Politics: Independence: If we stick to the script we can keep the Indy gravy train rolling along

As promised, I’ve enclosed your starter packs for joining the Scottish Cabinet. In them you’ll find all you need, plus free samples of essential (but hand-squeezed) oils provided by one of our sponsors.

As you now know, the trick is to maintain the delicate balance of banging the drum for independence without, you know, getting ahead of ourselves. In the recent past we’ve been helped by the Covid; the Boris Johnson factor and good old Brexit (the gift that keeps on giving).

Nor will it have escaped your notice that the penchant of the Tories and Scottish Labour for electing roasters and trumpets as their leaders has kept the independence gravy train chugging along nicely. We’d strongly advise that you become word-perfect in the script.

You’ll also be sent advance copies of Jim Sillars’ new autobiography. Like Andrea in The Devil Wears Prada when she gets her hands on the new Harry Potter book before publication we have our own highly-placed sleepers in the publishing trade. We recommend that you read it thoroughly from cover to cover.

A lot of people under-estimate Sillars but you should be advised that he remains a clear and present danger to our joint project and he should only be approached with extreme caution. He genuinely believes in Scottish independence and has some perilous ideas on how it can be achieved in the short term. Basically, and without putting too fine a point on it, whatever he suggests, we do the opposite.

In our coalition discussions we touched on the informal concordat of reciprocity we’ve agreed with Boris Johnson to keep both of our projects on track. In short, this is how it works: he threatens more powers reserved to Westminster; we get Ian Blackford and Mhairi Black to shout and stamp their feet (you ought to see their expense claims for throat lozenges and new shoes) and we all get to show how much we’re standing up for Scotland.

Read more: There’s nothing radical about this tawdry SNP/Green carve-up

Certainly, the Covid remains for the time being the ideal means by which we continue to kick the independence can down the road. But we can’t keep going back to that well indefinitely.

However we’ve developed a very cordial entente with the Chinese (a great bunch of lads) which includes a science exchange fellowship where some of our top academics attend their universities and vice versa.

One of the wee Brucie bonuses of this scheme has emerged from our weekly cultural nights at Bute House. Basically, when some of our guests get howling with the Sake they start telling tales out of school. Thus we’ve been collecting intelligence on the ongoing experiments their scientists are still doing with the Pangolins to develop advanced DNA filtration techniques to make bigger fish and cows.

If I may be permitted to speak frankly here, there’ll be another lethal pandemic along in due course, and probably within the five-year referendum corridor we agreed. We’ll let you hear the surveillance tapes at the next policy meeting of the joint-party referendum committee.

Read more: The lies that defined Thatcher’s war on the miners are being told again

As you’ll have no doubt seen, we’ve purchased an old Winnebago for Mike and converted it into a sort of mobile Independence drop-in centre. Mike’s always wanted to try that North Coast 500 with Mrs Russell and, as he counts down towards his retirement we thought this would be a lovely way of killing two birds with one stone, as it were. There was just enough left out of that £600k – so they can’t say we haven’t been spending it on the campaign.

It’s only fair to forewarn you that you may be asked more about that £600k, so we’ve slotted you in for a meeting with Peter next week at the Emperor’s Suite in the Balmoral Hotel where he’ll provide you with a list of plausible excuses provided by our advisory executive. Peter will send you the limousine to pick you up. Feel free to bring your partners or significant others and we’ll make a weekend of it with spa treatments and foot rubs.

Here’s an extract from the brochure to whet your appetites: “Elegant and stylish, The Balmoral’s 167 rooms and 20 suites offer an invitation to experience and enjoy Scottish heritage. The design, as envisioned by Olga Polizzi, embodies the Scottish landscape, with a colour palette of blues and greys, bringing the country’s woodlands, heather-covered hills and lochs within the hotel’s walls. Many of the rooms add to the sublime sense of place with views out over Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat and the Old Town.” If I may so myself, their palettes are pure different class.

Also it takes a lot of time and effort – and no little financial outlay – to keep ensuring that enough people vote for Murdo Fraser and Alex Cole-Hamilton to keep them at Holyrood and make the rest of us look like towering statesmen.

The WhatsApp group all believe you can both provide stimulus in developing our new strategy for weaning ourselves off the old Scotland’s Oil argument without the Common Weal types going tonto. It’s important that we are seen to be doing this reluctantly and that all the folderols about net zero carbon emissions, footprints and energy efficiency (we’ll leave you to put them all in the right order) forced our hand. But we can still always use the McCrone Report.

Nor should you concern yourselves too much about the Joanna Cherry factor. We’ve almost completely neutralised her and Alba have hoovered up all the other malcontents so there’s now no opposition at all in the party. We’ll also consider your proposal to get a few of your colleagues onto the NEC by doing some jiggery-pokery with the Standing Orders.

Finally, you both enquired about Pensions advice. We’ve taken the liberty of booking you in for a couple of hours with our banking advisor, Mr Benny Higgins who’s promised to sort you out with a favourable party plan at competitive rates. And obviously we’ve got Charlotte Street Partners and the John Smith Centre for Adorable Leadership to provide jobs between elections to anyone who doesn’t make the lists. Ah, the treacherous tides of democracy, eh?

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.



The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992