2007 - 2021

A Profligate Junto

Theresa May’s Alternative Burns Supper is a bold and wonderful act of absurdism, attempting to re-work Burns as a figure of Unionism. It’s a strange list of misspelled names, funders, pet journalists, token Jocks, lickspittle MPs and an odd assortment of slebs issued from No 10 (we checked).

Great to hear that Brakes Brothers (providing shit food to your schools and hospitals for years) were doing the catering, with Gary Maclean (brown-nosing three ways?) offering some tuiles to the Tory spin.

But there’s a lack of detail here that’s worrying.

Obviously Josh Littlejohn would do Holy Willies Prayer, but who did the Immortal Memory?

We can imagine David Mundell scratching his beard for starters (crispy haggis anyone?) and Boyd Tunnock’s a cert for the dessert, but who did the Address to the Lassies, and in the absence of the Colonel (off to Davos) who did the reply?

Perhaps Karen Betts of the ‘Scottish Whisky Association‘ or uber-faithful Merryn Somerset Webb of Moneyed Week?

Who performed the Address to a Haggis?

Maybe Sir Henry Angest? As one Andy Wightman reports: “Angest has provided almost £7 million to the Conservative party in loans and donations between 2001 and 2010 (1) He was also a funder of Atlantic Bridge, the charity that funded Adam Werrity’s excursions around the world with Liam Fox. He also owns Ashmore estate in Perthshire under the name of Rora investments Ltd., a company registered in Jersey.”

Or how about Ian Bankier? Celtic chairman and one of the signatories to the Better Together open letter to the Scotsman on Wed 27 Aug 2014. I’m sure Celtic fans will be delighted to know he was doused in Scotch (remember he was the guy who previously branded Celtic fans ‘criminally racist’ for opposing the actions of Tory peer Baron Livingston of Parkhead).

Or what about Sir Amyas Morse, head of the ‘impartial’ National Audit Office  ?

Or perhaps Angus Grossart chair of think-tank Scotland International Ltd (SIL) who recently hosted Steve Bannon in Gleneagles Hotel  – and of Charlotte Street Partners?

We’re hoping that this gathering of neeps and tatties gave it laldy with …

Address to his Troops at Bannockburn

wept at…

There For Honest Poverty (A Man’s a Man)

and listened carefully to…

The Twa Dogs or Epistle to Davie.

Burns detested corruption in politics.

In  A Dream he suggests the Prime Minister’s cabinet would be better mucking dung in a byre than holding public office.

He described Pitt’s Tory government were a ‘profligate junto’, and a pack of ‘unprincipled miscreants’.

He defines Westminster politics as a process of ‘nefarious cunning and hypocritical pretence’ to govern society ‘for the emolument of ourselves and our adherents’ and damned politicians for ‘that horrid mass of corruption called Politics & State-Craft!’

This hilarious stunt posturing as a celebration of the ‘enduring union’ has probably done more to politicise Burns Night than anything in years.




Comments (12)

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  1. Crubag says:

    Though he’s also the Burns of the Dumfries Volunteers (membership and anthem, “Does Haughty Gaul Invasion Threat?”), father of “little independent Britons” etc., so a man for all seasons and occasions…

  2. Wullie says:

    Mundell’s knickers provided by Michelle Mone?

  3. Finlay Macleoid says:

    Until very recently in the North-east of Scotland Robert Burns was seen as a very strong Unionist.

    When did the change take place to being a Nationalist?

    So many people have really short memories.

    Willie Ross the Secretary of State for Scotland and a great devotee of Burns was an Arch Unionist.

    Finally why are all the Gaelic cultural and heritage products like tartan, the kilt, Bagpipes and whisky all tied up with Burns Suppers. Surely it should be the clothes of his day, the Lowland or Borders pipes and ale rather than whisky.

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      I lived in the North-East of Scotland for 10 years and never heard anyone advance the curious proposition that Robert Burns was “a very strong Unionist”. During my time there, his work was enthusiastically celebrated by the St. Machar Branch of the SNP.

  4. Finlay Macleoid says:

    The main reason Robert Burns was spread throughout the British Empire was because he was seen as such a strong man of the British Empire. Without the British Empire he would not be known or celebrated in these places today.

    Do you think he would have been promoted in the British Army or indeed throughout the British Empire if he had been seen as a Scottish Nationalist. Of course not.

    1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

      Are these ‘alternative facts’?

    2. James Sinclair says:

      Finlay….Ho ho ho ! The Empire made Burns famous ??? Get back under your rock. Unionist lackey.

      1. Graeme Purves says:

        Finlay is very definitely not a Unionist lackey, but I would be surprised if he could come up with much evidence to support his idiosyncratic claim.

    3. Bonnie Prince Bob says:

      That’s a fine Cask aged single malt pish
      you have there Finlay!
      Thanks for sharing

  5. Wullie says:

    Q wad some power the giftie gie us! Finlay tak tent!

  6. Wul says:

    Just a wee haggis starter. It’s far too weird and Scotch for the main course.

    “Crispy Haggis” !? If haggis is crispy something has gone far wrong in the kitchen.

  7. Graeme Purves says:

    David Mundell’s Address to the Crispy Haggis is surely a cultural contribution of great significance to our small nation and deserves a much wider audience. Might Bella be persuaded to publish it? Or must we wait 30 years?

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