Tartania

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One vision of days to come……

It was an Eton old boy in the cabinet office who first referred to it jokingly at a meeting as ‘Tartania’, and it had stuck.

The Regional Secretary for Scotland and Cumbria, a position created following the Great Parliamentary Rationalisation Programme of 2024 finally dissolved the last vestiges of the old devolved outdated and impractical system of democracy lite government, the former Scottish Parliament building now part of a huge hotel and casino complex, had then twice included the word, affectionately, as he’d described it, during GBBC net-news broadcasts, and before anyone knew it hadn’t been there the word was into common usage.

Tartania, a word to symbolise what much of Scotland had become, a living, breathing theme park to kitsch. A place where in 2030 large Americans visited now in unprecedented numbers to experience snippets of the life their great great granddaddies lived before crossing the stormy sea to salvation.

Many towns and villages across the country had been included in the leisure regeneration project, funded by the huge transatlantic Freedom Corporation, a financial business partnership of US companies and the now officially rebranded ‘Greater’ Britain corporate giants. There was of course a system of exemption from the scheme available for the 430 or so individuals who owned half of the private land of Scotland, many of whom who had their own streams of tourism revenue in place anyway.

Main streets of towns in the scheme had been officially ‘restored’, often to look like Hollywood film set versions of what Malibu-dwelling designers and architects conceived Scotland should look like.

Set designs from every major movie depicting Scotland over the last century had been meticulously mapped and recreated on appropriate sites serviced by a network of high speed transport links so that visitors could literally experience the thrill of being involved in a charge of a Mel Gibson look-a-like William Wallace’s legion of Scots against the English army, in the morning, along with hundreds of contracted extras employed from local areas, dance with tartan clad beauties on the set of the musical Brigadoon after lunch, and be accosted by skinny unwashed Edinburgh heroin addicts in a fake Leith pub before their evening Caledonian Banquet.

A must see tick-off for all visitors from across the pond involved a pilgrimage to the Island of Lewis to the birthplace of the mother of the leader who had redefined their place in the world. Seemingly forced into taking steps only ever taken before by Truman, he had bravely re-asserted his nation’s position as the world’s peacekeeper, and champion of democracy, enterprise and freedom.

There had been some tough tense times in those early days after the wars against the Asian and Middle Eastern axis of terror, but once internal dissent had been clearly defined as un-American, an insult to patriotism and freedom, and steps had been taken to reeducate those identified as perpetrators, things had settled down.

Now lauded in a similar manner to Greater Britain’s hero Churchill, popular culture is littered with statues, portraits, museums, libraries and epic biographies of the great man, the man who’d saved the world, his son now deeply involved in a presidential nomination campaign of his own to follow in his father’s footsteps into the White House. A sacred journey to the matriarch of the dynasty’s (pronounced with a dye) birthplace seen as an act of patriotism, of gratitude, a central element to the Tartania experience. The Treasury in London was also grateful for the revenue.

In addition to its new found use as a theme park Scotland had undergone another major change to the management of its resources. Following the protracted bickering divorce from its European neighbours, a process which in the end had dragged on for six years, and the resultant financial crash which had taken place, the London government had managed to persuade the people of Scotland through their well established media propaganda route that they were bankrupt as a region. Apparently the large subsidies provided to keep the north of the country afloat could not continue without the introduction of widespread fracking projects extracting oil and natural gas from under the feet of Scotland’s people.

Following a concerted campaign, again led by the global upholder of freedom, supported by those in Greater Britain central to the ‘special relationship’, helped greatly by the removal of any interference from European regulation, to rubbish the theory of the existence of global warming, and the consistent removing of investment, discouragement of innovation and government preferential partnerships with traditional environmentally damaging extraction processes, Scotland’s wind and tide power technology schemes had collapsed.

A report prepared by a leading government economist at the time, which had examined the potential for this newer technology to thrive, channeling and selling power into the European network if Scotland had become an independent country and had remained a member of the European Union, concluded that Scotland, with control of its own resources and the ability to develop its green technology would have had the sixth best economy in the developed world in all but one of the leading indicators. The party of the working people, in power at the time, and their opposition, also of the working people, shortly to take over the reins of government,decided that knowledge of this information was not in the best interests of the country, therefore the report was stamped ‘Top Secret’ and quietly secured away.

