How to be civilised

Neither Boris Johnson nor Nigel Farage could be arsed turning up to the Channel 4 Climate Debate on Thursday, and since Johnson had sent some no-mark that no one had heard of to represent him at the debate on the BBC on Friday night, Labour responded by sending a no-mark of its own instead of Jeremy Corbyn. We also discovered this week that Boris Johnson has not in fact agreed to be split roasted by Andrew Neil in his infamous “wrong foot a politician” technique which he likes to call interviewing, despite the fact that the other party leaders had only agreed to participate because they’d been assured that the Artfully Tousled Wick Dipper had already signed up to it. Johnson even had the nerve to assert that it wasn’t up to him to decide whether to be interviewed by Andrew Neil, claiming that this was a decision to be made by other people. The leader of the Conservative party wants us to believe that he’s not actually the leader of his own campaign. Aye. Right. Uh-huh. He can’t even be arsed making his lies halfway believable any more.

Then the BBC announced that they would refuse to allow Johnson on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday until he agreed to do the Andrew Neil Inquistion. However this didn’t last long as the corporation backtracked after the London Bridge attack on Friday, saying that it was important for viewers that we get to hear Johnson’s fnaugh fnaughing about being hardline on terrorism. This is despite the fact that it was the Tories who cut 20,000 polis in the first place. Now we have the BBC using the deaths of two innocent passers by as a justification for giving Lying Liar Johnson a preferential platform during this general election campaign. That’s pretty low, even by the standards of the BBC’s behaviour during the Scottish independence referendum campaign.

It doesn’t say much for Andrew Marr’s interviewing skills and his ability to hold politicians to account that Johnson has agreed to do an interview with him but not with Andrew Neil. And it says even less about the BBC’s ability to stand up to a governing party which pulls cheap tricks in its attempts to avoid being held to account. Right now the only chance that the BBC has of regaining even a modicum of the public trust that it has squandered would be for Andrew Marr to develop a strategic illness on Sunday just as he sits down with Johnson, and then Andrew Neil can walk on to replace him. That would be worth it just for the look on Boris Johnson’s lying scheming face.

None of the UK parties is having a good election here, but we can already be quite sure that the biggest losers are the BBC. There is already a crisis in public confidence in the BBC, especially here in Scotland. You don’t challenge that perception by allowing Boris Johnson and his team to get away with avoiding proper scrutiny and indulging in behaviour which cheats the public and deceives the BBC. The BBC’s coverage of this election campaign is an absolute horror show.

In Scotland the BBC remains obsessed with attacking the SNP on health issues, which are devolved, and doesn’t display even a small fraction of that same energy in pursuing the anti-independence parties on their anti-democratic refusal to recognise mandates provided to the SNP by the electorate at the polls. The Conservatives and the Lib Dems tell us that they won’t recognise even a landslide victory by the SNP in this election as a mandate for another independence referendum, and the BBC in Scotland just shrugs its shoulders and tells us that it’s up to Downing Street to grant a Section 30 order.

Meanwhile on another channel, Channel Four’s climate debate itself was very different in tone from previous election debates. For the most part, it was informative, good natured, and civilised. Which just shows you what public life could be like without the Tories or Farage in it. Unfortunately they are very much still in the UK’s public life, turning up uninvited in our consciousness like Michael Gove at the MOBO awards show doing an impression of Stormzy.

Despite it being a leaders’ debate, Michael Gove turned up at the Channel 4 studio with Boris Johnson’s dad and a film crew in tow, demanding to be allowed to take part in the debate instead of Johnson. The son, not the father. Perhaps Michael was struggling with the concept of “leader of the Conservative party”. Which is not surprising given that not so long ago he described Boris Johnson as not being up to the job of leading the Conservative party. Maybe in his imagination he thinks it’s really himself. Channel 4 quite rightly held their ground and refused to allow Gove to take Johnson’s place. Cue much harrumphage from the human goldfish. What part of leader don’t you understand Michael? All of it, as it turns out. Channel 4 were not going to be enablers of Boris Johnson’s shamelessness. Take note BBC. They had a melting block of ice instead of the Tories, which was a perfect metaphor for public trust in British politics. Nigel Farage wasn’t their either, but everyone agreed that this was a huge relief and so no one cared. After all, this wasn’t BBC Question Time.

