KICK UP THE TABLOIDS

VLADIMIR McTAVISH’S KICK UP THE TABLOIDS

It is seldom that this column opens with a message of congratulations to the Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party. Well done, Ruth Davidson. This is truly an historic occasion. It is the first time in the history of Scottish politics, that a party leader has become pregnant in order to get a few new photo opportunities. After being snapped by the press driving tanks and riding bucking broncos, Ruth is looking to be portrayed in a softer light. I imagine that, after three election campaigns where Davidson was presumably being rebuffed by young parents, she has concluded that the only way she can be photographed kissing a baby is to have one of her own.

The young Davidson-Wilson will be born into a markedly different world to that of the 1950s when I first entered this world. I am now sixty years old and have lived in Britain all of my life. However, my father was adopted and two of my grandparents were born outside the UK. It is only in the last few weeks that it has occurred to me that I may be living in this country illegally.

The scandal of the Windrush Generation is obscene on so many levels. What I find most disgusting is that this Government behaves as if people who were born here and have worked their entire adult life for the NHS have less right to stay in the UK, and less entitlement to hospital treatment than a recently-defected former Soviet agent.

As there has been so much over-exaggeration surrounding the Sergei Skripal affair, it is important to put the whole matter into some kind of perspective. It was not, as claimed by Theresa May, ‘an attack on Britain’. It was an attack in Britain on a former Russian spy by person or persons unknown. Furthermore, the assumption that it was ‘almost certainly Russia’ who carried out the attack ignores a number of facts.

Sergei Skripal was no human rights activist – he was an ex-spy, a trained killer. He had doubtless carried out numerous similar attacks on other people in countless countries across the globe in the course of his career. He had doubtless managed to piss off a number of different groups of people over the years. Indeed, when you work in espionage, it kind of goes with the territory. If you are a defector or a double-agent, the chances are that you have pissed-off twice as many people as your normal run-of-the-mill one-country spook.

The guy could have been attacked by the KGB, the Russian mafia, MI5, MI6, Mossad, the CIA, or various rogue elements previously employed by any of the above. He could even have got on the wrong side of a truly evil organisation such as Amazon.

Also, let’s face it: if the Russian state was out to do the bloke in, I tend to think they would have made a bloody sight better fist of doing the job. They tend to kill you off in a much more clinical way than leaving a few traces of itching powder on your door handle. Even British intelligence is a good deal more efficient at making people disappear. I am sure most readers remember the UK agent who was found strangled, handcuffed, trussed-up and zipped into a sports bag, whose death was passed off as ‘suicide’.

‘Russia will face the full wrath of Britain’ bellowed May. Like some latter-day Churchill, only without the excuse of being drunk, our PM always looks absolutely petrified when making such announcements. Indeed, she has recently adopted the demeanour of someone being subjected to non-elective colonic irrigation.

Hearing they were facing the full wrath of our armed forces must have had the guys in the Kremlin quaking in their boots, although more probably shaking in their seats with laughter, as they waited for our one aircraft carrier to steam up the Baltic, only to wait another five years for its aircraft to be delivered.

Quite who will suffer from the range of sanctions announced against Russia is anyone’s guess. With their tit-for-tat expulsion of British diplomats from Moscow, the only people likely to be affected are English people at the World Cup. Undoubtedly a few daft idiots will get drunk, lose their passports and get arrested for starting fights outside nightclubs. And, that’s just the players.

May, of course, further announced that the UK Government and the Royal Family would not be going to the World Cup, which left everyone in Scotland totally unimpressed. After all, we decided last October that we won’t be going to this year’s World Cup.

Vladimir McTavish will be appearing at The Stand’s New Town Theatre, George Street, Edinburgh at this year’s Fringe with his solo show ‘25 Years Of Stand-Up’ from Friday 3 to Sunday 26 August at 6.50pm each night (except Tuesday 14) www.thestand.co.uk

Photograph

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