Big comedian on campus: Eddie Izzard comes to Edinburgh
Future Mayor of London joins students to rally against Scottish Independence
Controversial comedian Eddie Izzard took to the phones yesterday in a bid to convince floating voters to oppose Scottish independence in the forthcoming referendum.
The funnyman joined students at Edinburgh University as they called undecided voters to try to sway them over to the Better Together campaign.
Transvestite Izzard, 52, told how he had been subjected to racist abuse when performing street theatre in Glasgow years ago.
He said: “I was on Sauchiehall Street doing street performing and I was beginning a show. I was getting quite good at it. This was years ago and I got heckled there.
“And this street guy was walking behind and saying ‘f*** off you English c***’. I said ‘this is the head of tourism in Glasgow and he is just welcoming me to the show’.”
Asked whether he was worried about internet abuse from ‘cybernats’ – extremists who want Scottish independence, he said: “You’ve got to realise I am a transvestite – I’ve had a lot of negative things said to me over the years, right up front, right here, so nothing in politics can happen that is worse than that.”
Izzard’s fingernails were painted – including one in red, white and blue to represent the colours of the Union Jack – and another which appeared to be in the colours of the EU flag.
Commenting on the nail, he said: “It’s a political statement: British-European transvestite and if you’re a Scottish transvestite you can have the same nails and it will always work. It just saves me from having to say anything.”
The comic showed his serious side when he turned to the subject of Scottish independence.
He said: “This is obviously a referendum for Scotland. Scottish people are voting. I have no vote, but as a member of the United Kingdom family, I felt that I should say a simple message that is ‘Scotland please don’t go’.
“We are not part of the decision. I don’t think we should be part of the decision, but we should as a family member of the United Kingdom be able to say ‘we’d like you to stay – stay with us’.
“English people, Welsh people, and Northern Irish people don’t have a vote in this. Not everyone cares, but the vast majority do. So that’s what I’m here to say in Scotland.
“Like David Bowie said ‘Stay with us Scotland’ I’m saying “Scotland please don’t go.”
“David didn’t do it just to get a press line. He did it because he wanted Scotland to stick with us.”
“I volunteered to do this. It isn’t something I was asked to do.”
“I just think we are stronger together and the Scottish parliament can have more power. There is more power to be had there.
“If you know my stuff, I do politics when I do politics and in my stand-up I do comedy. I’m very Month Python influenced. So I’m talking just about lots of crazy things.
“I always keep my shows and the politics separate. Human beings come up in my show and Scotland has a lot of human beings.
“Whatever happens in this referendum I will still be positive about Scottish people.”
Alistair Darling, head of the Better Together campaign, said: “Eddie is the first of a number of people who will be taking part in this campaign.
“Clearly this is a referendum that is going to be decided by people who live and work in Scotland.
“But it is also important that we hear the voices of people who live and work in other parts of the United Kingdom. That is an important part of our message – ‘we are better in Scotland together’.”