What a fantastic story in the papers over the last 24 hours.
It’s the sort of one that always makes me all happy and smiley.
A prominent Ibrox fan forum – Follow Follow in case you didn’t guess – was being frequented by a Tory rising star who had been selected as a council candidate in the coming elections. And he has torpedoed his career.
Now, I have to point out that this isn’t about the Tories. Labour and the SNP have both been caught in similar scandals with candidates whose social media posts have been bigoted and absolutely unacceptable.
Nobody should be in the slightest doubt that Scottish politics has more than its fair share of grotty grubby individuals for whom hatred of others is their default position.
The strain of anti-Catholicism in much of it would not wash anywhere but here.
We have a peculiar problem with this, and not one of the major parties – not one of them – seems to know how to resolve it. There are parts of the country where it is ingrained and there is exactly zero willingness to tackle from any of them.
But I take a special kind of pleasure in the story of the Tory candidate whose posts on Follow Follow have seen him dumped by the party.
Because it’s special in so many ways, it is beautiful in so many ways.
Imagine how much of a bastard you have to be, and to behave, to be kicked out of the Tories right now.
Imagine what it takes to no longer be considered suitable to stand amongst the rabble that protects the serial liar and bullshit artist in Downing Street.
Well this geezer has elbowed aside the competition and succeeded where so many others have failed.
And it was his Follow Follow posts which did it for him.
Greg Turner was running for a council seat in Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, and even as he was posing as Mr Respectable (as a Tory, so not a great disguise really …) he was a contributor on the gutter-board of Mark Dingwall under the name MearnsUnionist.
You can see just from the name how much thought (i.e. none) he put into all this, can’t you?
Writing about St Ninian’s high school and the local catchment area, he had this to say; “A lot of pape families moved in so they could get their kids to the best performing bigot factory in Scotland … Obviously there’s still a decent amount of good guys in that area too, but there’s definitely been an infiltration over time.”
An infiltration. Jesus wept. Who thinks like that? Who talks like that?
Well, a good portion of that message board does so he was in like-minded company.
One of his fellow dregs posted, with searing, laser-beam, geopolitical insight, on the makeup of the Barrhead area, stating that it was “one third Loyalist, one third Republican and one third Protestant who don’t know what they Hell they are.”
The Record’s political desk will be pounding on that guy’s door with job offers, you wait and see.
To which Scotland’s up-coming political genius responded – in relation, let’s not forget, to his prospective voters – that “Barrhead has by far the biggest population of mentally challengeds in East Renfrewshire.”
I have no idea if that’s accurate, even within the boundaries of good taste, but I do know that if you limit the sample to its prospective Tory council candidates that it’s right on the money.
I found it brilliant that Labour responded thus:
“The Scottish Tories must make absolutely clear that they do not endorse or support this candidate in any way. We must have zero tolerance towards all forms of bigotry and prejudice.”
“Except,” you might be forgiven for thinking, “when they are Orange Lodge members running on the Labour ticket.”
The candidate himself has offered an unreserved apology for any offence caused.
But only, you suspect, because he’s been outed … and he could only have been outed, of course, by someone in his own circle who knew his identity and ran to the papers with it.
Like I said, this is sweet in oh so many ways, the most amazing being that Follow Follow has now destroyed the political aspirations of one of its own members.
We should be thankful for small mercies.