Tuesday, 8 November 2011
“The name’s Max – Devo Max, licensed to talk nonsense about independence: my number is 1707-2014 – give me a call sometime …”
In moments of slight megalomania, I imagine that at least some of the things I write might have a tiny influence on the media, but I am rapidly brought down to earth by watching news and current affairs broadcasts. I gave a bit of well-meaning advice on the use of the inaccurate cliché “It may be … but …” as an all-purpose opener or/and closer to news items, but here is Glenn Campbell at it again on his second item on Newsnight Scotland on the Scottish Tories. “The election may be over …” says Glenn. No, it is over Glenn, hadn’t you noticed – the results are in, the winner is confirmed. Do they hand these conversation lozenges over the presenters just before the programme starts, to be chewed and then regurgitated? Or are they now in the DNA?
But my real concern was with the first item on, guess what, devo max and the referendum. BBC presenters are now akin to the Flying Dutchman, condemned to roam the ether, always asking the same questions – What is devo max?- When will the referendum be? - What could the questions be? To sustain them in this endless, fruitless quest, they have an unlimited supply of commentators and experts who don’t know the answers either, and they have a built-in deficiency which prevents them from hearing the answers when they are given, usually by Alex Salmond or Angus Robertson. What ******* chance have I got in offering some clarity?
Here is my referendum eye chart. Please look at the chart and read each line from the top down. Don’t worry if you can’t read or understand it – you are part of a large group that has similar problems.
Thank you – that concludes the test. I have to tell you that conventional spectacles are not going to prove sufficient to correct your disability, given that you didn’t get beyond the first line, and even understanding that caused you some difficulty. Laser surgery is, I’m afraid, the only option, but it does involve radical adjustment of your political perspective. But you have over two years to decide. Meanwhile, do try to get on with your life. Writing fantasy fiction can help.
May I suggest a couple of topics that will keep you safely shielded from reality? How about How to re-energise the Tory Party in Scotland – that could also be a fantasy comedy – and What Labour Must Do – that would, of course, be a tragedy …