Scottish politics bring out the writerly instinct

I know about as much about Scottish politics as I do birds in Borneo, but I’ve read two interesting articles about the the legal victory of Tommy Sheridan, a Socialist politician, over the yellow rag News of the World.

The writing at both links seems to credit Sheridan’s wife, Gail, with the victory. Andrew Hagan at the London Review of Books takes a slightly elevated view of the affair, noting the oddity of having a plaintiff cross-examine his own wife. For a longer and more interesting look, Scotland on Sunday has a crew of writers covering all the angles, including a short history of the affair and paragraph after paragraph about Gail.

Some of my enjoyment of the event comes from the plain, good writing it has generated, but a lot of it has to do with Sheridan being the last politician on the planet who speaks plainly. Also, the journalists don’t fail with clever use of different registers of speech. (Though I wonder if I read the Scottish papers every day whether I’d think the stories full of clichés and typical faux-colorful Scots English.)

Posted August 10, 2006

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