Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Should auld acquaintance......

Just when Alex Salmond thought it could not get any better, Batman and Robin announced they were heading north.

With Great Britain within days of dumping the "Great" bit, David Cameron and Nick Clegg prepared to ride to the rescue - says the script. Out went Prime Ministers Questions and in came two tickets from King’s Cross as the scale of the impending disaster finally became apparent.

Until last Sunday, Scotland was where it has always been for the last 300 years: on the Westminster back burner. But two opinion polls have turned the eight days until the referendum into squeaky bum time squared. Now Dave, Nick and Ed Miliband are fighting for their own futures. 

If the Scots go their own way the Prime Minister, leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party, will have mislaid half its raison d’etre.  Ed will have mislaid his parliamentary majority north of Carlisle and Nick can only hope to be mislaid. 

The grand plan was to threaten the Scots with death and destruction if they dared quit. It was clearly drawn up by someone who has never been involved in an argument with an angry highlander - or lowlander for that matter.

After 300 years of getting the hump because of English indifference, a dose of extra bullying was judged to be the way to get them back in line.

What it actually did was apparently persuade those for whom voting was a pleasure deferred to plan to turn out.
There are now forecasts that eighty per cent of Scotland’s five million people could vote next Thursday.

The last time eighty per cent of the United Kingdom voted was back in the general election of 1951.

If Scotland do turn out and vote "yes" then there won’t be a fan big enough for all the odure heading in its direction. 

No sooner will the yes votes be in that serious calls will be made to abandon next year’s general election.

With Scotland out of the union, electing MPs north of the border for the 10 months left for the UK would be crazy.
Labour would immediately lose the 45-plus seats it occupies in Scotland giving the Tories a reasonable chance of power again.

But Dave, having lost the U out of UK - and already up against it over Europe - would be expected to fall on his sword, or Boris’s.

With just eight days left to save the union, the “no” campaign is now running around looking for a headless chicken to give it direction.

Gordon Brown has been disinterred as the only man who has ever travelled south to be trusted.

He is officially on the same team as Dave and Nick but even a blind man locked in the dungeons of Edinburgh Castle knows they can’t stand each other.

The Queen, who Alex has cannily booked for the new Scotland, is under pressure to interfere. But the Royal family didn’t get where it is today etc, etc and so the Queen is expected to keep schtum and keep holidaying in one of the bits of Scotland they still own.

And just when you thought it could not get any worse Nigel Farage announced he is going to hold a UKIP rally. The last time he crossed the River Tweed he was forced to take refuge in a pub - honestly! - to avoid his adoring Scottish fans.

Yesterday the “no” team signalled a last minute change in tack by promising everything but independence to the Scottish Parliament. Dave, Ed and Nick will lovebomb anyone unfortunate to be caught unawares and extra police will be on hand to protect their popularity.

Only now are those who have kept silent about independence started to realise that by next Friday they could be silent for ever.

South of the border politicians are too frit to spell out the implications for what will remain of the Kingdom.

As Rabbie Burns wrote:
“Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?”.