Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska and Republican John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 American Presidential election won by Barack Obama, became the joke of the media for saying, in response to questions on her knowledge of foreign affairs: ‘I can see Russia from my back yard’.
Now the SNP’s Defence Spokesperson, Angus Robertson, in an unusually nervous, almost paranoid state – given his normal bullishness – has followed the Palin suit.
Mr Robertson claims that he too can see the threat of Russian invaders to Scotland ‘with my naked eye’ – not from Alaska but from Moray.
This came during a parliamentary debate at Westminster yesterday, in Mr Robertson’s extraordinary call for an urgent strengthening of the coastal defence forces of his constituency.
He conjured images of a retreating ice-sheet leaving Russian aircraft carriers ‘perched’ [hardly a maritime metaphor] off the Scottish coast’.
In his vulnerability, he spoke of the imperative of having ‘the military capability’ to deal with what he described as the ‘increasing regularity’ of the appearance of these Russian aircraft carriers on their birdlike perches in the North Sea.
He didn’t quite go so far as to endorse the need for the renewal of Trident but with the poor man in such a state of heightened anxiety, that reversal cannot be too distant.
Perhaps the threat that is most deranging the present leader of the SNP’s MP group in the House of Commons is the image of the SNP’s own battle cruiser, Alex Salmond MSP, perched on a rostrum in Gordon on 8th May, accepting his election to Westminster?