Therefore where there were not 18th century style villages, lochs filled with robotic movie set dinosaurs, and hands on battlefield sites, there were fracking wells.

A huge online media campaign themed ‘You’ll never know we’ve been here’ accompanying beautiful panoramic scenes of Scottish families enjoying the countryside was launched. Meanwhile reports slowly started to appear of wildlife dying after consuming water from streams in the glens, and mysterious spikes in rare childhood illnesses occurring in some areas where fracking was taking place.

Thankfully, in terms of the economy of the country as a whole, not just the region of Scotland, Scottish fracking and the increase in numbers of holiday visitors from America had helped to negate the vast and disastrous impact of being cut off from Europe.

When the Greater Britain separatist government had finally pulled the pin on any chance of being able to take advantage of their former European partners there had been prevalent at that time much malice, bitterness, accusations and recriminations, including a skirmish or two and near military conflict with Spain over a strategic rock, and bitter disputes with France over previous broken financial commitments.

The forming of the Patriotic Guard, which some had jokingly labelled ‘Dad’s Army’ had ostensibly been in order to create a security force to patrol the coastline of Greater Britain to ensure no refugees from Europe entered the country illegally.

In reality over the six years of their existence the members of this security force had found that their prime role was actually stopping the citizens of their own country leaving Greater Britain rather than from barring others from getting in. This too was never widely reported.

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The return of ‘Brother Lee Love’

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Like a 21st century version of Kenny Everett’s evangelistic character ‘Brother Lee Love’ (minus the big hands displayed at an 80’s Tory conference) Jeremy Corbyn strides onto a stage in a conference room full of party activists who see him as some sort of messiah, promoting a message that’s never been heard before, and insiders, who up until the day before the day before yesterday despised the man, whom they saw as a clear threat to their cushy existence as plastic socialist establishment spongers, a group now happy to pretend that they are with him in the hope of defrocking the Tories, shunting him out quietly out of the way, and getting back to the normality of feeding heartily from the trough of power.

Mr ‘Lee Love’ made great play in his conference speech of telling his cohort of adorati that ‘ We are the political mainstream now’. I’ve got some news for him, nothing’s changed, your party were the mainstream before now too.

HM’s Official Opposition is a great place to talk big and bold from.

Throwing in to the mix a pile of 1970’s style rhetoric about renationalising everything in sight, seeing a bigger role for public services and talking of rent controls is nothing new. We’ve heard it all before, but at least Michael Foot, a true orator. had the courage, in leadership, to stand by his view that weapons of mass murder are an abhorrence which should be consigned to history, unilaterally and without question.

As for advocating the end of the withering planned austerity that his honourable colleagues across the floor have inflicted on those in society least able to afford it for the last number of years, do us a favour Jeremy, do we look like we button up the back? Large numbers of your party’s elected members at Westminster, with or without the influence of the whip, either voted consistently with the Tories on many of these measures or abstained, allowing whatever nasty plan the right fancied introducing through on the nod.

His lack of knowledge on Scottish politics is staggering, or perhaps deliberately so. His suggestion that the Scottish government are passing on Tory austerity (the austerity his party sanctioned) to the people of Scotland by not utilising the tax varying powers that have been devolved to them is idiotic. The Scottish government have no real powers to make any significant difference to the plight of Scots impacted by Westminster right wing whims and social engineering projects, other than to make themselves unpopular by raising the level of tax burden . All the real financial levers are retained by London. Westminster doesn’t even provide the Scottish government with enough detailed or accurate financial information about tax income raised in Scotland to allow them to make any meaningful decisions. We have GERS though which gives us an understanding of how much of the UK’s debt, debt built up during the UK’s watch, under their governance, that they’ll apply to Scotland.

What was it Derek Bateman said. “A country denied the ability to run its own economy is blamed for being bankrupt by the authority which exercises those macro-economic powers over it. The British Treasury pulls our wings off and then laughs when we can’t fly.”

