There can be little doubt which side of the Scottish independence debate is favoured by the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre: he is clearly for Better Together, for keeping Scotland part of the United Kingdom. The problem for the Vagina Monologue is that the sneering tone being struck by his pundits is more likely to have the opposite effect, and drive voters into the Yes camp.
Harry Potter and the Gobshite of Arslikhan
Typical of that sneering tone is the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not), whose contribution to the debate is headlined “Did losing an English girl's love turn Salmond into a raging Nat? QUENTIN LETTS delves into the mind of the man who wants to destroy the UK”, which is total bunk: as any fule kno, Quent couldn’t delve into a biscuit tin without having someone to do it for him.
And the resulting article is rather obviously a work, if not of total fiction, then of significant embellishment. The holes are, generally, in the style of the average colander: “Should Scots vote to leave the United Kingdom next week, we can perhaps blame a pretty English girl called Debbie Horton, from Hackney, East London. Forty-one years ago she had a row with her boyfriend, a sad-eyed 18-year-old who was a fellow student at St Andrews” tells Quent.
He then goes on, inventing as he goes: “Debbie was secretary of the university Labour party and she and her beau had a row about politics. The squabble (and their love affair) ended with English Debbie shouting: ‘If you feel like that, go and join the bloody Scots Nationalists.’ To which, with the defiance of dumped lovers through the ages, the lad sobbed: ‘See if I don’t!’” And what happened then?
“The boy was Alex Salmond. Next day, emotions still a-boil, he hitchhiked to the SNP’s offices in Dundee. He duly joined the party which he has now led to the brink of separation from Britain”. Very good Quent, and why should anyone, even an impecunious student, need to hitch-hike from St Andrews to Dundee? That looks suspiciously like Salmond’s Wikipedia entry with a little, er, embroidery.
Moreover, if Salmond had been fired by his falling-out with a girlfriend, why did he spend two years as a civil servant, followed by another seven as an economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland, before becoming an MP? Why, also, did he stand down as leader of the SNP in 2000, if he was so fixed on demonstrating that the party’s cause was a just one? Quent, unsurprisingly, doesn’t tell us.
Instead, we get “Yes, Salmond is a piece of work all right ... In my days in this trade I have met a fair few politicians. Some are genuine ... Many are truly charming. A few, like Mr Salmond, leave one perplexed ... There is a flintiness in his bonhomie, a harshness to his smile” HE SAW YOU COMING, QUENT.
Alex Salmond will lap up this rubbish. Thus the Mail does his campaigning for him.