A waste of time

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It’s on again, the biggest waste of time, plate of jammy dodgers and a pot of tea since George Martin sat down with the Beatles in 1970 and said “look lads, I think you might have another few albums left in you yet”.

In Scotland’s capital city representatives of the Scottish Government and the Westminster mafia are due to meet yet again today to smile nicely for the cameras, whisper sweet positives, hinting at imaginary progress for the Daily Mail and the Hootsmon, then behind closed doors sit down to a quiet cuppa, a few passing exchanges of cursory pleasantries, five minutes of hard questions, and after about half an hour some surreptitious checking of wrist watches every five minutes by two of the four main protagonists, anxious not to miss their flight back to the comfort of the city state they worship.

On the side of looking after the interests of the people of Scotland will be Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Minister-in-charge -of-trying-to-make-any-sense-out-of-Brexit Michael Russell.

In to bat for the Empire 2.0 Project will be Damian Green (don’t mention his laptop) First Secretary of State of the London government (why do they need more than one these days?) and his happy wee pixie sidekick, the Secretary of State Against Scotland David Mundell.

In the hope (no chance) of receiving parliamentary co-operation, which could be more accurately described as acquiescence, the London chappies will be touting yet yet yet again the ‘Bonanza’ of new powers that they purport that their government will hand to the Scottish Government after said powers are initially transferred back from Brussels to, er eh,em, Westminster.

Messrs Swinney and Russell, both thinking ‘ liar liar, hedge fund portfolio on fire’ will rebutt this oft repeated attempt at seduction by stating the fact that the fundamental principle of devolution as it exists in what is laughingly called the U.K is that all powers, unless specifically stipulated as reserved to Westminster, should be considered therefore as devolved, so we’ll have our agriculture, fisheries, environmental controls and much much more back please London when you finally immolate yourselves at the altar of far right- wing madness come Brexit day.

‘Ah’ the Fluffmeister General will interject, embuing the conversation with an infusion of national fervour. “Trust us. Do you think I, a patriotic Scot, would be part of any plan to try and trick you? Those returned powers will simply rest briefly in Westminster, some of them overnight, before we release them into your new super-turbo maximised devo-spondooforous charge at Holyrood. (Donning see you Jimmy hat and wig he’ll state further) “Hoots mon, ye’ll hae mair pooers than ye’ll ken whit tae dae wae! ”

Unimpressed the Holyrood gents will once again ask the obvious question for about the thousandth time. Which powers, specifically?

In a stupor, and somewhat stumped there will be pained expressions displayed across the table by the union-flagged worthies. Perhaps too a strained aura of flatulence will emit around the ceiling rose, and yet again a direct question will be ignored, not answered and be followed by some kind of diversionary response from Theresa’s crew to try and take the heat out of the moment. (They would be as well just pressing the fire alarm at this juncture or pointing over John Swinney’s shoulder and shouting ” look, a flying reindeer” very loudly.

A complete wasted day. Scotland is getting consulted about nothing. Scotland is getting next to nothing back into its governance from Brussels via London, and the endless round of talks is simply allowing the Tory government to be able to tick a box and give their second hand Mercedes driving, red, white and blue, and sometimes orange, voters in Scotland something artificial to help them pretend to themselves that their British Scotland, apart from its resources, actually matters to a government which rules it from another country.

Scotland could do so much better as an independent country. It really could.

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DEXEU’s Midnight Runner

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Be afraid, be very afraid. The man at the helm of The Department For Exiting The EU (DEXEU), the midnight runner himself David Davis, is taking a bit of serious and well earned flak in the Commons over a wee sleight of hand, one of several he’s been party to over the last year.

He’s pulled an invisible rabbit out of an invisible hat in front of those tasked with oversight of the shambles that is Brexit.

24 hours ahead of a deadline he had been set to spill the beans to his richt dishonourable freens on the expected economic impacts of an increasingly far-right faction influencing government decisions disguised as ‘ the will of the people’ he chucked in to the awaiting interested worthies for their scrutiny a Brexit impact report on 58 related economic sectors which has doesn’t tell them anything.

