Vladimir McTavish’s A KICK UP THE TABLOIDS


The three days between Thursday June 8 and Saturday 10 June proved to be a three-day rollercoaster of emotions for millions of left-leaning Scots. No sooner had we digested Thursday’s mixed election results north of the Border, we were then taken through the nerve-shredding experience of the events at Hampden Park on the Saturday.

While we wanted to see Theresa May take a pasting at the polling booth, I suspect many of us are quite enjoying the sight of her clinging on to power like a ship-wrecked victim hanging on to a lifeboat, and whose fresh water supply is at a critical level.

The shameful fact we have to face is that she is being propped up by Scottish Tory MPs. When was the last time an English Conservative Prime Minister had to rely on votes in Scotland to stay in power? Shame on you, the voters of Aberdeen and Stirling, you are now officially more right-wing than the people of Kensington.

Writing in the Evening Standard on the day after the election, George Osborne described May as a ‘dead woman walking’. However, it’s difficult to work out whether this was a comment on her tenuous grip on the reins of power, or merely a rather obvious attack on her personal appearance. The longer the campaign went on, the more the PM began to resemble a bit-part player in a trashy 1950’s horror movie such as Zombie Invasion or The Bride of Frankenstein.

This was accentuated by her robotic speech patterns, in which she only appeared capable of saying six words, as if her internal programming had gone haywire. It was a bit like that episode of Father Ted, where they try to get Father Jack to say more than three phrases, but all he can utter is ‘Drink ! Feck ! Girls’ Likewise, no amount of cajoling or prompting got May to come up with anything other than ‘strong and stable’ or ‘coalition of chaos!’

However, as it turns out, at least three of those six words proved to be prophetic in the extreme, as the country is, indeed, now governed by the coalition of chaos. Fair enough: it’s a totally different coalition to the one she predicted, and a much worse level of chaos.

There was seldom a day during the election when nether The Sun nor Daily Mail would fail to come up with a story about Jeremy Corbyn giving support to extremists groups, or featuring library pictures as evidence of his association with, and love for, terrorists. Now we have the obscene pictures of May posing for photos, shaking hands on a deal struck with the political wing of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

Furthermore, it would now appear that the much-mentioned Magic Money Tree actually does exist. Not only has two-billion pounds been found to pay for an aircraft carrier which will be operating without any aircraft (apparently the money tree was not magic enough to conjure up even one plane) but over £6m has suddenly appeared to carry out essential repairs to Buckingham Palace.

What kind of society do we live in where its elected members of parliament vote to pay an unelected monarch to make repairs to one of her six homes but deny pay rises for fire-fighters, less than two weeks after at least eighty poor people were killed because so many corners were cut in the refurbishment of their accommodation that their homes turned out to be as combustible as a box of matches?

Most obscene of all, however, is the £1bn plucked from the branches of the Magic Money Tree to bribe ten climate change denying, homophobic bigots to keep this discredited bunch of idiots in power.

Ruth Davidson’s planned wedding to her long-term partner, Jen, has had to be postponed from October to a date yet to be confirmed. I wonder if Arlene Foster will be getting an invitation. I know it is wrong to judge people on appearance, but looking at Arlene Foster, I do find it difficult to understand that she does not have more sympathy for the trans-gendered community.

Meanwhile, here in Scotland, a nation that was deeply divided on the morning of Friday the ninth of June had once again become united by early evening on Saturday the tenth. At least fifty per cent of the population went through the entire gamut of Scottish emotion in the space of five minutes, at the conclusion of the vital World Cup qualifier against England. We went from resignation at 0-1 to satisfaction at 1-1 to utter delirium at 2-1 then back to total devastation at 2-2. Ask any Scotland fan before kick-off, and they would all have settled for a draw.

Perhaps, the SNP should use that game as a metaphor for its own fortunes. To lose twenty-one MPs was not good, but the high-water mark of fifty-six in 2015 was never going to be repeated. The day after the 2010 General Election, if you had asked any SNP voter if they’d be happy with thirty-five MPs in seven years’ time, they’d have bitten your hand off.

Vladimir McTavish will be appearing in ‘Scotland-the state of the nation’ throughout the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe at The Stand Comedy Club from Friday 4 to Sunday 27 August (except Monday 17) at 6.15 pm wwwoutstandingtickets.com

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