Just for a bit of light relief after today’s truly abysmal front-page, Daily Mail columnist Stephen Daisley wrote this yesterday;

“Grievances are the carbohydrates of nationalism; eliminate them and the body grinds to a halt”. 

Evidently, Daisley is not a man who has given serious thought to the Atkins diet.

But more tragically, Daisley used to write clever stuff for STV on-line and now he’s reduced to knocking out what must be for him soul-destroying Daily Mail columns. His STV pieces used to cohere; they had a bit of rigour and honesty about them. His downfall there came because of the trickiness of STV being bound by OFCOM rules not to editorialise but slipping comment in via its website. Then he became a kind of journo folk-hero, especially to journos of the right who would like more Fox TV-type output in the UK. But then instead of going off and writing a clever book or something, he just took the fattest pay cheque he could and went to work for the Daily Mail.

If you read the column linked above, it’s depressing to see how he’s had to temper his undoubted ability to write sharply observed prose with the classically dishonest structure that is the Daily Mail’s oeuvre. Result – bile and bitterness, even free on his own website. Because once you’re in for the pounds at the Daily Mail, you have to see the world through the prism of this right-wing laird.

A quick glance at the column linked above illustrates the point. It starts out praising the Tories, then follows with a few throwaway lines about how an honourable nationalism is possible. Then it proceeds to conflate nationalism with the SNP and describe all people who support independence as folk dousing ourselves in petrol and in search of the Bluebells. Scots consider themselves eternal victims, he weighs in, in a terrible trope he’d not have given the time of day to when writing for STV. The SNP has spent so long lying, he says; “it’s no longer clear what it’s actually for”.

What? The SNP is mono-maniacal about independence to the exclusion of all else AND it’s no longer clear what it’s for? A sub-editor might have picked up this logic-defying clash of two bile streams. That’s the kind of incoherent nonsense which creates the black hole you disappear into when you take the Daily Mail’s money while pretending to everyone that you’re still the same guy as before. Note to Mr Daisley – the SNP, as you correctly observed before you spoiled it – is for independence. It’s Scottish Labour’s anti-referendum crew some of us are sad about not knowing what it’s for.

In the end, Daisley’s bile is all about telling anyone who’ll listen that people who support independence – including the many who don’t support the SNP –  are vile, irrational, self-hating and are best ignored. That’s the Daily Mail and now it’s Daisley. He used to seem such a promising young man; now, he just doesn’t seem to know what he’s for.