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the Great Parliamentary Rationalisation Programme of 2024 finally dissolved the last vestiges of the old devolved outdated and impractical system of democracy lite government, the former Scottish Parliament building now part of a huge hotel and casino complex, had then twice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.