Holiday Quiz

A draft of an article by a respected columnist was sent to us anonymously…any guesses who it might be?

‘In the words of Pliny the Elder…adminitio cybernatus servus rightis Caesar maximus spotonia. For those bereft of a classical education (Nationalists) I have an up-to-date translation gleaned from my Central Office Online Thesaurus. It is: Alex Salmond is a fud. As his biographer I can confirm that this view of the once-mighty First Minister chimes with my own informed opinion, bringing together the mind of an immortal Roman philosopher with my own.

Game set and match I think, but the Herald expects 800 words for their money so I’ll now attempt some scratchy justification for yet another anti-SNP tirade dressed up as analysis. Some people think I quote obscure historical figures to make me look clever but it’s simpler than that. The trouble is it’s really quite hard to keep coming with something original every week when I’m so busy elsewhere so I tend to fall back on tried and tested themes I can trot out with ease. (Should you be admitting this? Ed)

The Herald has never paid very much because the age of hiring genuine talent for decent cash is long gone. (You can say that again. Ed) They don’t expect much which makes it a dawdle although they’re now so short of actual sub editors, I have to proof read my own copy before it goes over the web to South Wales where they attach my huge photo. (The bigger it is, the less space I have to fill with words)

But what the cybernat critics forget is I’m pretty stretched these days with other commitments what with Alex Massie muscling in on the Scottish right wing writer gig and appearing in what should be my slots in the Mail (handsome payers) and the upmarket Spectator. But wait till my new book on classical interiors in New Town Edinburgh (Birlinn) comes out. It’ll blow them all away.

My theme today is that the SNP are not a radical party, not like Mrs Thatcher. They are boring, conventional, middle-of-the-road Church of bloody Scotland Highland dancing teuchters who take their holidays in a cottage in the East Neuk. But worse than that, they refuse to make any mistakes. They’re like the Bank of Scotland branch manager in Forfar High Street circa 1955 – dreary, efficient, trustworthy, well-liked and, in a limited way, successful.

That’s what Tories used to be when John Buchan was in his heyday. Ah, to think of such as Richard Hannay as Tory candidate for Argyll and Bute…dashing, windswept, true blue and utterly fucking British. (That’s enough. Ed)

You see it’s hard to stomach that there is no future for ambitious young-ish Tories in today’s scarified Scottish landscape. Time was when someone like me would be fighting off requests to stand in a winnable seat. Of course I would demur and bluster a bit until the blandishments got too much and I’d do my duty. But really, if Holyrood Regional Council is all that’s on offer, I’d rather not. I couldn’t be the showman like Tomkins and what’s the point of being too far down the Edinburgh list?

And it’s disappointing to say the least that the SNP won’t be goaded into putting up taxes as I’ve been advising for ages. David says it’s all part of the plan – starve the insurgents of money and force them to betray their true tax-and-spend instincts, leaving the way open for the dreadful Ruth person to be Tax Cutter Extraordinaire. (Must write something nice about her soon before anyone notices.)

So the Nats behave like Tories who are actually popular while having the gall to hoover up socialist votes too – and there’s nothing any of us can do to stop it.

I see that embarrassing lightweight Gardham finally cracked and went public admitting in effect he can’t compete against #SNPBAD. It was a fair go but really it’s because whatever he writes nobody takes him seriously. The real hashtag should be #SNPBADbutGardham10timesworse.

Of course I’m above engaging in twitter spats with goggle-eyed separatists. I’m on a different level from them with their handmade blog sites and amateur output. Best to ignore them altogether…unless I use the dreadful Wings person to publicise my column on Twitter as I did today. Or when I base last week’s column on BBC reject Bateman. Apart from that I never mention them. (You just did. Ed)

Anyway, I believe the government should be subject to scrutiny although I don’t think it’s appropriate to do the same to honest searchers after truth like columnists. Therefore next week I will ask why the government is dropping human rights, chasing away talented immigrants, impoverishing working people and concentrating spending in London. (You sure you’ve got the right government? Ed)

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22 thoughts on “Holiday Quiz

  1. majormacbloodnok

    Allegedly Torrance wasn’t born but was created at Tory head office in-vitro from a foetus nourished solely on shortbread and condensed milk.

  2. Nah, I haven’t a quiff who the person might be. Interesting though,

    A scarified Scottish landscape? Richard Hannay? The Galloway forest and Fluffy Mundell surely meets the criteria for excitement and derring do? And sweet Ruth will be transported to Englandshire soon enough, so Tory opportunity knocks, or sucks?

    Regards the Herald – salt and vinegar wi’ yer chips? Want them wrapped – Sports or Fashion section?Peel mair tatties Gardham!

  3. Gardham is not the only BritNat who’s cracked.

  4. Dave McEwan Hill

    John Buchan. My grandfather went through school with him (and beat him to the Dux medal my mammy told me) but he said that Buchan, though a Tory, was a strong Scottish Home Ruler

  5. Let’s be clear: we do not have a free press, television or radio. We have a press owned by billionaires, who to a man set a corporatist, neoliberal agenda to reflect/control/influence the power elites in politics, business, academia (largely), judiciary, military. The military/industrial complex has evolved into the military-industrial-corporate complex, to include most businesses, (not just the arms industry) and whose aim is to ensure the dominance of Western elites through whatever means are necessary, including wars. In this they are aided by a supine, acquiescent, non-challenging journalism which supplies simplified and simplistic explanations to what they think of as an ignorant and gullible public.

