Vaudeville Britain Speaks



“What does it say about an establishment that relies on fear+ celebrity. It tells us it is in decline, intellectually bankrupt+ out of ideas.”

– Jonathon Shafi, RIC

New waves of idiocy as BoJo replaces Nigel as the British media class’s poster boy. As someone tweeted: “The BBC’s reaction to this Boris news is like proud owners, watching the dog they’ve trained for years, finally win Crufts.” Just as Nick Clegg was crafted, honed and cultivated from his extraordinary ‘leaders’ debate’, followed by Nigel Farage’s grooming on Question Time and wrap-around news coverage, we can now expect Boris Johnson to be propelled into the sunlight of broadcast news, daily. His upper class buffoonery and sweeter-than-Nigel xenophobia is like honey to the British establishment. If Farage was the BNP in suits, Boris is Farage out of the golf club and into the saloon bar.

Politics has long ago become about personality, with figures analysed for their looks, their styling above their substance or their ideas.

Now comes a new wave of soft nonsense, as political debate swings from the vindictive and manipulative (‘Miliband: Poor afflicted if Scotland loses the pound’) to the absurdist as a legion of SLEBS and tax-dodgers man the barricades mouthing gibberish about Scotland. It’s the constitution as light entertainment brought to you by Simon Cowell, Andrew Lloyd Webber and more.

The sabre-rattling London Evening Standard pronounced an: “Army of Stars say why Scotland should say no to independence”. 

Once it had been established this wasn’t giant Scotlandshire-sized hoax, reality dawned that this was actually the substance of Better Together/No Thanks/UK:OK/United Together’s campaign, veering wildly from smear to grimace.

This is actually real. This is not a spoof.

For all the gnashing and wailing about ‘the quality of debate’ and ‘I just want the facts’ that is belched out by the media as if there wasn’t an encyclopedic quantity of verifiable data out there, now along comes Tom Daley, Ben Fogle and Kirsty Allsopp.


They must somehow have confused us with a different nation, a group of halfwits who make political decisions based on what the celebrity voices of a sort of moron culture think.

If there was a low point for political campaigning, this is it.

From the delightful Rod Liddle (‘Scots are Alcoholics and Drug addicts’) to the super-friendly David Starkey to the wonderful Andrew Lloyd Webber (“We have to vote Tory,” he said. “They do represent our only hope when times get rough”) – the latest LoveBombing is like a roll-call of vaudeville Britain, with Dame Vera Lynn and Barbara Windsor in a chorus of yesteryear. It’s a desperate swan song for a failed political project.

While one side creates a sea of literature, and brings a whole new focus to understanding power and exploring new solutions, new paths, new ways forward for our society’s grievous problems, the No campaign comes up with Ronnie Corbett. While one in five of Scotland’s children are officially recognised as living in poverty, and in some areas over one in three children grow up in poverty (Source CPAG), Better Together give us a lecture from Cliff Richard.

We are constantly being told that this isn’t an emotional debate, to ignore ‘Braveheart’ then this? As Dan Snow, husband to Lady Edwina Grosvenor, the second daughter of the 6th Duke of Westminster puts it: “But more than the celebrities, this is the view of the majority of people in the rest of the UK.” At a time of sweeping austerity, mounting inequality and disfiguring poverty, this isn’t a love letter, it’s an insult.

This is politics from the tramadol culture. Democracy brought to you Celebrity Central.

But here’s the good news. Location Location Location: these people don’t have a vote on Sep 18th. The rich and famous lose their power for one day.

Comments (27)

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  1. Auld Rock says:

    And thank God we don’t have to suffer the London Evening Standard up here. Who listens to these numpties anyway.

    Auld Rock

  2. David McCann says:

    Great article Mike. Can we get this printed in the next edition of the Yes newpaper, complete with Bojo pic and caption ‘UK’s next PM’?
    BTW. Im serious.

    1. Coinneach says:

      While you’re at it, it’s time said newspaper carried more URLs.

  3. Robert Roddick says:

    Quite the most cerebral response to all this nonsense. I think it’s they who are thick, thinking we will buy this endorsement from a group of millionaires domiciled outwith Scotland.

  4. D.J. says:

    Dan Snow’s petition on – ‘together we are world beaters’ ? ‘World beaters’? ‘Together’ we set about destroying half the cultures and languages of this planet.

