I have a friend and colleague at work who regularly asks me why I hate Scotland?
We sat together for a couple of years like the odd couple with this lover of all things Gaelic and Folk being forced to listen as I declared that such and such a Scottish person of note was going on ‘the list’. And not in a good way. Elaine C Smith, Alan Cumming, Annie Lennox, Pat Kane, (Sir) Chris Hoy, Lulu and Mark Beaumont?... to name but a few. Get them on ‘the list’.
Emerging talent you say – that Lewis Capaldi bloke? For it is written and on the list he must go.
Now I know this says everything you need to know about my entirely irrational state of mind and I take no pride in having done down some of Scotland’s finest on a made-up list.
“Hit the deck and give me 20, Christie.”
A long-time sufferer of the Scottish cringe, I despair when someone famous like Barack Obama lands on these shores and the best our journos can do is ask him if he’s tried the haggis, drank Irn-Bru or played a round of golf.
“The haggis – have you tried the haggis, Mr Obama?... HAGGIS, Barack! Barack! – whit aboot the haggis? Try the haggis – just try it... right.”
However, I was proud to call myself half-Scottish this week dear readers and the source of this new found national pride was a Tory football lino (linesman in old money or should that be assistant referee?) and former dairyman, Douglas Ross MP.
Now I apologise in advance for the fitba’ puns but it looked to me that rather than ‘take one for the team’ in terms of defending Dominic Cummings – now there’s a name you’ll always tire of hearing – and his ‘Classic Dom’ behaviour, the Good Lino told them to “shove their team up their a***”. “Go on my son – put it in the mixer!”
I got a bit dewy-eyed as Ross put out his statement stating that his “one priority” was to “stand up for the people of Moray”. Well I tell you – Moray and his people are proud of you for standing up, Sir. Take a bow. Now stand up straight, my good man.
No less a figure than Scottish Labour stalwart and staunch Hertz fan Ian Murray applauded him as opposed to chucking a Scotch pie towards the back of his head, in scenes not witnessed since Sir Winston Churchill formed a war-time coalition with Labour’s Clement Attlee.
How fitting of Ross to channel his inner Robin Cook, another principled Scottish politician, who refused to tow the party line over Blair’s shameful use of flimsy intelligence to take us to war with Iraq.
I compare and contrast the Good Lino’s decision to that taken by 17th century highwayman and leader of the Scottish Conservatives Jackson Carlaw.
Craven Carlaw, as he’s now being called in political circles in Crossgates, initially said the matter of Classic Dom resigning was one for Mr Johnson to decide to the sound of bottles crashing in the back, middle and foregrounds.
He quickly changed his mind and bottled it again by then saying Classic Dom should “consider his position” after coming under pressure from his own MSPs following the Good Lino’s resignation from his job as Scottish Office Minister.
I don’t think Jackson has much to worry about though as Cummings doesn’t go further north than Durham and most likely hasn’t heard of him. (Ouch – that’s gotta hurt.)
All of this is a wee shame for the Scottish Tories or Scories if you like as Craven Carlaw was starting to look like he might have been able to lay a tiny little velvet glove on Nicola Sturgeon over the Nike conference contact-tracing debacle and the care homes “national scandal”.
Alas for him, it is not to be – he’s ballooned the ball over the bar with the goal gaping and the public now have him down as a big fearty despite being on the money over the Scottish Government’s decision to allow older people back to care homes from hospital without a coronavirus test.
After last week’s column, in which I called the perception the Scottish Government had handled the pandemic well one of the biggest PR con jobs of all time, it was refreshing to see Oor Nicola trending again on Twitter as I hurdled the bags of fan mail to hear her clear and concise instructions for Scotland coming out of lockdown, which with the benefit of ‘hindsight’ given the last week at Westminster has been much needed.
The contrast between Sturgeon welcoming an inquiry into decisions taken around care homes and alluding to the possibility she would have taken a different course of action is the polar opposite of Boris Johnson sticking up for that toerag Cummings.
Disowned Scottish person Michael Gove had gone stir crazy by the time he appeared on LBC radio after a day defending Classic Dom by saying he too had driven to test his eyesight and struggled to contain his laughter at the drivel coming out of his own mouth.
And it’s understandable why people are talking about Scottish national pride compared to the sight of Matt Hancock chortling as Kay Burley grilled him over a Test and Trace policy designed to save lives.
At this rate I can’t see BoJo seeing out his term as a lame-duck PM. He lives to be liked and this is definitely not how it was supposed to pan out for the self-proclaimed World King.
Right, my work is done here and I’m heading to Dobbies at the Fife Retail Park which has now reopened.
There is a light that never goes out.
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