The sales of permanent black marker pens around the Whitehall area of London innit must have soared just recently going by the amount of redaction that has taken place on this report. Running to just two lever arch files (which is another concern in itself) it resembles a missive celebrated Russian author and critic of the Soviet Union Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn might have sent from the Gulag to his family, several dozen pages in length with only the words ‘Oleg says hi’ being readable.

Davis, the man most definitely with no plan, is citing the usual excuses for such behaviour, he’s keeping sensitive market information confidential, he’s not giving the EU the opportunity to gain access to information they might find useful in negotiations, all of that, and I suppose also what he’s saying is he doesn’t trust his fellow parliamentarians to not spill the beans over a large G&T to any passing onion sellers or liverwurst salesmen they come across slinking through the crowded Commons lounge bars on their bicycles.

The SNP’s Pete Wishart, anxious to take a look at the report to help inform his thinking on how all of this madness will impact Scotland’s economy was said to be astonished when he opened up the folder to discover his copy included only hole punched editions of the Beano Christmas Special 1979, a copy of the Tiger and Scorcher from April 1976 featuring Hot Shot Hamish, and an article about Debbie Harry from the NME in 1980.

It is clear that the information that an analysis of the economic impact of Brexit would provide is so potentially devastating in its content for the economies of Scotland and the UK as a whole that to even impart it to those out-with the Brexiteer inner circle, to those who are supposed to be our representatives, those we trust with governing our countries, currently as a union, is considered politically too dangerous to allow.

Imagine what will happen when eventually they need to tell you?

Run Scotland. Shut the door and leg it as fast as you can.

Harry and Meg are getting married

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Harry Templeton and Meggie McCart had known each other many years before, during their time as children at the local primary, Meggie being in the class above Harry at the small school which sat in almost perpetual shadow amongst the surrounding high rise blocks, before they had lost touch as they’d moved into their teens, and gone their separate ways.

Harry had been lucky enough to start work at 17 in a green field site factory outside town which produced mobile phones. However after five months this has come to a sudden halt upon the news that the company’s worldwide operations had been reviewed and production was being moved to their plant in Indonesia.

Unemployment was Harry’s lot then for nine and a half long months. Attending interview after interview, making job applications by the dozen Harry tried not to become disheartened and refused to give up, even when a breakdown in communications in the local benefits office resulted in his payments wrongly being suspended for a period.

Not yet 20, and still living with his mum and dad in their two bedroomed flat, Harry had decided to try and make the best use of his time during this period to keep an eye on his older brother Wullie when he could.

Harry’s parents James and Dinah had struggled for years with their William’s downward spiral into drugs and petty crime, supporting him where they could until his behaviour had made this almost impossible.

Harry was close to his brother and most days would walk up to the dilapidated flat Wullie shared with five or six others, a far cry from the compact semi-detached new home in the fashionable estate Wullie had occupied with his former wife Kat before his addiction had robbed him of his skills as an electrical engineer and a future family.

The smell coming from the flat was rank. The front door was always barred by a chair wedged against the handle and he often had to batter on the door for ten minutes before any of the occupants would become conscious enough to answer.

When he eventually gained access he would usually find unkempt sleeping bodies around the darkened rooms, the windows being covered in steel shutters. Some were able to stomach the thin vegetable soup his mother had made, soup that he’d bring in flasks, some could not.

Eventually persistence paid off with regards to work and Harry found himself one day presenting himself at a nearby superstore’s supply warehouse, where for 10 hours per shift, when required, he would stack or empty shelves, days and nights, often with short notice provided of his requirement to work.

This is where he was one bitter winter’s night when a supervisor came to his work bay to ask him to step into the office to take a telephone call from his mother. Distraught and overcome with grief his mum had told him that her William, her baby, was gone, an overdose, unconscious in below zero temperatures he had passed away.

Harry couldn’t believe it, William was 27. How could he die now? Something changed in him then, he felt like he was suffocating, he had to get out.

The answer came via a visit to the army careers stall in the centre of town one Saturday soon after. Initial contact was made, the selection processes began, and before he knew it he was through the shock of basic, heading to the end of infantry training and ready to be posted. Six months later he was in Afghanistan, three months further along he was in a hospital bed in Birmingham minus a leg almost to the hip, courtesy of an IED planted on a roadside the Jocks had been patrolling in Helmand Province.

