Scottish independence: Lord Advocate's Father Ted-style mission to Supreme Court is pure farce – Kenny MacAskill MP

I’m a huge fan of the Irish sitcom Father Ted. The number of shows is sadly limited given the tragic and far-too-early death of Dermot Morgan who played Father Ted.

One of my favourite episodes though was “Kicking Bishop Brennan up the Arse”. In this show, Father Ted has to do the needful to his superior following a forfeit and as you can imagine, it’s doomed to failure. The shenanigans along the way though are chortling.

That’s a comedy show but I am minded of it watching the Lord Advocate prepare to go before the Supreme Court with the legislation for an independence referendum.

It’s got as much chance of success as I have of getting an American Green Card. Father Ted was funny in his actions and sympathy lay with him; the Lord Advocate just looks hapless, as well as cynically going through the motions.

The hilarious Father Ted episode Kicking Bishop Brennan Up the Arse was as farcical as the Lord Advocate's mission to the Supreme Court

The fact she referred it to the court isn’t a cunning wheeze as Father Ted devised to apply his boot to the bishop’s posterior. Instead, it strongly suggests she has no faith in what the government is doing. She’s simply used an expedited procedure to get it before the court as she isn’t willing to sign off the legislation as is required.

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Father Ted at least had to profess belief in Catholicism to be appointed, albeit to the purgatory of Craggy Island. The Lord Advocate doesn’t even appear to believe in the core policy of the government in which she serves. You’d have thought in the real world you’d avoid appointing any apparent apostate to such a critical position.

Her submissions to the Supreme Court have the ring of the legal cop-out “my client advises me” – ie, I’m only saying what they tell me and I don’t believe a word of it myself.

It’s so manifest that the SNP are now seeking to enter into the case which has been brought by the government they control. Why? Because the person representing them doesn’t seem to believe in the policy she’s being asked to promote on their behalf. What a waste of valuable party funds.

Her referral to the Supreme Court is her equivalent of Father Ted’s forfeit and she’s going to suffer the same fate. But that was comedy, whilst this is just pure farce.

Kenny MacAskill is Alba Party MP for East Lothian

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