Monday was a bank holiday, so it was a slow news day. We got treated to mair pish from the Guardian, another jokey wee article spunkily poking unfunniness at the audacity of provincials who think they can make grown up decisions. From the publication which gave us 76 reasons to make snide pretend apologies to Scotland, it’s suggestions for a new name for a new Scottish currency from Tim Dowling, an American journalist now living in London. Snide remarks about buckie, bawbags and boak filed under politics. Seeing as how he’s American, he thinks being told his copy is spunky is a compliment. In Scotland we know that means it’s the product of a wank.
Spunky Tim clearly didn’t get the memo, we’re going to use the pound. Scotland was playing a game of currency chicken with Westminster, and they blinked first. That gemme is already a bogie son. It was a major splash in the Guardian, you’d think he’d have read his own paper. Mind you, Scottish correspondent Sevvie doesn’t read it either, he seems to think the publication is neutral on the subject of independence. Bless.
The pound won’t need a new name, unless Westminster does by some miracle ensure that Scotland can’t use Sterling – possibly by sending in the SAS to swoop down on the checkout queue in Asda, forcing pensioners to pay for their messages in buttons and euro cent coins found down the back of the sofa. But in that unlikely event the rUK will no longer have North Sea oil to use as collateral, Scotland will have told the Treasury to stick its Bank of England issued credit notes up George Osborne’s gimp suit, and it will be the pound which needs a new name. It will be known as “worthless”, while its new German language name will translate as “bet you wish you’d joined the Euro”.
And while we’re on the topic, memo to Steve Bell, another Guardianista with a tin ear for funny where Scotland is concerned. If you want to write cod Scots dialogue in yer cartoons, at least get it right. It’s not a “poond”, it’s a punn. It’s even got a joke in the name. Just how easy do you want us to make this for you people? And you still can’t raise a laugh in Scotland. Jesus wept.
It’s just a bit of banter when an English publication mocks Scotland. When Scots mock anything English, it’s both a symptom of a deep atavistic cancer eating away at the Scottish psyche, and the only culturally distinctive thing about us. The UK media presents a caricature Scotland defined by its supposed hatred of England. And so a resolutely non-ethnic civic nationalism which includes many thousands of English people amongst its supporters is defined as anti-English and racist. No matter how carefully a criticism is phrased, how accurately it is directed, it is interpreted as “Scotland hates the English.”
I can’t not get angry about being called a racist because I want independence. Homophobic UKIP supporters telling me I’m a bigot tends to have that effect. I spend most of my time and energy caring for an English man with dementia. I thought I was doing it because I love him, but apparently I’m merely extending his life out of badness so I can watch him suffer. I’m torturing him with comfy cushions and cake. It’s all very Monty Python isn’t it? So why am I not laughing.
Because the independence campaign has so far refused to provide the requisite amount of anti-English hatred, a new wannabe meme has sprung up. Quite possibly a product of the very same people who brought you the grassroots Vote Nob Orders campaign. It’s that the word Westminster is just an evil fascist cryptonazi dog-whistle for “English”.
This is an obvious nonsense. Westminster is Scotland’s sovereign parliament too. Westminster is not an imagined “other” – yes we’re looking at you David Aaronovitch – its influence reaches into every area of Scottish life, and its decisions are the final ones. All other political decisions in Scotland are conditional upon its power and authority.
So when independence supporters say “Westminster”, we mean Westminster. Westminster is not England, we understand the difference even if some of the Guardian’s more irritating hobbyist unionists don’t.
Thankfully at least one UK media figure seems to have got it. Jon Snow published a decent piece on his recent trip to Scotland to report on the referendum campaign, and described the visceral hatred for Westminster that exists in the country. Scotland’s independence debate is largely driven by Westminster, only not in the way that Westminster had hoped. Now that’s funny, Guardian take note.
Jon understood that the term Westminster was not code for anything. It’s the Cuprinol of Scottish politics, only on the list of ingredients on the back of the tin it says “Careerists, militarists, liars, idiots, nuts.” There’s also a sell by date of 1900.
Jon was impressed by the level of political debate in Scotland. But Scotland’s own Unionist commentators are not so impressed, though this may not be unconnected with the fact that they’re losing the argument. And badly at that.
David Torrance had a bit of a stropette in the Herald, and blew his cover as a sort of Unionist chase-me chase-me and make me yours. He was moaning that pro-independence blogs and websites, and Wings Over Scotland in particular, aren’t doing the Unionist media’s job for them. We should be criticising Alicsammin too.
Sorry Davie love, I can’t speak for anyone else, but it’s just that Westminster’s basterts are much bigger basterts, and you know, you don’t go cleaning up a bit of spilt milk in the kitchen when there’s a steaming pile of turds in your living room. At least those of us who can’t afford cleaning staff, which excludes most of those at Westminster. So I’ll concentrate on getting rid of the turds first, then decide on domestic catering arrangements, if that’s alright with you.
The thin piece was just an excuse to get a menshie in for his forthcoming booklet, pamphlet, leaflet, whatever, pressing for a federal UK. Davie didn’t say who was going to deliver federalism in the UK. The federalism fairy perhaps. It’s certainly not going to be the Westminster parliament. It’s taken them over four years to devolve powers over airguns to Holyrood. You’d think a politics geek would have known that.
I shouldn’t talk though. I’m only posting this blog piece to announce that I’m going to write a novel about a politics geek who lives in Narnia with his imaginary federal friends.
Davie then got pwned by Stu Campbell, which was highly amusing. Apparently pwned is a gaming term for getting your arse handed to you on a plate. It’s pronounced poond, which may be the source of Steve Bell’s confusion. But the best laugh was Davie praising the CBI for their honesty in apologising for the “honest mistake” that some nameless minion had apparently made without authorisation.
He should write more for the Guardian. They need some decent comedians.