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By Jason Michael

So “Davey” in the SNP PPB is meant to be a take on David Torrance – respected Scottish journalist and snowflake extraordinaire? I’m not buying it. Any half decent closer inspection of these two jokers is enough to bust this myth.

“Davey’s” appearance on our television screens in an SNP party political broadcast, like “Patronising BT Lady” before him, has ignited yet another storm in the world of Scottish politics. According to Liberal Democrats Alex Cole-Hamilton and Jo Swinson the party in government in Edinburgh have “crossed a new line.” Apparently the lampooning of a “respected journalist” sets a dangerous precedent, with an elected government using a broadcast as a means of “monstering journalists” – whatever that is supposed to mean.

It wasn’t too long before Cole-Hamilton’s dog whistle attracted the attention of the unionist faithful, ready as ever to spin his suggestion of an SNP attack on the freedom of the press as a 1930s Nazi-style suppression of heroic free-thinking and outspoken journalists. His LibDem colleague in the London parliament, Jo Swinson, joined in, making sure to muddy the waters further by relating this brazen fascistic attack – in the form of an actor sporting a beard and glasses and a mustard necktie that can only be described as divine – to her memory of incensed torch bearing and pitchfork wielding villagers marching on the BBC at Pacific Quay. If you can’t expect hyperbole from the Scottish Liberal Democrats; the party that claimed with great fanfare it could run the country, then where can you expect it?

This furore was all over the head of “Davey” looking too much like David Torrance – AKA “Weetabix” – on account of him having facial fuzz and hipster rims. Mr Cole-Hamilton would be the authority on Torrance’s looks of course; they were taking selfies together at the latter’s birthday bash not too long ago. As for the rest of us, we can’t be too sure what Weetabix looks like these days, he has blocked so many people on Twitter most of us had even forgotten he existed.

Having a beard and expensive designer frames is hardly unique to David Torrance. Not even the name “Davey” is reserved in Scotland for the sole use of David Torrance. When I first saw the PPB in question I was tempted to think poor Davey bore a striking resemblance to that thundering numpty James McEnaney. At least McEnaney knows how to tie a tie, and he has been known to scrub up well – at least in the propaganda shots I’ve seen him in. Other than the beard and glasses Torrance bears as much resemblance to Davey as a polar bear does to a penguin.

Maybe it was the magic worked by the makeup department in the agency that filmed the skit, but the actor playing the part of Davey looks dapper. Okay, it’s not exactly how I would dress for a night on the razz at my mate’s gaff, but with his smashing blue shirt, blue-grey waistcoat – with its bottom button correctly left undone (King George style I’m led to believe) – combo, topped with a wee beige number complete with the added flare of a scarlet pocket handkerchief (in one point arrangement), our Davey knows what he’s doing in a fitting room. That ensemble is fine! More suited to a retired geography teachers’ get-together, but fine nonetheless.

The same cannot be said for David Torrance. Really, it can’t. The only thing King George style about Weetabix is his fin de siècle muzzle topiary – a work of such dazzling self-importance he simply has to be training it each day for at least as long as he spends at his keyboard. When it comes to gents’ fashion, Torrance is no Davey; not even in a retired physics teacher kinda way (that’s infinitely scruffier than a geography teacher btw).

We can all be forgiven for wearing that Christmas jumper mum knitted to work – once. But to pose for a picture wearing it – and smiling – is a crime so heinous against good taste it surely requires the intervention of Robert H. Jackson. Obviously no one alerted him to the woollens malfunction, because a quick Google images search also has him in an equally vile woolly tank top that can only be described as jobby coloured – and he’s on a televised interview wearing it with his bloody Elvis Costellos!

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Help Needed!

Look, I get it. It’s not the clothes that make the man. I mean, even I have been known to wear brogues under denim before. We’ve all been that trooper at the checkout. What I’m trying to say here is that Davey is not a parody of Weetabix. If that was the intention, someone in the wardrobe department needs a wee talking to. Then there’s that weird looking picture of him in his bedroom – or his bedroom at his mum’s house by the looks of the furniture – wearing that Sauchiehall Street trourist trap gift shop t-shirt. Christ on a bike! I don’t even think Pat Lee would be caught dead in that thing. No. No way, Alex Cole-Hamilton, is this Davey character meant to be a take David Torrance. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that David Torrance PhD is to Davey what Dr Sheldon Cooper is to Richard Gere – no relation.

I can see why Cole-Hamilton and Swinson saw the similarity. They were so utterly desperate to find anything with which they could take a snipe at the SNP with they went hell for leather in the race to clutch a straw. Even in the fact that Davey has friends and got an invite to a party. This just isn’t the Weetabix we know and love [to laugh at]. So completely different are these two chaps, I’m beginning to think it is Alex and Jo who need the glasses.

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“Davey I Love You” by Tommy Mackay at Half Bam Half Whisky


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