If you’re prone to pessimism, this seems on the face of it to be a bad time to be keen on keeping the United Kingdom, well, united. Despite being such abject, sorry losers at the independence referendum in September 2014, the Stalinist zoomers of the SNP are gleefully declaring a new route to power that they could never have foreseen.
The absurdly overrated Nicola Sturgeon – a dictatorial tunnel-visioned health minister in her most significant previous stab at power – is dripping with hubris, and her new swain, Ed Miliband is looking more wretched by the day as he tries to square the circle. His disdain for principle in pursuit of power is predictable. Behind them both lurks the currently gagged figure of Alex Salmond, a regular in this blog (try these: 1,2,3,4), and after careful consideration, and fighting very strong competition, is easily the most repulsive and unpleasant British politician of my lifetime. A man who wants to make a thriving economy and basically pretty good country ‘ungovernable’.
…See Mystery to Mathematics fly!
In vain! they gaze, turn giddy, rave, and die.
Religion, blushing, veils her sacred fires,
And unawares Morality expires.
Nor public flame, nor private, dares to shine;
Nor human spark is left, nor glimpse divine!
Lo! thy dread empire, Chaos! is restored;
Light dies before thy uncreating word:
Thy hand, great Anarch! lets the curtain fall;
And universal darkness buries all.
Eck as great Anarch seems to fit. But when it comes to the self praising morons of the Nats, I prefer to recall Ozymandias. Ed, on the other hand, is neatly summed up by Pope: “The bookful blockhead, ignorantly read, With loads of learned lumber in his head.”
Indeed, Pope has a warning for Ed if does end up being held to ransom by the vindictive but limited talents of the SNP “They dream in courtship, but in wedlock wake”, and his wording here seems uncannily appropriate: “Party-spirit at best is but the madness of many for the gain of a few.” We’ve already begun to suffer from convenient short termism, with the original devolution of 1997, concocted by Labour to buy off some of the noisier Scots, then the dreaded ‘vow’, days before the referendum. As Pope has it: “The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, and wretches hang that jurymen may dine.“ Us non-Nat voters are those wretches.
When it comes to Sturgeon, who is currently basking in her version of Cleggmania (itself an omen), Pope has this to say: “Never was it given to mortal man – to lie so boldly as we women can.” Her popularity with much of the media, just because she’s not as obnoxious as Eck (who still has a journalistic fanclub, and to whom this therefore also applies), is perhaps summed up by: “A wit with dunces, and a dunce with wits.”
The Knife, as you may gather, is a fan of Pope. One wishes his equivalent was around today in Britain, as a true wit like Mark Steyn mainly concerns himself with less parochial matters, sadly. However, the spirit of Pope remains with us in his extensive (and very readable) works. So if you want to know who to vote for in about two weeks time….
…which would seem to rule out both Ed and his new friends