There’s a piece in yesterday’s National which you may have passed by on account of it looking like countless other reports of Ian Blackford or one of his colleagues feeding us vacuous platitudes and lecturing us about how we have to do things a particular way without telling us what that way is or how it might work. This claptrap became tedious long ago. It has grown irksome. People have two ways to go. They can either ignore these feeble efforts to fob off or slap down the growing number of people expressing concerns and asking questions about the SNP’s approach to the constitutional issue. Or they can make the mistake that I made last night and read the article then go to bed angry. Which is not conducive to personal well-being.
There’s no substance to the rhetoric. No filling. Like Smarties with just the bright, colourful outer coating, but when that’s gone there’s nothing. No crunchy sugar shell. No chocolate kernel. No substance.
There are, I think, four
flavours colours of SNP Smarties currently being tossed to the party member kiddies and their pals from the Yes movement. The red ones are Ian Blackford’s favourites. The red of well-rehearsed outrage at Boris Johnson and his regime for being British Nationalists and acting accordingly. The pointy-fingered denunciations and eye-widened outrage and fist-raised warnings. All very am-dram. All totally without substance. I watch Mr Blackford at the dispatch box as he does his indignation shtick to an audience of disappearing British backs and I am put in mind of Kruschev at the United Nations banging his shoe on the lectern to emphasise his point. I can’t remember what the point was. But I remember the empty shoe. I remember wondering if it was one he’d brought specially for that purpose – like a theatrical prop. I remember wondering if the shoe was smelly. But I don’t remember what he said. Just the shoe. Just the prop. Just the stuff that was there for show.
The yellow smarties are those peppy popsters Pete & The Postponers singing their big hit 500 Months. You know how it goes,
I would wait 500 months And I would wait 500 more Just to be the man who waits a thousand months To wait 500 more
It’s a bit banal. But the kids love it. The tune doesn’t actually go anywhere. Just as Stephen King can’t write endings for his stories, Pete & The Postponers have no idea how to finish their song. But that’s OK. Because it’s easy to sing and play and people join in and doing an ending is scary because then they might be asked to do another number and they’ve got
fu nothing! Under the yellow coating there is just emptiness.
You could try suggesting that they do a verse or two about what happens while they’re waiting 500 more months. But that’ll get you chucked out of their fan club. They won’t speak to you at gigs any more. And they’ll tell all their other fans to shun you. They’ll work very hard at pretending to be real Smarties. But eventually the colouring rubs off. And when that happens Pete & The Postponers will be remembered only on those TV list shows when they do the most deserving one-hit wonders of all time.
Then there’s the blue smarties. These are the solemn warnings about what will happen if we chew our Fruit Pastilles instead of sucking them. Our teeth will rot and fall out and we’ll get tummy-ache and, worst of all, the grown-ups will take away our sweeties and tell us we’re not entitled to them because we weren’t eating them the right way.
Once again, beneath that glossy blue exterior there is only space. The grown-ups aren’t even paying any attention to us. And they don’t care if we chew or suck so long as we share the sweets fairly and brush our teeth afterwards.
Finally, the green Smarties. These are the inspirational speeches from the likes of Nicola Sturgeon. The shiny green ones draw us in. They stand out from the other colours. They really look like there must be something good inside. You always think the next one will have a centre. You consume them by the handful, but all you get is a green tongue and a feeling inside of emptiness as empty as the faux Smarties.
The green colouring is very high quality. It doesn’t rub off easily. The green Smarties never lose their gleam. They never fade. But they cannot satisfy. Because they’re empty. They have no substance.
I’ve really got a notion for some real Smarties. Anybody know where I can get some?
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