A few phrases to continue to watch out for in Scottish and UK politics in 2017, and their true meanings……
“This government will not be providing a running commentary of our intended plans for exiting the European Union.”
(We have absolutely not the first clue about how we go about doing this without triggering a major financial catastrophe which will hit the UK harder than the Great Depression. Disentanglement from the EU is so complex a task that we can’t possibly see the big picture. There is no precedent to use as a template. We’ve assigned those we think are suitably expert in the field to the task of working out the various moves and ramifications, but as it is so complex they are all coming up with reports and recommendations which contradict each other. We’re going to hold off as long as we can in the hope that the EU will get fed up and chuck us a bone.
Our big move, intended to appease the right of our party, who used to be the far right but as we’ve moved towards them are soon to be seen as the accepted mainstream, is to officially seek to trigger Article 50,but with a negotiated transitional period, with vague non-specific timescales which will take us up to around 2022, and give us breathing space and time to analyse what this cretin in Washington is going to do. If he’s bullies everyone, which we expect he will, we can line up behind his government, like we usually do, and try to extort favourable trading conditions out of the Europeans.)
“ The United Kingdom is a partnership of nations. I fully intend to consider the views of others in this partnership as part of the decision-making process in our developing strategy to leave the EU. However final decisions will be made by this government to protect the UK as a whole.”
(Don’t even think it. We have absolutely no intention of paying the slightest bit of attention to anything you have to say. We’ve watched you swan around Europe, smiling and meeting with EU Ministers behind our backs, and addressing the Irish Upper House, with their ruddy farmers cheeks and talk of independence. We had a giggle at your media conference the other week launching that alternative proposals rubbish. I shot that idea down in flames the same day.
There is no chance we are ever going to let you make alternative arrangements with Europe to us, and if you somehow manage to do it you will suffer, we’ll make sure of it. Our media will scare the living daylights out of your pliable populace, as we always do, so that they think that somehow we are able to withdraw trading arrangements with you if we want to. They’ll never know that this can’t be done. My government’s view on this, as is the traditional British way, is to bluff with threats until you can bluff no more. What do we have to lose? After all you’ll never be in a position to disprove our threats, we’ll see to that.)
“ Scotland could find itself in a pretty grim financial state if it became independent without the broad shoulders of the United Kingdom.”
(We are having your oil and gas tax revenue, and your whisky industry, having done you over big style on both of these for many years. You are our thermo-nuclear blast shield. We are hoping to frack the living daylights out of the land underneath you at some point, for huge profit, very little of which you’ll ever see, kind of like your oil and gas and whisky industries.
We’ve deliberately, in a planned programme over many years, redefined many of your country’s citizens from a honed, skilled, innovative workforce in a world renowned industrial and manufacturing heartland to a northern provincial people lacking in self confidence, engaged in insecure employment in shopping malls making low wages by selling cheaply made foreign goods expensively to fellow Scots, the profits of which do not remain in Scotland, they come to us, and the only foreigners we do like, the extremely wealthy. You are our goose that lays golden eggs. We’d be crazy to let you go.)
“ The people of Scotland are sick of the SNP’s one-track policy of independence at all costs.”
( I have a career to think of. I had a five minute stand up slot at the party’s annual conference in Brighton/ Blackpool/ Bournemouth and went down a bundle. I made a few stereotypical jokes about Scots having accents no one understands, being tight, dour and poor, which had the place in stitches. My profile is getting higher within the party, but I need to make sure that the right people notice me. This I will continue to do by protecting London rule no matter what, which is relatively easy to do anyway because the media back me at every turn.
Also as I’m the leader of a branch office of my party, Scotland being a region, I don’t really have that much to do anyway. Our policies are decided elsewhere so I spend most of my time writing critical sound-bytes about the SNP. Boxes for babies indeed! They’ll be wanting free prescriptions next.)
“ Let me be crystal clear about the policies of the party that I am leader of, Scottish Labour.”
( I’ve no idea what that means….)