Despite being a fan since high school, I had never realised how prescient the Beatles were about things political, especially regarding Scottish Independence until I watched Jeremy Paxman slide into his sneering worst of Newsnight. A decade ago, I would have been outraged and insulted.
This time, despite having read Paxman’s various books and still enjoying University Challenge, I could not help smiling and singing the first track off the Revolver album:
“Let me tell you how it will be—Paxman!
There’s one for you, nineteen for me—Paxman!”
Because, as might have been predicted, Paxman’s deeply condescending attack on Wur Eck lit the phones up at SNP HQ like a Christmas tree. The last I heard, we had 200 more members and counting.
I say nothing about his country, other than it’s my favourite foreign one, and I say nothing personally about Paxman, other than he ranks among the most erudite of his countrymen. With one exception: he displays a trait that seems all too common among said countrymen—that of having difficulty recognising the diversity and even the validity of other cultures.
But lang may his lum reek in this regard. He may, unwittingly and probably much to his own chagrin, be the best recruiter we’ve got.
The New Satesman is such a representative polling source isn’t it!