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Fear and loathing over independence but if we lose sterling, what on earth will we call Poundland?

JINGS!

Or perhaps that should be a double jings! I refer to our forthcoming referendum and the blitzkrieg of fear spread by the naysayers. If they are to be believed - and who am I to question them! - Scotia will not be allowed to become part of the EU, which many of those who are salivating at that thought do not want to be a member of onywae.

Meanwhile, Irn Broon has popped his heid above the parapet, telling wrinklies that come independence they can bid cheerie to their state pensions. I don't suppose this could be the same Mr Broon whose tenure as chancellor coincided with the worst recession in living memory and who, as Pee-Em, looked like a contestant on Mastermind who'd forgotten to recharge his brain ahead of the Inquisition.

Mortgages, too, we're told, are bound to rise when we can't forward demands for their payment to Westminster from where at present charity flows like the Thames into beleaguered folks' homes. Finally, there is the pound, which we're not going to be allowed to keep, says Porkie Osborne, because, well, because he says so. Verily, one's timbers are shaken.

ANENT - you know it makes sense! - the pound, I would not be sad to see it disappear, although of course I would if mine did and nothing appeared in its place.

I am sure I do not need to remind readers of this gently throbbing organ that in our history we have used other coinages. There was, for example, the pistole and the half-pistole, the testoon and the half-testoon, the unicorn and the half-unicorn. I dare say some readers are just about able to remember the glory days of the bawbee and the half-bawbee. When I was a lad in lederhosen, a half-bawbee was what we called an undersized (as opposed to an undercover) policeman. Were I emperor, which I may yet be, I would adopt the groat and its kin, including the half-groat, the auld groat, the mountain groat, etc. Indeed, the new governor of the bank of Scotia would be none other than John O'Groats.

BY spooky coincidence I note that Poundland is soon to float. This, I hasten to add, has nothing to do with the floods. In these straitened times, so-called budget shops are - as my buddies on the business pages like to scrieve - doing awfully well. Of course, come independence and the ditching of the pound, the impact on the nation's high streets will be profound. Poundland will then be known as Groatland, its rival Poundstretcher will be Groatstretcher. In short, it will be a boom time for sign writers. You read it here first.

DAVID Bowie has joined the Better Together campaign and some people are even suggesting he could lead it, in place of Alistair Dahling and Johann Lamentable. This surely adds spice to proceedings. I do wonder, though, what impact Mr Bowie may have.

In my experience, young people are unaware of the rock gods of yore. One to whom I spoke recently said he'd never heard of Leonard Cohen. Where in the name o' the wee man are they being educated? Having said that, I fondly recall lunching one day in the Doric in Edinburgh when I looked out the window and saw a crowd gathering in the street.

They were fans, the maitre d' informed me, of David Bowie, who was expected to attend an opening in a nearby gallery. In an act of uncommon charity, I approached the then editor of the Hootsmon, who was also dining chez Doric, and informed him of Mr Bowie's presence.

It might not be a bad idea, I said, to have a reporter and photographer on hand to record this event. The editor looked me up and down, studied his chop, sipped from his claret and, finally, spoke. "Who is David Bowie when he is at home?" he asked.

FEARFUL parents are stopping their weans playing sport because they're afraid they might get a dunt. Among the most dangerous sports are horse riding, rugby, swimming and hockey. This is, of course, an insult to ping-pong players, many of whom have faced disfigurement after being hit on the nose by a ball.

The same goes for those involved in badminton as I personally can attest, having been swatted on several occasions by a raquet. At my school you either played sport or were a sissy.

Our hero was Alf Tupper, who, on the same day, won an Olympic marathon, a Wimbledon final and the World Cup, all fuelled by a bottle of fizz and a fish supper. The only danger we faced was from our teachers, all of whom wanted to be Bill Shankly or Jock Stein.

One, who taught metalwork as well as PE, was not a forgiving fellow. When you'd not played well he waited until your next appearance in his class whereupon he invented some misdemeanour, such as the crossing of an invisible line, and thwacked you across the knuckles with a steel ruler. May I add that it never did me any harm.

LIKE the rest of the civilised world, the Home Secretary and I are addicted to House Of Cards, in which Kevin Spacey plays Frank Underwood, an evil fellow who is currently vice-president of the US.

In the new series, the plot involves a corrupt Chinese billionaire, which has caused consternation in China where fans of House Of Cards are legion.

Interestingly, however, no such consternation has been seen around the US.

This is despite the fact that Mr Underwood is a scheming charlatan, adulterer and murderer who will stop at nothing and stab anyone in the back on his way up the greasy pole.

What, if anything, this says about current attitudes to politicians in China and America I'm not sure. What I will say is that I would happily vote for Kevin Spacey.

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