SNP vs Trainspotting
by Beauchamp Art
SNP vs Trainspotting
A video comparison between the SNP Party Political Broadcast, which resembles a car advert or promotional feature from the Scottish Tourism Board, with a scene from Danny Boyle’s adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting, in which the protagonist describes the ill fate of the the Scots. The juxtaposition offsets the two parallel landscapes of the aesthetically pleasing rural Scottish highlands, with a contrasting narration of the SNP’s proud positivity “I don’t think we’re better than any other country, but I think we’re every bit as good” and the enigmatic cynicism of the character of Rents in Trainspotting, “It’s SHITE being Scottish! We’re the lowest of the low. The scum of the fucking Earth!”
The politics of change must always promise optimism and a sense of entitlement, and set it against an issue strongly associated with the current establishment, in order to sew the seeds of discontent. Just enough to affiliate the disenfranchised groups with a new order, a contrast, a change; but not so much so as to encourage totally independent thought or action, or there may be the potential for genuine social reform and a representation of the civilian population. Populist groups may mobilise marginalised groups, but frequently do so to benefit their one agenda, rather than in an attempt to embody or best represent those people.
Nevertheless, self-interested politics aside, this is intended as a fairly light-hearted comparison of two presentations of the Scottish political situation in popular media, both of which share the same backdrops, colour schemes, and a monologue narration. This is not intended as a criticism of the SNP or other national parties, but rather the manner in which such groups attempt to reflect the concerns of the populous through a prism of political positivity and patriotism for an ideology disconnect from the content of their promises.
“This is our place. Our country. I don’t think we’re better than any other country, but I think we’re every bit as good. And I know we’re capable of doing more given half a chance. Sure it can be a wee bit rough around the edges sometimes, and it’s fair to say we like having a laugh, but that doesn’t mean to say we don’t care. We care passionately. I know we can be an argumentative bunch, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if it gets stuff done. Proud, optimistic, full of hope and galas [sic] as hell on occasion – no apologies. That’s just who we are. know where I’m from, what I’m asking is ‘where are be going?’ Last year was a roller coaster. Everyone wants change now, and there’s an election coming up. I remember when Labour used to stand up to the Tories; that’s just not happening any more. It’s time for new ideas, something positive, something different from ‘cuts, cuts, cuts’. So who’s going to shout ‘no way, enough to unfair policies’. Who’s going to look out for our kids, for our jobs, for our NHS. And who’s going to keep Westminster to its promise for more power for Scotland. The question for us here in Scotland isn’t which Westminster party will become the next UK government, the question is, ‘who’s really going to stand up for Scotland?’ Well?”
SNP (2015) – GE2015 Party Election Broadcast: SNP (03Apr15) <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03G-dXwi2Bs>
“It’s SHITE being Scottish! We’re the lowest of the low. The scum of the fucking Earth! The most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilisation. Some hate the English. I don’t. They’re just wankers. We, on the other hand, are COLONISED by wankers. Can’t even find a decent culture to be colonised BY. We’re ruled by effete assholes. It’s a SHITE state of affairs to be in, Tommy, and ALL the fresh air in the world won’t make any fucking difference!”
Trainspotting (1996) Dir. Boyle, Danny. Prod. Macdonald, Andrew. Channel Four Films. UK. – Trainspotting (Scottish Rant) <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqgkZDbe4Xk>