Kick Up The Tabloids

Danny Alexander in £53 a week protest

“That’s plent pocket money” claims his mum

Last month, when Danny Alexander presented the Government’s spending review to Parliament, one could feel support for Scottish independence from the rest of the UK was almost tangible. From the tip of Cornwall to Carlisle, people were shouting at their TV’s, “Why doesn’t he fuck off back to Scotland?”

Despite the fact that nobody in Scotland voted for this Government, it comes as a surprise to many of us that four members of the current Cabinet are Scottish.

There is Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, who earlier this year claimed he could live on £53 per week. Really? He works at the House of Commons and has offices in Westminster. If he drove to work, it would cost him £53 to park his car for two days. In other words, a parking meter in the City Westminster earns more in a day than benefit claimants do in a week. The only member of the cabinet who could conceivably live on £53 a week is Danny Alexander and that’s because he looks like he probably still lives with his Mum.

It is a Mantra of this Coalition Government that people should not be paid if they do not work. In that case, why pay Michael Moore to be Secretary of State for Scotland? What does he find to do all day?

Finally, Michael Gove. Whose idea was it to put education in the hands of a man who looks like he shouldn’t be allowed by law to be within a one-mile radius of a primary school? Gove’s policies suggest a near pathological hatred of the teaching profession. I’d like to think this was because he was bullied by his games master at the exclusive Robert Gordon’s College. If he was, he probably deserved it.

The reason this Government doesn’t care about education is that most of them went to public school. I read recently it actually costs more to send young people to borstal than to public school. Surely, in a time of public spending cuts, rather than sending young offenders to Polmont, there are plenty of public schools in Edinburgh where they could go. If it’s cheaper, why not send youngsters from Muirhouse with criminal tendencies to somewhere like Fettes? Tony Blair went to Fettes. I reckon if he’d gone to school with a bunch of glue-sniffers from Pilton who had set fire to the local police station, he’d have been a much more rounded human being as a result, and might have thought twice about fighting an illegal war in Iraq.

Stephen Fry went to Borstal, George Osborne went to public school. Which one appears to have had the better education? Stephen Fry was a member of the Footlights Revue at Cambridge. George Osborne was a member of the Bullingdon Club when he was at Oxford, whose activities mainly revolved around smashing up restaurants. I rest my case.

In the meantime, as we approach the Silly Season, not a day goes by without *The Scotsman* coming up with a new anti-independence scare story for its front page. This week it has been claimed we would have to pay an extra tax to drive cars over the border and that Scotland is also technically still at war with the USA as we didn’t sign the treaty at the end of the war of independence.

Recently we were told that if Scotland opts to keep Sterling as its currency after independence, that Scottish bank notes won’t be accepted in England. Has anyone ever tried spending Scottish money in England? I was in Brighton, in May, and the only cash I had on my person was £200 in Scottish banknotes. So many shops refused to take them, I decided to take them to the bank. I went into a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland to change them into Bank of England notes. And they refused to accept them. Finally, I managed to swap them for English notes at a branch of Nat West. No prizes for guessing who owns Nat West. That’s right. The Royal Bank of Scotland.

When I was in London recently I got talking to a Scot who’d lived there for over twenty years and was getting very agitated about the fact that he won’t be able to vote in the Referendum. “This is ridiculous,” he ranted “I was born in Scotland, I was educated in Scotland, I used to

pay taxes in Scotland, I’ve got family in Scotland. Of course I should get the vote. We’re

talking about the destiny of my nation here. We’re talking about the lives of five million

people. We’re talking about three hundred years of history. Of course I should get a vote. I deserve a vote. I demand a vote!”

“OK,” I said “So how would you vote ?”. “Oh,” he replied “I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it that much”