As for his continued monotonous reference to Independence for Scotland leading to ‘ turbocharged austerity” I think we need to always bear in mind that Labour in whatever form they dress themselves up in are part of the British nationalist establishment, whether directly from London or via the pointless anthill mob north of the border, whose obsessively ambitious leading lights hate each other that much, after the unexpected departure of Kez, who it turns out was soon to be the target of a Game of Thrones style red wedding anyway, that they’ve not got much time to do anything else other than stab each other in the back.

Labour stands for the Union, the maintenance of the status quo. Jeremy Corbyn will not change that. I’ll stick with the real progressives, the ones that have my country’s people and their interests at the top of the agenda.

Get on with it

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Reading the essay from Pete Wishart on the way forward for ‘Independence 2.0’ in the National today I can’t help but feel a shade underwhelmed.

Yes ok, sort the currency questions, come up with a convincing case on a self governing Scottish economy, with or without oil, within Europe, define how we’ll handle a border that British nationalist Brexaphobia Inc will tell us can’t be there once they pull up the drawbridge therefore you can’t have independence Jock, wait until the complete uncontrolled mayhem of the Brexit decision reveals itself, all stuff we’ve heard before, over and over again. There’s nothing in there that’s new, or enlightens or emboldens anybody.

Surveys, Growth Commissions, meetings with indy focused umbrella groups. Will somebody tell us what practically is going on to further the cause of an independent Scotland?

Is there a big secret squirrel Independence strategy ready tae be launched perhaps, to be sprung on us and the unsuspecting Sarwarians, Colonel Davidson’s and the global Alan Whicker-like Secretary of State against Scotland? If there isnae one there bloody well should be, the amount of blethering and hot air that has gone in to talking about what should happen next.

No matter what date Nicola Sturgeon has in her head for another go at convincing more of our folk that we’re better off slipping the net from the increasingly unstable little empire, (and I appreciate that the way Theresa May operates on the hoof making it up as she goes along flying by the seat of her Black Watch troosers, makes it hard for the First Minister to draw a ring on the calendar) we need to start work now, we need to be organised now, we need to have credible strategies to move forward in growing the movement now, we need networks in place to support activists on the ground now, we need a central team rebutting British nationalist propaganda in the media consistently and communicating facts and positive messages out through the rest of us now.

If it’s about money, tell us. We’ll get you the money. If it’s about personalities, he disnae like her, they don’t like this group or other, this one disnae get on with that one, sort it out. This is too important for petty disputes and egos.

Pete Wishart is right when he says that Independence supporters cannot be taken for granted.

I cannae be the only Scot who is thinking enough with the preparatory talks, surveys and procrastination. Let’s get on with building our case, making Independence the obvious choice when the right moment comes, when the First Minister makes that decision.

In terms of building the case for self determination time is of the essence.

Feeling at home

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The Right Hon Theresa May,
Prime Minister of England and the subjugated surrounding countries it shares land borders with, and a bit of the island of Ireland,
Downing Street, Metropolis, ‘The Smoke’

Dear Prime Minister

You are a pure rid neck. You’ve really gone and done it now. Lumping us in with your narrow-minded dead empire xenophobia like that. How dare you suggest to a room full of your own sycophants and an adoring media that the people of Scotland don’t feel comfortable as European citizens, How dare you indeed.

For many centuries before the early18th century version of your pals, assorted crooked bankers, wankers, businessmen, landed gentry and Lords, corruptly bribed their way into taking control of the lands north of Carlisle, (having given us it back for a bit after Cromwell invaded and subjected our forebears to martial law) we had well-established trading and cultural links with mainland Europe and Scandinavia. France was our big pal, we had our “auld alliance” we traded together, we ate together, when required we stood shoulder to shoulder together, often on the quiet again you, and importantly we drank claret together. Don’t even think of labelling us with your small minded arrogance.

Another thing, why go all the way out to Florence with your circus troop to spout such nonsense in the first place? There was naebody there from the organisation that you were talking about, You could have presented the same speech in a scout hut at Newport Pagnell without spending taxpayers money, but naw that’s no’ you, is it? It’s all for show.