    1. Brian Fleming says:

      ” ‘Together’ we set about destroying half the cultures and languages of this planet.” Including our own.

  5. Clootie says:

    We have a nation designed for the elite (old and new money/ status).

    They create a few celebs for entertainment (big brother etc) to maintain the illusion of opportunity for all – 15 minutes of fame.

    I am not impressed by titles, wealth, fame or any other shallow measure.

    I do respect good judgement, wisdom, dedication, hard work, contribution to society etc.

    I am not going to listen to sneering, self opinionated egos when I can read the opinion of Robin McAlpine, Colin Fox, Alex Salmond, several at Business for Scotland, Speakers at Radical Independence, Derek Bateman, several dozen bloggers on WoS. Etc etc

    Those on the Dan Snow petition have demonstrated by previous comments that they either they have a low opinion of Scots, little interest in Scots OR in most cases a sudden interest due to the impact on England (more self interest). A handful may be genuine but are being manipulated by BT.

    1. Brian Fleming says:

      Clootie, I reckon the impact on England will be positive. It’s the impact on the rich they’re worried about. This is not a Scotland v England match. It’s a struggle for democracy and freedom from the UK plutocracy.

  6. Hits the target. I honestly wouldn’t mind if a No-endorsing celebrity actually engaged with the debate and tried to articulate the (positive???) case for remaining in this moribund union. Indeed, if the No camp could produce a celebrity who had the cojones of (say) Ricky Ross, Eddi Reader, Brian Cox and especially Alan Bissett, someone who actually went out on the stump, appeared on panels and actually contributed to the debate, then that person would earn my respect for doing so, no matter how much I disagreed with them. The very fact No has been unable to produce a single figure of this calibre is extremely telling.

    In place of such a figure we are treated to dilletantes from the chattering classes who sign a letter or mug like lost puppies holding up trite messages to a video camera. No mention of the issues – self-determination, democratic will, sovereignty of the people, the corrupt nexus of Westminster and the City of London, the disparity between rich and poor, the disparaging of Scottish people, politics and culture, etc., etc., etc. – just a “heartfelt plea” to “stay with us”.

    God bless Billy Bragg!

  7. DougtheDug says:

    I had to look up a large number of names who signed that letter. It was a roll call of the English art, media and literature crew with a few token academics, officer types and expatriate Scots thrown in for good measure.

    I doubt any of them have any idea of what is happening in Scotland and why many of us living here want to leave the Union.

    I wonder how many of them have close links to either the Tory or more probably the Labour parties?

    The first Nob-orders video was pretty much a Labour-Luvvie roll call.

  8. Steve Bowers 74% win says:

    Nice to see that the same slebs stood up and were counted when they protested against foodbanks, illegal wars, nuclear bombs, child poverty, demonising the poor, demonising the disabled, etc etc etc

  9. DougtheDug says:

    Dan Snow’s wife, Lady Edwina Louise Grosvenor as you’ve pointed outk, is the daughter of the 6th Duke of Westminster.

    The Duke owns the 96,000-acre Reay Forest estate in Sutherland.

    1. Dean Richardson says:

      That’s the big problem with so much of the countryside in England, as well as Scotland. So much of it is in private hands, so it’s off limits to Mr and Mrs Average. But the whole British system is designed to keep the vast majority of us out, whether it’s physically, socially, financially, academically or professionally. For instance, I read somewhere the other day that the five wealthiest families in the entire ‘United’ Kingdom (probably including the Duke of Westminster’s family) have as much wealth as the poorest 20% of us combined. Scandalous.

      Re: Dan Snow’s statement that this ‘Stay With Us’ guff is not just the view of the slebs, but the majority of people across the rest of the ‘U’K, what does he base his opinion on? Has Danny Boy actually asked anybody beyond his own over-privileged circle? As far as I can tell, just about nobody beyond Scotland’s borders has been asked. Besides, why should anybody in England lift a finger for a state that has never granted us one England-wide referendum at any point of the devolution process? A state that can’t or won’t treat 100% of its citizens equally and fairly isn’t worth preserving, in my opinion.

  10. JGedd says:

    Agree with you, Clootie, but I’m struggling to think who would be the handful that were genuine. Except for the genuine Little Englanders. On that list, as well as those who have expressed utter dislike for Scotland – and I include George Galloway in that number – and therefore were being insultingly disingenuous, there were quite a few who are wholehearted supporters of the present austerity measures, since they don’t affect them.

