find a victim, more his disingenuous notion the Tories have let Scotland off the hook, done nothing to undermine its ambition to become a nation state once more. A closed mind?
Incidentally, Bull is short for ‘bully’ on account of his days working for Murdoch when he had a habit of letting rip at employees, some of them long-serving respected journalists, shouting at them down telephones from some trendy nightclub he was attending, the latest squeeze on his arm. Women like a dangerous man, and Neil knows it.
Every dog had his day
A nonentity yearning for the bright lights by way of defaming Yes voters, leading to a spot or two on BBC’s Scotland 2015 studio cupboard, is Iain Martin, self-appointed editor of a capitalist pamphlet called CapX, a man incapable of getting a sentence to make sense. He should never be allowed near a keyboard, let alone be an editor of anything. Here is a typical non-sentence that shifts seamlessly from a false assertion to an illogical conclusion:
“Yet, after almost a decade of dominance, the SNP is still a stranger to public disagreement or discussion, despite history suggesting that all political operations in a democracy have their internal divisions and problems.”
Invoking the classic ‘when will you stop beating your wife?’ Martin asks, “Why are the Nats so terrified of their leaders?” a remark made in one of the few comprehensible paragraphs. The obvious reply is, why are ignoramuses scared of Scotland exercising free will?
Why do these people persist in publishing garbled opinion nobody asked for? They may as well be playing a piano with the lid down.
Having exhausted all the anti-Scots vituperation they had during the Referendum debate, and all their falsehoods and lies, they are forced to throw old empty shells at us that repeat and recycle fabrications.
You’re poorer with oil
In the last few days the Daily Record devoted a two-page spread to remind us that if Scotland had oil it would be poverty-stricken, poorer than a church mouse, (but not a Church of England mouse) grovelling for assistance and welfare just like people fleeing from Syria. You lose count of the number of scaremongering articles on oil making Scotland poor, but the Record has no shame in reusing old material.
The Record offers not a word how Scotland would receive all the income from North Sea oil had it won the vote no matter price per barrel, nor a mention of how low fuel costs helps us all, from pensioners to heat their homes, the rest of us to get to work, or truck drivers to avoid increasing costs moving stuff across nations. As usual, the rag promotes the lie an independent Scotland’s economy was predicated on oil revenues, and therefore would be bankrupt now. Either way, Scotland would be better off if it got the proceeds from the oil in its own seas. The Daily Record intends it never will.
The Record has a political editor, the same as a public convenience has an attendant.
Nonentities at every turn
And so the nonentities pile in, too many to list here. One political tactic is to portray Scotland as a one-party state. As a weapon it is a dud. What they are really saying is, “If you elect a government we dislike you incur our wrath, and we will back it up with constraints on your freedoms.”
Not everyone who hates Scotland is crazy, but everyone who is crazy wants England to rule other nations.
I have reached the stage nobody, absolutely no one who mouth’s Better Together guff gets off without a verbal cuffing. That usually shuts them up, or gets the expected response, “I take it we have a Yes voter in our company?” which implies one of their number has AIDS. And when I read another unionist diatribe with ‘methinks’ in it I immediately move on to another post.