    Part of their agenda is to vilify and demonise any person or group who dares to challenge their assumptions and dominance. That is why the SNP and Scottish Independence is perceived as such a threat to the hegemony of the M-I-C-C, for the political and power elites of the UK are the faithful poodles of the overarching power that is the US.

    It may all be unspoken, but how can any journalist seriously challenge the corporate paradigm to which the paper’s owners subscribe and hope to remain in a job? But it begs the question, when the likes of Massey, Cochrane and co pen garbage about Salmond, Sturgeon and the SNP in general do they actually believe it? According to Wings, Massie wrote a piece in today’s Mail about Salmond’s visit to Iran which was designed, to quote the headline, “to help the Mullahs put the boot in to London”.

    If he actually believes that, then I think he’s in need of some help, just as much as if he wrote that he’d been abducted by aliens (now there’s a thought). These people write from some kind of Orwellian land of double-speak – a few decades ago they could have been writing for Pravda, such is their distance from reality.

    • Alasdair Macdonald

      The point is not whether they actually believe what they write, but whether it helps shore up the prejudices and visceral hatred within the core unionist support and stop them giving consideration to a pro-independence, Green, socialist, reasonable argument. They are also seeking to provoke a contemptuous response from one person so that they can then go their dinger about cybernats death threats or misogyny or antiBritishness.

    • Very well said, broadbield. While their influence is declining, the M.S.M is our greatest obstacle to our eventual independence. Aided by their establishment cohorts, whose tentacles reach into every facet of our everyday lives, they will do everything in their power, and it is considerable, to deny the Scottish people their birthright for as long as they possibly can, and even then, they will be bad losers. I just hope that with the asset stripping of Scotland that has been going on for centuries, there will be enough left for my great-grandchildren to inherit.

  6. Steve Asaneilean

    Derek – is this one of these multiple choice questions where the answer is:

    E – all of the above

  7. Neatly done Derek. 😀

    A short excerpt from Mr Salmond’s letter to the Herald on Torrance:-

    “However, allow me just two observations. First, I hardly know David Torrance. And secondly – and much more problematically for a biographer – he doesn’t know me at all.”

    As true today as it was then.

    In short, Mr Torrance appears to make a living writing on subjects about which he has neither insight nor knowledge. The difficulty is in separating him from the rest out there today I suppose. (shrugs)

  8. Tae ca’ Gardham a lichtweight is an insult tae lichtweights….he’s worse thin that. Vomitin’ their bile an’ ca’in it a newspaper: aye Neitzsche wiz richt…much traduced but seldom wrang.
    Attitudinal change is a slow burn…..but the realisation, slow but sure, of the perfidy of Lord ‘For a Worker’s Republic’ Darling the, sophistry of Hen ‘Licht Touch’ Broon, the principles ae – ah yaese the term loosely- Lord ‘if ma freen’s could see me noo’ Reid and Anthony ‘The Hague’ Blair is relentless. Caledonian apparatchiki.
    Burns despised them all…..
    But slow, glacial and relentless attitudinal change is leading us to what has been denied us for so many years…. Independence.
    Derek…great and forensic article…comme toujours. Thank You!


  9. One word….classic.

  10. It’s a toughie. I’d be tempted to say David Torrance but there is too much honesty and self-awareness.

  11. What is fascinating about all of this is that lots of us see through the curtain. The curtain, and an inability to comment on their bullshit, protected journalists up until reasonably recent times.

    They had rarely been directly challenged, although John McLeod the Herald’s nutty religionist, was even then, through their letter pages, challenged, because he was daft. I like to think he either left or was sacked largely because of the outrage his fundy Christian nonsense enraged the readership. It is inadvisable to spout pseudo science when everyone that argues against you can spout science.


    Nowadays,he would be welcomed with open arms into the bunker of petulance that are the writings of Magnus Gardham, who presumeably has no exclusive rights to expressions such as ‘SNP accused, SNP benighted, and.shortly, ‘SNP, sons of Satan.’. It is desperate click bait.

    It is why no-one treats main stream media – OK I know one old bloke that thinks the Daily Mail prints truth – as even vaguely reflective of anything other that the whiskey bottle they stare into, as their industry goes down the tubes.

    It will actually be quite hard for citizen journalism to raise issues like Thalidomide, which was, perhaps,the high spot of The Sunday Times.

    What we lose – the opinions of people I disresepect, because they are no better than their readership, and yet pretend they are – and what we gain, the abilty to crowd fund causes, is an equation I am willing to embrace.

  12. It is kind of sad that you had to walk away from mainstrem media before you could give full force to your voice.

    And it is a good voice.

  13. Are we seriously still living with British classics-education snobbery in twenty effing fifteen?

    I came across this lately – an interesting read on the history of British education:

  14. There may come a time when I weary of the pish being taken out of David Torrance. It will not be soon.

    Many thanks to Derek Bateman for a notable addition to the genre.

  15. Poor wee unionist journalists.

    They do NOT like it up ’em.

  16. Very good, I hope they get the joke, but I fear it may be to clever for them.

  17. Wishing you a good new year and all the very best for 2016.

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