Invalided out, still waking in the night in a cold sweat, he found himself in his wheelchair one day in the local Tesco store gazing back at the face of a pretty girl who was smiling at him curiously when suddenly recognition dawned, Meggie, Meggie McCart.

They chatted, they met for a drink, they hit it off instantly.

Meggie had recently moved back to the local area having come out of a marriage where she had suffered domestic violence on a regular basis.

Over time their feelings for each other grew. Meggie supported Harry through some very difficult times until he was eventually diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, and commenced therapy to address his illness. Harry in turn helped Meggie to begin to rebuild a sense of trust in men.

Harry, very much in love, described the initial random coincidence of bumping into Meggie in the shops after so many years as being like she had “just tripped and fell into my life”.

They decided they would marry. Harry quietly felt sad that Wullie would not be there to be his best man. He knew that his mum had never quite been the same since his death.

The local community centre lesser hall was booked for a small reception. They didn’t want a fuss. The room could hold 20 people comfortably. Perfect. They didn’t want gifts, they had each other. Anybody who asked them what they wanted as a wedding present, and many did, was advised not to go to the trouble, but where they really insisted they were advised that if they wanted to they could make a contribution to the town’s local Foodbank.

Meggie received a surprise telephone call on the Monday before the Saturday wedding from the local newspaper. They wanted to send a photographer to take photos on their wedding day and write a local interest story about Harry’s time in Afghanistan and his recovery from his injury. Reluctant at first, Harry also being anxious not to receive any public acknowledgement, they had eventually both agreed, it being only a local newspaper anyway.

On the Friday morning, the day before their wedding, they received a second call. This time from the editor of the newspaper. In a nervous uncomfortable tone he advised Harry that unfortunately the photographs and the story would not now be happening as the paper had just been advised that a minor member of the royal family, fourth or fifth in line to the throne, would be attending a nearby exhibition of royal portraits at a local gallery at roughly the same time as the wedding ,therefore the photographer would be needed elsewhere.

Easy come, easy go, thought Harry,as long as he had Meggie nothing else mattered to him.

We’ve been outgrown

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Dearie me, how much guff can Ruth Davidson fit into the one Andrew Marr sponsored advert for the longterm Ruth Davidson for Supreme Commander campaign?

I fear that she has outgrown us. We were mentioned only briefly, and that was to say that a type of vocational training which exists in the country she wishes to be part of the government in doesn’t exist in the country she currently is a member of the opposition in.

Our quiet little regional backwater of outer Greater England, our resource rich northern province, clearly doesn’t have enough challenges to hold such a charismatic shining star of the political firmament here. She is destined for bigger things. The city state beckons.

Clearly her days of endearing herself to the Scottish public by stand-up comedy references to cringeworthy poor stereotype views of Scots as thieves and vandals at Tory party Conferences down south, and taking the pish out of fellow MSP’s Scottish regional accents, are soon to be in the past. The homogenised Home Counties are for her.

Obviously Andrew Marr recognises these qualities too as he gave her almost a free hand in yesterday’s programme to present a party political broadcast for the Conservative and Unionist Party that they didn’t need to spend even a single penny producing.

Naw, never mind that wages have stagnated and will continue to be going back the way until at least 2025, never mind that all that bollox George ‘I’m big in carpets and have several high paying jobs’ Osborne was talking about a few years ago about wiping out the deficit (by demonising and punishing the poorest and most vulnerable in society) by 2015, never mind that Foodbank use has risen alarmingly amongst not just the unwaged but also in working families, never mind that the UK has lost its triple AAA credit rating and doubled the national debt (some of which they apportion to our quiet little backwater region).

No, don’t worry about any of that, cos Ruth has all the answers, as long as she can talk about long term periods into the glorious future of her wonderful Britain, and events which haven’t happened yet.

With consummate ease, and a brass neck which can be seen from the International Space Station, she can sit there, stern faced, forehead furrowed, fake sincerity fully deployed, and open her mouth in clarification with the words ” Look, what I’m saying is……..” and make almost anything sound like the Tories have got it covered.

