Mentorn Media Triggers Gen X Trauma

There are some things that we thought we’d eradicated (smallpox and the like). But there on your tv screens last night was ex Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Forsyth stuttering: “Something has gone very, very wrong with the government of Scotland”.

As commentator Gerry Hassan put it: “Very true. Voters kicked him out of office & his seat in 1997 & yet he still votes for legislation for Scotland & the rest of the UK due to his membership of the House of Lords.”

Welcome to the feudal relic that is the UK:OK.

The ennobled-one triggered traumatic memories for a generation brought up with mass unemployment, Nigel Lawson and Shoot to Kill. Yes kids there were times worse than this.

Generation Xers should send their therapist bills to Mentorn.

There’s something harrowing about Forsyth’s re-appearance. He drips contempt and oozes self-entitlement. But for those of you still in recovery it’s worth remembering he was the originator of the (now extant) Love-Bombing policy. It was Forsyth’s wheeze  to bring back the Stone of Destiny to placate the restless natives. News reports tell us that: “On 30 November 1996 (note cute date – Ed), fifteen days after the return of the stone, thousands of people lined the Royal Mile in Edinburgh to watch troops escort the stone from Holyrood Palace up to Edinburgh Castle. The stone was received by Scottish Secretary of State Michael Forsyth, who received it from Prince Andrew, representing the Queen.”

Aw, simpler days.

Way back then it was genuinely thought that offering up baubles would suppress the incoming devolution vote. Of course efforts to stop the vote or gerrymander it were enthusiastically jumped on (plus ca change as we might have said pre-Brexit) – but it’s sort of cute to think that something as ceremonial and arcane might be attempted today in our polity which is a bit more Blood und Snotters than Blut und Boden.

The 1996 escapade was filmed like the OJ chase as the Stone crossed the border with History in hot pursuit. It was as if Tom Nairn had taken a genre-detour and penned a historical Bonkbuster with Forsyth as a pre-Sam Heughan kilted-hunk.

The Question Time lockdown experience is a weird one. With the public contained within boxes like a 70s quiz show, their hands up in plaintive plead to be heard, the programme has the dynamism of a morgue. This is definitely ‘democracy TV’.

But if Forsyth’s armoury in 1996 drew on a cavalcade of High British pomp and strangely residual deference culture, all that is gone, washed away with a quarter century of contempt.

What is there left?

Like post-Trumpian schoolchildren with petted lips Forsyth and Johnson call the SNP the “Scottish Nationalist Party”.

That’s it.

As Jonathon Rowson commented:

I can see why it’s thought to be clever to call the SNP “Scottish Nationalist Party” rather than “Scottish National Party” but it is really stupid. It’s not just that it’s rude. The issue is that it entails performative contempt, which in spirit is a kind of *bullying*.

Fiona Bruce chastised Forsyth for his use of the term with as much interest as she could muster, which wasn’t much. She runs the programme like she’s sipping Bailey’s through a straw watching Gogglebox in a onesie.

Therapists say that re-assessing childhood trauma is an essential process to renewal. Thank you Mentorn Media. We are well on the way to recovery.



Comments (25)

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  1. Roddy says:

    Smashin stuff.
    I remember Forsyth all too well.
    Next to Thatcher, when I lived in Stirling and he was MP for the area, he was loathed, at Stirling University in 1980- 84.

    A snivveling lickspittle. When the H of Lords is abolished- sometime in the 2090s, probs- folk like him will be a faded cartoon covering discarded chips, disintegrating in the deep earth.
    Slaìnthe mate

  2. Robbie says:

    Forsyth and Rifkind ,a right pair of Scottish Kiss arse b*****ds,today’s lot are bad but don’t hold a candle to these two.

  3. John says:

    I was working in the Scottish Office in St Andrews House when he was named secretary of state and came among us.

    Fear and loathing was the general mood in the building.

    Contempt and arrogance were his hallmarks.

    Smallpox is less disagreeable – and can be vaccinated against – whereas he is among the undead that still – literally – lord it over us!

  4. Squigglypen says:

    Snivelling lickspittle..I liked that’s one for you.. Gibbering Poop-noddy….you can qualify it with other numerous colourful adjectives. I’ve got worse but it’s Friday an’ I’d better behave…
    Do you think Johnson -the one with the amoral life style… numerous bastards and bills for pole dancing etc- realise for one second that he is insulting the Scottish People who voted the SNP into power..or as the Speaker said in Westminister..’you are being mischievous Prime Minister’- when Johnson repeated Scottish Nationalist Party three times in his rambling rant that was supposed to answer a question put to him by Ian. His patent dislike of the Scots is very obvious.However the Speaker appeared to find the whole thing a jolly caper…they are only running the country after all. They should be very careful..they are being weighed in the balance ….
    Excellent article have a first class grasp of invective….

    1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

      Not a patch on MacDiarmid, though, who in Lucky Poet wrote of the ‘desuetization’* of Scottish life, the ‘de-Tibetanization’ of the Highlands and Islands, and generally getting rid of “the whole gang of high mucky-mucks, famous fatheads, old wives of both sexes, stuffed shirts, hollow men with headpieces stuffed with straw, bird-wits, lookers-under-beds, trained seals, creeping Jesuses, Scots Wha Ha’evers, village idiots, policemen, leaders of white-mouse factions and noted connoisseurs of bread and butter, glorified gangsters, and what ‘Billy’ Phelps calls Medlar Novelists (the medlar being a fruit that becomes rotten before it is ripe), Commercial Calvinists, makers of ‘noises like a turnip’, and all the touts and toadies and lickspittles of the English Ascendancy, and their infernal women-folk, and all their skunk oil skulduggery.”

