Plane tickets and devo journeys

Many of Project Fear’s scare stories say nothing at all about Scotland as an independent state. They focus on the process of becoming independent – What currency will we use? Will the EU let us in? You’ll have to renegotiate every single treaty the UK ever signed. In an independent Scotland there will be crisis meeting after crisis meeting as we realise to our horror that we’re still at war with the Mughal Empire and the Emir of Zanzibar, we’ve not formally recognised the Greek royal family or unrecognised them after the Greeks got rid of them, and we’ll have to set up a special committee to deal with our failure to ratify the treaty determining the border between Alaska and Canada.

It’s a bit like warning someone not to take up an offer of a holiday in the sun because they might get held up in a queue at the airport. This is what is so crass about independence supporters being described as separatists, it’s like saying people only get married because they want a big piss up and a fight to break out between the best man’s girlfriend and the bridesmaid, followed by trip to the airport and a fortnight in Benidorm. They’re not getting married because they love one another and want to build a life, they’re just irresponsible airportists who want to cause arguments and unpleasantness for their own selfish reasons.

Travellers going via Alicsammin Domestos Airport will have forms to fill in, paperwork to complete, 10,000 treaty applications to make. Going to the independence airport will be worse than making an application for disability benefit, but thanks to Iain Duncan Smith only marginally. We’ll have to undergo an ATOS assessment and get a letter from our GP saying that the Westminster parliament is sick in the head and not fit for work. That will be the easy bit, you only have to look at Westminster to realise the institution passed the point of senility a very long time ago. You’ll need passports, copies of your grandparents’ birth certificates in triplicate, a signed declaration from a vet that your dog doesn’t have worms – and make sure you have translations available in Slovene, Estonian and Croatian or you won’t even get in the queue for check in. Anyway you’ll never get past security, not with that Spanish veto. You won’t even be allowed into Benidorm that’s just how little they think of you. And there’s the uncertainties, will there be more surcharges than Ryanair, can men pee in the airplane lavvy without spraying it all over their trouser leg?

Why bother with independence eh? Forget about all those dreams you had of a better life. It’s just big argument, a queue in the airport and piss stained trousers that you’re missing out on. Who wants that hassle anyway.

Instead of an independence day party that’s got a nation sized cake followed by an exciting life journey of independence adventures and making our own decisions about where we’re going, we’re promised a devolution journey. We don’t get to choose the destination, and there’s nothing on the road except a flattened hedgehog which Johann Lamont is trying to pass off as a radical new increase in tax raising powers for Scotland. The devolution road itself bears a suspicious resemblance to one of those wooden backdrops in Roadrunner cartoons which independence supporting Wile E Coyotes slam into at great speed – just in time for a Westminster gravy train to appear from nowhere and flatten them. Its a very old joke which has been repeating for decades, but it’s nowhere near as funny as a Roadrunner cartoon.

Yesterday Alistair Help Me Rona Carmichael proudly unveiled some new roadkill in the devolution highway. After a no vote, he wants everyone to get together for a cosy chat over some shortbread and scones about what devo rodents we can all agree on, and we’ll have none of that lip from Nicola. Then once we’ve decided that we’d quite like a small hamster, he’ll have a wee word with a Davie Cameron who will not want to appear to give anything away to the Scots after they’ve voted no and he’s got UKIP voters to woo so he can win a rapidly approaching General Election. They won’t stand for English taxpayers footing the bill for a Scottish subsidy hamster, so he’ll roll the hamster ball to a committee somewhere down a dark and dismal Commons corridor, where it will get flattened by a stampeding rush of Tory and Labour MPs. And that will be the end of the devolution journey until the next time Scotland can think of a way of forcing itself onto the Westminster political agenda by finding a rabbit to pull out of a hat again.

There is no devolution journey. There’s a game of snakes and ladders with the dice loaded against you. No ladders but snakes aplenty, and no end in sight. It keeps us passengers occupied while the Westminster drivers privatise the motorways.

We’re better off at the back of the bus with certainties you can trust, like the certainty that the CBI would be back to issuing warnings about the uncertainties of independence just as soon as they thought the upset over their registration as No supporters had died down. It’s only been a fortnight since they swore blind it was all a terrible misunderstanding, that’s how long they think your memory lasts. What do you imagine they think we’ll forget between now and whenever they get round to delivering devolution, or a high speed railway connection to Scotland.

And while the UK media is quickly back to pretending that the CBI’s interventions in the independence debate are entirely neutral and motivated by nothing but genuine concern for our well-being, they don’t want to cover the storm that’s brewing on the offscreen side of the BBC weather map. The National Union of Journalists is growing increasingly frustrated by the decision of BBC Scotland management not end the corporation’s management of the CBI. It’s almost as though journalists on newspapers don’t have any idea what’s happening with their fellow union members at Pacific Quay.

They can’t be reading Newsnet or Wings or Derek Bateman’s blogs either – apparently it was pressure from the NUJ which led to the decision to include the online media in the round up of the papers at the end of BBC2’s shortly-to-be-axed Newsnicht. Instead we’re getting a radical new change in direction from BBC Scotland news and current affairs. Something presented by a woman with a famous faither that’s going to have fitba in it. So like Reporting Scotland then, only later at night. Certainties that you can trust, just like the devolution journey and the CBI.

