Tories face backlash over Trainspotting election advert claiming ‘Choose life without the SNP’


Irvine Welsh had a blunt response for the Scottish Conservatives after the party spoofed the iconic poster for the film adaptation of his novel Trainspotting.

The Leith-born author was less than impressed after the Tories shared an online advert asking voters to “Choose life without the SNP” when voters go to the polls for May’s council elections.

The spoof poster contained a list of perceived SNP let-downs in recent years. One line read: “Choose division. Choose nationalism. Choose flags. Choose more flags. Choose a hard border with your neighbours. Choose pensions paid for by taxpayers in a country you want to leave.”

Using the kind of language that has made his best-selling novels stand apart, Welsh tweeted: “Get f****d you c****.”

The SNP responded that “Scotland has been choosing life without the Tories since 1955” – the year the Unionists last won a majority of votes north of the Border at a general election.

The Scottish Tories have been slammed by Irvine Welsh
The Scottish Tories have been slammed by Irvine Welsh

Other social media users took issue with the Tories using a reference from a film and novel that in part told the story of Scottish society struggling during the Thatcher years.

Kirsten Oswald, the SNP’s deputy leader at Westminster, said: “Scotland has been choosing life without the Tories since 1955, yet under Westminster rule we have been subjected to decades of austerity, and now have the worst cost of living crisis in modern times.

“The Conservatives have failed to mention one local issue in their campaign which highlights why they’re plummeting in the polls.

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“Instead of discussing ways to help families tackle the Tory-made cost of living crisis, they are posting fake Trainspotting quotes on their social media channels.”

Aidan Moffat, frontman of the Scottish indie rock band Arab Strap, mocked the Tories for paraphrasing Mark Renton – the character who delivered the famous Choose Life speech in the film adaptation.

He said: “I don’t think that paraphrasing a duplicitous criminal who stole money from his friends to spend it overseas – keeping his peers in a cycle of poverty, addiction, and crime – is quite the zinger these fools think it is.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “Irvine Welsh might not agree but we know there is a silent majority across Scotland who are furious at how the SNP have failed Scotland these last 15 years.

“The SNP have lurched from one scandal to another because they’re constantly distracted by their aim to break up the country.”

Asked if it was appropriate to oppose drug decriminalization in a spoof Trainspotting poster, the spokesman added: “Nicola Sturgeon took her eye off the ball and thousands of Scottish people died from drugs as a result.

“The SNP’s plans to fix the drug death crisis are still a flawed mess. We think it’s entirely appropriate that the SNP are held to account and criticized for their role in letting the drug crisis spiral out of control.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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