Ruth can keep a straight-face and do this even when it’s clearly plain to anyone who pays the slightest bit of attention to politics that her party and its leadership are in chaotic disarray, where right-wing factions verbally joust with each other behind their token leader’s back to determine which of them will float to the surface of the cesspit once they’ve flung the current Downing Street incumbent to the Daily Mail wolves when her usefulness as a buffer during the worst case of mass self-immolation seen in modern times, the coming disaster which is Brexit, is nearing its nadir.

On that subject Ruth reckons we shouldn’t worry too much because as her and her pal Andrew know what EU commissioners say publicly when the media’s microphones are out doesn’t necessarily reflect what’s going on at the coalface in the negotiating room, where she reckons things will get a bit tousy over the next few days as the clock runs out on the UK actually having a negotiating position which doesn’t involve storming out in the huff singing ‘Rule Britannia’.

Aye, Ruth, I agree. With May, Davis, Johnson and Fox involved The situation in the room is probably far worse for the UK than the Europeans are telling us.

Scotland has a real chance to do things differently, to avoid the disaster of insular arrogant narrow-mindedness and the UK’s perpetual grand scale inequality We need to take that opportunity soon.

And be a nation again

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I’m no’ a big follower of rugby. I used to quite like the big international games (I lived in England and agonised with Gavin Hastings when he missed the vital kick in the World Cup semi final, and then suffered the banter of both the sung and whistled versions of Swing Low Sweet Chariot in my lug at work every time I passed one or two of my colleagues for a few weeks afterwards) but kind of fell away from it when, in the desperate months prior to September 2014, a procession of former Scotland greats were rolled out by the media to firmly pin their loyalties to the United Kingdom. Having said that I wasn’t too keen on wee Bertie Auld or Alex Ferguson telling us how to vote either.

Since then the sounds of a stadium dotted with former public school pupils, corporate business execs, bankers, and border fermers who pledged their troth to the British state, but who are soon to find out that EU subsidies might not be such a bad thing after all, singing about rising and being a nation again, whilst at the same time holding the opinion that to actually do so might somehow reduce their own personal wealth, or limit their opportunities to accumulate more, therefore in reality meaning that there is no chance they would ever vote in favour of their own country becoming independent, leaves me somewhat cold.

Someone recently described the Murrayfield crowd, who can happily enjoy a wee tipple with their venison burger, something we fitbaw fans haven’t been able to do since the Hampden pitch battle of 1980, as the sporting wing of the Ruth Davidson party, a bit harsh perhaps. I know many go to Murrayfield that don’t fit into that bracket, perhaps things are changing.Perhaps there is a time when Flower Of Scotland will be sung there in an independent country.

Anyway, we don’t get the chance these days to say this very often, both in rugby and,more so for me, frustratingly in fitbaw, well done Scotland’s national team.

Disturbing

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I almost laughed so hard that my ‘I am a raving CyberNat’ sticky label nearly came loose from my forehead and fluttered gently to the floor whilst I was reading Tom Peterkin’s watery effort in the online Hootsmon trying to yet again drum up evil Scottish separatist bile over Tricky Dicky Leonard and his fitbaw allegiances.

Talk about a manufactured story. I wrote about this at the time the other day, and this ‘story’ is incredibly still floating around days later like a turd in the deep end at Salou.

The media asked the tricky chap the question simply to get a response they could spin and jab the independence movement with. The media then reported his answer, the one they’d asked him so they could get a response they could spin and jab the independence movement with. The media, who created the story, then drag out some fictitious indignation about those horrible nasty nationalists being worked up into a salivating fury about the answer to the question they provoked the guy into producing, which to his credit, was a straight answer to the fact that he’s English and would support Ingerlund against Scotland, why would he not?

Then when they are met with complete indifference to their reporting of Tricky’s response about his sporting allegiance to his country the media then try and drum it all up a again a few days later, desperate for a slavering fifty/five year auld sitting in his parents back bedroom in his vest and Y-fronts using up their month’s data allowance tae howl at the moon, tae type something on social media anti- English that he didn’t type last week.