That money tree you keep talking about seems tae be able tae come up with the dosh anytime you fancy a jolly to somewhere impressive to try and make you look competent (I’ve got news for you, it disnae work) or when there are weapons of mass murder to be added to so that you can pretend that you are still some sort of world leader (world leaders usually have audiences when they speak at the UN General Assembly) or where you need to pay off the political arm of a sectarian bigoted organisation to vote for you,

We all know, and the leadership of the European Union in particular know, that you are just playing for time. You’ve no plan, no clue about how you are going to cope with exiting Europe, and relying solely on the only thing Britain is good at, making arrogant demands with nothing to back up your confidence.

Why not just admit that a bunch of screwed up overprivileged racists and muppets like Farage and Boris, along with the Daily Mail and Express, conned the people of England into thinking the European Union is the devil incarnate, your very sorry about that and can we please just forget it ever happened?

Nobody is fooled by you avoiding negotiations with EU Commissioners and dodging the leaders of the devolved leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We all clearly saw, during the last General Election, the severe limitations you have as a communicator. Your inability to form any sort of relationship or empathise with the electorate is in stark contrast to our own highly competent First Minister.

By attempting to negotiate via the media rather than directly it us obvious that you are trying to manipulate British public opinion towards feeling some sympathy for you, making a case that you are being reasonable in your dealings with the European Union. However it seems that the main message running through any mention you make of future connections with Europe is this, play ball with us or we will not share intelligence with you on any terrorist issues and we will not support you in any conflict or dispute where you need it. This is the way you operate, this is the way you’ve always operated like a global gangster, and sadly that looks like it won’t change anytime soon.

Lastly just to let you know that we here in Scotland sent a message off to the EU right after your speech to tell them that we don’t know who you are, that we were just heading up the road to a party and you are some zoomer we met at the bus stop who hung on and came along with us, but we’re hoping to get shot of you soon, once the Tennants Extra and the pakora run out.

We got a nice text back from a Michel Barnier I think his name was. He wrote, don’t worry, we’ll keep your seat warm, see you soon Scotland.

Yours in disgust.

The people of Scotland

Is there anybody there?

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Theresa May, in her usual charismatic style, thrilled a standing room only chamber at the United Nations General Assembly yesterday.

Holding the packed audience of diplomatic worthies from all points of the globe in the palm of her hand the stateswomen of the century, a Churchillian figure in political stature, a totemic symbol of hope, she who put the ‘G’ in Great Britain, stood silently, head slightly bowed in humble acknowledgement as she accepted the repeated 10 minute standing ovations from her adoring global political groupies as each of her golden shards of wisdom reached their ears. This reporter counted 25 interruptions of this kind to her speech. Surely a new record at the UN.

Then she woke up…

Being as popular as scabies at a face cream launch the chamber was largely empty during the British Prime Minister’s speech except for Barney, the janitor, who had some floors to mop, Boris Johnson who had found a particularly hard snotter to dislodge around the back of his septum, and was therefore disengaged from his surroundings, and the Namibian diplomatic group who had drawn up some Maybot bingo cards with words and phrases like ‘strong’, ‘secure’, ‘America is our special friend’, ‘has anyone seen my magic tree?’ and ‘the people of Scotland voted in 2014 to stay in the union’ scribbled on them, who hung on every word that Prime Minister May uttered.

It’s since come to light that the assistant High Commissioner of Windhoek, visiting New York for his annual jolly, had his card crossed out in under five minutes, and was heard to whoop loudly as his colleagues handed over the several hundred dollars he hastily deposited in his hip pocket. The delegation then adjourned to Mario’s in the Lower East Side for lunch, leaving the unperturbed UK leader droning on to the cavernous empty room, met in silence apart from the gentle sound of Barney’s mop slopping away the falling dandruff from the head thatch of the nasally preoccupied de Pfeffel, her replacement in waiting…..

…and she’s speaking to the EU tomorrow… Heaven help us.

At it, again

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He’s at it, again.

