Hanging on the Telephone…

I’ve been sitting by the phone all afternoon…and nothing, not a single call, not even a wrong number, not even Dave reminding me about Mo Farah. I haven’t even had the money spivs from Canary Wharf who call once week to see if I want to invest in an eco hotel in Camden. Does nobody in Englandshire love me? Am I to take it that Dave’s rally call has been met with silence? Am I to be jilted, left to wander off into the twilight world of separation without so much as a word of regret, no blown kiss, no hearty: “Come here, mate, gimme a hug for auld lang zyne, ya mad Jock bastard…remember how we beat the Hun, old son? I reckon it was your bleedin bagpipes chased ‘em off…my missus, she don’ ‘alf like your Chris Hoy’s glistening thighs…”

So, chin on chest, I’ve come to record for posterity my gut-wrenching disappointment that nobody down there loves me – not even my own bloody family!

Mind you I’m not surprised after the doing Salmond gave to Ed Stourton on WATO. He walloped him all over the park and rather put me out by bringing up the very point I had planned to make in the blog this afternoon – that this week Cameron’s job isn’t Scotland at all. Devon and Cornwall are suffering another battering after weeks of flooding and people are in despair while the authorities haggle, money is promised too late, the army turns up without a brief and no one knows how to stop it happening again. A real Prime Minister wouldn’t have been standing in the Olympic Park addressing the Scottish Question, he should have been in his wellies organising the rescue. His antennae are useless, a point I made weeks ago. This guy isn’t very good. He’s like Blair, an actor prince, full of bravado and bullshit who thinks being a well-connected nob is all you need and so far it has been. But getting there is one thing, staying there and making it work is quite another. Ask yourself how Salmond has done it all these years and is still pulling the strings in Edinburgh and London.

Dave is going to lose his No-Salmond-Debate gambit. Nobody buys it, not even his own side and as the polls tighten further the pressure will become unbearable especially now we know Salmond is ready to debate with Darling or anybody else so long as he gets Cameron up first. (Please, please the grammar is …debate with…not Salmond debates Cameron…that’s American trash talk and is not allowed on this site. All posts missing the preposition will be blocked…)

I’m wondering now if this week was set aside for an assault, a bit like D-Day. Oops, sorry we were all on the same side then. I reckon you’d have to give a couple of weeks notice at least to hire the Olympic venue even if you’re Downing Street. And if I think back we had our BP oil man afraid of staying in Aberdeen after Separation Day, blast after blast of ludicrous warnings from the likes of Vince and Sainsbury’s said again our chicken nuggets will go up. If it was coordinated, it means BP became an agent of government and engaged in party politics which is probably against their rules but then remember the chairman of BP was in the tent when Blair signed the Deal in the Desert with Gaddafi and tried to offload Megrahi in a prisoner transfer agreement to get the oil contract. And I forget how many of New Labour’s little darlings went straight over to jobs in BP.

And, you know, it hasn’t worked. I detect a change in the wind and once the London elitists in the media realise that Salmond is talking sense on the economy and just how hard it will hit England if we go, it will get harder for them to mount sustained attacks. Also, if they love us so much, why are they threatening us? Shouldn’t they be promising to share the currency for friendship’s sake and offering to back us all the way in Brussels? Maybe I misunderstand the nature of friends and family.

It has been an abiding aspect of my 45 years in journalism that you can’t interest an Englishman in our affairs. We started on this latest journey in the mid and late 80’s with the constitutional convention. Barely an English commentator noticed. They remained ignorant right up the point of devolution when they realised it would impact on them and then got animated for a while. I interviewed Peter Riddell of the Times who was strong on the idea that England should follow our story and have a say in the reform of Britain. I said you are interested but the English don’t care what happens in Scotland, they’ve had at least 20 years to catch up and they don’t. His reply was: “You’re absolutely right but it’s not good enough.”

And where were the Tessa Jowells when the Scottish committees at Westminster were stuffed with English Tories because they didn’t have enough in Scotland? Nowhere and silent with it. Wasn’t it Tessa who diverted funding from Scotland to pay for the Olympics?

Hang on, that’s the phone!

Damn, it was Hardeep the laundry man bringing back my shirts.  I got him to say he loved me…

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0 thoughts on “Hanging on the Telephone…

  1. As per – bloody brilliant Derek…. You will not need a CV when you apply for Head of the Scottish Broadcasting Service… simply send them a link to all your articles here!

    Slight disappointment in that you appear to have missed the podium but then you, the avid journo would have been glued to DC’s lips trying to make sense of what he was wittering on about…

  2. I had a call from someone in London about PPI claim. Can’t I take that to mean the love in has started.

  3. I had a call saying I could get a grant for a new boiler. I asked the fella if that was really the reason he was calling and did he have something else that he wanted to say.

    I told him not to worry, we’re all friends, whatever he had to say was fine, we’re a progressive bunch here in Scotland, hadn’t we just legalised same sex marriages this week in our Parliament ?

    First time I’ve ever had a sales caller hang up on me.

