The student as racist
I wouldn’t have taken notice of my taxi driver’s ranting had it not been for a pig-ignorant, vain, histrionic Stirling University student writing a venomous opinion piece only days before in the Guardian newspaper. No names, I would not want to give her a sliver of extra publicity.
In a fit of auto-erotic exultation she charged the SNP, by implication Scots who vote Yes, with being a bunch of racists. Her essay loaded with errors and misrepresentations is studiously provocative to the point of racial abuse. Her university tutors ought to re-examine their teaching methods.
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 weaselly thesis echoed that of the student’s rant. 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.
This is where the story really begins
My Scottish taxi driver was no defender of civil rights. His conversation was riddled with misrepresentations and half-baked opinion in the same abhorrent vein as the airhead student and London’s dimwit mayor on a day trip to the savage north.
The morning did not begin well. No ‘Good morning, where to?’. He arrived disgruntled that his taxi could not make a U-turn in my narrow cul-de-sac. From the minute he collected me to dropping me off at the airport he didn’t cease his prattle. 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 barman 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, goad 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.
It would not surprise me to hear that after getting me to the airport he next 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.