Scottish Leaders’ Debate Review
Douglas Ross (Conservative)
Anas Sarwar (Labour)
Nichola Sturgeon (SNP)
Alex Rennie (LibDem)
Lorna Slater (Greens)
If British politics is a Westminster village then Scottish politics is the outside dry toilet of a dilapidated Clackmmanonshire farm. On this night, six turnip tops (we shall include presenter Sarah Smith, her father John was a leader of the Labour Party) are jammed onto the dung bench scratching and groaning while doing their business.
The programme started badly with a long pause while Smith stared at the camera like a terrified rabbit caught in a milk wagon’s headlights on the road to Tyndrum Upper. “The start of a campaign like no other,” she finally announced. She could have added, “A programme start like no other,” as Nicola Sturgeon was introduced by a caption saying, “Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour”. The leader of the Scottish Tories was then introduced by a caption flashing between “Douglas Ross” and “Anas Sarwar” before Anas Sarwar himself appeared without an introductory caption at all.
The captions having disappeared altogether, this reviewer and one suspects the entire population of Scotland, didn’t know what the other two leaders (of the Greens and LibDems) were called.
Sarah Smith, now herself captioned as “Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour,” spoke over somebody else’s coughing fit to invite each of the contenders to make an introductory statement. Having drawn lots to determine the order, the ubiquitous Anas Sarwar, clutching the short one, spoke as a dot on the socially distanced horizon. Since his comments included, “Scotland deserved better than that,” one suspected he was preparing his own review. Then he disappeared completely, being replaced by a blank screen captioned with “Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour.” When he eventually reappeared, finally in close-up, there was only time to say, “Stronger Scotland,” before his allocated 45 seconds was up.
Was the BBC suffering a new temporary editor, promoted way beyond his ability, better suited to iffy car reviews and passing off his foreign holidays as derring-do?
Next in line was Alex Rennie (LibDems), although his caption disappeared so quickly it was difficult to be certain. “This is not the moment for another referendum,” he announced, netting an equaliser before Nichola Sturgeon had had a chance to score the opening goal for independence.
The next Anas Sarwar was a tall thin Canadian woman with straggly blonde hair. “Lorna Slater, Scottish Greens” appeared beneath her, putting us out of our misery. The penultimate introduction was for Douglas Ross (Conservative) who put the anti-referendum side two-nil up. Finally, Nichola Sturgeon (Scottish Nationalist) spoke. Krankie claimed there should be a referendum when the coronavirus crisis has passed.
Sarah Smith introduced the ‘robust and respectful’ Zoom audience. Their first question wondered about economic recovery after the Covid pandemic. All of the contenders were in agreement, being in favour of big government, high borrowing, high spending and increased government interference. None of them saw a way forward based upon tax cuts, smaller government, deregulation and greater self-reliance. The subtext being that the poor old, mugged English taxpayer would pay for everything.
Krankie suggested start-up grants, business rates relief and 100,000 new homes. She also announced ‘renewable heating’, whatever that is, and re-joining the European Union’s so-called single market.
Anwar Sarwar promised new technology for the rural, coastal, urban and young rather than ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘leave’ or ‘remain’. A fair and green recovery, announced Laura, with a three-point plan; rail for all, upgrading Scotland’s homes and reducing energy bill by replacing cheap hydrocarbons with expensive ‘renewables’.
Scotland’s biggest talents, according to Alex Rennie, are the people, universities and hydrogen. Yes, hydrogen.
Selwyn joined the discussion on Zoom. Selwyn moved as a single unit, consisting of a body and head but no neck. If he were a ship, he would be blocking the Suez Canal. He made the same point as the next speaker, girly Angelina with a squeaky voice. Has she been at the hydrogen? Now wasn’t the time for a referendum.
Krankie said that there wasn’t a referendum bill being put through the Scottish parliament, rather a nine-page draft. She reminded the lucky people of Scotland that they see her every day on the telly, on coronavirus business, and that that remained her ‘every waking moment’s effort’. She also announced that economic activity would be increased by reducing the working week to four days.
In reference to a referendum, Anas Sarwar claimed that Covid doesn’t judge between yes and no. Nicola Sturgeon had been in government for 14 years, and in power for ten. One in four Scottish children lives in poverty, in her own constituency 50% live in poverty. She should fight poverty instead of fighting to change the constitution. Maybe the children live in poverty because their parents don’t get paid enough Anas? Hmm.
Anas Sarwar was privately educated at the £12,000 a year Hutcheson’s Grammar School, the same private school that Comrade Sarwar sends his own children to, despite his Labour Party’s opposition to private education.
After graduating in dentistry from Glasgow University, Mr Sarwar worked for the NHS for five years before becoming a Glasgow MP in Westminster. In the interests of equality of opportunity, Anas inherited the seat from his father, the interesting Mohammed Sarwar. Mohammed’s commitment to Scotland was so strong that subsequently he renounced his British citizenship, returned to Pakistan and became involved in his homeland’s rancidly corrupt toxic politics.