  4. John mccutcheon

    Another good blog. But what, where or who is WATO and who is Ed Stourton??

  5. John mccutcheon

    I read my bible there, and saw that God loved me.Perhaps we shouldn’t underestimate the persuasive powers of the Prime minister!!!

  6. Thanks John, that saves me from asking about WATO and Ed Stourton. It worries me when I miss things. Please enlighten us Derek.

  7. Can wee have Wee Eck “doing” Ed Stourton on WATO as a separate item I can’r be bothered to listen to the rest of the guff on that program.

    PS Why can’t the BEEB do as NPR does and have the interviews as separate items on their sites?

  8. creigs1707repeal

    Dear Dave,

    Kids in poverty can’t eat gold medals nor will wrapping themselves in a Union Jack help fight the cold.


  9. John mccutcheon

    Thanks. it’s bad enough when the BBC keep us in the dark,but when it’s your own side lol

  10. First class Derek.

    Did anyone else catch the Q&A bombshell? I’m pretty certain DC declared he would be visiting Scotland several times over the course of the year to make the argument and in fact bringing the rest of his ministerial team. Kind of blows the whole ‘debate for Scots alone’ defence out of the water.

  11. You take reverse charge calls,if so, you could sleep well tonight.

  12. Thanks Amicus Curious I never listen to World at One but, maybe I should. The interview was very enjoyable as Alex Salmond dealt with the interviewer and David Cameron in quick order.

  13. Salmond played a blinder I watched him while I was waiting for my phone to ring my boss was most understanding when I said I wouldn’t be at work today as I was waiting on a very important call alas it never came.

  14. I had 5 calls on the phone when I got in, sadly 4 were those number withheld foreign calls that I have never actually figured out the purpose of. The other was I suspect a wrong number. I am not feeling the love. Actually, the number of messages I have seen on line from people in England saying vote Yes and take me with you does give me a warm glow 🙂

  15. Good to see you cybernats are taking on big business so seriously they have spoken out (but just a personal opinion, luckily we are still allowed these, eh?). Now you are so keen, do you want to reverse any stances on Donald Trump. Those who live in glass houses should think before they try to stone everyone else!

  16. There will not be any debate…or so John Whatsisname, the only poll expert in the world stated on the BBC.

    When do you think this debate will happen Derek? I’m plumping for when the cabinets’ meet in Scotland. Exciting times.

    p.s. I haven’t had any calls today either. 🙁

  17. Yes Morag,
    It says Fnna, fnaa faa fna fa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaafm. OK?

  18. Same here, Derek. I’d been hoping for an inspirational pep talk from the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg (or Hazel Blears on a bad day) but not a cheep from either of them. Still, there are months to go and I might get a call from Jim Nick-nick Davidson yet. A bright spot on the horizon.

  19. cynicalHighlander

    No calls here either mind you twitter has been buzzing with good wishes and promises of moving north or wishing to move border south.

  20. Highly disapointed today. I went to all the trouble of changing my number to a premium rate one (might as well raise funds for the Yes campaign) and none of my English friends called…… such a shame.

  21. Is it just me, but I find lovebombing, if that is what it is, just as annoying as fearbombing?

    They have a few syllables in common, i.e. bombing.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, this is not a word bombing that should be in anyones lexicon about a democratic referendum.

    My phone has been oddly silent too……

  22. I didn’t watch or listen to Cameron and his tosh. His every performance is too insulting – either bullying or patronizing or mocking and I don’t know which I like the least.

  23. Waited in all day but nobody rang

  24. Good article Derek.

    I heard Alex Salmond’s comment on BBC News, from a Website, asking why David Cameron wasn’t in Somerset and north Devon rather than pontificating to the people of Scotland from London.. They have of course been suffering these floods for a month in the main but for some it is approaching 6 weeks!

    The radio news later pointed out that DC was heading for Somerset!

    I have family in south Devon, which hasn’t been that badly affected but is bad enough, but none of them ‘phoned me to ask me to vote No. But then, they are supporters of independence..

    What a blunder. If they don’t care about the people of the south-west of England, and other English regions, what chance do the people of Scotland have were we to vote No..

    Obviously, too much of England’s infrastructure budget goes to London and the south-east at the expense of the rest of England,, too much of it’s flood prevention budget goes to London and the south-east at the expense of the rest of England, too much of the Arts budget goes to London and the south-east at the expense of the rest of England. etc.

    Hereunto, said English regions have argued that Scotland is better funded in these fields than they are.

    I do believe the penny is now dropping and maybe that should be pointed out at every turn..

    Anyway, good article. You now have another regular reader.

  25. Rather nice twist in the PMs press conference today (Tuesday) about the flooding of the Thames when everything under the sun was promised. The Herald London Political correspondent is it Mr Settle (the PM did not know his name) asked a question about sharing the currency union with Scotland -no real comment from David but an assurance that George Osborne was going to deal with that later in the week! Nice twist in that the first question at PMs Olympian speech was about flooding in Somerset.

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