by Paul Kavanagh
Well it’s official. We’re all doooomed with lots of oohs and this time he means it. By 2030 Scotland will have a basket case economy and lower living standards than Rwanda, according to that modern Pvt Frazer of the Scottish diaspora, economist Douglas McWilliams. It may have been Rwanda or somewhere else equally byword-for-basket-case-ish, but I’d stopped listening by the first ooh in Dougie’s doom.
Doom McWilliams is the same person who in 2010 told us that we would be doomed unless Scotland “turns away from socialism”. To the best of my knowledge we’ve not actually tried socialism in Scotland, we’ve had the British Labour party and its assorted hangers on instead. Perhaps he’s vague on the distinction. But he’s an economist who likes to get quoted in the Telegraph after all, and political nuance isn’t his thing.
A couple of years ago Dougie warned that by 2050 Scotland would be a bankrupt shell of a theme-park and we’d struggle to pay for our tartan bobble hats to attract the tourists. We’d have no electricity, and we’d only be able to watch reruns of Para Handy on an old VHS tape as long as someone kept peddling the bicycle to power the generator.
Now Dougie, or should that be Doooougie, has upped the ante and added a few extra oohs to his prediction of doooom because he’s miffed we weren’t listening the last time. It’s all going to happen by 2030, and it’s even worse because this time he’s compared us with countries people would actually have heard of if they’d been paying attention. And this will not be a product of independence. We’re screwed anyway. So there.
Rampant hyperdoom inflation has set in, devaluing an already discredited currency even more. As an economist Dougie really ought to appreciate the dangers of doomflation. A 2010 Unionist doooom scare was worth the same as a doom scare with just two a single ooh back in the 1990s. Perhaps he could work out the exchange rate.
Nowadays the only way to get us to notice a doom scare is to give it so many ooooohs it becomes worryingly close to the sound of a chimpanzee having an orgasm. This is counter productive for the doom mongerer. Common decency prevents Sally Magnusson from reporting the story in case it inadvertently turns into a porn movie for the animals in Edinburgh Zoo.
Danatello Alexander, the Lib Dems’ wannabe Tory Mutant Ninja Turtle, leapt into the doom-mongering fray with his speech last week warning of all the terrible bad things that would happen if Scotland decided that the Union was past its bedtime. There will be temper tantrums and sulks and lots of foot stamping accompanied by cries of “it’s not fair”, “you don’t understand me,” and “but all the other Unions get to stay up late”.
Danny solemnly informed us that we’d be bankrupt because all UK debts would become ours. He knows a lot about paying for Westminster debts because he raided Scotland’s natural resources of 2 billion quid in the Lib Dem version of giving an apple to Conservative teacher George Osborne. But tragically Danatello will never become a proper Tory zombie mutant as zombies reproduce by sucking out the brains of their victims, and Danny’s brain was sucked out a long time ago.
There was a tear in the audience’s collective eye, at least those who hadn’t gone to sleep by this point, as Danny told the sad story of the little kiddies in Essex who put all their pocket money into a savings account with the HBOS branch in Southend on Sea. The Scottish taxpayer would become liable for paying for their sun-bed treatments and cosmetic dentistry when they reached college age. The cost of the photo shoots for their auditions to The Only Way Is Essex will by itself cost us more than an Edinburgh tram line.
We’d be thrown out of the EU too, because the French and Germans wouldn’t want to talk to us. It’s a well known fact that both those countries bend over backwards to act in England’s best interests and wouldn’t dream of using the end of the UK as a means to screw some concessions out of a notoriously Europhobe Westminster.
But it gets worse, said the Tory Mutant Ninja Turtle with the straight face of the terminally delusional, the very molecules that make up the oil in the North Sea would suddenly suffer a fit of quantum union resonance and disappear the second independence was declared. Scotland would be forced to ask Iceland for a bail-out, and the entire populace will be reduced to living on offcuts from the fish processing factory in Reykjavik.
But Danny’s as much a rank amateur in the doom stakes as he is as a government minister, more toom than doom. His tired old doom-scare only merited a yawn and convinced no one. There are t-shirt slogans which make more convincing arguments. If that’s the best that Westminster can do to save the Union they’d be as well announcing independence had already won and save us all a lot of bother.
Michael Forsyth, the last Tory Governor General of Scotland, presided over some doom when he watched the remnants of his party march off a cliff into electoral oblivion in 1997. He’d spent his entire political career predicting doom for Scotland, so it was only fair he got to witness some of his own.
Rumours persist that the famous UFO outbreak at Bonnybridge near Falkirk was in fact an abortive attempt from the Gove-Fox-yersel binary system to rescue Forsyth and take him to a planet far far away where Telegraph editorials are considered holy writ. But it was thwarted when the privatised space invasion fleet decided to close down branch operations in North Britain and relocate to Aldershot, causing massive redundancies amongst Little Green Men who’d confused the Central Belt with Orion’s Belt.
It was the final blow to the Conservatives’ hopes of recovery in Scotland, as beings from another planet were the only remaining demographic who’d vote for them. Not even David Mundell’s masterly impression of an Ewok could save the day.
Doom-meister Mikey was stirred from his crypt to comment on the oblivion that will face the Scottish Tories if leadership candidate Murdo Fraser gets his way and abolishes the party, apparently forgetting who it was who had consigned them to a doom laden oblivion in the first place. “It’s appeasement of Scottish nationalism!” Mikey screeched from his bat-cave, appalled by the very notion that Conservatives might take the views of the Scottish electorate into account.
But only up to a point. Murdo’s cunning plan is to abolish the Scottish Tories and replace them with the Scottish Tories. It’s a bit like giving a CalMac ferry a lick of paint and calling it a Luxury Freedom Cruise Liner. It’s still going to take you to the same destination, and you’ll still suffer bouts of projectile vomiting when the crossing gets rough. Crossings always get rough for Scotland when Captain Tory is in charge.
But the Tories can take heart. Name changes can be successful. Windscale was a by-word for toxic radioactive sludge, but then the name was changed and now Sellafield is a by-word for toxic radioactive sludge too.
Scottish Tories and the Union. Doooomed.