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A Dream of Scottish Secession
Tuesday 9th September 2014

A year after the UK signed the Separation Agreement with Scotland, and two years after the Independence Referendum, negotiations between the two countries are dragging contentiously on. The remaining nations of newly dismembered Great Britain are in the painful throes of constitutional reorganization. Relations between Westminster and Edinburgh are chilly at best.

Nevertheless, Scotland's President, Alex Salmond, head of state as well as head of government, (and likely to hold power for at least five more years under the new constitution written by the SNP), is in an upbeat mood.

He has just returned from a triumphant foreign tour, during which he was greeted by adoring crowds in Barcelona, Corsica, Venice and Quebec. (His barring from San Sebastian by the Spanish government gratifyingly prompted riots throughout the Basque Country.) Salmond is now a bona fide international celebrity and beloved of secessionists everywhere. In the British Isles, his speeches to the Welsh assembly and to the Irish Dail proposing a Celtic Federation are front page news.

The trip has raised Salmond's spirits after some months of uncharacteristic gloom. For much of 2016 Salmond faced the most difficult challenge of his extraordinary career. The problem was not Scotland's exclusion for the time being from the EU and Nato, but its financial crisis. Those economic warnings from Better Together that played so badly with Scottish voters turned out to be true after all1.

Fortunately for President Salmond and his country's financial health, Scotland is not without wealthy and generous friends abroad.

There are friendship treaties in the pipeline with Venezuela and Iran. And the first formal State Visitor of the Salmond presidency on September 15, 2016 is none other Vladimir Putin himself.

It is actually a return visit. Salmond's second official state visit to another country as President was to Moscow. (The first was of course to Paris where he raised his glass to the "auld alliance" at dinner with a slightly nonplussed President Ségolène Royale.)

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amcdonald
September 19th, 2014
12:09 PM
The No won but it was a bloody good match!

amcdonald
September 18th, 2014
2:09 AM
Douglas Murray`s (etc) No article in the Spectator has at least one article by Suzanne Moore for Yes. Dan snow`s father-in-law has 96,000 acres in Scotland and Samantha Camerons stepdad has another great tranche. But it`s not about who owns the land is it! Ask the Russian, Chinese and Islamic oligarchs buying up London etc. With Cameron & co as keen salesman at the sales! I hope Suzanne Moore and Dame Viv are right. The Yes/No campaigning was a "festival of democracy". As Donald Rumsfeld might have put it " the known unknowns and the unknown knowns will all be known on Friday".

mcdonald6ee@btinternet.com
September 16th, 2014
2:09 PM
What`s with all the imagining the worst if Scotland votes Yes ? Dame Vivienne Westwood has an independent mind and supports Scottish independence. Dame Viv is right about english politicians ruining England. The No lot do sound "frightened and stupid" when asked to use their (lack of)intellect on this unknown. The Yes supporters haven`t been called kafirs and unbelievers by the No brigade but that`s the dependent-mind (as Martin Amis describes those loyal to Islamic ideology ). The No has no independent minds. It has Bob Geldof instead. Happy ideological `Morris Dancing` in the streets with him and Paul McBeatle on Friday ?

Anon Robb
September 11th, 2014
2:09 PM
Interesting allegory spoilt by my memory of Putin visiting Edinburgh in the summer of ’03. Apparently he also visited eight years prior as part of a trade delegation. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2003/jun/26/uk.russia Besides I like to think people from Lithgae arenae daft enough to invite the Russians armed forces into any putative country. Although admittedly current regimental organisation has little bearing on a hypothetical future Scotland, it is interesting to note ceremonial duties of the present day Royal Regiment of Scotland (which includes the Blackwatch) are undertaken by the Balaklava Company of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Alexander Shaw
September 10th, 2014
9:09 AM
Our poor Scotland! What is to become of you? If you welcome Russia to our islands, dare we think what will happen to England too? First Minister Salmond of Scotland now justifies his country’s political domination by Russia by characterising England as a ‘frustrated little satellite of Brussels.’ However, freed from the influence of its Scottish delegates in the post-split election of late 2016, the depleted UK parliament now ‘lurches to the right.’ A new government lead by Boris Johnson becomes genuinely bent on leaving the EU in order to gain what is now a moral as well as legal and sovereign high-ground. Brussels desperately try to hang on to the reduced UK, as it has become a new Cold War frontier. Caught between their increasingly desperate need to gain independence and the prospect of punishing trade embargoes from the continent, Lord Farage exclaims that “Britain will not be blackmailed and will defend the moral high-ground with napalm and child soldiers if necessary!” Foreign Minister Daniel Hannan, Lord Carswell of Clacton and Tony Blair present a cross-party proposal for amicable separation. By carving up a vast corner of depressed South East London, from Tower Hamlets to Ebbsfleet and ceding territory to every EU state equal to the value of what they will lose from the UK’s withdrawal as 100-year concessions, the depleted UK hope to bribe a majority on the EU’s Council of Ministers to let us go without a fight. This is blocked at first by Germany and France - and Boris Johnson accordingly punishes them by reducing their promised territory by twelve city blocks each (thirteen for France - just to spite them for inventing the type nationalism which blights us). As the Eastern EU become increasingly terrified of Russian uprisings in their own countries, however, many governments and wealthy individuals see the promise of protected sovereign territory in London as an appealing bolt-hole for themselves and their national resources in the event of a coup or an invasion. The ‘European Concession of Nations in London Act 2018’ is passed in exchange for England leaving the EU. Once the Commission’s running dogs have been purged from Whitehall, the UK resume largely uninhibited free-trade with the EU nations. The ECNL becomes the financial centre of the beleaguered continent and ENCL parent nations compete with one another to ensure that their concessions offer the best low-tax living and business environments in order that they can compete in the unbounded City. The ECNL’s economic strength and land value quickly surpasses that of The City itself and the vast gated community inspires Salmond to pacify the remaining Unionists in Scotland (many with prosperous businesses in England and irked by suggestions that pre-referendum opinion polls were manipulated by political interests), by creating an experimental British concession in Edinburgh. Putin rages that Salmond has given in to his electorate and allowed London to grab land from a Russian Ally. The Russian army surround the UK concession - the wealthiest neighbourhood in Scotland - which now has to be supplied by airlift. By now, everyone sees that the Separation was a bad idea from day one. An SNP bloke who Alexander Shaw made a bet with down the pub in 2014 loses a tenner.

Trevor Bailey
September 9th, 2014
7:09 PM
I laughed until I cried. Now I'm just crying.

Anonymous
September 9th, 2014
1:09 PM
All very plausible apart from the bit where Tony Blair apologises for something.

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