Scotland gets to make its decision this week as to whether it wants to consciously uncouple from England.
You can’t move through the British media without wading through images of Scots waving signs and banners and the smug, very-much-in-need-of-a-smack face of Alex Salmond.
Now, I’m mostly ignorant of current affairs due to my viewing being confined to CBeebies for the first 11 hours of my day after which it’s hard to adjust to anything that needs mental concentration. Newsnight is well beyond my capacity by 10.30pm. If it’s on it’s probably because I’ve fallen asleep during Mock The Week.
Yet still, the issue of Scotland has been unavoidable. I swear Salmond’s face appears on my retinas every time I close my eyes. I’ll be glad when Thursday’s over and it’s all done with. Especially as actually I really don’t care. I’ve only been to Scotland three times and I already had to take my passport the one time I flew. (It’s Scotland’s fault really that I’ve got such a hideous – ‘I’m clearly coming down with the flu’ – passport photo thanks to a last-minute realisation that I’d need a passport to get to Edinburgh…although as I never travel without looking like the walking dead it’s probably a fairly accurate representation.) Plus, if you hand over a Scottish £5 note in any shop in England you already get treated as though you’re trying to pay with Monoply money.
So, as I’ve not understood the deeper issues of Scottish independence it largely comes down to who I’d rather see lose: yes-I-really-would-like-to-punch-his-face- Salmond or the equally odious and probably already in charge of far too much ex-Bullingdon boys of Westminster. There’s always some satisfaction to seeing the smug bullies lose their trading cards in the playground.
However, should the Yes vote win there are some provisos I’d like seen to:
No more media pandering to Scotland. They had the Commonwealth Games this summer, the day after the focus of BBC1’s First World War commemorations came from Scotland too (possibly because the various liggers – sorry, VIPs and dignitaries – were there and couldn’t be arsed to leave the Games early/fly overnight to get back to London). It felt as though England was trying to convince Scotland that it was important, but in a move that felt shallow and came far too late.
The BBC weather no longer starts by focusing on Scotland, then running out of time for anything other than a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it account of England and Wales.
We also lose all CBeebies Scotland-based programmes The annoying Granny Murray has already been shunted to a pre-dawn slot, but I’d also like to lose Balamory (a surprisingly racially diverse island full of idiots), Nina and the Neurons, Woolly and Tig and Katie Morag (seriously, yawn).
Tunnocks Caramel Wafers don’t go up in price or become obsolete on English shelves.
We can still keep the Union Flag. Can you imagine the fuck up that would be the result of a new one designed by a media think tank today? If necessary we could just rub out the blue bits. But otherwise leave it at that.
And the National Anthem – we can keep that too. It’s a bit dirgey and no one knows anything after the first verse, but it’s also one of a handful of things I can sort-of play on the piano. Don’t take that away from me!
We can also still keep Andy Murray’s Wimbledon victory. 2013 was too precious to rub it out.
The Scots promise not to go all Braveheart on our arse. Putting a tick in a box really doesn’t compare with blood shed on a battlefield whilst wearing a skirt. Obviously, ticking a box is preferable – it’s nice to be in a society where independence can be argued about without civilians having to take to the streets arms with rocket launchers – but it doesn’t make you a hero. Especially if that box has just been ticked without bothering with the issues in a deeper way than quirky ice cream names*.
The playing of any and all bagpipes are confined to locations north of the Border. If champagne and Cornish pasties can be subject to geographical constraints then for the love of everyone’s eardrums can restrictions be placed on the pipes.
If any or all of these conditions are met then I’ll be happy for Scotland to have their independence. Although I fear that if they do vote Yes then it’s only going to be the start of all the talk and Salmond’s face will still be everywhere, looking smugger than ever. Surely there’s no way that can be a good thing.
If Scotland should vote No, however, then Salmond needs to go to Bonnie Prince Charlie’s cave to have a really hard think about thing, without EVER appearing on British TV again.
*Meanwhile, the ice cream question is a no-brainer. It would have to be Mintdependence over Butter Together. Dessert that leaves your breath minty-fresh rather than one that tastes like pure sugar and fat has got to be better.