++BREAKING NEWS: Judy Murray’s Strictly success is due to a Scot Nats plot

I have a confession to make. I buy the Daily Express nearly everyday. There. I said it. Believe it or not, I get it to do a nine letter puzzle on page 43 in the presence of a nonagenarian relative who has done the same quiz each day for decades. Nonetheless, it gives me a forced insight into the right-wing press. So, here’s a summary of what they normally say:

DAILY EXPRESS

EAT A TOMATO AND TAKE AN ASPIRIN EVERYDAY AND YOU WILL LIVE TO BE A HUNDRED
(If your stomach survives the aspirin onslaught).

DAILY MAIL

NOBODY IN BRITAIN CAN MAKE A SANDWICH ANY MORE
(A forlorn, plaintive lament which almost sounds like editor Paul Dacre’s befuddled retirement statement)

DAILY TELEGRAPH

JUDY MURRAY’S SUCCESS IN STRICTLY IS AN SNP PLOT TO ROCK THE FOUNDATIONS OF ENGLISH SOCIETY
**BONUS CONSPIRACY** THE APPRENTICE IS A MARXIST PLOT TO UNDERMINE CONFIDENCE IN BUSINESS

The latter two items have appeared in the column of one Iain Martin of the Telegraph. There is a gosammer thin veneer of humour on the surface of both articles, but basically they appear to be serious suggestions, delivered, as they are, by the former Editor of the Scotsman. Above his collection of columns, the Telegraph says that Mr Martin “writes about the evolving Tory party and its shifting fortunes – and also keeps watch on the inner workings of the Coalition Government”. No hint of a career in knockabout satire there.

So, on the strength of glancing at Strictly as he passed the open door of his lounge where his wife was watching it, Mr Martin weighs in on the success of Judy Murray, saying:

I sense the hand of the Nationalists and irate Yes voters keen to exact revenge on the English. Judy keeps doing well in the public vote, to the general bafflement of people living in England. There can only be one explanation. Scots are voting for Judy Murray. Once again the English find their democratic will overruled by Scots.

While some of the support she is receiving may be rooted in a genuine desire not to see a bad Scottish dancer humiliated by English voters, everything in Scotland right now is seen through the prism of the referendum. Far from being a festival of democracy it has created epic amounts of ill-feeling and scope for further division. The Nationalists know this. They are cunning. They know that the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing is the backbone of modern British popular culture. If they can weaken it by turning the public vote into a ridiculous farce, so that someone who can’t dance wins the contest just because her son wants to break up the United Kingdom, then they will have struck a decisive blow, as they see it, for freedom.

There is one fatal flaw in this conspiracy theory which anyone who has watched Strictly, beyond a glance through the open lounge door like Mr Martin, will know well. In every series, there’s always someone who’s a rubbish dancer who does well just because the public love the cringey entertainment of them blundering around the shiny floor. Clodhopping John Sargeant is the classic example. He did so well in the voting that in the end he stood down from the contest to save the BBC’s blushes. Or was that some sort of plot by Martian Aliens? Ann Widdecombe. Her dancing skills extended only to holding out her arms so Anton Du Beke could spin her round in a ludicrous costume. Russell Grant. The list is endless.

But perhaps Iain Martin is right. Perhaps Alex Salmond is relaxing on his sofa with his phone on speed dial repeatedly voting for Judy, while he laughs his socks off at all the Sassenachs he’s annoying.

It’s a tempting theory. I think I need an aspirin…..and a tomato sandwich.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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3 Comments

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 12th Nov '14 - 6:45pm

    This makes me laugh. I also found the reason for you buying the Express quite lovely. It’s the paper my parents read when I was growing up although it’s really gone downhill since then.

  • Ruth Bright 12th Nov '14 - 7:34pm

    Paul Walter – so happy to see that I am not the only person glued to the 1964 Election on Parliament Channel!

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