Give it a rest. Peterkin asserts “there is something disturbing about the idea that nationality is somehow relevant to our politics ”

No, what is actually disturbing is that British nationalist leaning newspapers and broadcast media feel that continually bringing up where people were born can be somehow used to try and provoke extremists or otherwise castigate a movement which abhors blood and soil nationalism, a movement which seeks to welcome and encourage anyone from anywhere who do us the honour of wishing to make Scotland their home.

It’ll get to the point soon where the UK media won’t bother themselves with any real involvement in describing events around them, or canvas any outside contact or intervention to produce their heavily slanted unionist pap. They can just interview each other.

We see you

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Who actually gives a shyte whether Tricky Dicky Leonard, designer and cultivator of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, weaver of the Bayeux Tapestry, commander of the Welsh Guards at Rorke’s Drift, discoverer of penicillin and the writer of War and Peace Part Deux would bellow “Come on Ingerlund, come on Ingerlund” during a fitbaw match against Scotland?

Is this news? Or is this somehow an excruciatingly boak-inducing attempt, yet again, by the media, like a certain mediocre unelectable unionist list MSP who likes to try and be the Katie Hopkins of Scottish politics , a man who I never write about because that kind of thing only encourages him, when he made much the other day about the branch secretary of the North British branch of the plastic socialist party, which is an affront to the memory of Keir Hardie, being English, to try and prod and provoke the small minority, those who live in the outer limits of the independence movement, the twilight zone, those whose comments they can then publicise sensationally for a few days to justify their entirely falsified and fabricated view that the people of Scotland somehow dislike their neighbours to the south.

The cycle of maintaining control, the cycle of division, the regular cycle encouraging mistrust and hate is easily seen through now. It’s old hat. Pretty soon those in charge of the unionist playbook will need to review the frequency of that regular move to manipulate five minute news-with-their-evening-meal Scottish viewers or newspaper readers.

Meanwhile Auntie Kate and all the family in Yorkshire we all love you, and all our English cousins. Keep sending the hamemade pork pies.

Hypocrisy – Old and new entrants

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I take a few days out and look what happens, the circus that is politics in Scotland elevates to a new level of bedlam that satire would definitely struggle to duplicate.

Former First Minister Alex Salmond, Red Alexis, the Lenin of Lithgae, turned out, not surprisingly to around half of the population of Scotland, to not actually be the c**t for Red October, but instead produced a current affairs programme on a Russian news channel which discussed and promoted such noble subjects as equality, fairness, dignity and democracy.

I enjoyed it, and it was refreshing to see an English language news programme actually interview Carles Puigdemont, the President of Catalonia, rather than just defend their employers position by dismissing him, his government and the people of Catalonia who voted for them as ” Ex, or deposed leader”, “separatists”, ” illegal”, ” awaiting extradition”, or ” a minority” .

By the wailing and gnashing of teeth that went on last week by all of the usual suspects, and some new ones, in the British state media you’d think Salmond had taken a dump on the back lawn of Buckingham Palace just before a garden party and had pledged to move into an office in Lubjanka Square after undergoing an obligatory political re-education programme somewhere roon aboot Murmansk.

That fella Torrance is gonnae ruin his own health if he’s not careful, with his Salmond obsession. He should get out and get some fresh air more often.

Higher up the British nationalist food chain the notion that Salmond now has a wider platform to promote self-determination for Scotland without them being able to manipulate, spin or filter the content of his programmes is causing more cases of aching piles than constipation, and that can only be a good thing.

Somewhat putting the faux outrage over Alex Salmond’s TV show into the shade, the news that one half of the two Not-so-Cleverly Sisters, famous for their long-running duet in the Scottish media ” Get on with the day job Nicla” Kezia Dugdale, is to abandon her chair at Holyrood for a bit to fly tae the deepest darkest jungle in Australia to be humiliated publicly for money. Up until recently she had been doing this regularly anyway during First Minister’s questions in parliament but for not quite the same level of coin. At least Alex Salmond gets to interview the democratic leaders of new countries for his rubles and hopefully RT won’t insist that he has to masticate the roasted genitals of a blue-tongued lizard.

