The student as racist
I wouldn’t have taken much note of my taxi driver’s ranting had it not been for a pig-ignorant, vain, histrionic Stirling University student writing an irrational opinion piece only days before in the Guardian newspaper. The article is venomous, partisan, and riddled with distortions. I will not name her. I would not want to give her a sliver of extra publicity for her preposterous deceitful and incompetent quick study of Scotland’s history.
To put it bluntly, in a fit of auto-erotic exultation she charged the SNP, and by implication Scots who vote Yes to self-governance restored, with being a bunch of racists. Her essay larded with straightforward errors and misrepresentations is studiously provocative to the point of racial abuse.
Her university tutors ought to re-examine their teaching methods for she demonstrated her cultural intolerance while in the very act of deploring it.
The SNP consists of people of all political and religious persuasions. It endured political and cultural suppression of various kinds over its eighty odd years of struggle, not an unknown situation in a country dominated by its ruling neighbour.
This was no courageous dissident striking out for justice in an authoritarian state. This was a third-rate student in an open society smearing an entire people in order to curry favour with a right-wing establishment of which she feels a part.
Her Twitter replies to a scree of thunderous anger, frustration, and ridicule was robotic. That anybody could reduce Scotland’s democratic ambitions to gutter level in this day and age is unbelievable. The callowness of youth knows no limits.
She gave a nation’s humanity the finger.
The wrath of Khan
The student wrote it in support of London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, a man of equal vanity and no detectable shame. Khan gave his best impersonation of the classic arrogant Englishman. He arrived in Perth to speak to a dribble of Labour party members but chose instead to lecture the population of Scotland that had rejected his party.
His weasely thesis mastered the craft of error and lies posed as implication echoed by the student. It was just as insolent, just as violent: he claimed the SNP, a party founded by intellectuals, historians, poets and writers, has an inherently racist creed.
Khan’s sin was an amoral sophistry that could have been lifted from the speeches of Joseph Goebbels, with barely an adjustment.
Challenged by journalists he refused to withdraw the insult. His reply was a lesson in equivocation, the Little Britain comedy type of yes-but-no-but yes. He waffled all over the place denying it was what he said, it was only what he meant.
Deny debate of Scotland’s rights
The race card is Better Together’s ace for beating the threat of a second referendum on Scotland’s wish to exercise a different kind of politics, a humane society, compared to England’s political culture. That’s the level they plan to exploit.
Attacked for their outrageous tosh, the student and Khan resorted to posing as victims for our sympathy, he as St Sebastian, she as Joan of Arc leading some imaginary army of moral rectitude.
In both cases print versions reveal an impressive effort, that must have taken careful planning and co-ordination, to construct an exercise in defamation that would command the day’s news and beyond. Neither have retracted or corrected their assertions.
How are they connected to my taxi driver?
For one thing the driver espoused the same intolerance, xenophobia and extreme right-wing prejudices barefacedly. My Scottish driver was no defender of Scotland’s civil rights.
For another thing his conversation was riddled with misrepresentations, half-baked opinion, and offensive racism in the same abhorrent vein as the airhead student and London’s dimwit mayor on a day trip to the savage north.
This is where the story really begins
The morning did not begin well. No ‘Good morning’, or ‘How are you?’ He arrived disgruntled that he could not make a U-turn in the street’s cul-de-sac. Nor did he open his taxi door. I’m used to tax drivers who can’t be arsed to get out of their cab to welcome a £20 fare and a man with a suitcase. He was unkempt and distracted.
He was also garrulous. From the minute he collected me from my home to dropping me off at the airport he didn’t cease his prattle. He barely took a breath between rants. To make sense of it for the reader I’ve published it in paragraphs, but in reality it was seamless word association. (I carry a journal everywhere to keep notes.) I publish a small portion.
“Tha’ Rowling, tha’s some hoose she’s got there. She’s a really nice lassie. I met her once. Very civil, very pleasant woman tae talk to. Had a wee chat wi her. Nae airs or graces, yi ken.
Yer no allowed tae look at her kids of course, cannae stare at them, or take photographs. Probably why she’s surrounded by bodyguards. I wis told they’re awe ex-SAS. Nae kiddin’. Ah believe that. She kin afford the best.
Yi get frisked when yi go tae her hoose, phone camera taken aff yi. Tae be honest, she’s paranoid. Ah think she’s a control freak.
