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Sketch: Douglas Ross goes live

Credit: Iain Green

Sketch: Douglas Ross goes live

Douglas Ross would not snog Ruth Davidson. That was the key takeaway from his first Facebook Live Q&A of 2021, for which he had definitely not taken magic mushrooms, or so he said.

“Would I snog Ruth? I’m not sure either of us would be particularly interested in that,” he answered, adding: “I’m not really a big one for snogging my colleagues and that can be confirmed by numerous of them.”

Which begs the question: how many times has a colleague tried to snog him? How often has he had to turn them down? Do his Tory bedfellows – not, clearly, in the literal sense – find him simply irresistible?

Ross seems to find himself irresistible, or at least his own elbow. Asked to kiss his elbow for his avid Facebook audience, he declined to do so on camera – but confirmed he would once no one was watching. It’s a shy love, the one between a man and his funny bone.

However, the elbow adoration was not shared by the audience. One commented he would not touch Ross with a barge pole, to which Ross replied: “The feeling is mutual.” Perhaps that is part of the new election strategy. Internal polling has suggested a pledge to not attack the electorate with barge poles is a vote-winner.

This commitment did not extend to verbal attacks though, with Ross calling some of the comments made by viewers “absolute rubbish”. “I don’t know why people sit at home and would type stuff like this,” he said.

That seemed a bit unfair, since he’d just spent time answering the question of whether he’d kiss Ruth Davidson or his elbow rather than some of the policy-related questions. 

But in an increasingly bizarre broadcast, Ross kept reading out the criticisms and insults instead of answering questions, which was what he claimed to be there do to. He insisted the problem was the audience filling his feed with such comments. Who could have predicted this was inevitably how a political chat with a Scottish Tory MP, who also happens to be a football referee, on social media would go?

One viewer said Ross should be ashamed of himself. “Fine, but it’s not a question,” Ross said.

Another posted a GIF of a go-kart crash. Ross replied: “I don’t know if that’s just what you think of this Facebook Live or just me in general or life in general, but there you go.”

Then when people highlighted he had not answered their question, he criticised them for posting about that rather than re-posting their question.

“Stop getting snarky, you wee… and then a word I don’t think we need to use,” he read aloud. “I would stop if you’d actually ask me a question, rather than putting your own snarky comment in there,” he replied.

To be fair, he was probably receiving more abuse than he does running the line of an Old Firm match. 

But not content with taking the flack as Scottish Conservative leader or indeed as a linesman, he decided to wade into the murky waters of music fandom. “There’s only one band for me and that’s Atomic Kitten, I’m afraid. One Direction fans, you’ll have to go somewhere else.”

Hell hath no fury like a One Direction fan scorned. It’s not an over-exaggeration to suggest he might not become the next first minister of Scotland in 2021 because of that comment. Even David Cameron knew the band’s power, once appearing in a music video.

Realising his fatal error, he quickly offered to join forces with the favoured party of Harry Styles. Sadly, both Anas Sarwar and Monica Lennon have said no. 

Ross hit back: “When Labour have the opportunity to work with other parties to defeat the SNP, they’re not willing to do that. I think that’s a real shame and I hope they reconsider that.”

Strange. It’s almost as if Labour recognises it has a day job to be getting on with, outwith the constitution. 

But Ross isn’t a fan of them doing that either, criticising the party for bringing up Universal Credit at Westminster. “The Labour party chose this as their opposition day debate, not because they don’t know or understand that this is a decision to be taken at the budget, but just because they wanted to politicise the issue.”

Fancy that, politicising a political decision made by a political party about a political matter. How gauche. 

Shortly afterwards, someone asked if Ruth Davidson was in the room Googling answers. “If anyone thinks these answers are of Google standard, then I’m impressed.” No, Douglas, no one thinks that.

He added: “But I’m pretty sure the last I saw Ruth she was in Edinburgh challenging the First Minister at First Minister’s Questions, and I’m sitting here at home carrying out a Facebook Live here in Moray. It would be remarkable for Ruth to be in Edinburgh and Moray.” Apparently, he doesn’t understand how trains work, given FMQs was over six hours ago.

The whole event might have made more sense had Ross been on magic mushrooms. But he insisted all that was fueling him was a home-made spaghetti bolognaise. There were “no mushrooms in the spaghetti bolognaise”, “no magic mushrooms or anything”. Does he protest too much?

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