Scotland’s famous ‘son of the manse’, was apparently deeply disappointed yesterday as a Mori poll revealed that 89% of 18-55 year olds had absolutely no idea what a ‘son of a manse’ was.
Most respondents believed the phrase to mean ‘a man whose father came from the Isle of Man’, and 72% in the 18-30 bracket were sure it signified ‘someone who has ‘two dads”. Other respondents thought his Dad must have been someone famous called ‘Themance’ while one person had always presumed some sort of insect connection, based on a mis-hearing of ‘son of them ants.’
‘Gordon has two choices,’ said a leading political commentator. ‘He can think of another way to tell people he had a strict moral upbringing – ‘my old man was straight as a die’, ‘salt of the earth’, that sort of thing – or perhaps ‘son of a preacher man’ if he wants to go all deep-south American. Alternatively, he can add the whole Scottish church-minister-house kaboodle to the national curriculum. ‘
There are strong hints from Downing Street that Mr Brown prefers the second option, but surely the Prime Minister can’t require every 10 year old to know the difference between a Vicarage and a Presbytery, just because he happened to be brought up in a similar abode?
‘This is not about Gordon, this is about giving everyone the broadest possible education,’ said the spokesman. ‘The PM hasn’t been so upset at popular ignorance since the majority of the UK thought his economic growth theory originated with the Human League. How could anyone confuse ‘neo-endogenous’ with ‘new wave androgynous’?’