I wonder what she does wi’ awe that money. She’s done a lot fir Scotland. Ah think she had a bad time when she wis younger an’ that’s why she helps wummin’s charities. Her first man must be kickin’ hissel fir dumpin’ her, or maybe she dumped him, Ahm no sure. Yi dinnae hear much aboot him these days, ha ha. Course, if he had’nae done whit he’s done she might’iv no written a bliddy word of Harry Potter. Yi have tae be proud she wrote that book in Edinburgh.
Ah’ll tell yi who’s she close pals wi. Di yi ken? Naw? Wi yon Gordon Broon’s wife. Best pals. Soon as Broon’s wife had a wean [baby] Rowling was first tae visit her.
Now there’s a man wi oot a blemish on his character. Ye’ll no find Broon takin’ back pocket money. Of all politishuns yi can count on him being clean as a whistle. Gies speeches, an’ tha’, fir thousands of pounds and gies the lot tae charity. Son o’ a minister, son o’ the manse, that’s him. Ah gid man. Ah’ve a lottay time fir Broon. Anyway, her an’ Broon are close friends.
Christ, the weather’s bin great this while. Nae snaw so far, though we kin get it as late as May. Ah dae a lot o’ fishin’, sea fishin’, no oot oan a boat, oan hard rock, on the shore, an’ tha’. Actually, me an’ mah pals got a trip up at Arbroath planned fir this weekend. Always a load o’ fun.
There’s a bar up there we like tae visit, English guy bin runnin’ it fir years. One day there wus a gypsy wummin sittin’ in a corner feedin’ her wean fay her tit, ken – her breast, sorry, yi know whit Ah mean, nae shame.
Ah’ve got tae say this, an Ah dinnae give a fuck for awe them liberals and lefties. Ah don’t care what they fuckin’ think, but Ah hate fuckin’ gypsies. They’re theivin’, lying, cheating bastards, livin’ aff our welfare. Yakin’ as much as they kin get. Yi would’nae trust them wi’ yer life.
Anyway, this wummin was feedin’ her bairn bare-breasted, an’ the bar man suddenly grabbed her by the throat and pushed her up against the wall.
We wus all shocked, yi know, he did it so quickly and brutal, like.
“Yer no doin’ that shite in ma bar!” he screamed it intae her face, yi know. “Ya fuckin’ slut!” An’ he threw her an’ her wean oot o’ the pub. Yi have tae admire his attitude. Ah’d probably hae done the same thing if it were ma pub. Fuckin’ gypsies.
Yer on yer way tae Dublin? Whit a place tha’ is. Been a few times wi the lads. There’s the Temple Bar we go tae. It’s really a tourist bar, an that’, prices much higher than the real Irish bars, but there’s always a crowd an’ the atmosphere’s good, ken.
A bunch of wanky tourists came in an’ asked what wis the local drink. The barman said Guinness. He probably says that tae every dumb tourist who asks. “Okay”, says wan o’ them, “Gie us six half-pints of Guinness.” Who the fuck drinks half-pints of Guinness? What a shit. Half-pints of Guinness, god help me.
An’ whit about that giant metal spire in O’Connell Street. What is tha’ all aboot?
Whit a pile of shit tha’ is. The IRA blew up Nelson’s statue tha’ used tae be there. Ah kin understand why they’d want tae do that, but why replace it wi’ a giant knittin’ needle? Whit’s it supposed to represent? Wis it an Englishman designed it, or Dublin council ordered it? Kerrist.
Mind you, naebody will be able to blow tha’ up. Impervious tae terrorists tha’ thing is. Ah, ah ha, aye, nae problem there. Nae chance tae damage tha’ thing.
Okay, wur there now. Plenty time fer yer flight. Yull ken where tae go fae here, yes? That’ll be £19 pounds, ta. Hiv a good time in Dublin.”
So, there you have it
My taxi driver sees no contradiction applauding a racist barman who assaults a woman for being a gypsy and a mother, but loves JK Rowling for helping battered women’s causes.
He hates liberals and lefties for protecting his civil rights, but thinks Gordon Brown, bag man to corrupt banks, a man without a sin to his character.
My taxi driver’s not to know I’m ‘best pals’ with the engineer and architect who designed the ‘spire to the sky’ in Dublin’s O’Connell Street, Academician and Scot, Ian Ritchie.
It would not surprise me to hear that after getting me to the airport he dropped in to the Tory party conference in Glasgow to hear what Theresa May had to say about how to keep him and the rest of us docile and servile.
Khan and his dead-on-cue racist student, and every right-wing British newspaper that elevate their outrageous slur are pals with my taxi driver – and he’s a unionist.
Work that one out.