Surely hypocrisy abounds when ‘Kez’ and her military fetishist political colleague, who prides herself in winning the Ruth Davidson of the Year Award on an annual basis for her services to the British state, an ambitious politician who now has one eye on a safe seat in the country she really wants to be part of a government in, can do such things,

Ruth, as we all know, likes to get her neb in on on every talk show, soothing-the- masses nonsense that’s Great British in nature, or even attend Conservative Gala dinner and dances in the south of England that she can manage. The day job? Meeting constituents? Perhaps not so much.

Then we have a new player on the scene. Freshly squeezed out of the tube of regularly changing leaders of the Scottish branch office into Kez’s old job, and triumphant over all opponents for the position ( he beat Anas Sarwar) Tricky Dicky Leonard is on the case. First impressions would suggest he is going to turn out to be just like the previous three or four incumbents, but where Kez was always a wee bit transparent, and Johann Lamont just looked like she’d swallowed a wasp who’d been feasting on a particularly sour pickled onion, he’s looking like he’s as fly as a sober jailer. This he demonstrated very quickly by his blatant attempt publicly to somehow shoehorn Labour into getting credit for something they had absolutely nothing to do with over the last few days, as the Scottish government has gone into overdrive to try and stop engineering firm BiFab from going into administration.

Even as the GMB Union made their feelings known that they appreciate the great efforts that the First Minister and her team have put in to protecting the livelihoods of their members, Leonard has been somehow trying to spin a yarn that it was Labour pressure which forced the Scottish government to somehow capitulating to something or other, a figment of his own mind perhaps, rather than what actually happened. A classy guy. He’s as many faced as his leader, whose knowledge of Scotland seems to sit purely on the level of ” There would be turbo-charged austerity in Scotland if it became independent.”

Meanwhile the First Minister of Scotland, as part of the actual day job, spent last week trying not to laugh hysterically, or pull her own hair out, listening to Theresa May’s robotic determined nationalist madness, maintaining her professionalism in front of the cameras afterwards outside the Downing Street Big Top in order to not start a stampede, flying to a meeting of Arctic Circle countries to have her words listened to by an audience who respect her opinions as a leader who recognises that the environment of our world is headed for the file cabinet of seriously and irreversibly bolloxed if we don’t do something drastic to try and fix it, before coming home to get into two days of intensive negotiations to broker a deal to save a Scottish firm, protecting 1.400 Scottish jobs.

That is the kind of leader I respect. That is the kind of leader who should be leading an independent Scotland.

Constructive and cordial

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A large ornate oak door creaks open, leading from an anteroom into an impressive meeting room furnished with a long highly polished table surrounded by a set of antique chairs.

Above and behind the central chairs on one wall there is a portrait photograph of a stern late middle -aged woman with a bouffant, a set of pearls and dressed in a blue suit. The photo seems to glow in its frame, and the eyes follow viewers around the room. The lense used to take the photograph reflecting the photographer’s skills in the airbrushing techniques of that time.

At the table sits a tall lean angular woman with grey hair, also in a dark blue suit. In her hands she firmly holds around half a dozen sheets of A4 paper.

” First Minister of Scotland Sturgeon Prime Minister” announced the Downing Street flunkey as he leads a diminutive figure in a light coloured suit into the room.

” Ah Nicola, how are you? Come in, come in, would you like some tea? ”

” I’m well thanks Prime Minister. How are you? It must be all a bit hectic for you at the moment, with one thing and another.” said the Scottish accented smaller woman.

Looking slightly worried, awkward, and anxious to change the subject the taller of the two women announced “Ah, here’s our David with the tea tray. Come in Secretary of State for Scotland, we’re all friends here.”

At this a bearded man in glasses with fading ginger hair, slightly sweating from his brow and top lip,entered the room carrying a tray of expensive china cups.

” Good morning Prime Minister” said the man, beaming, a look on his face like he had just received a nobel prize for sycophancy.

Turning his attention across the table the man continued ” Ah Nicola, nice to see you again. Can I tempt you to a Great British teacake?” he said, gesturing towards the tray, ” or we have fruit. We’ve got some really nice fresh strawberries, British in origin, from somewhere in Fife I think.”

At this the small lady he was addressing, now seated at the table, pen in hand, doodled a tiny slightly stylised version of the word ‘bawbag’ on the sheet of complimentary note paper in front of her.

