Is Banana Boots Billy the man to slip up Salmond?

Harris hopes the Big Yin can derail Salmond's stately progress

COMEDIAN Billy Connolly has emerged as Scottish Labour’s secret weapon in the battle to save the union.

Tom Harris, a leadership candidate for the party, says the Big Yin is a “hero” and the man to stop Wee Eck – more formally known as First Minister Alex Salmond – leading Scotland to independence.

Mr Harris, a former transport minister, said if he won the leader’s job he hoped to recruit Mr Connolly.

He said: “My preference for the person to be the figurehead for the anti-independence campaign would be Billy Connolly.

“He is a hero and nobody could ever accuse him of being anything less than 100% Scottish.

“I know that he is a supporter of the union and nobody in Scotland could say a bad word about him.

“I’ve spoken to a few people to suggest this. Everybody thinks it’s a great idea.”

He added: “At present we are the gift that keeps giving as far as the SNP is concerned. I would happily approach him myself. I hope that whoever becomes leader of the Labour party in Scotland will make an approach to him.”

Mr Connolly has not so far commented on the suggestion that could help see off Salmond.

But the comedian has been vehement in his criticism of nationalism, once comparing the SNP with the Nazis and even criticising Holyrood itself as a “wee pretendy parliament”.

And in a jibe at the expat status of the SNP’s biggest celebrity supporter, he said: “[Sean] Connery couldn’t find his way to Scotland in a taxi.

“I hate nationalism. If you look at the history of nationalism, you will find the history of war and horror.

“It is all based on the belief that, because you were born on that bit of planet, you are imbued with certain talents and gifts. It is nonsense. I am a citizen of the world and I like it that way.”

An SNP spokesman today accused Mr Harris of taking Billy Connolly’s name in vain.

He described Mr Connolly as a “truly great Scot, and a fantastic comedian and actor.”

But he added: “At this stage Labour’s phantom leadership election is getting lots of laughs in Scotland.

“Tom Harris would be advised not to get ahead of himself, and focus on trying to fix his own failing party before taking Billy’s name in vain.”

Scottish Labour is looking to sign up celebrity backers of the union following their heavy defeat in the May election.

As well as enjoying Mr Connery’s longstanding support, the First Minster has also been backed by artist Jack Vettriano, and actors Brian Cox and Alan Cumming.

The former home secretary Lord Reid has ruled himself out of leading the Yes to Scotland in Britain campaign.

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  1. Its great to see how desperate the Labour Party is in Scotland!
    They are thinking of bringing a joke figure,who wouldnt dream of living in Scotland,
    to rescue them!
    Bring it on!
    “Pretendy wee parliament”? Ay right pal. Of course we should all be like you.
    In thrall to old Etonian accents. Who exactly are the “grown up proper” parliamentarians we should be listening to?
    Clegg? Cameron? Milliband? Its tubes like you Connolly that have f****d this country,with your chippy”,I am not worthy” outlook.
    Yes, like you ,I left Scotland as a young man. I wanted to see the bigger world and experience different things. Like you I hate the “anybody but England ” mentality that pollutes our (my) nation.
    Dont you think it would be positive to stand on our own two feet?
    To decide whats best for Scots?
    To be free of home county old Etonians telling us how to conduct our business?
    Yes,because of many insecure people like you,it is unlikely we will gain independence anytime soon………………….but then again,its people like you who thought we would never have our own parliament (pretendy or otherwise).
    Anyway Brian,just to tell you (as you dont live here) its not pretendy,its real. Dont worry though,you dont live here, so it will never affect you,
    Youa are a talented and succesful man…………..and despite my opinions , a legend!
    But, let ordinary Scottish people who wernt born with your undoubted talents,decide for themselves,without being patronised by “stars”.
    Thank you

    • I agree 100% Cal. Billy lost his way when the royals patted him on the back. Couldn’t believe it when I saw him on tv actually fliffing his hair! What a long way away from the Humblebums..

  2. Sorry. I called you Brian,as I had just been looking at a tribute pice to Brian Connolly
    (The Sweet) on You Tube.
    Of course I meant Billy!

  3. We’d happily step us a Scottish Music community to get behind a single Scots economy, heck hand us an independent Scotland and we’ll bolster the economy with Scots Music Industry to make Motown envious 🙂

  4. Chill out Cal, Billy Connolly probably dosen’t even know he’s supposed to be leading the Unionist side yet. It’s just some no mark MP Tom Harris trying to make a name for himself in his bid to become Labour Leader in Scotland. Why would BC want this job while he’s no Nat he has talked about his wish to see a Scottish Republic and indpendence bring that a lot closer. Also leading team Union along with David Cameron and the orange order would be career sucide for Billy in Scotland I doubt he’ll be up for it, though I hear Jimmy Crankie is free.

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