‘You Know You Make Me Wanna Shout….’

Gordon Brewer: “ Joining us from Moffat we have the Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell, Good morning Minister.”

David Mundell: “ Good afternoon Gordon. The clock has just ticked over to noon so let’s be factually correct, shall we.”

Gordon Brewer: “Yes. Anyway. Thank you for joining us. Your government has been generating plenty of hot air in the last few days regarding the proposals in your Autumn Statement, and how they will help ordinary families. However the Institute of Fiscal Studies has suggested that these changes will only alleviate around 7% of the cuts to household incomes already put in place by your government’s previous policies. You guys are at, aren’t you?”

David Mundell: ‘Well no. That is not factually correct Gordon. Our government has a cunning plan involving increased personal allowances. tapering tapers and hunting down tax evaders with fox hounds (apart from the ones who drive Bentleys) which will make life dramatically better for all of those people who matter to us, those that are struggling, the JABs, (Just about bankrupt’s). Bear in mind too that as of this moment, well, today anyway, for the next hour or two, we have no plans, apart from our current proposals, to make further welfare cuts. We are beneficent to a fault.”

Gordon Brewer: “ You mentioned in an interview with The Times that Brexit creates a great opportunity for Scotland to achieve even more control over devolved powers. Can you be more specific? Can you give me examples?”

David Mundell: “ Pie fillings.”

Gordon Brewer: “ “Sorry Minister. I never quite caught that. Could you repeat it?’

David Mundell: “ Pie fillings Gordon. For years those bureaucrats in Brussels have dictated to us in Scotland the consistency of our pies. From the day and hour we leave the EU that will no longer happen. This is an exciting and transformative new power for Scotland, and I will expect the Scottish Government to manage this prudently, and with fairness and equity. With that in mind I say here and now that my Office will ensure that a regime of scrutiny is in place to ensure that this happens. There will, of course, be other minor powers which currently the EU has control over in areas like agriculture and fisheries, and the environment and justice, hardly worth mentioning, which will just be absorbed back to Westminster. We wouldn’t want to bother Holyrood with such trifling issues (cough).”

Gordon Brewer: “You said last June, following the Brexit vote, that should the Scottish Government decide to have another independence referendum Westminster shouldn’t stand in their way. Do you still believe that?”

David Mundell: (Coughing fit, getting very red in the face) “ Let me be clear. I have been absolutely consistent with this. This is a process issue. There has been a referendum on this already. The Scottish Government should abide by the Edinburgh Agreement. The overwhelming number of people in Scotland do not want another referendum.”

Gordon Brewer: “Okay, let me put it another way. Your party’s leader in the Scottish Parliament, Ruth Davidson, around the same time, said that if the Scottish people decided to have another independence referendum the UK government should not block it. Do you agree with that statement?”

David Mundell: (Getting louder) “ Let me be clear on this once again. I have been absolutely consistent with this. This is simply a process issue. There has been a referendum on independence already. The Scottish Government should abide by the Edinburgh Agreement. The overwhelming number of people in Scotland do not want another referendum. The overwhelming number…..”

Gordon Brewer: “ Minister are you aware that you are shouting at me? “

David Mundell: (Shouting) “ No I’m not. It is the overwhelming majority I tell you.”

Gordon Brewer: “Let’s try it another way. Do you agree with that statement, Yes or No?”

David Mundell: (Fingers in lugholes screaming na-na-na -na) “ My position is not inconsistent with what Ruth Davidson’s current position is.”

Gordon Brewer: “Are you aware that you are still shouting, also sweating and rocking quite a bit. All you have to say is Yes or No.”

David Mundell: “ The Scottish Government should abide by the Geneva Convention. The numbers are overwhelming I tell you, overwhelming.”

Gordon Brewer: ‘We don’t seem to be getting anywhere with that question. Moving on. As Scotland’s sole representative in government, a country which voted by majority to remain in the EU, are you arguing the case at Westminster to stay in the single market?”

David Mundell: (Still shouting) “ It’s not simply a case of Scotland getting their own way. We voted as a United Kingdom to leave the EU. I’m pushing for the best possible deal for all of the UK. Scotland voted to remain as part of the UK overwhelmingly, and the Scottish Government should abide by that. We will negotiate a unique deal for the UK where we will have barrier-free and tariff-free access to the EU single market.

Gordon Brewer: “Minister, you are now ranting, and are you aware that ministers of the other member states of the European Union burst into fits of the giggles every time a member of your government mentions Westminster’s confidence in achieving a favourable deal to access the EU single market?”

David Mundell: “ A unique deal I tell you, unique……The overwhelming majority I say, overwhelming…”

Gordon Brewer: “ Lastly, on that subject. As the only elected member of your government from Scotland, the only Conservative from a country where at the last General Election the people of 56 of the 59 electoral constituencies voted democratically to put their faith in a representative of a party which seeks independence for Scotland, how do you know that there is no appetite amongst the people of Scotland for a second independence referendum?”

David Mundell: ‘ I am the Secretary of State for Scotland. These are my people. I know them. I understand them. As I pass them working in the fields they doff their caps at me and I often wave back, acknowledging their plucky stoicism. I live and breathe Scotland. In fact the Prime Minister has promised me that in a few years I can pick out a nice Scottish place name for myself to go on the brass plaque on my seat in the Lords.

Gordon Brewer: (Shaking head) ‘”We’ll have to leave it there.”

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