Friday, 25 July 2008

Where is the Grin Control on Nicola Sturgeon?

Yes I'll admit it and go and collect my anorak now, I was there to the bitter end last night. That was when Newsnight Scotland finally deemed it time to show highlights of the campaign to round off conference and take the camera of Nicola's increasingly smug "I know something you don't" face. All through the coverage all the politicians in the studio Nicola, Douglas 'I'll defend my sister' Alexander, Murdo Fraser and Jo Swinson were checking for updates on their Blackberries. At times in wide shots we saw Nicola, Douglas and Jo actually looking at theirs. They were seemingly better informed than the reporter at the count on many occasions judging by their facial expressions and comments to questioning. Nicola smile grew in smugness to almost John Mason-esque proportions (you had to see the literature) as the night progressed.

I'll also admit I wasn't there at the start as me and some work colleagues were entertaining one of our South african colleagues to a meal down at Khubla Khan's in Leith. Although on my way home I checked into facebook to find that my one time near a TV camera all campaign had managed to make the national Newsnight coverage of the campaign. That's the last four Westminster Election nights in Scotland I've been spoted on telly, should I run and hide now.

However, the man who a few hours later entered the count to a guard of honour of Nat supporters, I thought I did spot ASWAS in the line, then entered the hall almost Rocky-esque hands raised aloft. Back in the Studio Nicola was trying her best to keep stoom after all the result had yet to be made official.

I think this is a great result to run this close as it appears to be from where we started. John Mason has run a good campaign etc.

But you could tell she was secretly waiting to have the part alluded to by a text messenger who later encouraged them to chill, kick back have a beer and cigarette. She quickly regained her sence that she was Health Minister when caught laughing a bit much though.

However, the dreaded r-word as it was referred to was mentioned by the BBC just as the candidates and agents were being called to the returning officers desk. This soon became not a euphermism but the actually word recount as while watching pictures of Margaret Curran, who couldn't really hide in bright red, an announcement on the stage used the word in full for the first time, quickly followed by about 7 uses in the studio in the next minute. Now Nicola said in good football speak:

"If you'd offered us to be in recount territority at the start we'd have been happy. But we'd have been expecting us to call it from behind."

Oh how the grin grew and grew. But we still had to wait for the official confirmation that Frances Curran pile of 555 votes didn't contain 366 of Margaret's in error. Nicola had by now returned to "siesmic" talk the word long banned by SNP after Alex promised a quake hitting Glasgow East before Labour chose Curran, M.

So Gordon had responsibilty for the Dunfermline and West Fife Campiagn and lost that, he was Prime Minister for the Glasgow East Campaign and lost that. I can still the looks of anguish on the Labour members at the Livingston as they entered the hall at the start of that by election, but that has been the only Westminster by election north of the border this Parliament that they have ended up leaving with even a smile of relief.

Labour are in turmoil and facing a crisis from whoever is best placed to dislodge them, the Nats last night, the Tories in Crewe of the Lib Dems in Dunfermline, it looking a lot like the lead up to 1997. Gordon can not be sleeping well in the few small hours his pencils in for such activities.


  1. I think Nicola is allowed to smile if her party has just won one of the most historic by-elections in Scottish Politics ever.

    I thought she was excellent on BBC2, though Dougie, Jo and Murdo also represented their parties very, very well indeed too.

    Come on Stephen, lighten up. Don't leave me to suggest that this is sour grapes at your party being leapfrogged by the Tories?

  2. Jeff she is indeed allowed to smile. I was attempting a little thread to follow the coverage of the coverage I was giving. After seeing Mason's grin on the literature and Nicola's coy attempts to not do Mason really, upon his arrival in the count hall, it seemed an all to good an angle to miss.

    It's also a little poke at homour to try and lighten the mood, getting ready what hopefully will now be a normal silly season. (Unless Iain Dale decides to predict some Scottish MPs death again but with more accuracy)

  3. Although for being an actual Cyber-Nat for less than 24 hours your starting to become reactionary to the slightest thing, keep taking the chill pills. ;)

  4. Fair enough, it can be easy to mistake humour for something else but I am struggling to find the wit or satire behind "Nicola's smile grew in smugness to almost John Mason-esque proportions"

    Or perhaps you're hiding behind the humour excuse as my sour grapes comment was close to the bone?

    And I'm as much a "cyber Nat" as I was before yesterday. Of course, whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is another case entirely ;)

    (note the handy little wink to display humour. It's another language this blogging lark at times!)

  5. Jeff you had so see the picture of him that the Nats used at one point, which Labour then used as well to get the comment. I'll bring through an example to make it clear when drinks are on the agenda. ;)

    As for this blogging lark I only wink in comments. I'm expecting my readership to wade through the satire unaided by such tools in the actually entries. :)