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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

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"it costs us a fortune" is a highly dubious proposition, because the figures the govt publishes omit too many large sums that might change the conclusion.

The Irish believed that they subsidised the British, until independence: then they discovered it was the other way about. I doubt if anyone will really know the direction of the subsidy until Scotland becomes independent. My own policy is that Scotland should leave the UK, then leave the EU, and then offer England (but not Wales or Ireland) the chance to join it in The United Kingdom of Greater Scotland and thereby leave the EU itself. Howzat?

"The United Kingdom of Greater Scotland". Aye, very canny that one, DM.

I should stress, because it is not clear in my somewhat sardonic post above, that in reality I would be gutted if the Scots departed. We really are greater than the sum of our parts.

If the Scots go it alone, do you think we could get the Greeks as a substitute? The distance is an issue, but it's probably cheaper to Athens than Edinburgh by rail, and I think they still quite like us because of Byron. Some of them even wear kilts.

Good thinking, 'W', and think of the cheap holidays!

A new acronym: SWINE's

Scotland, Wales, Ireland (North East)

I wonder what the competitiveness differential is between England and each of the SWINE's under our single currency? Must be at least that of Jerry and the PIIGS. All swept under the carpet of fiscal transfer and exported public sector jobs to hide what would otherwise be rampant unemployment and failed states.

All England needs is a defence and foreign policy union with them; they can have their fiscal and financial control - give them central banks with their own currencies and treasuries.

Then watch the English pound rise majestically above all others, and we can have nice cheap holiday homes in the PIIGS and SWINE's again, to the eternal jealousy of the Frogs and Jerries.

SoD

David. That Lawrence is on something maybe the same as me. The 51st Scottish Highland Division saved England and the World.

Jimmy, the 51st was as gallant a bunch of soldiers as one could wish to salute so your slight excess of hyperbole is forgiven. 'SoD' is younger and brasher than you and I but in essence he has a point. That the land that produced Adam Smith should have sunk into the worst sort of socialist sink-hole is an irony which fails to raise a smile even on my irony-loving face. If Scotland became truly independent, and not just another fiefdom of the USE, then very rapidly it would revert to being a little economic tiger. What it needs is a good dram of reality! Merely to echange subventions from London for subventions from Brussels would be madness.

1st Airborne Division's my preference.

I remember doing an exercise on Salisbury plain. My company had spent a hard hour or so clearing some buildings of the enemy, and we were cleaning rifles and generally shaking out on a hillside overlooking the Ville.

Then out of nowhere a platoon from the Scottish para battalion appeared in the valley below. The platoon sergeant hollered up to us, "Is the village clear?" No-one answered, except for a few whispered "What the fuck did he say?" – a commentary on the near incomprehensible accent - and we continued absorbed in our weapon chores. He tried again, no answer.

Then, sniggering like naughty schoolboys, we watched the Sweaties live up to their name and clear the same Ville we'd done an hour before.

At the end, having completed the pointless job and realising so, the sergeant shouted "Cheers ya Sassenach cunts" to a rousing reply of, "No worries!", "Tootle pip!", "Been a pleasure!", in faux BBC accented tones.

Oh, those were the days.

SoD

David. Deep doon oor Mr Salmond is a bitter man and blames the English for all the ills in the world. Historically the world ends for him in 1314 when Mel Gibson was given a blow job by a four year old.

Must have missed that bit of Scottish history when I was at school, Jimmy!

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