I have to say that it came as something of a shock to the system when the poster at the top of this blog dropped into my inbox. After just over half a century on this bedraggled planet of ours, this Town Hall meeting represents my first ever step into any kind of political fray. It is certainly one the more bizarre developments in what has become something of a bizarre life. It isn’t something I ever remotely envisaged. My CV hardly suggests a kilt wearing, flame headed Scottish Nationalist with a poster of William Wallace on the wall and ‘Flower of Scotland’ as a ringtone.
A undiagnosed dyslexic failure on the ‘Dunce’s Table’ in a god awful 60’s primary school in a Lancastrian mill village. A regular for the cane at a
. A near
drop out at Blackburn
Grammar School Magdalene College, .
A down the line hippy in Cambridge
before the 'BRICS' boom. A market trader residing in Moss Side in the time of The
Smiths. A Hillsborough survivor. An owner of a traditional dark satanic mill in
Author. Blogger. Drugs worker. Charity manager. A ‘White Settler’ and now,
against all sensible odds, a campaigner for Scottish Independence. Chuck in a
black wife and two mixed race sons and the bizarre picture is more or less
Why on earth and how on earth has my funny old existence reached a date with a podium in a Town Hall meeting in Lockerbie?
I guess a kind of tipping point arrived last year when I was driving along and the radio commentary of
2 was on the radio. To my utter surprise I found that I was rooting for a
Scottish win. How had that happened? The thing rolled around my head for a day
or two and I came to the realisation that I had never really felt English in
the first place. During all my youthful wanderings of the Scotland Third
World I never owned up to being English. Whenever I was asked, I
would say I was Scottish for reasons of pure pragmatism. Most of the time
people don’t like you when you say you are English, especially when they live
in a country where the British Empire once
ripped off anything that wasn’t bolted down. on the other hand is a
whole different story. People like the idea of Scotland . You only need to look at
the different experiences English and Scottish football fans have when they
attend a World Cup. The Jocks are welcomed with open arms whilst the English are
greeted by ranks of riot police and snarling Alsatians. Scotland
Did I feel like I was betraying something when I lied about my nationality? Not at all. I always felt Lancastrian, not English. And like most Lancastrians, I have always held a deep and abiding contempt for the
England to be found south of and this only deepened through the
Thatcher years. Birmingham
In my lifetime I have never found a single thing that I have considered to be good about being governed from
. The difference now is that I have had
15 years experience of being governed from a smaller city called London and believe me,
it is incomparably better. The prospect of being completely unaffiliated to the
Houses of Westminster and the City of Edinburgh
is a fine one indeed. I like the idea of being able to travel the world and not
have to lie about my nationality. I like the idea of suddenly being at arm’s
length from the nasty wars and gargantuan corporate crimes and the endless drip
feed of hatred towards immigrants and the poor. I like the idea of being a
citizen of a country with a semblance of decency. London
I just like the idea of being cut free of the money grubbing nastiness, nepotism and corruption of
All those Russian oligarchs are welcome to the place. London
They are welcome to every over priced brick.
All of this makes it oddly logical that I have accidentally signed on the dotted line to fight the good fight to cut
Scotland loose: I just wish they would redraw
the borders a hundred and fifty miles south of Gretna
Green so that millions of fellow Northerners might have the same
chance. Such is life. At least like me they will have the chance to emigrate.
I am certainly not the only Englishman to join the fray to create an Independent Scotland over the last few days. I reckon good old George Osborne has done exactly the same. I have never met our gallant Chancellor of the Exchequer and I can only guess at his inner motives. He strikes me as a man who is a Tory to the very core of his being. He seems like a man who would put his party before everything else. Well, apart from his bank account of course.
Bearing this in mind it seems almost inconceivable that deep down he doesn’t share my hopes for an Independent Scotland. For George this aspiration surely comes down to simple mathematics.
is home to 59
seats and right now, 41 of those seats are held by Labour MPs. Right now, just 1 of
those seats is held by a Tory MP. Right now the Tories in Westminster have 303 seats and Labour have
257. As we all know, this means the only way for the Tories to govern is a
coalition with the Liberal Democrats. Without those 41 Scottish Labour seats,
the Tories would be in Government on their own. Without those 41 Scottish seats,
it is all but inconceivable that there will ever again be a Labour Government
in Westminster . England
Now seriously. What is there not to like about such a dreamy scenario for good old George? Of course he’s going to like it. The prospect must keep him awake at night yearning for such an ultimate victory over the hated Reds.