” No thanks, Secretary of State, tea will be fine. Getting down to business, thanks very much for arranging to see me again Prime Minister. As you know this is the first time we’ve met since March. Time is getting short and I notice you’ve now set an official date for the UK leaving the European Union so I assume you must be well advanced in your preparations. I’m very interested to hear about them, and particularly about where you’ve incorporated or taken account of, my government’s feedback and recommendations to you with regards to Scotland. I’ll shut up now, because I’m sure you must have so much to tell me.”

At this the tall lady’s face turned somewhat ashen, her mouth beginning a series of what seemed like involuntary movements up down and from side to side (a trait which newspaper snappers loved her for) and she replied ” Ah, I see…. em, well, em, that’s David’s area, isn’t It David? ” she said nodding at the sweaty man.

“Oh yes Prime Minister, I’m across all of that Scotland stuff, I’m from there originally you know. You see Nicola, what you need to understand is nobody wants another referendum, we’ve received petitions that tell us that. I hear it every weekend at the Conservative young farmers club, I made a speech to the Myanmarese pipefitting industry on the subject a few months ago and to be quite frank, it’s just not on.”

Keeping her patience the small lady in the light suit replied, looking from one to the other of the two London politicians facing her. ” Uh huh. Right, that’s not what I’m specifically talking about right now, but we’ll get back to that directly. No, what I’m talking about is Brexit, your government’s plans for it, and how you propose to adjust the plans to accommodate the issues which impact Scotland and the democratic will of the people of Scotland who voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.”

At this the increasingly sweating man, who was beginning to turn a deep shade of red, in either embarrassment or fury, it was hard to tell, looked at his leader, who wore the puzzled expression of a startled bunny which had just wandered on to the fast lane of the M6.

” Ahh yes, I’m with you now” he said. ” I misunderstood you” Looking deep in thought he continued ” I remember a speech written for me by central office about Bonanza. Yes, that’s it, It’s actually all about Bonanza. I loved Bonanza when I was a child. I used to imagine I was Big Hoss as a cantered around the border country on the back of my granny’s shopping trolley. No wait a minute, that’s not it, I’ve got it now. A Bonanza of new powers, that’s it. Scotland will get a whole lot of new powers and control of revenue and stuff like that once the UK leaves the EU. Trust me, trust us, we want the best deal for all of the UK.”

“Uh huh” said the First Minister, “which ones?”

Pores leaking like a Glesca water pipe after a thaw, and starting to leave at puddle at his feet, the Secretary of State Against Scotland, scrambling to maintain some form of dignity replied. ” Well when I say a Bonanza of new powers what I really mean is, they’ll be returned from Brussels to Westminster and then we’ll work out the best approach as to who should have future control. There are a lot of benefits to be gained from a one policy approach you know, isn’t that right Prime Minister?”

“Undoubtedly David, undoubtedly” said the Downing Street Premier.

The niceties now well and truly over, lips thinning, face becoming serious, the First Minister of Scotland spoke. “Right then. I see. Moving on. Prime Minister, the document we produced and sent you many months ago, in fact it was almost a year ago, ‘Scotland’s place in Europe’, did you or your ministers read it, and act upon it?”

(PM) “No”.

(FM) “Michael Russell from my team has been trying to maintain contact with your Brexit minister and his team. Michael has made several recommendations and suggestions, on my government’s behalf, with regards to how Scotland’s fishing, agriculture, environmental and other sectors should be managed as part of the run up to, and then post Brexit period. Have you factored any of this in to your detailed plans?”

(PM) “No.”

(FM): “Have you considered the proposals that have been made regarding Scotland, which has an ageing population and relies heavily on immigration to bolster the workforce and the economy, to have its own immigration policy?”

(PM) “No.”

(FM) “Do you actually have any detailed plans for exiting the European Union other than contriving a breakdown of negotiations and walking away with no future deal in place? ”

(PM) ” Not really.”

(FM) Thanks for clearing all of that up for me. Having heard all of this I can’t therefore agree to recommend that the Scottish Parliament pass a legislative consent motion to approve your Withdrawal Bill to leave the EU, which you will do against the will of the people of Scotland.