I’d rather get the first available plane ticket. There’s a flight leaving on the 18th of September from Independence International airport. Let’s go on a journey that we choose.



36 comments on “Plane tickets and devo journeys

  1. […] Plane tickets and devo journeys […]

  2. diabloandco says:


  3. […] Plane tickets and devo journeys. […]

  4. macart763M says:

    Westminster and Better Together have nothing left to say I want to hear. They had their chance.

    They’ve had almost three years to define a worthwhile future for Scotland within the UK system of governance. They’ve used that three years to tell me how singularly incapable I am of running my own affairs. They’ve used that three years to run down and smear our mandated and devolved government, almost half of the electorate and sow as much social division as they possibly could. In short they have used those three years not to encourage a closer binding of four countries but to belittle, denigrate and insult just one.

    This could have been and should have been a debate which would have made the UK stand out in the world of politics. Well its certainly done that, but not in the way anyone would wish to be remembered.

    I’m voting YES on September 18th. I’ll do so without anger or acrimony and I’ll do so knowing with absolute, 100% certainty we can do and be better than the governance we leave behind.

  5. Helena Brown says:

    An excellent post Paul, Better Together, no we have never been that. Those who say we are, are deeper in denial than an Egyptian Scuba Diver. I will be voting with my heart and my head in September and should there be a narrow No Vote I will be high tailing it out of here. I have spent most of my life planning the celebration for the day after the Vote and if these people win. there will be nothing left to fight for here. Thankfully I have no children to live with the mess, this was intentional. Was not long married in 1979 and saw no reason for hope after that, but given the perfect storm to be unleashed on all of us with a NO vote. I could not reconcile with anyone voting NO.

    • liz says:

      I’m with you on that one – I know some people will stay and fight on but I couldn’t bring myself to do it again.

      I will be completely ashamed of my country if we vote no – how will those people who sing Flower of Scotland at sports ever be able to do so again without the entire world rolling over and laughing.

      If it doesn’t happen this time, we will be a region of greater England and we will deserve no more.

      • setondene says:

        I’ll stay on and fight on. I won’t join the Flight of the Wild Geese. That’s what they want.

  6. bringiton says:

    Very good point Paul.
    Of course,the defenders of the union don’t want us to even start thinking about the possibilities that independence will bring….far too optimistic!
    No,keep us in the ‘we cannae dae it’ mode and we will continue along our bovine way,electing people to Westminster who will ensure that we remain subservient and that London continues to rule us.
    Scotland the Brave or Scotland the What…..that is the question.

  7. I’m almost getting fed up repeating myself Paul, but once again, brilliant. You, and the others you mention, are putting into words, very powerful words, what we are thinking, but don’t have your talents. While I was out over the last few days delivering the Yes newspaper, I wondered why we have to be running this campaign at all. Maybe it’s just me, but surely it’s a no-brainer to want to govern your own country? And yet, according to the opinion polls, which incidentally I think are underestimating the pro-independence vote, more than half of the people entitled to vote plan to give/keep control of our destiny at Westminster. These people are like “turkeys voting for Christmas”, as if a No vote triumphs the status-quo certainly wont apply, and the screw will be turned even more, especially if it’s Boris or David along with Nigel in 2015. I just don’t get it. While I’m quite happy to be doing my bit, why is it necessary? Are we so brainwashed we don’t think we can run our own country? Is this the result of us being told over three centuries that we are “too wee, too stupid and too poor”? I really hope that we will at long last stand up and be counted on the 18th, September, because if we don’t, Westminster will make sure it, an independence referendum, never, and I mean never, will be allowed to happen again.

  8. faolie says:

    Too right Paul, we’ll all be on that flight to sunnyland with you. At the other end of town however, there’ll be certain folks massing on the roof of Pacific Quay looking for helicopters to whisk them across the border like a scene from the fall of Saigon😉

  9. No No No...Yes says:

    Great post yet again, thanks. The first sentence says it all, “Many of Project Fear’s scare stories say nothing at all about Scotland as an independent state.” This is my main frustration. The people of Scotland are about to make the biggest political decision of their lives, and many of them will read the ballot paper and get a helluva surprise when they read the question,

    “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

    They have been misdirected, lied to and fed so much negative wind and piss under the sun, that the actual simplicity of the question and argument has been lost to them.

    We all need to get the focus back to the question in hand. Even the most ardent Blether Together campaigners answer YES to the question! When the question is answered in the affirmative, everything else falls into place. The Scots are a nation of thinkers, inventors, problem solvers and god knows, how we have overcome adversity to succeed throughout the years.

    A No answer should have an automatic follow up, “Why shouldn’t Scotland be an independent country.” There are many examples of similar sized nations who have prospered after independence, from Malta to those in the Commonwealth. Lets hear more about that side of the debate which cannot be argued against, unlike the countless experts and counter experts that are trotted out for the various aspects of currency, defence, etc etc..
    Keep up the good work.

