With just days to go until Scotland votes on the question of its secession, we don’t know yet if a divorce will be on the cards. Already, however, familial metaphors are much in evidence. A typically patronising English favourite appears to be likening Scotland to a spoiled and sulky teenager, stamping the feet and making all sorts of unreasonable demands, with the Better Together camp cast in the role of weak and indulgent parents; granting concession after concession when, really, a good skelp around the lugs is what’s called for.
In reality, a more fitting metaphor would be that of an abusive spouse finally pushing their battered partner to make the final, decisive break and demanding that long-needed divorce.
Divorces are rarely pleasant. I’m given to understand that along with bereavement and moving house it’s one of the most traumatic experiences one could imagine.
That said, often the big things – house, custody of children etc – are resolved relatively amicably. Depressingly frequently, things break down into bitter acrimony over the small stuff; things which, to an outsider, appear bafflingly inconsequential.
As an England-residing exile I feel sufficiently qualified, and in possession of the necessary objectivity, to guide my Celtic compatriots through the post-break up negotiations and division of spoils. I’m happy to leave the big stuff – the break-up of the Brit state, oil, banks, troops, Trident and so on – to the respective parties to resolve. But to avoid the danger of bitterness and acrimony wreaking havoc, I’m going to pay attention to those areas where sentiment, irrational attachment and emotional investment in seemingly unimportant things can do the most damage.
The Union flag
This one’s easy. The Brits are welcome to their blood-soaked ‘butcher’s apron.’ It’s an appalling symbol of everything that’s wrong with the UK and its unhealthy nostalgia for empire, invasion and conquest. Beloved of racists, toadying monarchists and Orange Lodges alike, Scotland will be more than happy to see the back of it. Besides, Scotland has the far sexier Saltire. Who needs the poxy Union flag?
In return, Scotland gets the Metallica CDs up to and including the ‘Live Shit: Binge and Purge’ set.
Hansen, despite an inarguably impressive career, sadly went native many, many moons ago. He’s an Englishman in (not-even-trying-to) disguise. From his infamous and unforgivable use of the word ‘we’ when discussing England’s World Cup prospects to telling what turned out to be possibly the greatest ever Man U side that they’d “… never win anything with kids,” he continually marries treason to ignorance.
The UK can keep him. Scotland gets the return of King Kenny of Dalglish.
The Welsh have suffered under Brit dominion for centuries, too. As fellow Celts, their sympathies and affinities lie with Scotland. As do Scotland’s with theirs. To strengthen the case, there are even those who argue that William Wallace was actually a Welshman. In no universe would it make any kind of sense to let the Brits keep Wales. Scotland should have Wales and if the Welsh then, quite rightly, decide not to be had by anyone but to go it alone, Scotland, obviously, would support that decision.
In the interests of fair play, Cameron and co can have the three-piece suite in the front room and King Jamie the Sixth and First’s shudder-inducing wedding present of Royal Doulton.
Tricky one, this. Although discovered by a Scot its usage is now world-wide and longstanding. A revolutionary chemical and medical breakthrough, penicillin can be added to electricity, the steam engine, television, the Bank of England (ho ho ho) and much much more in the enormous list of gifts Scotland has bequeathed to humanity.
But who’d want to see anyone die from lack of access to the miracle stuff?
Joint-custody is really the only sensible option here.
The Brit state hates Muslims. Brit newspapers hate Muslims and a frightening proportion of the English working class would rather Tommy Robinson move in next door than Mr and Mrs Abbas. Islamophobia is a noxious joint UK-US creation and it thrives and grows like weeds in Englandshire.
Bizarrely, Scotland has a problem with religious sectarianism but virtually no Islamophobia. Its attitude toward other races, religions and creeds – notwithstanding the aforementioned and centuries-long Prod Orange oppression of Catholics – stands in welcome contrast to xenophobic and reactionary Britain.
So, Scotland gets the Muslims and agrees to give the UK, in return, Lorraine Kelly, the recipe for Pizza Crunch (sort those arteries out, Scotland) and never having to hear another bloody word about nineteen-sixty-fecking-six ever again.
Follow Harry on Twitter @HarryPaterson1