There seems to be something about responding to Angus Robertson in the Commons that leads to David Cameron leaving his self-awareness at home. I thought nothing could top his sneering reply a few weeks ago on the closure of the RAF bases - "you won't be flying planes, you'll be flying...(snigger)...by the seat of your pants!!!" - but he somehow managed it at PMQs yesterday. Not content with doing what the public loathe most and simply ignoring the actual content of Robertson's question, he launched into this spectacularly ill-conceived attempt at 'humour' -
"I think you can topple those with an SNP that said they were going to have a referendum on independence but never did. As a predecessor of mine once said - frit."
Yep, there's nothing like a fanboy Thatcher Tribute Gag to have the people of Scotland laughing in the aisles. But let me just see if I'm missing something here. Of the five parties and one independent represented in the Scottish Parliament, the SNP, Greens and Margo MacDonald all favour a referendum. By way of contrast, and in spite of their claimed certainty that independence would be soundly defeated, the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour are all implacably opposed to a democratic vote on the matter, and used their combined parliamentary majority to block one from taking place last year. Moreover, the last time I checked, David Cameron was the leader of a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, and was not, in fact, the leader of either of the pro-referendum parties.
That being the case, was it really the wisest idea to invite the electorate to ponder the rather telling question of "fritness"?