Vini, vidi, vici said Julius Caesar – or so they say he said – of his landing in Britain. (My Latin teacher, Mr. Bland, insisted that this was probably pronounced Weeny, weedy, weechy, which he delivered in the extravagant tones of an Italian politician, with much gesturing.) Julius came, he saw, he conquered – but not Scotland. Some say he lost a legion there.
David Cameron came, he ate porridge (with marked reluctance Porridge), he posed ostentatiously against backdrops of the Forth Bridge and Edinburgh Castle. So his words might have been I came, I posed, I sentimentalised. But it seems to have worked for some, and Joyce McMillan came over all gooey about it on Newsnicht and again today in print. I had to reach for the antidote of Lesley Riddoch to get that cloying sweetness out of my mouth.
The metropolitan media were forced to notice all this, and somehow managed to work in an item about Brigadoon as a classic movie. Brigadoon for me was one of the most cringe-making movies of all time – classic move my **** -but it had a couple of great songs, the most notable from a jazz musician’s standpoint being Almost Like Being in Love.
BBC Scotland News and Newsnicht comes to resemble a tiny seaside repertory company more each day, with the same actors, i.e. panellists and commentators, appearing over and over again. Once in a while they trot out an obscure academic from an even more obscure Scottish institution, and having demanded diversity, I find myself crying for the old troopers again.
I had to reach back to yesterday’s Guardian to find an insult that fitted David Cameron’s speech, and since no one delivers an insult better than an old American professor, I am happy to quote Noam Chomsky, a man for whom I have unbounded admiration and respect.
Chomsky, responding in the Guardian letters page to a critic, says -
The stunning irrationality of his inferences renders comment superfluous.
Media people addressing the subject of negotiation, talk greater nonsense than usual about Scottish politics, but I’ll leave that analysis till later today. I have other fish to fry …