Ma Labour-supportin freends – the yins wha hivnae awready gave up on me – are ayeweys bangin on aboot Neil Findlay. If it’s real chynge ah’m wantin tae see in the warld, proper socialism, forget the SNP, they tell me; Neil Findlay is the man for me. The moral coonterwecht tae the political careerists even they admit hiv got the Labour pairty bi the scruff o the neck.
It’s Neil Findlay this, Neil Findlay that. Like coffee, like Breaking Bad, ah want tae like Neil Findlay, if anely tae fit in wi aabody else. Gin the wirkin-clesses hae got a real freend in the chaumer at Holyrood, ah’d want tae be a freend o his. Sae it really sticks in ma craw tae read some o the havers he cams oot wi on Twitter. The day, for instance: for nae reason at aw, in a stooshie that’s got nowt tae dae wi us, Findlay gans an taks the piss oot o Scots speakers in a tweet aboot Nicola Sturgeon’s war on fake news. “It luks lik Nikula wants tae shut doom the nashunal,” he says, twa-three screen centimetres awa fae a banner endorsing Labour as the pairty o SOLIDARITY an EQUALITY. Mebbe they’re the pairty o IRONY as weel. Ah dinnae ken.
But that wee tweet? That’s whit ye’re gettin yer knickers in a twist aboot? It’s jist a joke, like. Jist casual. Jist a wee thrawawa comment, aff the tap o the loun’s heid. Dry yer een, wee man. Dinnae tak it tae hert.
Weel, aye. Nae dout Mr. Findlay says things like this aw the time an thinks nothin mair tae it. Nae dout Mr. Findlay wad be awfy sorry tae hear that he’d upset somebody – ah jalouse we’ll fund oot if an when he apologises. An nae dout Mr. Findlay’s respect for Scots an Scots speakers is blah blah blah.
Ma guid feres Matthew Fitt an Alistair Heather hae been cawin the Scottish Government tae accoont lately for their lack o action on the subject o Scots. But amangst the mony reasons that there’s nae political imperative for the government tae mak a muive on this is that there’s nae ither pairty wants tae dae onythin for Scots either, or even tae let on they micht. Scottish Labour get a free pass on the subject o indigenous leids time an time again on accoont o their previous efforts on behauf o Gaelic. But when it cams tae Scots, they’ve been as bad as ony, an afttimes warse. Tak their maist recent manifesto included a wishy-washy paragraph aboot leukin efter Scotland’s ‘rich cultural heritage’, which lumped Gaelic an Scots in wi the apparently fictional language o ‘Nordic’. Wi supporter like that, whit’s a Scots speaker tae dae but pit his heavy buits on an get back intae the sea?
A thing we dinnae talk aboot in regaird tae Scots, acause it’s no politic an mebbe gets us naewhaur, is that it’s the leid o the wirkin clesses. No exclusively, like. But gin a bairn is growin up in poverty in this kintrae, like plenty o thaim are, ye can bet a pound tae a penny it’s Scots they’re growin up speakin, an like as no gettin telt aff for speakin. Weans that hae pickle tae feel prood aboot themsels for as it is, an they’re makkit tae feel they’re stupit the meenit they open their mooths. That’s a tragedy, no something tae laugh aboot.
Neil Findlay, freend tae the wirkin clesses – aye, an we’ve had plenty o freends like him. Freends wha ding ye doun, mak ye feel ye cannae dae ony better, convince ye that naebody else even likes ye. Freends wha tak the piss an twist the knife aw at yinst, an laugh at ye for no bein in on the joke. Freends wha dinnae like you, or onybody, or even theirsels. Cheers, Neil. Wi freends like you, wha needs Tories?