This yin is definitely destined for a future hoovering up expenses between luncheon and dinner, luxuriating on one of the comfier, better upholstered red benches in the House of unelected privilege.

Viceroy Mundell, the Secretary of State against Scotland, is pulling out all the stops to once again make sure that the government of the neighbouring larger country which rules over the country he comes from keeps a tight control of the assets and resources of his birth nation.

Having previously gone all the way to Burma to tell an audience of bewildered rubber and sugar plantation workers ” No, we’re not having a second independence referendum. We, the people just don’t want it” he’s set to do a backtrack shuffle worthy of the late Michael Jackson wearing his best dancing pumps on the subject of powers that the foreign government he represents will share with the people who, if they lived in a genuine democracy, should rightfully have sovereign control over the powers already.

He’s gone to Paraguay to do this. Presumably in the hope that months old sprouting and mouldy tawties, half eaten blackening apples, and old copies of the Smith Commission report dipped in yesterday’s dopiaza, all launched in his direction, won’t reach that far when he tells us that when he originally said there would be a bonanza of new powers for Scotland, as a result of his bosses deciding to fall out with every neighbouring country which doesn’t insist on English being its first language,what he really meant was we’re getting the hole in the sole of Hoss Cartwright’s cowboy boot.

Trust us said Davie the Brit originally, it’s not a power grab from London. Would we lie to you? Like Father Ted Crilly’s finances those returned powers from Brussels will only be ‘resting’ in Theresa May’s dysfunctional government’s account for a short time, before we share a few out. However now we’re keeping most of them because it’s actually in your best interests Scotland. There there, rest easy. We’ll look after you.

He’ll talk to the audience of South American soybean packers about how returning powers to devolved parliaments will be extremely damaging for businesses and how UK wide frameworks for returned EU powers are needed to prevent internal trade barriers, but really all he’s doing is adding yet another entry to the very long history of lies, deceit and treacherous behaviour deployed by the power he represents, a ruling power who have no compunction about openly displaying contempt for Scotland.

Kinda turns your stomach, does it not?

If you get it wrong get it right next time

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We’re three years down the line from a day when many of our people, many of us, not Tories, not diehard unionists, not Labour, just us, for whatever reason, decided at that time that they were not yet convinced of their own capabilities, and the capabilities of their country to manage its own affairs. Our people, our folk, who have to live with the consequences of their actions, as unfortunately do we.

For some, oblivious to much going on around them that doesn’t impact them directly, not consciously aware of the impact politics has on their everyday life, and the lives of others, that’s an easy thing to do. For others not so.

As the shambolic raft of lies, broken promises, pitiful pleadings, denied vows, planned and unplanned General Elections, the continuing rise of the right and their self abusive plans to leave the world’s largest single market and at the same time chase foreigners who often carry out vital work, and who contribute a net £6billion a year to the income column in the Treasury ledger, out of the country, have come to pass there must be some of our folk wondering what the hell they’ve done.

That feeling is not going to go away, as the next few years promise to be a wacky fun filled ride to an even further marginalised, ignored and dictated to Scotland (so much for “we love you Scotland, don’t leave us, lead us”) and the growth of a far right nationalist government in London, after the Brexit dust clears, buoyant having engineered a dilution of the UK’s version of democracy via their ‘taking back control’ from the EU legislation allowing ministers unfettered decision making powers on a rightwing agenda. A nightmare scenario.

In 2013/14 the British state made great play, a relentless emphasis, a plea to the risk averse amongst us, that voting no was the stable thing to do, to maintain the steady ship, the way to ensure their pensions, their jobs, their status as free movement Europeans. Now? Do you feel your future is secure? Do you feel you live in a country governed by an outward looking, welcoming executive branch?

I will never criticise any of my fellow Scots for deciding no, independence was not for them in 2014. I have met someone who received a phone call from unionist campaigners telling her that her pension would be cut if she voted Yes. They won’t get away with that one again.

