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by Kate Shannon with Tom Freeman
05 August 2015
Let them eat cake

Let them eat cake

According to media commentators, addictive cookery show The Great British Bake Off, which returns tonight, has turned us into a nation of bakers.

With the public apparently spending its free time up to the elbows in icing sugar and cake tins, it’s little wonder that Scotland’s politicians have been keen to get in on the act.

We all know our MSPs are willing to engage in a fight to the death to secure voters and recently they proved that their baking skills are yet another tool to add to their already considerable political arsenal.

We think it would be right up there with bickering passive aggressively in the chamber and posing next to a large cheese or outsized vegetable at a country show.


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In June, when former SSP MSP Rosie Kane’s niece Katie McGarvey asked Twitter for advice on which political party to join, it kicked off a bidding war which ended up in every paper.

Faster than you can say “does this pie have a soggy bottom?”, MSPs of all political persuasions descended on McGarvey, offering their own ‘unique’ baking efforts.

Given a choice between a panto dame anecdote from Patrick Harvie, Mark McDonald’s frankly terrifying purple rice dish, and Kezia Dugdale’s stunning strawberry creation, Labour could well be beginning a fightback.

Even if McGarvey remained unconvinced, Dugdale’s fellow MSPs clearly were inspired – three quarters of them backed her leadership bid that afternoon!

Mark McDonald conceded: “I've always been a keen disciple of the 'taste over presentation' school of baking. Just as well.”

McGarvey’s conclusion that evening? “I don't mean to be ungrateful or that, but this has been going on since this morning and I'm still cake-less. Infamy is worthless!”

Some would say that really took the biscuit…

All these baking shenanigans make Whollyrude think Jon Cruddas and others looking at priorities of the electorate are focusing far too much on what political parties are talking about, rather than what the people want.

According to searches on Google in the UK, the word ‘cake’ appears 50 times as much as the word ‘deficit’. (Politicians love the word Brownfield, but perhaps best not googling that one.)

Tonight’s reappearance of The Great British Bake Off will only increase the focus on cakes.

And with less than a year until the Holyrood elections, we’re looking forward to seeing exactly what calibre of sweet treats the country’s finest political minds will produce alongside their manifestos to try and woo the voters.

Let them eat cake indeed.

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