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Monday 10 November 2014

Are Scottish Nationalists voting for Judy Murray to undermine Strictly Come Dancing?

The humourless Nats have realised that Strictly is now the backbone of modern British popular culture

Judy Murray and Anton Du Beke
Judy Murray and Anton Du Beke Photo: Guy Levy/BBC/PA

Ever since the Scottish Nationalists lost the independence referendum they have had trouble coming to terms with the fact that they lost the independence referendum (you need to keep saying it and eventually it might get through). From the moment the result was announced, humourless SNP politicians and some Yes voters north of the border have been searching for ways in which they can claim that really they won (when they lost). And anyway, they say, there is a storm coming, just like they said there was a storm coming when they swore blind in September that they were going to win the independence referendum (which they lost). Now, just you wait and see, they mutter, the SNP will sweep to victory at the next Westminster elections in Scotland, hold Cameron or Miliband's feet to the fire and deliver everything for Scotland bar a seat at the United Nations.

But in certain respects the Nats have been ingenious in covering up their defeat and seeking to maintain momentum. Party membership is through the roof and on track to hit 100,000, which is the equivalent of a party having more than one million members in England. Even if many of the new members are said to be irate radical lefties from Glasgow and Dundee who are dragging the SNP leftward, alienating voters in less excitable parts of Scotland, the membership boom is a phenomenal achievement.

In addition, Yes voters are constantly alert for ways to create division and grievance so that England might in time say: oh look, for goodness sake, take what little is left of the oil (down to below $80 a barrel I note) and just leave quietly.

Which brings me to the subject of Strictly Come Dancing. Although I am not a regular viewer, the programme is on in our house (in London) regularly. Last night, there was collective astonishment that Judy, mother of Andy Murray, the pro-independence tennis player managed to survive the public vote.

I had happened to be passing the television when she was dancing the other night. I say dancing, but good grief. I can't dance, but then I am not on a national television programme with the word "Dancing" in the title.

I am told by people who know about these things that the problem is that Judy does not move her head when she dances. Watch a good dancer and when they spin or what have you there is movement in the head to create the illusion of graceful movement. By contrast, poor Judy is as stiff as a board. There are other problems which have been identified by the judges on Strictly. But I'll leave the dancing to the experts. Politics is what I'm supposed to know about.

And here I sense the hand of the Nationalists and irate Yes voters keen to exact revenge on the English. Judy keeps doing well in the public vote, to the general bafflement of people living in England. There can only be one explanation. Scots are voting for Judy Murray. Once again the English find their democratic will overruled by Scots.

While some of the support she is receiving may be rooted in a genuine desire not to see a bad Scottish dancer humiliated by English voters, everything in Scotland right now is seen through the prism of the referendum. Far from being a festival of democracy it has created epic amounts of ill-feeling and scope for further division. The Nationalists know this. They are cunning. They know that the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing is the backbone of modern British popular culture. If they can weaken it by turning the public vote into a ridiculous farce, so that someone who can't dance wins the contest just because her son wants to break up the United Kingdom, then they will have struck a decisive blow, as they see it, for freedom.

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