Tuesday, November 01, 2005

As Mr McLetchie Hails His Final Cab, Scotland Looks Like A Wee Country Led By Lemmings

So, after much prevarication, the taxi can be ordered for the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Mr David McLetchie. Mr McLetchie does not have the look of a Buddhist, so it is unlikely that he believes in the principle of "karma", but there is a symmetry in the fact that his political demise came after a protracted campaign over an apparently trivial matter which grew larger and more damaging the more he tried to ignore it. Perhaps, as he plays keepie-uppie on the asphalt fields of Fife, the former First Minister, Mr Henry McLeish, will allow himself a smile. It was Mr McLetchie who hounded Mr McLeish on the question of his administrative probity, and now he, too, has fallen.
In this regard, the Scottish parliament has been peculiarly unlucky. The Scottish Nationalists misplaced their leader when the waxen presentation of Mr John Swinney failed to set the heather alight, and they are now in the peculiar position of having one-and-a-half leaders. The old Cheshire Cat, Mr Alex Salmond, is in charge, but not in the building, so his bidding is done by Ms Nicola Sturgeon. This surfeit of "heid-bummers" cannot disguise the fact that the SNP is a party which has misplaced its purpose, which - traditionally - was to act as a protest vote when Labour governments failed to deliver a land of milk, honey, and free mince for every voter.
The Liberal Democrats, who are - lest we forget - in government, have misplaced their top man, the 40-watt firebrand, Mr Jim Wallace, and replaced him with someone whose name I have yet to register. The Scottish Socialists have imploded too, sending their leader, Mr Tommy Sheridan, for an extended holiday on the electric beach, despite the fact that he was the party's only electoral asset.
For Labour, Mr Jack McConnell remains unassailable, even though his most memorable contribution to the gaiety of the nation was his decision to wear a modernist kilt to a celebration of tartan in the United States. Thanks to the accent adopted by Mr Sean Connery in The Untouchables, the Americans already assume that Scotland is a suburb of Ireland, but they must have been doubly confused when the country's administrative head wore pinstripes when the dress code said "plaid".
Can it really be true that we get the leaders we deserve? One trusts, with diminishing certainty, that it is not.


Learson said...

In Scotland, government has been reduced to a mildly amusing theatrical performance that provides entertainment for the unsophisticated electorate and power for the tricksters, saboteurs and mountebanks who prey on its members.

Anonymous said...

Ah How lucky they are up there! The worst of them infest the corridors of Westminster from 10 and 11 Downing Street through the whole cabinet to the leaders of the main British political parties (I almost said English!) They're only wee specimens over the border up there..