Just watch as the circus merry-go-round takes place between a robotic charm-free figurehead who speaks in sound bites and displays the empathy of a housebrick, a wildcard pseudo public school buffoon who havers nonsense financial statistics to blacken the name of the European Union, pronouncements which are so clearly embarrassing lies that a senior public servant has to write to him publicly to tell him he’s talking shite, and a large Hooray Henry with a Lord Snooty complex who thinks Foodbanks are uplifting, (and that’s only the next few months diary of madness).There will be much much more to cringe about between now and the moment Jean-Claude Juncker says ” Merci fuck that’s all over”.

There will be a tipping point. When the time comes, at a moment of our choosing, a time fixed by representatives we have selected to represent us, to exercise the sovereign will of Scotland’s people, Scotland’s future will be examined again by its folk, and this time the evidence before the jury will result in only one outcome. Yes.

We’re still here

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On the weekend before the third anniversary of what should have been the greatest moment in the history of modern Scotland, and was sadly not to be, I have some very grave news to share with those who actively, honestly or otherwise, did whatever was in their not inconsiderable power to ensure that Scotland did not return it’s rightful state as a self governing independent nation in 2014.

We’re still here, and we’re not going away.

We are still here despite the campaign of negative propaganda against all things Scotland doing it for themselves, which has never really gone away. We’re still here despite the daily brainwash of state media spun illusion that the UK is actually an entity that works effectively and benefits its component member states, rather than the wildly dysfunctional and archaic class, power and influence-obsessed Bedlam hospital that it actually it. It’s mince at just about everything, (check out economic growth statistics against other countries. Thank fuck for Albania is the hand carved motto above the door at Conservative party HQ. Look at average pensions against the rest of Europe, pick a stat on just about anything financial, social or health-wise in comparison with other western states and the UK is invariably pish at it) apart from Trooping the Colour and displaying golden hats in the back of expensive taxis. Tradition is the UK’s thing you see, hankering for a past of long summers when those with didn’t need to bother too much about those without getting above themselves. Tradition is all the UK has left.

We’re still here despite a Prime Minister and a government who treat the democratic leader of our country, and therefore us, like she is detritus brought in to the cabinet office on someone’s shoe, to be sniffed at, hastily removed and otherwise ignored. Likewise our democratically chosen representatives are treated in the same vein, unless they are of the pet poodle variety, their own kind, who hang around the back benches like sycophantic courtiers flashing their Union Jack knickers whilst waiting to be led in evensong by Viceroy Mundell, the elder statesmen, the grandee, the man who can say just about anything with a straight face, leading them into four verses of ” The Wee Cooper O’Fife” just to establish their Caledonian bona fides you understand.

We’re still here despite the same Prime Minister and her band of misfit billionaire xenophobic neo fascist, semi-fascist, my grandfather was a fascist, and a banker, and a newspaper magnate, but mainly a fascist, elitists being able to stand up in the forum of the chamber of the House of Commons, make completely false statements about anything to do with Scotland, and go entirely unchallenged by a media who could easily report the true facts if only they felt like reporting facts for a change. We’re still here, and more of us are wising up to the reality of what we see on the TV news and read in their daily newspapers.

Three years on despite there currently being no nationally active organised campaign working towards growing the Yes Movement and towards a decisive constitutional vote in Scotland there is no evidence to suggest that the numbers of Scots currently in favour of independence has dropped, in fact a recent poll ( I don’t like polls) shows support slightly up on the 2014 figure. We are most definitely still here.

There are Scots, new, Scots born, young and old walking in demonstration of their commitment to their country’s future this weekend. They are to be commended. There are many more ready to answer the call when the full implications of the sleight of hand of Brexit come to light, when the mask drops on the London government engineering a future decision making process for themselves untrammelled by having to bother with all that democratic debate and voting malarkey, playing fast and loose with powers that if they have to be returned from Brussels should be returned to Scottish control, when this become obvious to all. You won’t see that reported on the BBC though.

We’re still here, and we’re not going away, until we win.

The hard yards

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I had the very good fortune recently to be in the audience, (although my time was sadly cut short due to a prior domestic arrangement) at an event promoting the National Newspaper featuring Paul Kavanagh of Wee Ginger Dug fame, and the wee ginger dug itself, who turned out to be not quite as wee as I’d expected.

