Alex Massie

All Aboard the Interconnected Super Highway Express.

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Conferences on a Decade of Devolution are ten a penny these days. But the latest at least offered the potential for some entertainment given that not only was Alex Salmond speaking but so too was his principle opponent: Jim Murphy.

Many of those who remember Mr Murphy from his days at Strathclyde University and the National Union of Students take a not-on-your-life attitude when the question of praising Mr murphy arises. Yet there's been a grudging acknowledgement - even amongst nationalists of a certain age - that Mr Murphy's performance as Secretary of State has taken the fight to the SNP more effectively than any other Labour politician. True, you may say, this merely makes Mr Murphy Top Gerbil. Still...

On the other hand, his communication skills do let him down from time to time. So thanks to the Scotsman's David Maddox for highlighting this:

Mr Murphy decided to go digital on the First Minister, so to speak. A referendum, he said, is "a black and white solution to an HD conundrum." [...] He went on: "Nationalism is the pathway to the past, we are in the fast lane to the interconnected super highway."

What on earth can this gobbledegook mean? Perhaps it's a warning: Step Off the Interconnected Super Highway and You'll Be Molested by Alex Salmond and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Forward not Back. Fast not Slow. Straight not Curved. Never Reverse, Never Explain, Never Make Sense. Eastwood not Eastwick. Labour Superconductors Are Tops. Connection not Disconnection. Cybersex not Cybernats. Or Cybernauts. Super Highway to Nowhere. Labour's Superior HD Sauce Relieves All Known Misery. I Am A Robot.

This, folks, is what passes for a "national conversation" in these here northern parts...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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