No More Mr Nice Guy
Are women going to vote yes or no to independence on the basis of a cuddly or less-cuddly man or on the perception of what a ‘nice guy’ is?
Let’s get one thing straight. My MP Alistair Carmichael is a very nice man as far as I can tell, but then I have managed, as many women before me have, to be a completely hopeless judge as to the character of many men, and discovered that initial wonderfulness had every chance of metamorphosing further down the line into controlling megalomania, or a kick in the ribs, so on that basis a girl cannot be too careful.
I too have managed to cultivate a persona of niceness, couthy-ness or apparent intelligent capability ready to trot out when the situation dictates. And before any of the trolls from my past pop up to enlighten the world, I also have all the horrid attributes of human nature too including the ability to make a complete cock-up of things, hurt people and be a total bitch, although in my defence I am trying to do better.
The world is full of nice guys and sonsy men who beneath the surface are slavering for the votes of women. Us women that take ages to get ready, and to make up our minds – you know the sort.
So having established the niceness of my MP it is incumbent on me to advise everyone including us dippy women that politics is not about nice-ness or nastiness. Despite his valiant dieting efforts Alex Salmond is still the bête noir of many women but even the most ardent Salmond-hater could possibly imagine that he is nice to emaciated donkeys or stray cats. Perhaps he donates money to the Donkey sanctuary, but this we do not know and this nice-ness may purely be a wild imagining of my fevered female brain.
Now I find the Alex-hating difficult to compute as the said incredible hulk has never commented on the size of my backside, put me down verbally or hammered the glass ceiling any more securely over my pretty little head than any other man. It’s not personal.
So are women going to vote yes or no to independence on the basis of a cuddly or less-cuddly man or on the perception of what a ‘nice guy’ is? Go carefully girls, we can get it wrong once but when you keep going back into the same abusive relationship with a different haircut on the man, you are not learning the lessons of your own personal history. And this I could write a doctorate on…
My very nice MP who was at one time a fantastic human rights campaigner, has now a record of having supported the Tory Government to bring in a series of dehumanising policies to hurt poor people. (Because we are all in this together although we know it was the rich friends of the Tory bankers that actually shafted the country) He is one of the keys guys keeping the brutal Tory ship on course as in his previous role of Chief Whip (it’s like the enforcer to you and me) he makes everybody vote for the Tories. He is on the list of shame of those that continue to support the bedroom tax, along with an astoundingly large number of Labour MPs who failed to even turn up to vote in Westminster to get rid of it. This is on top of supporting student fees, and continued warmongering throughout the World (The idea that Britain has been at ‘peace’ since 1945 makes me think I’m missing something – or that wars against brown people don’t count- maybe again a feeble-brained woman thing). But despite all this he is still of course a ‘very nice guy’ and I promise you I try not to make this personal because I am after all grown up, but when you see poor people getting hurt and dehumanised by the State its difficult to return that cheery sonsy grin without a shred of bitterness.
A dear friend of mine, the victim of the Scotland which still languishes in the grip of addiction, alcoholism, nicotine and low life-expectancy, whose ability to work is severely diminished from the cumulative physical and mental tolls of these afflictions will have to attend an Atos interview next week on ‘ability to work.’ This will begin a cycle of inhuman tick-box evaluations administered by an Atos automaton of a person who has achieved sobriety but lost mobility and mental confidence and now lives in a flat without any heating at all. (This is true actually.) This is the State hammering the poor, a state enforced and bolstered by both the man and the politician that embodies my nice MP. And sad to say the responsibility for this system lies more readily at his door than any other. But it’s not personal – he will never meet my brave friend whose gallows humour can even still find a way to joke about his predicament.
The niceness of my MP having been irrevocably established it is therefore very bad and wrong that twitter trolls are flooding the in box of such a nice and principled gent with nasty stuff. If like me you grew up as the daughter of the ‘only communist in the village’, I can assure anyone new to the realities of how the politics of the street works, that you find a way to survive name-calling early on. How I wished I’d been the Grand Master of the Mason’s daughter instead… ( NO not really – you need to know when I am being flippant – maybe it’s a woman thing).
But that’s a digression. What I would really like the right honourable and highly respectable and principled MP of Orkney and Shetland, lately elevated on his path to the Lords, as Secretary of State for Scotland to do is this: Please stop going on about Scottishness. It’s, well really, just so unfashionable, cringemaking, yesterday’s debate, so passé. If I have to listen to anyone trotting out a Gaelic granny or an English Auntie, display their tartan knickers in public once more I will be reaching for my (fake) dirk and heading for the heedrum hoddrum hills.
In our confidence-smashed society I don’t give a burnt tartan bra about who is what, from where, with what type of granny, but I damn well care about what is being done to the poor, the deliberate distraction of the powerful and their duplicity disguised as Jock Tamsin’s platitudes is truly despicable.
Now that’s not nasty or name calling it’s saying it in big grown up language.
But getting back down among the little women…you know that thing girls when you are frightened to dump a really creepy guy because the thought of having nobody seems worse? Well I know who I’m going to dump and it’s the one that’s grinning while knifing the poor in the back.