This has been building up for a while now.
He is in great fear, not knowing what mighty one may suddenly appear, wielding the Ring, and assailing him with war, seeking to cast him down and take his place. That we should wish to cast him down and have no one in his place is not a thought that occurs to his mind. That we should try to destroy the Ring itself has not yet entered into his darkest dream.
– The Lord of the Rings, Book I, Chapter V, “The White Rider”
A while back I speculated that the EU Referendum was being used as a proxy war between two different factions within The Establishment.
On one side, you had the Nativists: these are people who have – or at least believe they have – genuine pride and concern for the United Kingdom, a belief in their nation, and a willingness to put party-politics aside for what they perceive as the greater good. Despite their selfishness & arrogance, for whatever reason, they really do care about the UK’s international reputation, its territorial integrity, and its wealth. This is exemplified by the likes of David Cameron, Theresa May, John Major, and other pro-EU figures in the UK Government Party.
On the other side, you had the Conmen. These people might talk a big talk about the United Kingdom and Great Britain, or even let the mask slip & talk about England – but in truth, it’s all lip service to their voting base. They don’t care about the UK, its people, its borders, or even its wealth, even in a nominal sense: all they care about is themselves and their own coffers. This is clear to see in the likes of Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Nigel Farage, and all the other squillionaires who look set to make themselves even more rich in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
So what does this mean for Scottish Independence? I have a bold theory.
Please stop misusing the word ‘clown’
With regard to your recent article and headline (Our elders are supposed to be older and wiser. But not these Brexit clowns, theguardian.com, 21 December), I am a prize-winning international musical clown, part of an honourable profession, and am deeply offended by the misuse and misrepresentation of “clown” in connection with parliamentary or other forms of chaotic behaviour.
The constant use of the word “circus” in the press to denote a mess or bad behaviour is also distasteful. Unlike the comparison the press constantly draws, a clown or indeed a circus must be orderly and efficient to work properly. And in the case of a circus, it takes teamwork – which is the opposite of the impression the press gives.
Please could the fourth estate find other words to describe political behaviour.
Tilney St Lawrence, Norfolk
With the greatest of respect to Mr Konyot, I am being very specific in my reference to the current cabinet as clowns. While I would be loth to presume to tell you all about your profession, my impression is that the work of a clown is to present the semblance of chaos and pandemonium with highly trained and practised routine by experienced and disciplined performers. In other words, it’s all an act. That’s what I’m saying. It is not (always) incompetence: it is deliberate and concerted actions designed to provoke a reaction and set certain responses in motion. The question is, are these charlatans truly as incompetent as they appear, or is it a masterful act of deception that would make Keyser Soze proud?
Last time, we catalogued…
- a Prime Moronster who says a town in England is worth more than the most populated region of Scotland
- a Clowncellor who said Scotland having any control over its own affairs was “constitutional vandalism”
- a Home Secretrickster who couldn’t wait to cut Scotland’s funding
- a Foreign Secretrickster who passionately advocated for full-fiscal autonomy for Scotland before voting against it every chance he got
- a Brexit Secretrickster who said Scottish people should be disenfranchised following a Yes vote even if they were still part of the UK when a General Election was held,
- a Clowncellor of the Duchy of Lancaster who seems to resent Scots more than most of his own party
- a Defense Secretrickster who immediately claimed a No vote as a victory for his party
So who else is there? Doo-doo-doodle-oodle-ood-doo-doo-doo…
When Julius Fučík composed Entrance of the Gladiators in 1897, he was no doubt thinking of the blood and thunder spectacle of the ancient Coliseum: mighty warriors from all across the Roman Empire thrust into brutal combat against slaves, beasts, and one another. The Thraex beats his wicked sica against his battered parmula; the Murmillo’s burnished manica glinting in the blazing Italian sun, his face obscured behind the grill of his cassius crista; the Retarius brandishes his mighty trident and man-catcher net. The crowd rocks the walls of the Coliseum with their acclaim for their heroes. The bombast & majesty of the piece made it ideal for ironic juxtaposition for circuses in the early 20th Century – it worked so well that this magnificent fanfare became forever linked to the slapstick & satire of the circus clown.
Of course, in the 20th Century, it’s come full circle – from the music being used to offset the silliness of clowns, nowadays the piece seems best served to ridicule people with rather high opinions of their competence.
In the 19th Century, it was the theme for gladiators.
In the 20th Century, it was the theme for clowns.
In the 21st Century, it’s the theme for politicians.
So what does this troupe have in store for Scotland?
I could actually weep for some of the people in our country:
I genuinely don’t understand the logic of anyone whose view of Scottish independence is affected by who is or might be Prime Minister, or which party is in government. It very much suggests they haven’t understood the question.
– Some Numpty On Twitter Who Already Gets Too Much Attention
It is everything to do with the question – because “who is or might be Prime Minister/party of government” is never our choice. It is the choice of England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland together. One of those countries outnumbers the others 8 to 1.
More than that, it isn’t just who is Prime Minister now, or who may be Prime Minister in the future – it’s every single Prime Minister in my 35 years of existence on this planet.
My first Prime Minister was so beloved of my fellow Scots that the Number 1 song in Scotland on the week of her death was “Ding-Dong The Witch Is Dead.” My second Prime Minister (even if he is, in retrospect, far and away the best in my lifetime) led the UK to financial disaster and aggravated the forces which led the UK to where it is now through his sheer incompetence. My third Prime Minister is a war criminal who conspired to steal Scotland’s resources. My fourth Prime Minister sold even more of Scotland’s resources to mitigate his cataclysmic mishandling of another financial crisis. My fifth Prime Minister, who cannot be mentioned in the same breath as pigs in polite company, presided over cruelties, scandals, and catastrophes that would give my first Prime Minister pause. My sixth Prime Minister has become a punchline.
At least until Seven.
So who will that be?
As predicted by nobody (except those who were paying attention) the European Elections were a resounding victory for Remain-supporting parties in Scotland – who won every single voting area, as well as more or less matching the EU referendum result of 62% of the vote – and an unmitigated disaster for them in the rest of the UK.
And amidst all the hand-wringing and caterwauling about what on earth the UK Remain Camp can do to solve this crisis, they actually exacerbate the problem in the process.
Soon we’ll know the results of the European Parliament Elections.
I remember every major poll since 2014 vividly: almost perfect recall. This one stood out for me in ways that chilled me to the bone.