Paul is a bit of an inspiration to some of us out here in the Indy blogosphere, and listening to him describe his motivations for starting to write his popular blog I was much impressed by his easy manner and obvious passion for Scottish independence.

His style of looking beyond party politics, and straightforward commonsense approach to the subject of his country’s future is communicated well, without bluster, pretension or bullshite, and comes across as a powerful persuasive tool.

The majority of the audience I suspect were of the already Independence minded variety but I would imagine that those who came along looking to be persuaded were left with something to think about that they’ll never hear from Jackie Bird’s scriptwriter.

I can’t help thinking that the independence movement will succeed only on the strength of us finding many more like Paul, driven, committed and willing to sacrifice their time to traipse around their local community centres, church halls, and the back room of the village pub, engaging local community groups, answering the hard questions, setting out the positive advantages and opportunities that independence could bring with it, in an open minded nonpartisan manner.

We, who are already entirely convinced that the best way forward for Scotland is for Scotland to return to being a sovereign country whose citizens govern themselves, can talk amongst ourselves, or write rambling blogs expounding forth on what we think other people should be thinking, but we forget sometimes that our views are just that, only our views, not the views of the people we need to persuade, our fellow country folk. We need to get outside the comfort zone.

Browbeating will never win us the numbers to get us over the line in the next referendum. Respectful confident engagement and persuasion will.

As for Paul Kavanagh, the Wee Ginger Dug is as equally impressive in voice, if not more so, as he is in written prose.

More power to his walking shoes, as well as his keyboard.

Trust

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Trust us old boy. Come on Jock, be a good sport about all of this. We wouldn’t dare try to deceive you, would we? After all, we love you, we adore you. Remember, we didn’t want you to leave us, we wanted you to ‘lead us.’

Honest. We only supported Cunningham’s late motion in parliament to put the kibosh on your first-past-the-post devolution in the seventies for your own good, you weren’t ready for the responsibility.

What good would have come from you knowing what Gavin McCrone wrote about your oil and the impact it would have had on your economy if you were you free of us? It would just have unsettled you.

We did you a favour when we redrew the maritime borders just before we eventually allowed you some semblance of devolution. We decided that we’d manage those resource rich waters to save you the bother. You should be thanking us.

More recently we vowed that if only you stayed with us that we’d deliver to you ‘the most powerful devolved government on the planet.’ Take it from us we’re working on that really hard. Ask our representative up there, the future Lord Haver of Havering, David Mundell. He’ll put your mind at ease. He’ll reassure you of our noble intentions.

Oh, and during the negotiations to tie up that little Smith circus into something parliament could work with a while back we were just about to mention that additional £7b you were due by right when that infernal chap Swinney brought it up first. It was in our notes, we can show you?

We also promised you that if you stayed with us we’d ensure that you would carry on gaining the advantage of being a member of the biggest free trade bloc on earth. Don’t worry, that will still happen as we plan to gallantly persuade 27 other countries that they should give us something for nothing, a better deal than they have themselves. We will convince Europe to give us preferential relationship simply because of who we are. No we’re not deluded, we’re British.

Bear in mind too that we managed to convince you that if you had left us in 2014 Europe wouldn’t have been at all keen to welcome you, (cough) and all of your resources.

Yes, I know we told you we would not trigger Article 50 to start the clock ticking on the end of our financial commitment to Europe, shooting ourselves in the head and endangering the annual £8b net gain generated from EU citizens working in Britain, until we had reached an arrangement on an exit strategy to the satisfaction of our component devolved governments. However It wasn’t our fault that someone cut the phone line to Edinburgh.

Now, down to the business in hand. We simply cannot understand why it is that you would question our intentions to do the right thing by you when it comes to the likes of fishing, farming, the environment and other powers soon to be returned from Brussels.

That really hurts. We’ve only ever had your best interests at heart.

It’s not as if we’ve ever tried to spin you a googly before, or given you cause to doubt our word.

You are an ungrateful lot you Jocks. Just like India.