Backing The Underdog Is A Strictly British Tradition

Hey everyone Let me state two facts for the avoidance of doubt before getting started on this post

(1) I am a member of the Scottish National Party

(2) I am a massive fan of Strictly Come Dancing

Why I should need to state these facts I do not honestly know but it seems that the Daily Telegraph are blaming pro Independence supporters and particularly members of the SNP for the fact that Judy Murray is still in Strictly Come Dancing.

In what I found to be an interesting piece of journalism, reporter Iain Martin appears to be stirring some serious Anti Scottish mischief making by suggesting that this is the only reason Judy is still in the popular Saturday night staple. Mr Martin It seems believes that the SNP are deliberately undermining the show which he believes to the backbone of British popular culture.

In his rather cheeky piece Mr Martin describes SNP politicians as humourless and looking to create division between Scotland and England as we seem to forget we lost the referendum and he and his cohorts need to keep reminding us we lost until it eventually gets through. I should perhaps remind Mr Martin that not only is this is not the way to win Scotland for the UK but also that Scotland and England are not the only nations in the United Kingdom. Like many London based journalists Mr Martin seems to forget about the very existence of Wales and Northern Ireland.

As for his cheap shot at SNP politicians, I would like to remind him that it was our outgoing First Minister Alex Salmond who in 2008 appeared on the BBC Children in need to send himself up as the local comic icon the Reverend I M Jolly. With all due respect I ask Mr Martin if he could imagine British minded money grabbing ‘Proud Scots’ such as the sanctimonious expenses eating Jim Murphy or the patron saint of pomposity Gordon Brown doing this in the name of charity, because you had better believe it I certainly couldn’t

This argument about humourless Scots belongs in the 1970’s when people like Bernard Manning and Jim Davidson could pass for family viewing. As for Mr Martin who I am sure is a decent guy must be aware that up to a point the British always support the underdog. Indeed, it could be said that backing the underdog is strictly a British tradition. This I think is a far more likely reason that Judy seems to be surviving the popular vote week after week in spite of being at or near the bottom of the judges leader board.

It is my view that this holds true on any TV talent show. It is especially true to say that the harsher the judges opinions the more likely the viewers will be to vote in favour of the candidate who in their opinion is being unfairly treated. Evidence of this can be illustrated by the fact that former Conservative MP Anne Widdecombe also lasted far longer than her talent deserved and if you look at other shows such as X-Factor you can see such acts as Wagner, and Chico have also had a public appeal up to a point before real talent forced them to take their final bow.

I for one do not agree with Mr Martin that everything in Scotland is or has to be seen through the prism of the referendum. Nor do I want to turn one of my favourite TV programmes into a ridiculous farce. I love Strictly I love everything about it. I love Len’s words of encouragement and wisdom, I love Darcy’s knowledge of dance, I love Bruno’s eccentric antics and I even love Craig’s bitchy remarks. Whether it’s the main show, the results show, or it takes two, whether it’s hosted by Sir Bruce Forsyth, Tess Daly, Claudia Winkleman, or Zoe Ball it doesn’t matter it all adds to the mix that makes it a cultural institution it has become.

I have to say however what I really love is the dancing itself. That after all is what the programme is all about and makes angry beyond description that some right wing journalist can attempt to hijack my essential Saturday night viewing in an attempt to gain notoriety with a certain section of the Scottish population.

I however refuse to play that game. I will not grant Mr Martin the notoriety he seeks. I realise journalists have to have topically stories to generate interest in their columns and this to me seems to be what Mr Martin is doing. I have to say however he is not making an accurate reading of the situation. You see it is my belief that a sizable portion of Judy Murray’s vote will come from other nations of the United Kingdom and especially from the tennis community which I think is far more likely to mobilise support for her than the SNP

As I said at the beginning of the post I am a fan of Strictly Come Dancing in fact I would go further than that and would say I am a fanatical devotee of this wonderful programme. Well let’s be honest, what women wouldn’t go weak at the knees at the prospect of twirling round the dance floor in the arms of a handsome, strong, athletic dancer. I know I would and I do every Saturday.

It may surprise or even shock Iain Martin that when it comes to this card carrying member of the SNP my favourite contestant of all time on the show is not a Scot but the British Olympic gold medal winning cyclist on whom I developed a wee bit of what we in Scotland would call a mammy crush. You see having watched a documentary on her life story shortly before London 2012 I felt a great deal of empathy with my favourite Brit of all time,Victoria Pendleton. This a title which I don’t think she’ll ever lose as she is the only contestant in the history of the show who has ever had me screaming dog’s abuse at Craig. Not even Judy Murray can manage that. So Iain Martin can rest assured that should Judy Murray win Strictly Come Dancing it won’t be the SNP vote that wins it for her. Strictly is our time for relaxing and in my case dreaming as I remember to focus on enjoying myself in a world away from politics I’ll think about at another time, after all we have other revolutions to plan.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X


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