Shetland Liberal Democrat MSP Tavish Scott is facing a ban by his own party after some members objected to the “inherent violence” represented by his plan to address the annual conference in Perth while dressed as the legendary viking chieftain Noggin the Nog.
Mr Scott, a history enthusiast and keen participant in the Shetland festival known as Up Helly Aa, is believed to have a collection of viking costumes, shields, broadswords, leggings, codpieces and axes with which he annually entertains delegates to the conference, held this year in Perth’s Dewar Centre.
“I feel it strengthens our ties to Scandinavia and offers an opportunity to indulge in some dressing up and cavorting with edged weapons, of which there is not enough in Liberal Democrat circles,” said Mr Scott. “Noggin the Nog, as is well known, was an historical figure of great importance in the Viking pantheon, as the sagas tell us – inheriting his kingdom of the Northlands from his father King Knut and battling his uncle Nogbad the Bad while pursuing the Eskimo princess Nooka of the Nooks, and becoming King of the Northlands. There are lessons in his story for all of us in Scottish politics.”
Concerns among conference organisers centre on Mr Scott’s penchant for energetically waving his viking axes and swords while demonstrating the ancient and often fatal Shetland martial art of Slockenin.
“There was a nasty incident last year involving one of the exhibitors in the conference hall foyer,” said a delegate. “There was severe damage done to a life-size cut-out placard of Alistair Carmichael.”
Edinburgh Liberal Democrat casualwear activist Rhianna Sandalwood-Cottonrich muttered darkly about Mr Scott being “more Norwegian than Scottish” and “offering nothing but representations of inherently violent Scandinavian fantasy when we all crave Scottish realism in these threatening times.”
She added: “What we need is more Oor Wullie and Primrose, rather than this incessant talk of Noggin and Nooka.”