Why Janey Godley’s spoof of Nicola Sturgeon is so brilliant – Bill Jamieson

With Nicola Sturgeon and Matt Hancock seemingly never off our screens, Bill Jamieson wonders if this – and the accompanying satire – is all part of the new normal.

Janey Godley has something to tell the nation (Picture : John Devlin)
Janey Godley has something to tell the nation (Picture : John Devlin)

Politics will never be the same – either in content or in style. There now looks to be an irreversible shift towards higher spending, higher tax and much more regulation and intervention. And it is hard to see how there will be much of a return to the laissez-faire politics of governments stepping back and leaving things to take their own course, with a minimum of interference.

It is all that the Scottish Conservatives will be able to do to hold back the pressure for higher taxation – and in particular higher taxes for those deemed “better off”.

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A tax on generous pension pots – or a wealth tax of some sort to curb the massive increases in government debt and deficit – looks a distinct possibility. As for spending cuts, a return to anything smacking of “austerity economics” is a political no-no.

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And our political culture has changed, too. We have grown scarily accustomed to those daily briefings of statistics, graphs, advice, admonition and hectoring to keep the nation united and resolved in the battle against the coronavirus. The “Matt Hancock Show”, flanked by health experts and epidemiologists, has gone from the novel to the boringly routine, while officials deemed to have breached the lockdown restrictions, whether for family, health or purely romantic reasons, are subjected to ferocious grilling and condemnation by so-called “objective” broadcasters. We are close to social control by witch-hunt.

Might the daily news conferences of badgering and admonition by Matt Hancock and Nicola Sturgeon, declaiming from a rostrum with national flags in the background, become a permanent feature of our politics?

To be exposed to it so often is disturbing. Little wonder the brilliant, if overly sweary, skits on YouTube by comedian Janey Godley taking off the First Minister have proved so popular. I’m not sure what holds our attention more – the send-up of the First Minister or the ferocious agitation of her sign language companion, who looks to have come straight from a stairheid rammy.

And how I eagerly look forward to Godley’s closing sign-off: “I’m aff for a tuna sandwich”, followed swiftly by “Frank, get the door!” – surely the new national catchphrase of these troubled times.

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