Yesterday Radio 4’s “Any Questions” came from the Harvest Field Centre in Sutton Coldfield, a leafy suburb of Birmingham.
Eddie Mair’s guests on the panel were Baroness Ruth Deech, Chairman of the Bar Standards Board, Douglas Murray, director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, author and historian Alex von Tunzelmann and Maajid Nawaz, founder of the Quilliam Foundation.
It was brought to our attention by Cynical Highlander that 36 minutes into the programme there was a discussion about the release of Al Megrahi. I found some of the comments quite literally incredible.
The Noble Deech said:
"If Scotland wants to be independent, OK be my guest, go ahead do what you want and please take back with you all the Scottish politicians, there are so many of them you know, starting with Blair, (sic) Brown and Campbell (sic). Take them all back and off you go and go off on your own because actually we are all subsidizing them, I think, by way of benefits and all sorts of reasons and if they want to show how independent they are, then OK thank you and goodbye."
Nice delivery by the way Your Baronessness!!
But she wasn’t the only one who insulted us.
Douglas Murray’s (Eton and Oxford) remit as being a director of social cohesion clearly doesn’t run to any kind of cross border friendships because he certainly cares very little for us or our politicians. What a load of hatred spewed from this guy.
This is what he said: “There is not very much to do if you are the Scottish Justice Secretary in a devolved Scottish Assembly (sic). You can at least read the one important bit of news that’s come across your desk in the last five years (sic). The problem that I think, (sic) the most galling thing about this whole thing is this pretend, horrible, charade building in Edinburgh called the Scottish Parliament and the horrible charade politicians who inhabit it and who occasionally crawl out of the darkness and explain something to the rest of us, as if we’ve never thought of moral questions before. I mean Kenny MacAskill and Alex Salmond these horrible grandstanding, Mickey Mouse politicians have been parading around talking about the unique compassion of the Scottish people. We are uniquely compassionate no one else feels compassion like me. I’m feeling so compassionate at the moment I can hardly bare it.”
What a tosser.
OK. If you do not believe the Scottish government, if you think that Kenny MacAskill and Alex Salmond were so incredibly stupid that they let a supposed mass murderer out of prison, knowing that he would live for another 10 years, then doubtless you will be very angry with them.
But Alex Salmond is a wily character. Even his worst enemies would give him that. He knew that this would be raked over not just by Scottish politicians but by the politicians of the most powerful country in the world. With respect to any Labour, Tory or Liberal leaders in parliament most of them have been walked all over by Salmond. The international stage was going to be a very different kettle of fish. Questions would be asked by some of the most powerful people in the world.
Salmond knew that. He knew he would be questioned by, Obama, Clinton and members of the Senate and House of Representatives... He knew the eyes of the world would be on him... and the decision he, or Kenny, made.
I simply don’t believe that he made it for any other reasons than the ones that he gave. He’s just not that gullible
Mickey Mouse panellists on the BBC playing for a laugh and quite clearly being carried along once they knew they had the English audience on side should be ashamed of themselves. The programme in question is a respected vehicle for intelligent political discussion. If panellists are looking for a cheap laugh, the ‘Now Show’ or the ‘News Quiz’ is the correct place to look for paying employment.
But the clear hatred of Scots, and Scots politicians (all of them) and of the Scottish parliament was made more than clear by the warm reception that these people's rants got from the Sutton Coalfield audience.
They may be the best advertisement for Scottish Independence possible. The SNP could begin to afford this kind of publicity.
Tape it Alex, and use it in the campaign!
Pics: Deech, MacAskill and Murray.