We then had the spectacle of the Conservatives complaining to Ofcom about Channel 4’s refusal to allow them to participate in a debate that they themselves had refused to participate in. Worse, the Tories are now threatening Channel 4 over the renewal of its broadcasting licence over the episode. We are now actually living in a state where the party which aspires to government is threatening a TV station with closure because it refused to collude in the moral bankruptcy of Boris Johnson. This is where we actually are in the UK now. This is the crazy that passes for normal.

On Friday we had another debate, this time on the BBC. All seven party leaders were invited, as well as the Conservatives, Labour, the Lib Dems, and the SNP, there were also representatives from Plaid Cymru, the Greens, and the Brexit party. Yet again Boris Johnson was a no show, but unlike Channel 4, the BBC didn’t have the moral backbone to no-platform him or to replace him on the podium with a melting block of lard. Instead they allowed the Conservatives to substitute Rishi Sunak. No, I’d never heard of him either, but apparently he is the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Before going into politics he was a public schoolboy who went on to become a hedge fund manager and his wife is the daughter of a billionaire. So you know, totes in touch with working class voters and not elitish at all. Oh no.

Labour said that since the Tories are substituting someone that no one has heard of, it’s only fair that they do the same, so instead of Jeremy Corbyn we got Rebecca Long-Bailey. Meanwhile the Brexit party was represented by Richard Tice, who looks as though he should have been a 1970s catalogue model, artfully posing in bri-nylon and acrylic cardigans. Which to be fair is the era where the Brexit party’s social attitudes remain fixed. This debate was marked mostly by the divide between the Brextremists and everyone else, which some particular bad blood between Richard Tice and Nicola Sturgeon. She certainly managed to get under his perfectly groomed skin, which is why we vote for her. However I must confess that I didn’t actually watch the whole debate, since I was having a personal life for a wee change.

So what have we learned this week? We have learned that British politics are morally bankrupt, and that the BBC is unfit for purpose. Neither of which comes as news to anyone who has been paying attention. We also learned that the only way that politics can be civilised again is when Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage aren’t in it. Which is quite possibly one of the best arguments for Scottish independence that I’ve ever seen.

And finally, in some personal news for those who haven’t already heard it on the dugcast, my husband Peter’s visa has been granted and he’ll arrive in Scotland for good on the 16th of December. It’s been a long time coming but we got there in the end. I’d like to send a huge personal thank you to all those British nationalist trolls on social media who attacked us when I did last year’s crowdfunder, especially the guy who organised a wee campaign to get people to complain to the Home Office about us. I took copies of all the nastiness and printed it off. It was submitted to the Home Office along with Peter’s visa application as supplementary evidence that we were in fact in a genuine relationship. All that their hate achieved was to help bring another Yes supporter into Scotland, and since the Scottish Government plans to extend voting rights to everyone legally resident in Scotland irrespective of citizenship, he’ll be able to vote Yes in the next referendum too. So thanks for that Britnat hatemongers, and consider yourselves well and truly trolled.

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51 thoughts on “How to be civilised

  1. “Now we have the BBC using the deaths of two innocent passers by as a justification for giving Lying Liar Johnson a preferential platform during this general election campaign. That’s pretty low, even by the standards of the BBC’s behaviour during the Scottish independence referendum campaign”
    Didnae think that aa could get oanymair disgusted wi the BBC but thias a new low… Yer guid news though has been a bright spot for St Andrew’s day. Congratulations and guid wishes tae you and yer man..

  2. Nice trolling, at least all that negative energy was put to good use,theyl be raging. Thanks for all your articles you keep the flame burning and bring sense and a cool head when all around things are at their maddest.All the very best to you and yours.

  3. Well said re article and delighted that Peter is coming to Scotland for good. Congratulations to you both. Did you manage to celebrate your first wedding anniversary together?

