Monday, 1 March 2010

"They'll be dancing in the streets of Raith tonight"

Football fans around the world love Scottish teams for their quirky names and strips. The famous quotation about Raith Rovers was made by BBC Scottish commentator Sam Leitch, after a big Raith Rovers victory in the 60's. But they won't be dancing in the streets of Raith, as it's not a town, the Football Club are based in Kirkcaldy. I met a guy from Kirkcaldy whose name was Graeme, but he pronounced it the Scots way "greem". He was impressed that I knew how to pronounce his hometown's name - something like "kerr-coddy" I'd say. He paid me the compliment that I was he first Sassenach he'd met who'd got it right.

So what's Kirckcaldy famous for, as well as Raith Rovers? Well these days I guess it's the connection with Gordon Brown; he's their MP. I'm starting to feel sorry for him, as I always was a sucker for the "poor dour Gordon" image. For years a steady hand steering the UK economy, while smiley Tony Blair becomes a world statesman; then Tony goes, Gordon takes over, we never find the weapons of mass destruction, the world economy dives and people are getting bored of Labour, so dour Broon gets treated by the media like a dead man walking.

Sometimes I rail against the media, as they seem to decide when a PM's time is up, regardless of whether or not the PM is doing a good job. I remember feeling sorry for John Major in a similar situation in 1997. I would rather the people decided for themselves, rather than be told what to do by the media.

I have listened to BBC Radio 4 a lot today. There's lots about Broon the Bully. Now forgive me for sounding old fashioned, but I wouldn't be surprised that any civil servant working at 10 Downing Street has a stressful job, whoever's in charge of the country. If you want a comfy cozy workplace where everyone's touchy feely sensitive, and it's OK to lay back and listen to the whoosh sound of deadlines as they whiz by, then maybe they should work somewhere else? (Obviously if there are later revelations that GB really is a terrible bully I'll retract this viewpoint.) Then there was a story about a conservative funder/supporter's non-dom tax status. Ho hum.

Later on there was discussion about budget cuts in the public sector, that all parties see as inevitable. And it appears that these parties ALREADY have spending plans/cuts that they would implement after the General Election. However none of them are saying what these plans are NOW, when we might consider what we think of these plans, and inform our decisions about who we want to vote for in the General Election. All we have to go on is speeches with some empty rhetoric about principles and priorities, efficiency savings and quangos, but no details of what any party will actually do. And the reason given, when questioned about what would happen post election, was that this detail would confuse the electorate at this stage.

As in many aspects of life, we have become infantilised.

So here we are, we have the media telling us whose time is up, three similar main parties who seem reluctant to say what they will actually do if in power, and an electorate that has become indifferent to the whole democratic process, apart from the Oldies.

So, come the general election, how will we make our choices? Given that the media and the parties have infantilised the electorate, could the saviour be the internet? Looking at the part the www played in the election of Obama, maybe there's some hope that we can get a new kind of debate, and more people voting from the 18-40 age bracket?


  1. I saw that one poll indicated that many in our society mistrust politicians so much they feel that Steven Fry would be a better prime minister........

    'confuse the electorate'..........Hmn......

    Interesting post........Al.

  2. used to live a few miles outside 'the Lang Toun' too. The lovely G was a great devotee of the 'Links Market' funfair that came every year.

    Impressed by the pronunciation by the way!


  3. Swifty, sounds familiar, except here we have two similar parties instead of three.

  4. Sorry it's taken me ages to check out, but oooh, I likes the look of this website, and it's good to be seeing Mr Budd's blogs again :)



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