Hello, you’re through to Call Kaye …


By Bob Duncan
A few weeks ago, I was listening to Call Kaye on BBC Radio Scotland.  The subject for discussion was the launch of the ‘Friends of the Union’ as part of the Tory conference in Scotland. 

With the customary impartiality of BBC Scotland, listeners were asked to call in if they were friends of the union, and to explain just why they were feeling so friendly.

By this time of day, I was already enjoying my third mug of strength 5 coffee, so I felt reasonably up for the challenge.  After 15 minutes of listening to various reasons why Scotland was still too wee, too poor and too stupid to survive alone, I finally picked up the phone and dialled in.  The usual slightly bored researcher answered and took my name, location and number.

“And what would you like to say?”, she asked.

“I would like to state that I am a friend of the union, and explain why I will be an even better friend after independence”, I replied, a difficult feat when your tongue is so firmly embedded in your cheek.  Some sounds of typing were followed by a short pause, then “Thank you very much”, beep, beep, beep.

“Oh well”, I thought, “at least I tried” and went back to finish that third mug.  Before I could even reach for it the phone rang and I picked it up, slightly bemused by the possibility of getting a callback from the program.  Sure enough, I was talking to one of the show’s producers.

“Would you like to take part in the discussion?”, she asked. “Yes please, I replied. “You are third in the queue”, she responded.  Hold on.”

“Wow”, I thought, “It must be my Birthday”, realising suddenly that it actually was my Birthday and I had forgotten all about it.  Then my chance came to speak and I used my carefully rehearsed line, “Good Morning Kaye, I would like to state that I am a friend of the union, and that I will be an even better friend after independence”.

This seemed to throw her a little.  “Do you mean independence within the union “, she inquired, “some sort of Devo Max?”.

“No”, I replied, on a definite coffee-fuelled roll now, “I mean after we get a Yes vote in the referendum and become independent, I will be a much better friend to what remains of the union, England Wales and Northern Ireland that is, than I am at present.  That’s because the union won’t have power of attorney over Scotland, taking all of our income, and giving us back some pocket money.  We’ll all be much better friends once that has all passed.”

But now Kaye had the measure of me. “Ah, but don’t you think we will fall out during the negotiations over who gets to keep what?”

“Not at all”, I replied, “I’m sure that they will be conducted in a friendly atmosphere, as both sides have much to gain from this.”

“Well”, she interjected before I could finish, “you really are a very reasonable man, Bob. Goodbye”.

And I was left with more beeps – and no riposte! Don’t you just hate it when you have a great line, good enough to close down the opposition completely, then you don’t get the opportunity to use it.  This was one of those times.  I had overplayed my hand and was disconnected.

So this is going to be my chance to use that line.

Given the chance, what I would have said, was: “Kaye, do you remember when David Cameron came to Bute House a month ago and there was a big yellow map of Scotland on the wall behind Alex’s head?  A big yellow reminder of the majority and the mandate that the Scottish Government enjoyed.  A big fat yellow middle finger, right in the eye-line of the UK delegation.”

“Well, when they all meet up again after the Yes vote, and start to negotiate who gets the CD collection and who gets the kids, one thing is certain.  The room will be decked out with pretty pictures of the Clyde submarine base at Faslane.  Just in case anyone forgets that, at least for a while, we have all the nukes.”

“And that is the one factor that should ensure that EVERYONE is very reasonable indeed.”

Courtesy of http://hebtalk.blogspot.co.uk/