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A new low

Posted on April 01, 2012 by

Normally we enjoy a little chuckle at Kevin McKenna’s weekly column in the Guardian, as befits one of the stalwarts of our Zany Comedy Relief link section. On taking an early peek at this week’s effort, it looked to be one of those rare occasions when Kevin takes a break from slagging off the SNP and talks about something else, but instead we were horrified to witness one of the most despicable things we’ve seen in the mainstream “quality” press for quite some time.

Most of Scotland united in saluting Jocky Wilson when he sadly passed away at the too-young age of 62 a week ago. Our Twitter feed quickly filled with tributes to the much-loved Kirkcaldy dartsman from all sides of the social, cultural and political spectrum (we particularly liked this one from Alex Massie), and the idea that anyone would seek to turn the tragedy to political advantage seemed beyond imagination. So we were happy to see that McKenna’s column was ostensibly another salute to one of Scotland’s favourite sons. That feeling lasted as far as the third paragraph.

“It’s just a shame that, among the garlands and tributes that greeted Jocky’s untimely death at the age of 62, there was nothing from the SNP, Scotland’s party of government.”

We’re not going to dignify the piece with a direct link, but McKenna goes on to draw a tortured contrast between Wilson’s love of a drink and a smoke and the SNP’s supposedly puritanical attitude towards such pursuits, with particular reference to the recent passage of the minimum-pricing bill.

(Oddly, for some reason he doesn’t feel compelled to also highlight the smoking ban introduced by the previous Labour/Lib Dem administration at Holyrood, or to mention that it was the booze and fags that actually led to both the demise of Wilson’s career and his untimely death from chronic pulmonary disease.)

He finally works himself up to a dismal and (ironically enough) pious attempt at satire, describing a hypothetical sanitised movie biopic of Wilson thus:

“The worst-case scenario would see Bobby Carlyle playing a slimmed-down version of Jocky as he sallied forth to smite English archers like John Lowe, Eric Bristow and Bobby George in a latter-day enactment of Braveheart. Jocky would be seen wearing one of those tartan blankets in which some SNP supporters dress at annual conferences. There would be facepaint.

In this positive outcome-driven version of Jocky’s life we would observe him being humiliated by crafty cockney Bristow as the effects of vodka and dartitis took hold. We would then see Jocky, in a Damascene moment, finally abjure the drink and sign up to Nicola Sturgeon’s new urban temperance league. He would enrol as a teacher in the newly created subject of Sobriety and preach self-denial.”

A commenter on the page is swift to point out that McKenna’s entire piece is based on a lie anyway – the First Minister was in fact one of the first to publicly express his sorrow at Wilson’s passing, while we’ve been unable to find any comments at all from Johann Lamont, Ruth Davidson, Willie Rennie or their parties – but we hope the Guardian will have the decency to wipe the entire shameful stain from its pages. We’ve seen Unionists sink to all manner of depths to attack the SNP, but this disgusting effort must surely be rock bottom. We daren’t imagine that there might be even worse to come in the next two years.

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1 to “A new low”

  1. steven luby

    I will not pretend to understand what may or may not drive a journalist,nor will I succumb to the belief that the trade is rotten to the core,yet. I would have it on a parallel with a desire in becoming an M.P, when one is young and full of drive for better things as long ago as 35-40 years where there 'was' a desire to help aid/change things for the better perhaps? As I have said, I claim no knowledge of understanding in such things.
    But the article involving Jocky Wilson and the S.N.P is something beyond comprehension.It is written in such a derogatory manner towards both 'parties' that I have reached the conclusion that it's 'author' is quite clearly unwell and his perspective on recent events have come off a wave of hatred and denial for anything Scottish.
    The mantra that he clearly supports belongs in the lower-ground floor of a medical school where the lonely doctor encourages fictitious conversation with body parts.Then when his days work is complete,he scurries back home,with beads of perspiration and anxiety,oblivious to why no one else understands him!
    Whatever 'rules' their may or may not be in journalism,I have the feeling we are dealing with the type of guy who would dearly love to set fire to somewhere, just to have the power to have someone who would not let him play center forward at school break be blamed,arrested and jailed.
    This guy is really not a well bunny!

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