The Emperor’s new clothes

So, the first priority for the Emperor is to get himself some new clothes. His suit is no longer a la mode; folk point to him in the street and whisper. Some even openly guffaw. The old clothes have to go, but what to replace it with?

Fortunately, the Emperor has employed a tailor of some renown and expertise.  Though there are many who doubt his talents, and in fact question whether he has any at all, the tailor is perceived in most quarters, as being one of the best there is.  What he appears particularly to be good at is invisible mending, a skill which is indubitably going to be required in looking after the Emperor’s attire.

The tailor shows the Emperor some fine cloth options but the Emperor is not happy. To cut, shape, fit and sew an outfit from scratch?  That would take too long and there’s a big event in May for which the Emperor needs to be properly booted and suited.

Instead, he spies some items hanging at the back of the tailor’s shop, waiting for collection. “What about those”, he asks.  “Ah”, says the tailor, “they’re orders for other people. I can see why you like them. They’ve been skilfully made, beautifully cut, expertly sewn. Because these people took time to choose, to research the right clothes before deciding on what to wear.  Also, they picked styles that suit their personality. Perhaps, Emperor, you should do the same?”

But the Emperor had no idea what might suit him. He had a few suits hanging in the wardrobe but wasn’t sure they fitted anymore. They just didn’t seem the right thing to be wearing.

Then the Emperor spotted something vibrant hanging on its own. “Bring me that”, he instructed the tailor. The tailor began to protest: “But that is for quite a different customer, one with a real sense of their own style, who knows what they like and what they should be wearing. I really don’t think…”

No matter. The Emperor insisted the clothes be brought to him.  He tried them on and posed in front of the mirror.  So it was a bit tight across the chest and a bit baggy on the bum. Nor was he sure that purple suited him – even if he was the Emperor – but he liked it and liked how it looked.  He felt good in it.

The tailor rolled his eyes. “Really, Emperor? I really do think you should at least think about wearing a colour that suits you, that you can call your own.”  “Nonsense,” replied the Emperor, “Let out the seams here, tighten the fit here and I’ll take it.”

And so, the Emperor stepped out onto the stage for his first public engagement and the crowd gasped. The women in particular were astonished. “That’s our clothes he’s wearing,” they muttered. “What made him think he could just take our clothes and not tell anyone where they come from?” asked one. “That’s the new Emperor for you,” added another, “Doesn’t care whose clothes he’s in, he only cares that he’s wearing something, anything to dazzle the crowds.”

“Ah well,” the women agreed, “He’ll get found out soon enough.”

And guess what? He did.



17 thoughts on “The Emperor’s new clothes

  1. I just wish Murphy would at least stop describing Inverclyde as a “super prison.” It’s going to have a SMALLER capacity than Cornton Vale! The rest of the Angiolini review still needs to be addressed and pressure should be kept on the SG to deliver, but on the issue of dealing with CV and moving towards a different kind of establishment for the long-term prisoners, Inverclyde doesn’t look like a terrible shout to me.

    P.S. Someone might want to look at Jeanne Freeman’s comment and edit/delete it. There’s personal info there.

  2. To everyone commenting as though this is an official Women for Independence ‘line’ – IT ISN’T. This is a personal blog, and Kate is speaking in a personal capacity.

  3. Is the Independence part of WFI the only thing that’s important? There’s a lot of back slapping going on here regarding how terrible Jim Murphy is. Kezia Dugdale gives the impression of truly believing in this campaign, could he be supporting his deputy?

    Is it only women who also believe in independence that are allowed to concern themselves with this issue? Perhaps you’d like to issue a list Kate of what issues are reserved for people who share your beliefs on the future of Scotland?

    Alternatively you could get over yourself, grow up a bit and enter into political dialogue. If the only thing any political party is allowed to identify with in the future is their position on independence the country will destroy itself. We’ll be needing more prisons for both genders if that’s the case.

  4. There’s another famous tale about the person who cut off their own nose to spite their face. Isn’t that what you’ve just done? If your cause is one you believe in, you should put aside petty squabbles and embrace support, so that your aims might be achieved. The pettiness and divisions of the referendum debate are starting to permeate into everyday politics and taint important issues such as this. Shame on you, WFI, for putting political point-scoring above the welfare of vulnerable people.

  5. I am pleased to have signed the petition.
    I was amde aware of it by a tweet from Kez Dugdale. The tweet certainly made me aware that the petition was started by yourselves.
    Is that good enough?

  6. Very well put expose of Murphy’s sheer naked effrontery! What I’ve been wondering about is Kenny MacCaskill’s position on this issue. Why has he come out now against a new prison but not when Minister responsible? Is he playing some power game because of losing responsibility? Or feels strongly and is worried which way Scot Gov will jump? Or are they all pushing in the same direction but only he can speak up so far? I really hope it’s not being used as in a power game. It’s too important an issue. I’m going back into CV next week to do a Burns for bairns session for prisoners and their children. It’s an issue very dear to my heart and I’m so grateful that WFI have taken it up.

  7. Send him a WFI badge – he can get it enlarged, like his English Pound coin, to match the size of his ego.

  8. As I understand it WFI is a non-party/all party grouping. And as I understand it the issue of women in prison is a non-party/all party issue.

    So why WOULDN’T they welcome support from the leader of a major political party in Scotland?

    • But is it any longer a major political party in Scotland? It suffers from the same Emperor’s clothes complex.

    • Support isn’t the issue, here. It’s presenting ideas and initiatives as new and his own, when in fact in this case WFI have been campaigning and gathering support on this issue long before JM became aware of it, and decided to put his head above the parapet.
      If JM & Scottish Labour want to suuport any long-running campaign or political idea, they should have the honesty, integrity & confidence to shout just as loudly, and give credit to, the origin of the campaign or initiative.
      But sadly, I think those qualities no longer exist in Labour, and that’s why former supporters like me, are leaving in droves.

      • I understand that it can be frustrating if you think you “own” an idea and then someone else joins you and gets more publicity for it.
        But that’s common enough in politics.

        As a councillor I sometimes need to get the support of MSPs, MPs, Ministers to address a local problem. They then may get most of any credit that is going. But if they solve the problem, surely that’s the main thing. In the long run it’s not about ego, it’s about solving problems that affect our constituents.

        WFI is a non-party political body. It could never achieve what it wants without support of real political parties. Murphy is the leader of a political party and is giving his support. His involvement could help solve the issue of too many women imprisoned. And that’s what WFI wants, is it not?

        What’s to criticise?

        If WFI really wants to solve the problem of too many women imprisoned for no good reason surely it should welcome support no matter where it comes from?

  9. Excellent, particularly the last line. I note that you are more polite than Jim would have been-he just shouted F*** Off several times at Pete Wishart.

    Such admirable self control on your part in not sinking to his level. Well done & nice one 🙂

  10. Nail on the head. Just hope Yes supporting political parties walk to talk with getting woman into winnable Parliamentary constituencies, then Labour are toast.

  11. Brilliant, just brilliant!


    Jeane Freeman M: 07774 128755

    Sent from my iPad


  12. Absolutely brilliantly written and spot on too!

  13. Excellent, describes Mr Murphy to a ‘T’. They do say however, imitation is the best form of flattery.

  14. Brilliant Kate. When your at your best there’s not a blogger in Scotland to touch you. Also, as a trans woman who is a member for women for Independence. I loved the idea of casting Murphy as a political cross dresser. Total genius as it shows your talent for humour and Murphy’s talent for opportunism. Unfortunately for Murphy only one of those talents is going to last, and it isn’t his.

    Best Wishes
    Gayle X

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