To be honest, readers, we gave up on taking any notice of David Torrance‘s mundane attempts at trolling in the Herald some time ago. But some alert readers pointed us towards this week’s column, suggesting that it was a bald rewriting of history some way beyond their usual bland irritancy.
This was the passage they objected to:
It’s a patronising piece of “shut up and eat your cereal” condescension for sure. But to be fair to Torrance, it does also happen to be true. Wait, not true. The other thing.
Torrance’s downplaying of Gordon Brown’s status is disingenuous in itself. Brown was undoubtedly the figurehead of the Union in the last days of the campaign, the architect of the Vow which became the foundation of the Scotland Act 2015 and to which David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband all literally signed their names.
But if Torrance should maintain the fiction that Brown was a mere bit-part player, we can offer a few other “senior Unionists” who did talk of equal partnerships. We could start with no less a figure than the actual chair of the “Better Together” campaign himself, Alistair Darling, quoted on the BT website in November 2012:
He was far from the first. The same claim had previously been made by the woman who now proclaims herself the chief defender of the Union in Scotland, Ruth “No Surrender” Davidson, in her very first speech as Scottish Conservatives leader:
And her Scottish Labour counterpart Johann Lamont was in full agreement when she gave a speech to her branch-office conference in 2013:
But we can do better still than that. Readers, we present to you the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the Rt Hon Theresa May MP, speaking to the 2012 Tory conference about the Union in her capacity as Home Secretary:
They weren’t alone, of course. The media of which Torrance is a ubiquitous part made the same assertion regularly, such as in this Daily Express editorial from just two days before the referendum:
But if the leader of the No campaign, the leaders of the Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Labour during the referendum and the current UK Prime Minister don’t count as senior enough Unionists for David Torrance, there seems little point in us searching for any other examples.
We look forward to the Herald’s correction.