  4. Another good article, Paul. Hope you’ll bring Peter along when you visit us all with Ginger. We want to tell him how lucky he is to have such a good guy as his husband.

  5. So pleased to hear your good news Paul. Wishing you and your husband much happiness and a huge welcome to Peter. The old saying, ‘he who laughs last, laughs longest,’ seems very appropriate given your last paragraph. X

  6. Boris J is a chaotic person who enjoys having a laugh at the electorate’s expense…he began with Muslim woman jibes and having successfully survived that had now extended his laugh to the whole electorate. Boy does he despise the British people….

    Many congrats on bringing Peter to Scotland he will be a total asset to our land unlike you know who plus several others.

  7. So glad to hear Peter will be with you soon. Having a supportive and loving partner beside you will be a great boost and enduring sustenance for the road ahead. Wishing you both all the very best x

  8. Great news Paul. Very happy for you. I wish you both a very happy future in an independent Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿💙

  9. The sense of entitlement from the Brexit guy was palpable. He started accusing Nicola and others of lying but when Nicola told HIM ‘You’ve got form for that’ His response was ‘Outrageous’ So when he calls others liars that’s fine but for people to call him one is ourageous – Yeah says it all.

  10. ”My husband Peter’s visa has been granted and he’ll arrive in Scotland for good on the 16th of December.”

    Fabulous news Paul and just imagining you, when you get this GE behind you, taking a well-deserved break and enjoying time over Christmas and New Year with your husband. Wishing you both the greatest of health, wealth, peace and happiness for the future XX

    (and one for dug X).

    • Just a wee thought.
      Why don’t the EBC just show this interview?
      The are showing repeats all the time, nobody would notice.
      Anyway this is the doris method, don’t answer the question, change the subject, waffle on about something else and finish with the Forest Gump , that’s all I’ve got to say on the matter.
      And people in englandland are voting for supporters of this person.
      Must be the Eddie the Eagle syndrome, you vote for the amateur, same as Widdiecombe almost winning Come Dancing.
      Hopefully they will back away from giving him a majority but I hae me doots.

      • Yeah, but we both know that isn’t going to happen.

        It is as likely as the BBC throwing the Tories’ tactics back in their face by replacing Andrew Marr with Andrew Neil for this morning’s PM ̶p̶r̶o̶m̶o̶ err… interview.

  11. I am proud to tread where thousands have gone before, and wish you two all the best in your future together. My husband and I have been together for 37 years this year and can’t imagine life without each other.
    Ours is no record for longevity. We have friends who have been together nearly 50 years. Who said gay relationships don’t last?
    Again, all the best to you both, not forgetting Ginger!

  12. The Tories will have to have an election they can lose to get them out of their mess. Deja Vu. The same as Thatcher. They had to get rid of her. The riots and civil unrest. High unemployment and interest rates. The Tories want to go back to that. Revenues and resources illegally and secretly taken from Scotland.

    Scotland conscripted and taxed for Westminster illegal wars for centuries.

    It was only closer ties with Europe that improved the economy after Thatcher’s mess. Geoffrey Howe. Until Blair. Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. Some people never learn.

    Johnston will be gone by December. The minimal unelected PM in history. Blink and it was missed. Unbelievable. The Westminster unionists are a disgrace. There will be no Brexit but Independence for Scotland.

    Vote SNP/SNP. Vote for Independence. Make the world a better place.

  13. Glad tidings of joy to you both. Turning the negative into positive, bite the trollers in the nether.

    Excellent discussion on the slippery fish and daddy mememe…

    Anyone have a link to the Friday debate?

  14. An interview by Andrew Neil has more in common with an attack by a hippopotamus than an information-gathering exercise.

    Congratulations on getting the visa sorted out, and best wishes to you both!

  15. I’ve kinda switched off from all the political stuff at the moment for my own sake. I ken who I’m voting for and I don’t need the hassle of the white noise emanating from the msm.

    Congratulations to you and Peter, that’s great news Paul. I hope that Peter will be very happy living in Scotland and he is most welcome. Like others have said, what a great Christmas present. All the best to both of you, oh, and ginger as well.

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