Dateline: sometime, somewhere in a different strand of the string theory universe
The referendum campaign became bleeding hot after the leader of the Effing party paid a magisterial visit to Scotland and made an emotional, heart-felt plea for Scots to ignore their heads, follow their hearts and stay within the UK. The impact was immediate and definitive, with a trainload of Labour MPs heading north, thus proving beyond all doubt the inevitability of the Law of Unintended Consequences.
As the trainload of MPs disembarked in Glasvegas looking somewhat bemused, disoriented and not a little dishevelled, the reason for their discomfiture became apparent. They had signed up to the 'Love Train' in the expectation of a novel and risqué variant of Michael Portillo's Great British Railway Journeys
. However, they gracefully masked their disappointment and joined the great democratic mass debate to save the Union, which led one commentator to opine that the sight of MPs mass-debating helped no-one to see the issues clearly. The myopic ones were in comradely cosiness with such stalwarts as the Orange Order and Nigel Farage, accompanied by a whimsical soundtrack of the Imperial March
from Star Wars
, which had thoughtfully been provided by concerned members of the opposing camp.
In the meantime, some supermarkets and department stores shared their certain intelligence derived from impeccable forecasts, and public-spiritedly warned voters of inevitable rising prices immediately after independence. Such was the accuracy of their forecasts that they were able to predict exactly which enterprises would be affected. However, other similar enterprises equally definitively countered that they had no plans to increase prices whether Scotland gained independence or not, prompting wildly optimistic speculation that inflation could now be declared a thing of the past.
Some observers ventured to suggest that market forces would ensure the survival of those enterprises who spurned the opportunity to raise their prices on the stroke of independence at the expense of those who saw the mere fact of independence as sufficient justification to raise prices. However, such views were brought into serious question by an explanation (rumoured to have been provided authoritatively by the astronomer royal) of why market forces would not operate in an independent Scotland.
To paraphrase an incredibly complex explanation that is beyond the wit and wisdom of the ordinary voter to comprehend, market forces in an independent Scotland would operate and apply in precisely the same way as light does in black holes, i.e. they wouldn't. Nor apparently would common sense and good governance apply in the black hole of an independent Scotland due to its unique position in the cosmos as a 'basket case' along with other luminaries like North Korea for example. This had the unfortunate consequence of leading credulous mass-debaters to accept fully that we were hurtling towards annihilation, or at best oblivion.
In the run-up to the now widely accepted end of days, Jim Murphy MP completed his Herculean feat of 100 towns in 100 days, despite the despicable efforts of hordes of anti-democratic zombies whose version of mature democratic debate was to administer a forced egg shampoo on the nice Mr Murphy. Sweeping aside the carnage inflicted on his endeavours, Mr Murphy completed his tour with his dignity intact but some nasty scratches from the impact of broken eggshells which he asked the UN to ban as weapons of mass destruction in order to avoid carnage at the polling stations.
That we were living in times of great signs and portents was amply demonstrated by the banks' miraculous recovery from the debacle of 2008 and the subsequent reinstatement of their legendary infallibility and truly stellar ability to predict the future with unerring accuracy. So much so that we all rushed home to prepare for 'The Great Depression', although no-one quite knew whether this was a re-make, a re-imagination or part two of a trilogy, but the new doctrine of financial sector infallibility was great comfort to some and no-one doubted that indeed something was, or could be, about to happen.
As the pace of the campaign gathered even more frenetic momentum, the chief secretary to the Treasury issued hourly bulletins from his tutors who were with him for the greater part of every day in which he promised a great many wonders. He was also able to proclaim an even greater number of newly discovered facts and consequences that had only just emerged from 'business', 'experts' and other impeccable sources that were clear warnings of the impending apocalypse for an independent Scotland.
However, at one crucial juncture he used the word 'pledge' as a guarantee of the many wonders promised, but when challenged on similar such pledges he had offered in the past, he left the stage crying and was never heard from again. There is no word of his current whereabouts, but then no-one apparently has enquired. Nor have there been any further sightings of a 1970's dinosaur that briefly re-appeared to seek retribution and a day of reckoning on big business. Some reports say that this was an abortive attempt to introduce a comedy turn to proceedings that had already lost all sense of perspective in the face of calamity and was, therefore, wholly inappropriate and irrelevant.
As the great day drew ever closer, the newly created post of astrologer royal said that it was clearly written in the stars that Scotland must not, should not, indeed could not
be an independent nation. The stars themselves, scrupulously observing purdah, declined to issue any direct comment but through intermediaries issued endorsements of one side or another from the carefully veiled anonymity of tax havens across the globe.
The people were becoming ever more anxious and demanding a sign. To the surprise of many and the joy of a small but perfectly formed number, relief was provided by Gorgeous George whose ministry from deepest West Yorkshire provided succour for the multitudes as he sermonised from beneath some natty headwear that he foretold would be worn by all those who loved the Union and sought solidarity.
Meanwhile, the intergalactic perspective was finally revealed by Mr Spock who on the eve of the poll revealed that he had been amongst us for many years as MP for somewhere in Berks. He issued an invitation for the world to join the United Federation of Planets but regrettably an independent Scotland would not be eligible to join, following the aforementioned advice allegedly from the astronomer royal.
The tide really began to swing towards the No camp as the BBC followed Mr Spock on national television to state that following a Yes vote, Dr Who would spontaneously regenerate thus depriving Scotland of its only representation on the High Council of Time Lords. Furthermore, a BBC spokesperson said, 'No assistants for the new Dr Who could ever hope to be from a basket case nation, so there.'
Buoyed by the intervention of Mr Spock, the astrologer royal emerged from a last-minute reading of the tarot cards to offer some brief respite for the Yes campaign. He said that there was absolutely no truth to the rumour that Scotland would be wiped out by the asteroid currently heading from deep space towards our latitudes. He could state categorically that the asteroid would miss earth just outside of the moon's orbit. No, the real danger was from the comet about to emerge from behind the sun. Observations of its path and trajectory would indicate that its impact was as close to a precision surgical strike as you could get and that an independent Scotland would be wiped from the face of the earth. There would thankfully be no collateral damage to the rest of the planet.
On the day of the vote, the Love Train MPs, who had remained in Scotland despite the carnage from so many quarters, had formed themselves into a choir whose moving rendition of Feelings
was a last ditch effort to persuade the die-hards who selfishly risked Armageddon for the people of Scotland.
In the small hours of 19 September, as the result of the vote was on a knife-edge, no-one could have foreseen the catastrophe that engulfed us. A giant sink hole opened under the rest of the UK, which like that other mighty civilisation of antiquity, Atlantis, sank beneath the waves. Scotland and Eire found themselves acting as lifeboat for our fellow citizens so that mercifully there was almost no loss of life. However, the sheer numbers involved meant that EU neighbours including France offered safe haven to the refugees of the catastrophe, although many refused to take citizenship of Scotland or any other EU country and have set up New UK in South Georgia with Nigel Farage as prime minister.
Scotland was, therefore, a de facto independent state since the rest of the UK no longer existed and so continued uninterrupted membership of EU, NATO and the UN. Shortly thereafter, both asteroid and comet miraculously vanished (although some foolishly doubt if they ever existed), market forces, common sense and good governance all made a welcome reappearance before finally, the lion lay down with the lamb and we all lived happily ever after. Amen.
New UK applying for entry to EU following a coup by blonde bombshell Boris… The French president and German chancellor taken to hospital after a suspected terror-motivated release of nitrous oxide at their bi-lateral meeting… Both leaders said to be recovering and in very
high spirits… updates to follow…