    However, apart from the forgotten and total unknowns on that list who probably signed simply because they were grateful to be included, there are those who would make a claim to some ‘ liberal ‘ conscience who either have expressed very little or no concern for Scotland at any time. (Sorry the occasional visit to Scotland doesn’t count and describing Glasgow as a ‘shithole’ doesn’t qualify you as someone who ‘cares’ about Scotland, Jo Brand).

    Since these people chose to be included on that list with some obvious Tory supporters, then I think that they will have to be counted with them. We would have to interpret their inclusion as an expression of their solidarity with a Union which causes enormous disparities in wealth, vicious attacks on the poor and vulnerable and is dismantling the Welfare State. The only genuine thing about their signature to that letter was their support for a Union which perpetrates these policies and to which they are giving tacit approval.

    Those who have made a comfortable living on that list from sniggering occasionally at the Establishment as acceptable court jesters won’t be able to pretend any more that they are anything less than supporters of a system which alienates and divides, because that is what we are trying to get away from, Coogan, Mitchell et al. If you didn’t understand that that was what it was about, then perhaps you should have made yourselves acquainted with the arguments before having the impertinence to sign that letter. Otherwise we are entitled to assume that you are entirely at ease with the present social divisiveness and increasing poverty in your beloved Union and don’t want us to escape.

    But then none of these so-called ‘liberal’ consciences has shown themselves moved by the increasing misery or tormented by the situation of the poor so they are probably in the right company, after all. It wasn’t wise of them to have shown their lack of true concern and understanding of the issues quite so blatantly and carelessly. Perhaps it did cross the minds of some of them that they might antagonize a large part of the Scottish electorate by interfering in a democratic process which is of only peripheral interest to them but then thought, “Sod it. Who cares? My loyalty to the UK establishment/ Tory Party/ Labour Party/ class/ career trajectory/ or just good old England/ trumps everything. I’ll sign. My influence is so important.”

    1. Hellward says:

      Exellent post, love the “Those who have made a comfortable living on that list from sniggering occasionally at the Establishment as acceptable court jesters won’t be able to pretend any more that they are anything less than supporters of a system which alienates and divides, because that is what we are trying to get away from, Coogan, Mitchell et al.”

  11. Rosa Alba Macdonald says:

    So they vetted the list did they?

  12. JGedd says:

    Why is my comment awaiting moderation?

  13. Scottie says:

    Evening Standard – owned by a Russian oligarch.

  14. Michael says:


  15. Wm mccartney says:

    i’m just waiting to see if that wee shit LULU has been commandeered by her love of the tories ….wee bloody traitor.

  16. Keith Nisbet says:

    And the Yes campaign haven’t wheeled out a raft of non domicile ‘celebrities’?

  17. Anyone who votes no based on the endorsement of the stars of stage and screen or indeed track and field deserves all they get, in the event of a no result.
    If this referendum had taken place a few years earlier, no doubt the name Sir Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris and
    Stuart Hall would have appeared in this celebs ‘Ragman’s Roll’.

  18. Marian says:

    What Scotland gets if it votes NO:-

    * David Cameron for UK PM and Boris Johnston or Nigel Farage for deputy PM of the UK.
    * another 10 years or more of austerity.
    * EU Human Rights legislation repealed by Westminster.
    * Scotland torn out of the EU by the combined anti-EU Tory/UKIP majority vote in England.
    * massive unemployment in Scotland caused by UK’s EU withdrawal.

    * a £4 billion (at least) cut in the annual Barnett formula budget allocated to Scotland by Westminster.
    * privatisation of Scotland’s NHS and Water due to aforementioned Barnett cuts.
    * Student fees re-introduced costing £9,000 per annum due to Barnett cuts.
    * unlimited increases in Council Tax to make up shortfall due to Barnett cuts.
    * crime to rise owing to massive reduction in police numbers due to Barnett cuts.
    * most of Holyroods powers taken back by Westminster.
    * Trident replaced on the Clyde costing £billions whilst more foodbanks are opened.
    * more unnecessary foreign wars for Scots service personnel to be killed in.

    This is just a small sample of what Westminster has in store if Scotland votes NO.

    So Vote YES if you want none of the above to happen.

    1. ‘Bayoneting the Wounded’ to quote Ian Davidson.

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