8 March 2013

Better Together for the Rapture & the Last Days!

Mary Fee MSP may not be a household name in Scotland. She may not be a household name in the West of Scotland, which elected her to the Scottish Parliament in respect of the Labour Party in 2011. 

She is, however, someone who clearly takes her new responsibilities in the parliament seriously, and is keen to air and answer her constituents' concerns in the great public debates of the day.  Recently, she has been approached by people she represents, anxious for reassurance that all foreign travel shan't be cancelled immediately when Scotland becomes independent, and their passports would still be good for the occasional jaunt to sunnier climes  Reasonable concerns, you might well think. To allay the anxieties she had encountered "on the doorstep", the good Mrs Fee tabled a question in parliament last week...

"To ask the Scottish Government when a Scottish passport system will be in place if Scotland separates from the rest of the United Kingdom."

Fee also seems keen to visit foreign embassies after independence too. And who could hold that against her? Many of them have pleasing catering facilities, the occasional free glass of fizz, attractive marble interiors and beguiling neo-classical façades. In supplement to her original enquiry, she asked "Will Scottish people have access to British embassies around the world after separation?", which I assume really means, will we receive consular protection from a foreign power? Springy External Affairs Minister, Humza Yousaf couldn't resist playing the smart Alex in response to these questions, saying:

"Mary Fee can reassure her constituents that we have always said that we would have inclusive and open citizenship—unless she has information that the United Kingdom Government will give dual citizenship to people of every nation on this earth except an independent Scotland. We will give details in the white paper later this year. The member can reassure people that the sky will not fall in, the earth will not swallow up her constituents and the Messiah will not have to postpone his second coming, come an independent Scotland."

Answer came there none. Parliament toddled ponderously on. Darth Murdo Fraser asked about wind turbines. End of story? Gloriously, not so. In defiance of all satire, Mrs Fee didn't shrug this off as the impertinent answer from a pert young man. Oh no. Instead she seems to have regard Humza's jesting reference to the Messiah as a scandalous piece of religious provocation.  To all religions. Including the ones without any creed of messianic prophecy.

“I asked the Scottish Government a sincere and genuine question on how a new Scottish passport system would operate if Scotland breaks away from the UK, and for Humza Yousaf to show his contempt and derision for constituents that have come to me is a disgrace and unworthy for the position he holds in the Scottish Government. It is also offensive to anyone of religion to claim that the Messiah would not have to postpone his second coming if Scotland separates from the United Kingdom next year. My constituents deserve better and I will continue to represent their views, concerns and questions in the Scottish Parliament, while members of the SNP Scottish Government mock and jeer at such concerns.”

Try to wrap your noggin around that one. Not even Dawkins gets true believers riled up this easily.  For what it's worth, I always harboured a nervous suspicion that the Messiah would reappear in Cowdenbeath. Now there's a positive case for the Union: Better Together for the Rapture, arriving right on time. After all, it's cold out there, an independent Scotland's experience of the Last Days would be awfully unpredictable, and we sinners could do with the company...

12 comments :

  1. Perhaps her next question could be 'if Scotland separates from the UK will all senses of humour north of the border be revoked? I ask on behalf of my constituents because as you know, I don't have one anyway.'

    Apparently the messiah was in Edinburgh earlier this week giving a speech... No idea where he is now.

    ;-)

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  2. I'm depressed now. Why aren't we a million miles ahead of these paralysingly stupid mouth-breathers?

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  3. Because other paralysingly stupid mouth-breathers vote for them?

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  4. GrassyKnollington8 March 2013 at 18:31

    I think she makes a fair point. A highlight of any holiday for me is the flunky who greets me off the plane with the tray featuring a pyramid of Ferrero Rochers. I fear that post independence I would be greeted abroad with a punch in the mouth at best.

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  5. You have to sympathise with Mary Fee. Word is her own colleagues greet her parliamentary pronouncements with fake tannoy cries of Clean up in aisle 4.

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  6. LPW, a clean up is most certainly required in the aisles after your Night Visitor.

    I can see that the excitable Ms Fee is an attractive target for nationalist scorn, but Yousaf's 'Messiah' remark is a bit strange. I am quite sure he would come down like the proverbial ton of bricks on any MSP who made a crack about him expecting the Mahdi to arrive.


    Expectation of an imminent arrival of the Mahdi is a not uncommon theme within Islam in the modern era - indeed many Shia believe he is already here. And it is not generally regarded as a topic for banter.

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  7. Surely if you ask a serious question you would expect a serious response and not the drivel and scorn that Humza delivered. If the Scottish parliament selects Mary to ask a question then received the response Humza did, it surely shows disregard for the parliamentary process.

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  8. so, from the negative comments here, the jist seems to be that he shouldn't have said it because some muslims don't have a sense of humour about their religion, so therefore we should assume that no one else does, and should pander to the whims of religious people with regards to how we talk? perhaps we shouldn't argue for equal rights for women and homosexuals because some catholics and protestants might not take well to it? perhaps we should legislate to ban 'fast food', because some hindus might not take kindly to burgers?

    are you seriously proposing that being involved in politics must equate to removing your personality, pandering to nonsensical whims, and speaking respectful about any myth on the offchance that someone, somewhere, thinks it's true?

    REALLY?

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  9. If is OK to say things that genuinely DO offend religious people (I would hardly include the above comment)then how do justify preventing politicians from expressing their "personalities" with racist and homophobic jokes? Most politicians have an extensive repertoire of both. Some people think gay marriage is a ridiculous whim and a myth. Is it OK to say that? You are right that someone would have to be very thin skinned to be offended by the remark above. But my point is that very real hate-speech is increasingly being aimed at Christians in particular by atheist fundamentalists (people who have zero sense of humour regarding their own beliefs)This is all apparently justified by calling religion a "myth" etc. But it is people that they are attacking, not the "myth" Christians have p too! I don't see how simply not believing gives someone the right to hurt those feelings
    There are many bigots out there who hate religious people in EXACTLY the same way that gay people or racial minorities are hated. This must be recognised as bigotry

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  10. The last sentence above should read "Christians have feelings too"

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  11. I'm a practising Catholic. Humza hasn't wound me up at all. Ms Fee got the answer she deserved.

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