Political donations to Mr Sarwar junior have included £40,000 from SAPP Holding Ltd, whose headquarters are a post office box in the British Virgin Islands. SAPP are a tax avoidance vehicle for ‘philanthropist’ Puneet Gupta. Another £40,000 has been donated by a Mr Kazim Gulzar, whose business partner is a certain Asim Sarwar, Anas Sarwar’s brother.
Mr Sarwar also accepted a £4,000 personal donation, and a £2,000 donation to his constituency party, from Ali Najafian. An Iranian businessman, Mr Najafian has A&G Investments Limited, eighteen company directorships and a string of convictions for sexual offences against children. According to the Daily Record, “In 1992, Najafian admitted a catalogue of sickening sex offences against young girls when he appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court.” Ali remains in the headlines, with three luxury cars being firebombed outside his property last October.
On the other side of the balance sheet, Mr Sarwar’s parliamentary expenses have included a 2p claim for a pencil sharpener.
Anas Sarwar’s other brother is Athif Sarwar, convicted of an £850,000 family firm VAT fraud in 2007. However, on appeal, the judges accepted that Athif had not realised that six shell companies started laundering money through the family cash and carry business a year after he was appointed managing director. Money that, according to the BBC, “Was then concealed, disguised, converted or transferred before being transferred as either cash or goods to an unknown person.”
Father Mohammed MP was also no stranger to the courts, being charged with vote-rigging regarding the 1997 general election. Mr Sarwar was acquitted after claiming that he’d loaned one of his political opponent’s money (as you do), rather than paid him a suspected bribe.
Subsequently, Gordon Brown nominated Mohammed for a peerage but it was turned down by the House of Lord’s appointment commission after an objection by the tax authorities.
In 2008/9 Mohammed Sarwar’s was the highest MP’s expenses claim at almost £200,000. This included £24,000 for running a second home and £31,000 for travel between London and Glasgow. According to the Daily Telegraph, he also chaired Muslim Friends of Labour, “An organisation that channelled [to Labour] more than £300,000 of donations from prominent Muslims.”
As for the family business, it revolves around various manifestations of United Wholesale Cash and Carry. Comrade Anas has a 23% share in the business, thought to be worth about £4 million pounds. In the interests of equality, they do not recognise trades unions and pay below the living wage. No wonder children live in poverty, Mr Sarwar!
Needless to say, none of these or any of the other Sarwar clan nasties (freely available via an internet search), were mentioned in the BBC’s thorough and comprehensive leaders’ debate. Neither was the SNP civil war, the disgraceful treatment of Alex Salmon or the resulting ludicrous whitewash by Sir James Hamilton.
Krankie blamed a Tory Government in Westminster.
Jennie from the audience wondered how the politicians were going to get things back to normal, especially when there are so many empty shops?
Lorna was excited by the vaccine rollout but noted that our children will not have the same opportunities now that we (Canada?) are out of the European Union. They can’t use the Erasmus scheme. No, Lorna, they can use the new Turing scheme which will be better. Nor will they be able to work, travel and live in the twenty-seven EU countries, moaned Lorna. Work in a Polish lignite mine? Live in rural Romania? Travel around a council estate in Slovakia? Is the girl a sadist?
The next question was from Jackie. With long chestnut hair, glowing tan and plunging neckline, Jackie was draped across a settee as if, a friend suggests, including us in her daily Only Fans content (whatever that means). She wasn’t keen on a referendum either and encouraged potential followers not to subscribe to one.
Krankie persisted in separating referendum from pandemic by stating that both could be achieved in sequence. Warning that last time there had been a financial crash, it had been followed by ten years of austerity, a no vote and the leaving of the EU.
Alex Rennie agreed with Jackie. Is he one of her subscribers? According to Alex, there are three more important issues; mental health, reform of social care and “bounce back support.” Yes, he is. That’s one of Jackie’s videos (according to my friend). Rennie saw a window into the next five years. It showed nothing but talk of a referendum and the poison between Alex Salmon (wherever he may be) and Krankie.
Lorna spoke. She’d noticed what you’ve all noticed, that the Unionists weren’t actually speaking in favour of, or even mentioning, the Union but were speaking against an independence referendum.
“Do we want a Boris Johnson government we didn’t elect?” Asked Lorna.
Hold on a minute, doll. Everybody in Scotland has a vote in Westminster elections. It’s the English who don’t get to vote in Scottish elections. Mind yourself, Lorna.
Colin in the audience was interested in the constitution and claimed that pejorative terms such as ‘nationalist’ were used to describe the, erm, nationalists.
“You call us nationalists,” Colin whined. Pal, I can call you something better than that and, just to make it easy for you, it begins with an ‘n’ as well.
