Feeling the lurve

It was recently revealed that Better Together are to embark on a new phase of their campaign.  The fearmongering and the scare stories just aren’t cutting it any more, and have only resulted in increasing support for a yes vote in opinion polls, so we are to be love-bombed by Unionist politicians and celebs who are going to tell us how much they love us.  To date we’ve seen at least two examples of this new loving tactic, neither of which have left anyone feeling moist.  Although there have been quite a few tears of laughter.

First up was John Barrowman in an excruciatingly embarrassing performance for Burn’s Night.  It contained enough ham to supply the Danish bacon industry for a decade, but failed to convince that Rabbie Burns would have signed up to the Unionist cause.  John was attired in a tartan jaiket last seen on a 1970s TV presenter – the only thing missing was his hand up a muppet’s arse, but one muppet fisting another muppet was probably deemed too meta for a prime time audience.

However in the true style of an overly friendly 1970s telly presenter, John tried to make out that Westminster’s abuse was actually a loving act.  He did this by mugging to the camera with a glaikit expression and a series of pish poor jokes about Alex Salmond and how fat he is.  As an exercise in love-bombing it was a dismal failure – the first time anyone has attempted to employ toe-curling as a sexual practice.

John Barrowman emigrated to the USA before he hit puberty, so I’m not going to criticise his Virgin midAtlantic accent.  It’s quite normal for people who move to another country in early childhood to adopt the accent of their new home, or a facsimile thereof.  Unfortunately however, John’s concept of Scotland is also prepubescent, as he doesn’t think we’re a grown up country capable of grown up decisions.  John takes his intellectual cue on all things Scottish from the Krankies, and believes we’re in safer hands with the 1970s TV presenters.

Next up was something with a bit more intellectual substance.  That’s substance in the sense of that suspicious brown matter you find inside a dirty public toilet.  Martin Woollacott, formerly the Guardian’s foreign editor, published an article in the paper telling Scotland how much England loves us, and warning us that we will miss them when we go.  Martin employed the tired old divorce metaphor, which has already been done to death, and made a number of references to thon movie starring that Australian American with the dodgy politics.

Anyone following the independence debate knows that a Braveheart reference in any discussion of Scottish independence is a reliable indicator that the person making the reference knows less about Scottish politics than they do about copra harvesting in the Comoros Islands.  It’s a bit like discussing Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet in a technical report on ship building standards and the risks posed by icebergs.  No wonder Better Together is holed below the water line.

According to Martin’s fact free zone of an article, which was ignorant and patronising in equal measure, Scottish independence will have a devastating effect on England’s self-esteem.  The English, he tells us, are terribly afraid.  I immediately telephoned some English members of my family in order to reassure them, asking if their sense of personal well-being might suffer if Scotland declared independence.  However the reply was, “Eh? Are you on drugs?”  I took that as a no.

The truth is that a large majority of English people are indifferent to Scottish independence.  A minority want us to stay, another minority supports independence, but most don’t give a shit – and why should they.  They know what Martin Woollacott and a plethora of pro-Union commentators don’t know – that the independence debate is about Scotland, it’s not about England at all.

Of course the obvious question which Martin’s article raises is that if this guy was the paper’s foreign editor, and he’s so ridiculously clueless about the affairs of a country so very close to his metropolitan home, just how reliable are the paper’s reports about places further away?  Or indeed, their reports on anything at all.

That’s the big problem Better Together’s love-bombing campaign will not be able to overcome.  They’re relying on people who know bugger all about us, and their ignorance is plain to see for a Scottish readership. Every time some clown puts his grinning mug in front of a camera and makes a fool of himself for the Union, a little bit more of Scotland’s rapidly diminishing faith in the UK media dies.

Better Together has spent the last 18 months trying to frighten us with alarmist tales and scary stories.  Now they’re telling us how much they love us and need us.  That’s not love bombing.  It’s stalking.

Of course, I am just saying this because of the SNP microchip implanted in my brain …

0 thoughts on “Feeling the lurve

  1. A propos that jaikit, even Arthur Montford would not have been seen deid in it.

    Anyway, I was laughing so much at Barrowman’s intervention that the tears of laughter rolled down my thighs.

    No have blown it, and the penny has dropped, at least within the Civil Service Sir Humphries who are moving swiftly to cover their derrieres should there be a Yes vote.

    AS has a Golden Bridge for them, but it will cost!

    • “A propos that jaikit, even Arthur Montford would not have been seen deid in it.”

      THAT’S where I saw it before. It was in black and white but I think Montford did indeed wear it – I clearly remember there was a stramash in the goalmouth and . .

      With respect to Capitan Jack’s ideas about Scotland and Union, Barrowman’s stream of consciousness riff was really out there, incongruous, a non-fit to any real-world experience or frame of reference familiar to me.

      For my sins my career has entailed frequent and extended travel for the past 25 years mainly in Europe and North America, and to me he has a cartoon understanding of Scottish culture and the Scottish political dynamic typical of a well-meaning foreigner with an attachment to things Scottish.

      I don’t want to demean the man, for he has the right to his viewpoint and to express it in a disneyesque accent and garb if he so chooses.

      However, I can’t help thinking it would have been an act of compassion had he been huckled off stage for his own safety the minute he donned yon jaikit.

  2. I worked in Manchester for 21 years in a large insurance company office right opposite the town hall in Albert Square. I was surrounded by intelligent, mostly middle class people who regularly travelled abroad on holiday. Much to my surprise, when I questioned them about Scotland I discovered that virtually to a man and woman they had never been there. At all. Ever. Eventually one woman volunteered that she had indeed travelled to Scotland. “Oh, where did you go?” I said, “Gretna Green on a coach trip for the day!”

    Their knowledge of Scottish matters and Scottish politics was zero. Their interest in Scottish matters and politics was nil. Their attitude to Scotland’s place in the UK was that it was a slightly colourful part of England where people spoke with a funny accent. One of them introduced me to his wife as ‘a most untypical Scotsman’ when I asked him what his view of the typical Scotsman was, he replied that it was a drunken Celtic supporter throwing up on Mosely Street.

    Interestingly I once attended a management meeting where one of the assistant managers briefly left the room. After he closed the door, the Branch Manager looked around at the five of us who remained and said, “Well, there’s not a single Englishman left in the room!”. It was noticeable that the locals tended to join the company and have their entire career in the same branch whereas the Scots, Irish and Welsh were prepared to move around to get on.

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