In the Funniest Blog category, I have to say I enjoyed all of them but also that Paul Kavanagh aka Wee Ginger Dug has a gift not given to many writers, which is that of being funny, flippant and profound. You find many that can do one of those things, some that can do two, but very few that are able to manage all three. Although he wrote with a markedly different style, the only other writer I can think of that has the same knack is Douglas Adams, and anyone that knows me will understand that from my point of view, I am giving the Dug a high compliment there.
Car Crash Interview of the Year – After seeing Johann Lamont nominated in this category, my first reaction was “which one?”. Throughout the campaign the single most common reaction she produced was “eh?”.
The Jeanne Freeman interview (if you can call it that) with Andrew Neil will be referred to in the new edition of the Scots Language Dictionary – just look up ‘telt’.
Best Live Event Disaster – Having spent the evening commiserating with like-minded people in the YesBar (Best Pub anyone?), upon hearing of Unionfest 2014 in George Square, I also went round there with a few people to see what was going on. The square had been cleared by then and strangely enough the first person we ran into was Channel 4 journalist Alex Thomson. We asked him what had happened. He told us that the police had been quite efficient in scooping the people up and clearing the square. He added that the Scottish police were the most efficient he has ever seen at doing that sort of thing. This is not any particular reason for pride – ask a Scottish football fan.
Another interesting element to this category was the real lack of participation in pro-union events until they started paying for people to go to them, or creating the illusion of participation. This might be evidence of something that could be taken as either uncomfortable or heartening for the Yes side in that it suggests that there isn’t so much active and vocal support for the no side but we still just weren’t convincing enough, but it also still suggests that there isn’t so much vocal and active support for the no side. Take that as you will.
Best Young Activist – I had a little personal experience of two of the candidates in this category. I was there to witness Saffron Dickson bravely standing up (verbally) to a unionist heckler in Buchanan Street, more or less around the time when another unionist was kicking a pregnant woman in Argyle Street.
In the same spot near Donald Dewar in Buchanan Street, I also came across Stephen Paton (pictured, above) just hours before the polls closed. He was still trying to convince people to vote Yes, and it must have been about half past six in the evening. I joined in his conversation with a couple of women who had been convinced all along that they were going to vote no, and by the time they left us I think we had managed to convince them to vote the other way.
On the subject of meeting people, I ran into Pilar Fernandez and her husband several times in the run-up to the vote, and I have to say you couldn’t hope to meet two warmer and more genuine people. I know that this doesn’t necessarily mean that they should win the award for Best International Act of Solidarity, but it is worth saying here.
For the Best Insurgency I think everyone reading this will have laughed and smiled with the Imperial masters, and cried and smiled (or nearly cried, if you insist on being macho) with Lynsey Jarret’s amazing personal contribution.
In the Best Unionist Scare Story category I suspect Gordon Brown knew he was lying, and the Alien Invasion one was at worst a knowingly absurd warning, and at best a joke. I think the Scottish Independence Would Be A Provocation of God story merits special attention as it is the only one of the three of which I’m prepared to believe the speaker actually believed what he was saying.
Finally, on the Dunderheid award, I notice that on current voting Willie Rennie is actually giving George Foulkes a run for his money. If I were Willie Rennie, I would find this significantly more troubling than the nomination itself.
And for those you that are interested, the podcasts are starting up again very soon.