  10. Eilean says:

    It is only anecdotal but reading the comments on various indi blogs I have come to the conclusion that a lot of indi supporters are a well traveled bunch. I wonder if the same can be true about unionists.

    I guess that we will never know but I would like to see some kind of survey that asked if the respondent had spent much time out of the UK. And No a fortnight spent in the “Union Jack Pub” in Benidorm eating full english breakfasts and fish and chips for tea disnae count.

    The old saying that “Travel broadens the mind” is so very true.

  11. Margaret W says:

    Spoke with a friend last night who has just returned from holiday in Malta.

    Everyone they spoke with was greatly interested in our referendum and without exception wished us well and hoped we vote yes, further many remarked how when they were advocating independence they went through the same scenario as we are find ourselves in, in as much as they were told they were too wee, too poor and too stupid to make a go of it, many also made the point that they did not have the assets nor the infrastructure that Scotland has to start off with

    Not one expressed regret nor would they wish to return to mother England

  12. […] Many of Project Fear's scare stories say nothing at all about Scotland as an independent state. They focus on the process of becoming independent – What currency will we use? Will the EU let us in?…  […]

  13. Devereux says:

    Had an interesting conversation with a No voter – you know, the one that says “oh but we can have the best of both worlds and get more powers.” How? “We just will.” I asked him how he will feel when he actually puts his cross on the No box on the day. He said ‘sad, with a heavy heart.’ Which rather begs the question WHAT ARE YOU THINKING! But I think this gets close to the undercurrent of anger simmering inside many No voters. They can’t hide behind Scottish and British and proud anymore. For the first time they have to choose. I will vote Yes with joy. Even if I am the only one in the whole country, I will never regret it. I am jumping on your plane Wee Dug – there may be turbulence up there but think of all the wonderful things we will miss if we stay on the ground.

  14. JGedd says:

    Connecting to your last post with all that wonderful Celtic music, wouldn’t it be marvellous to have the mother of all ceilidhs to mark our independence? When we have the hoose tae oorsels at last and can plan oor ain perties, invite the world, – all those fantastic musicians, Cape Breton fiddlers, pipers from all over the Celtic world, drummers from Africa and the Far East, Balinese gamelans …..Oh I’m getting carried away now. But wouldn’t it be a great way to celebrate independence? Get the world round for our party – but bring their ain cerry oot, mind!

  15. dennis mclaughlin says:

    aye ,all well and good but whit aboot oor duty frees wee ginger duggy?.

  16. YESGUY says:

    Eilean just popped over the listen and can’t stop my feet tapping and the big smug smile on my face is making my cheeks ache. Thanks for that. We have an ocean of talent in this country . That was outstanding and a shock to the old rocker in me.

    Paul your very good at this ya bugger . I never leave this site without a smile on my face and i often keep your site till last because it does so.

    Can i also say the comments are brilliant Macart , thanks for speaking for me there . spot on. I could name you all but it would take weeks and these old fingers are not as fast as they used to be. Thank you all .

    Bitter together will only get worse always the same……………. Oh you have to admit sometimes you wish you could fit their collective arses but we would be put down as nasty cybernats. bad bad cybernats . (oh i might be worth it. he he)

    And i will be having a wee party when we win the referendum and expect the hangover to last for days.

    (that tune “hold ” is like a stuck record in my head )

    away to listen to again.

  17. jjake says:

    One of the things about the modern world which I find to be really boring is the concept known as a bucket list. Being a miserable tosser, I prefer to have a f….k that list. At the top of my current list just above swimming with dolphins is waking up on the 19th of September to discover that I still live in the United Kingdom.

  18. FergusMac says:

    Aye, ah bidit in Sweden fir a the echties, an ah’m
    mairrit oan a Swedish lassie. Ah’ll be voting AYE, an ah’m gie shair she’ll dae the same. Skottland kan bli fritt igen!

  19. Paul….I think?
    I don’t want to be in the FIRST nation to repel an opportunity to govern itself.
    Forget Carmichael….the Libs are a busted flush.They’ll need to take some time out and re-group.
    BBC….CBI….Tory Mouth piece….Same thing….
    Any decent Pro Indy television programme might be binned. We’ll just have to be ready for it….

    • weegingerdug says:

      Aye, it’s Paul. Although I also answer to “ya baldy git” and “do you want this for free?”

      • Back hame, fae Coatbridge an’ aw’. No’ too far from me! Literally, miles from me but I always feel common sense should prevail and we’re in orbit with that compared to some….others.
        Thanks again for indulging me and helping me along….
        Hope you and your own have a good night.
        Need to go…five hours until alarm time! Damn Bloggosphere….

  20. Eilean says:

    Hey it is late. Heres an amusing short video of a wee dug enjoying itself. Sorry he isnae ginger. Oh! And where can I get one of those?

  21. IheartScotland says:

    All Aboard, All Aboard!!!!!!!!

  22. YESGUY says:


    That wee dug was brilliant thank you . Four of us in the house only me on the pc and all i can hear is aaawwww ,Turn round and it’s “put it back on …aaawww”

    magic thank you

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