Last month, my column shared some ideas for the SNP Indyref2 white paper.
There were some winning ideas which, without intervention from the UK Government, would undoubtedly lead to an independent Scotland happening. However, I need to be even-handed, and so what follows is my take on what the UK Government’s response will be.
First up, Boris Johnson needs a tagline to follow the fantastic work he has already delivered, which started with his Brexit bonanza. The best way to develop one is to hire an expensive PR consultancy which just happens to be owned by a major Tory donor.
After months of work, the catchphrase will be announced. Boris will waffle on about the role of jam, pork pies or Morris dancing in the UK economy, then proclaim his campaign to keep a unified UK will be run under the title: “Scotland’s Home in the Empire”. I’ll let you figure out the acronym.
Learning from the successes of the 2014 campaign, the primary efforts will begin just two months before the actual independence referendum vote. What you read here is, therefore, highly confidential.
An annual independence referendum?
The first promise made to the Scotch folk by Westminster will be to have our own monarch. To choose them, there will be a national competition, using a Pop Idol-style reality TV programme.
In a show of openness and inclusion, anyone from England will be allowed to apply to become the ruler of the Scotch nation. What a fantastic way to demonstrate that we are in control of our future.
In line with creating an open and fair approach to the role of a successful Scotland in the UK, there will be a new annual indyref. To ensure that there is a fair balance of those for and against moving forward, each referendum will have a 2% higher threshold than the one before.
These new promises to Scotland will be announced on Burns Night, in a poem written in Scotch but spoken in the Queen’s English to foster a sense of togetherness
The purpose of this isn’t to make it more difficult to become independent, it is to help the Scottish Government do a better job each year, thus raising their aspirations to perform better.
As well as an annual referendum, there will also be an annual promise made to Scotland. These new promises will be announced on Burns Night, in a poem written in Scotch but spoken in the Queen’s English to foster a sense of togetherness.
Special envoy Jacob Rees-Mogg
Most importantly, Scotland will be given a special envoy to the UK Government. As a result of his sterling work done in government, the only man for the job is Jacob Rees-Mogg, who may own land in Scotland anyway. Touring Scotland in a massive bus, he’ll engage with the Scotch people and help educate them on the benefits of the Union and why we are really just like each other.
In his role as special envoy, Rees-Mogg will develop a new Erasmus style programme. This will give young Scotch folk the chance to do a placement in England.
The “Plain English” programme will help kids learn about language, culture, and better place them to discover the role of the Scotch people in the UK. Each year, one of these lucky young people will be given a job working for the new Scottish monarch.
To help the Scotch people the Scottish parliament will be closed in due course. This will save money and time and help integration.
After this happens, Scotland will be split into four parliamentary seats, thus avoiding unnecessary voting and worry for the population. These will be the north-east Conservative and west coast Labour seats, with the east coast and Highlands changing every other five years.
A bold vision for the Scotch people
There is no doubt Scotland’s Home in the Empire will have major benefits to the people and economy of Scotland as a region in the UK. As a result of listening to the Scotch people, there will also be changes to the Barnett formula.
The funding mechanism will end in 2035, just in time for the Scottish people to realise the opportunities of oil and gas decommissioning in full. This, in turn, also means we will not have to worry about the issues that the broad shoulders of the UK have had to bear with income from oil and gas production.
This promise will allow Scotland to stand on its own two feet economically, as the economy transitions from the past.
There is no doubt that this bold vision will give the Scotch people what they need to thrive, become more educated and have hope for the future as part of a progressive Union for decades to come.
James Bream is general manager of Aberdeen-based Katoni Engineering and chair of DYW North East