      Now, THAT’S invective!

      (*’desuetization’ = the excision of cold fat)

      1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

        ‘The excision of cold fat… ‘

        That’s Salmond stuffed then.

  5. Maggie Craig says:

    I remember that we were kept posted as the Stone of Destiny made its journey north, including when it was ‘resting’ overnight (at Berwick-upon-Tweed, I think). As though someone had helped the wee magic stane into its jammies and read it a bedtime story.

    1. LOLs – I don’t remember that Maggie

    2. John Mooney says:

      Maggie, my grandson on one of our visits to the castle loudly proclaimed to all and sundry that the “Stone” that all the tourist were gazing at was actualy a “Lavvy Lid” (cesspit cover)and the monks at the time had taken the real stone to a secret destination,the guide was apolectic at this point but the tourist loved it and gave the lad a round of applause when he said the Real Stone of Destiny would be presented to the Scottish people when we gained independence,not bad for a ten year old boy at the time,as for forsyth he is just another crawling Uriah Heep of a man,I still smile with pleasure when I picture my Grandson Gregor informing that gathering of tourist and the look on the guides face was hilarious,cheers.

      1. John Mooney says:


      2. Maggie Craig says:

        Hi John, Your grandson will go far! ‘Lavvy lid is sublime.’

        There’s also the theory that the ‘real’ stone never went back south after it was liberated from Westminster Abbey, was that in the early 1950s?

        1. I spoke to Ian Hamilton at length in 2017 about this Maggie

          1. Maggie Craig says:

            Hi Mike, Is there a link to your interview with Ian Hamilton, please?

      3. Foghorn Leghorn says:

        According to Danny Broun, late of the Johnnie Cope pub in Prestonpans, the original stone was spirited away from Westminster Abbey by Le Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici in 1301 and returned to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where it had formed the pedestal of the ark long before it fetched up in Scone.

        Also: some Arab nationalists, I believe, are campaigning to have the original stone found and repatriated from the archaeology beneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which today crowns the Temple Mount/al-Ḥaram al-Šarīf, to its original home in Bitīn, where Yaˈqūb ibn Isḥāq ibn Ibrāhīm once used it as a pillow on which to lay his weary head.

        The stone that’s currently venerated in Edinburgh Castle is, of course, a simulacrum from the early 14th century – and, therefore, if some Scottish nationalists are to be believed, a simulacrum of a simulacrum.

        Indeed, God alone knows how many facsimiles were made of the relic on its long and winding exodus from Beitin to Edinburgh, via Israel, Syria, Egypt, Spain, Ireland, Argyll, Scone, and Westminster – and He’s dead! The stone we venerate might well indeed be nothing but a shithole cap.

      4. Andy Law says:

        Spot on

  6. Isobel Hunter says:

    At the time it seemed hilarious. Crossing The Bridge complete with escort full of pomp & circumstance completed by the appearance of the miserable little squirt in his fancy outfit. They’re fair trundling out yesterday’s men. Surely begining to be aware of the (lack of) quality of the current crop.

    1. Maggie Craig says:

      Yes, didn’t it come over the border (the Coldstream bridge?) in a sort of stone-mobile not unlike the Pope-mobile? I remember the report that it was ‘resting’ because it was just such a daft word to use.

      1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

        I remember the crowds gathered to watch its progress up the Royal Mile to St Giles, where the Kirk formally received it back on behalf of Scotland. All pomp and tartanry; Tory nationalism at its worst.

  7. Bill Bennett says:

    When teaching at Bannockburn High School our teaching base received a holiday postcard from our friendly librarian who had visited the historical site at Ephesus. It was duly pinned on our noticeboard and gave me a idea for that photograph we had unceremoniously consigned to the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet. Sent to us by the Stirling branch of the Conserative Party it was a colour photograph of the abnoxious Michael Forsyth our MP. Our MPs photo was mounted on the pinboard beside our librarians postcard….the labels read “EPHESUS” and “EPHENMP”. It raised many a visitors smile throughout the years and zero complaints.

  8. Wul says:

    There was once a huge billboard advert in our High Street proclaiming that “Michael Forsyth Works for You”.

    Overnight, some local graffitist changed it to “Michael Forsyth W*nks for You”. Which did feel more truthful somehow.

  9. James Mills says:

    The Union is truly lost if the Tory Party think that putting up Michael Forsyth to berate the Scottish people is a vote winner .

    The irony of him from his sinecure in the unelected HoL dictating to us on why we can’t have a referendum , even if we vote for it at the Holyrood election , was completely lost in his overwhelming contempt for his own countrymen .

  10. Wul says:

    A man who got rich by moving other people’s money around. He’s in no position to give anyone useful advice about anything (other than how to enrich themselves at others’ expense).

    The Conservative and Unionist party is resoundingly pro “Union”. N’est ce pas? “Better Together”, “Stronger Together”, “Pooling & Sharing” and all that.

    And yet, here they are in the 1977 “Stepping Stones” report, planning the total destruction of the Union of millions of working people:

  11. Ken wilson says:

    I though the Stone of Scone picture above was one of Cold War Steve’s mashups!

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