But he has a problem of course. He is number two in the Conservative AND UNIONIST Party. And the Unionist bit is still supposed to count. Tories are hard wired to spout on endlessly about just how much they care about the
and how they would lay down their lives to defend it.
Why on earth should these public school types with their 2-1 degrees in PPE from
give a damn about places like Motherwell and Llanelli and Portadown? Of course
they don’t give a damn. The people who live in these places hate the Tories and
would have their fingernails pulled out before they would ever vote for them.
Life would be so much better and simpler if Thatcher's children could cut all of these
inconvenient Celts adrift and never have to think about them again. Oxford
But there is a big problem here for George and his cronies. No matter how much they might think such a thing, they cannot possibly ever say it. Not ever.
But George is nothing if not canny. After our First Minister, he is by some degree the most Machiavellian politician in the Realm and he knows only too well that there are many, many ways to skin a cat.
I figure he must have thought long and hard about how he could do his bit to swing a bunch of undecided votes into the ‘Yes’ camp without it being obvious. I can picture him with a crystal glass tumbler of ancient Scotch and a thoughtful expression on his face. And then a thin and cunning smile as the answer came to him.
I’ll hop on the train to Edinbugh and make a speech where I look every inch the old Etonian Grandee. And I will be flanked by lots of broad shouldered security guys. And I will give it to them straight. So you want the pound do you? Oh really? Well you know what, you can forget it. In this particular playground you are the little runty kid with the worn sleeves and snotty nose. In this particular playground I am the big kid and when I say jump, you jump. OK little man? Got that? And if you don’t jump when I tell you to jump I’m going to beat the living daylights out of you. I’m going to give you a jolly good thrashing. OK? Are we understood? Just remember your place little man…..
Think about it. Is there anything more perfectly tailored to rub millions of Scots up the wrong way? And are we seriously to believe that a politician as smart and streetwise as George Osborne would say such a thing without knowing exactly what the outcome would be? No chance. Not in a million years.
So George. Welcome to the fold. Here we are, two middle aged Oxbridge educated Englishmen doing our bit to win a ‘Yes’ majority in the Referendum. As the guy who was originally called Gideon with a proper public school background to go with
Magdalen College, ,
it seems only right and proper that you should be the one to stay under the
radar. As a lad from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Blackburn and Oxford Magdalene College,
, I am
more than happy to do the over the radar bit. And have no fear George, if we ever
re-draw the borders south, we’ll make sure that your Cambridge Cheshire
seat stays well and truly in .
We really don’t want England
thank you very much. Cheshire
In the spirit of partnership, here are a few ideas for future speeches you might want to deliver during your flying visits to
. Some new and exciting ideas to make the 'Better Together' campaign oh so appealing. Scotland
- Scottish couples will no longer be allowed to breed unless they engage the services of a chartered accountant to prove they have a joint disposable income of over £50,000 per annum.
- A new Scottish minimum wage will introduced whereby workers are paid an amount of 500 grammes of porridge oats per hour.
- Anyone planning to wear a kilt to a formal occasion must first pay a Kilt Tax Charge of £200 to HM Treasury and Customs.
- 20% of all revenues from Scottish oilfields will be paid into the Trust funds of nominated Public Schools in
- On attaining the age of 16, all Scottish youngsters must travel to the South East of England to live in dormitory accommodation and undertake 2 years of unpaid slave labour for Her Majesty’s Government in
. Jobs will
include drain cleaning and weeding the gardens of bond traders in the City of Westminster . You can deliver a
superb speech extolling the virtues of this proposed scheme which will become a
central pillar of the ‘Better Together’ campaign. You can point out to the
Scots how character building it will be for their youth to spend two years
scivvying for the good and the great of the South East of England and how
living on a ration of daily porridge oats will get them fit and rid them of
their acne. You can bring the speech to a rousing crescendo by promising that a
re-introduction slavery for all young Scots will make our treasured Union all
the stronger and kick start a new era of Empire. London
That should do the trick.
Keep up the good work George!
On a more serious note, please check out the link below for an article in today's Guardian which rubber stamps much of the 'Sanction' stuff that has appeared in this blog over recent months