(PM) Suddenly very interested in the sheets of A4 paper that previously were in her hands, but were now being frantically picked up individually and handed back to her by her sweaty man in Scotland. “”Oh come on Nicola, don’t be like that” (now reading out loud from her papers) ” Brexit means Brexit”, “What we need now is to unite, come together as a country, and ensure that we can get the best deal for the whole of the United Kingdom.”

“We have enjoyed unprecedented levels of engagement” during this process. “The UK and Scotland must continue to work together to ensure businesses and consumers have the certainty they need as we leave the EU”.

“At least, as a favour, please tell the press that we’re on the same page, that we are getting somewhere, that we had a constructive chat, otherwise the pound will plummet. I promised the business community at the hedge fund luncheon that we wouldn’t rock the boat any further.”

(FM) ” Did ye, aye? Well I’ll see whoever takes over from you at the referendum ballot box soon. Thanks for your time Prime Minister. Oh and by the way David the tea was cold.”

Pots and kettles

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Faux outrage, offence and deeply damaged sensibilities abound. Get the sharpened pitchforks out of the shed and light the torches. By jove, there’s an agitator stalking the countryside, stirring up the peasantry, and frightening the horses.

As we are now all aware, to the point of overkill (there are lost tribes in the Amazon jungle who have just had David Mundell make a speech to them about it) Alex Salmond, the Lenin of Lithgae, has accepted an offer to host his own show, produced by his own production company, on the Russian tv channel RT, which is seen as a media outlet for Russian state propaganda.

Oh my goodness, gnash those teeth, wail like a Bob Marley tribute show, how could he do such a thing? How could an ex-First Minister of Scotland engage in such dastardly behaviour?

They’ve turned him, Putin’s henchman have bedazzled him, he’ll corrupt us, and before you know it there will be thousands singing songs about tractor quotas and crop yields in George Square, accompanied by bands of roving balalaika players looking for a gig.

Imagine that eh, a politician daring to host a TV show on a channel known for political propaganda.

Let’s not then talk about the BBC, or the fact that up until 2014 it was not licence payers who funded the extensive World Service part of the broadcaster’s service but the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. This fact has no bearing whatsoever on the channel’s output, production decisions or reporting, no, not at all.

Fair and impartial they are. Squeaky clean and as shiny as a freshly polished turd. They pride themselves on it. They are so committed to their fairness and impartiality that they need to keep telling us about it, in the hope that some eejit somewhere actually believes that they are genuinely fair and impartial.

Just look at the BBC’s reporting of the situation in Catalonia. If you fancy a game of state protectionist bingo you’ll easily find the words and phrases “separatists” “ex-Prime Minister” “Deposed leader” “illegal referendum” “charged with sedition” “only 43% turnout” (and the old classic we all remember from 2014, which only really means technically moving a nameplate for risk management purposes, not jobs, not workforces, but sounds convincing in a Project Fear sense) “businesses leaving the state in their droves” spoken or written by the score. Fair? Impartial? Not a chance.

It’s almost as if those poor people who took severe blows to their heads and bodies a few weeks ago, whilst exercising their democratic rights, from the truncheons of anonymous dark-suited and helmeted militia, never actually existed. We must have just dreamt that.

Maybe, once the Alex Salmond show gets up and running, Nick Robinson could come on as one of the guests, or better still, be commissioned to write a weekly review of the content and guests. If this was anything like his fair and impartial reporting during the late summer of three years ago it would be bound to be worth reading, it would be pure bollox, but worth reading.

I think we’re all more than capable of watching the show, and deciding for ourselves whether we think Salmond appears to have been influenced by Russian oligarchs or whether he remains firmly just a Rabbie Burns man (the Russians like him too). If the Russians do have any designs on influencing the content of his show I don’t fancy their chances much. Good luck with that.

I think many of us will find it refreshing to hear, for a change, a bit of candid discussion on the politics of Scotland, and the wider UK, in a forum not able to be manipulated or influenced by the British state, which, I suspect is one of the major reasons they are getting their union-flagged Y- fronts in such a fankle about Salmond’s new project in the first place.