Let’s not forget the SNP’s links with the Nazis. The chap in the kilt, pictured with the Hitler Youth, is Arthur Donaldson, who was leader of the Scottish Nationalists between 1960 and 1969. In the modern-day, the SNP have an annual Arthur Donaldson lecture. Shame on them.
Colin became overexcited, “You’re Unionists, you’re nothing more than imperialists, wanting to rule. Just like in the last century you want to rule from London.”
One moment while your humble reviewer summons his inner Billy Connolly.
“Pardon me, Colin, can I interrupt you for a wee minute?”
The next questioner was seasonably sat in front of a round mirror that formed a halo about his head. Choirs of angels began to sing, ‘Careful now,’ as I noted his long, thin face and dark beard. Behind him, white walls were shelved with serious-looking books. Have the archaeologists finally found and restored Pastor Jack Glass’s Bible room? The questioner wondered, in a mysterious way, as to how the Health Service might recover from the coronavirus backlog?
Anas Sarwar suggested ‘resourcing the workforce.’ That means, instead of spending money on the patients, spend it on even higher wages and pensions for the staff.
Douglas Ross thanked everybody in the NHS. Ten thousand lives had been lost in Scotland. The Health Service had issues before the pandemic, this should be the focus rather than a referendum. Health targets have never been met by the SNP. Douglas ‘welcomed’ a pay rise for NHS staff rather than promising one.
Tranny alert. Betty Boo has moved to Scotland and is transitioning into a twenty stone docker. He/she/him/her claimed that he/she/himself/herself had to wait fourteen months for a gender clinic appointment. Even in these modern times, that’s a conversation stopper in Glasgow. We moved on to Juan.
Juan spoke in broken English and said that he was grateful that ‘people like us’ were allowed to vote.
“What do you mean by people like us?” Asked under-active moderator, Sarah Smith.
“The EU!” Somebody called out.
Juan shot the EU fox, faster than uber Remainer Jolyon Maugham might bludgeon it to death with his daughter’s pink rounders bat, by telling us that he came from Chile.
“I know what it’s like to live under a dictatorship,” he continued. Presumably a reference to the Marxist dictatorship of trouble maker Salvador Allende. Taking time out from worshipping General Pinochet as a God, Juan wanted to tells us that, now that he’s arrived from Chile and is allowed to vote, surely we should be paying him to do nothing? Seriously. Should there be a universal basic income?
The Greens were in favour of a universal basic income and Lorna selflessly volunteered to take part in any necessary pilot scheme. That’s what she said. Krankie hinted very heavily that free money for everybody might be included in the forthcoming SNP election manifesto. Who would have thought it?
The final question was about carbon-phobia climate bollocks. Twelve-year-old Danielle wanted to know how the candidates were going to reduce carbon emissions to ‘pre-industrial levels’? Which takes us back to the dungie in Clackmannanshire. What does pre-industrial mean? It means rural poverty, miserable living conditions, malnutrition, disease and sky-high child mortality.
Lorna told us of the Green’s plan. They are going to absorb the carbon out of the atmosphere by (as above) reforesting Scotland. What a nut.
Douglas Ross wanted action, a taxpayer-funded £16 billion transition which Laura helpfully informed us will go to the oil and gas companies. All of the candidates agreed that the environment would be saved by ‘renewable energy’ which presumably means chopping down reforested Scotland and turning it into biomass. Can you rely on Scottish sunshine for solar energy? Will Scottish wind farms provide on windless days? Surprise, surprise, Scotland will be totally dependant upon the inter-connector with England.
Emily spoke, she looked about ten. There was too much plastic and paper at her school.
Krankie had a plan. 97% of Scotland’s energy comes from renewables. No, it doesn’t. Krankie was going to de-carbonise by banning gas and forcing people to heat their homes with electricity (which is four times more expensive per kilowatt-hour than gas). This will reduce bills. No, it won’t. It will increase them by 400%.
0.04% of the earth’s atmosphere is carbon dioxide. What happens in Scotland makes no difference to anything. Their political elite will wreck the economy and make ordinary people’s lives a misery, for no reason other than to virtue signal to each other in the outhouse.
Sarah Smith asked a supplementary. Will the leaders clamp down on nasty and abusive language during the campaign?
Anas Sarwar took this opportunity to call Douglas Ross, ‘shameful’ and told him to ‘grow up.’ Lorna said that prejudice could be reduced if there were fewer white people, old people, men and rich people. Hold on a minute, Lorna …… Nah, forget it. Krankie, leader of the rancid civil war engulfed SNP, gave us a lecture on being nice to people.
As for winners and losers. As ever, the winners were those who didn’t turn up, Alex Salmon, the Alba Party and the criminally underused Scottish Conservative, Ruth Davidson. The biggest losers were the BBC, the programme being badly produced mound of unwatchable dungy hill crap.
Question Time is on holiday.
© Always Worth Saying 2021
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