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Prospect of Boris as our leader is terrifying

BE afraid, be quite afraid.

Better still, be bewildered.

In Middle England, they're talking of Boris for Prime Minister again. It's on the front pages of their papers: "Boris fever". It's caused barely a ripple of interest here, yet it could have dire consequences for Scotland.

How odd it all is. You'd think we were talking about two different countries. And who'd have thought an old Etonian and Oxbridge boy could become leader of England and the Other Bits, or the UK as it is technically known?

As with other London mayors or aspirants to said sinecure, Mr Johnson of that ilk — known to all merely as Boris; he's their equivalent of our late Margo - knows nothing of Scottish economics, beyond deeming us subsidy junkies and a drain on the English taxpayer. Even some Scotch unionists now reluctantly concede this is incorrect.

But can their superiors south of the Border be talking seriously about having the tousle-haired Tory comedian for Prime Minister? Does Alistair Darling have a Plan B for that eventuality? Or indeed for taking us out of Europe, as Boris seems keen to do?

That said, I've a sneaking liking for Boris, as I have for many quintessentially English things. Even his mooted seat, Uxbridge, sounds like something from a PG Wodehouse novel, though I'm probably conflating Boris's Bertie Wooster schtick with Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge, a scheming character from different Wodehouse novels. And I accept that, while we're considering characters from Wodehouse, it would be invidious to see certain anti-European parties as anything like Roderick Spode's Black Shorts.

That'll be the same Wodehouse, by the way, who coined the much recycled phrase "It is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine". Good old Wodehouse. Love him to bits. Talked routinely about Britain as England. Product of his time. Entirely forgivable. Cough-cough.

But there couldn't be a more un-Scottish leader of Britannia than Boris. It'll make David Cameron look like Angus Og. Not that by "un-Scottish" I mean any slur. Indeed, after events earlier this week, it might even qualify as praise.

On Tuesday evening, many of you will have tuned in to your television sets for an event hotly anticipated by the whole nation. I speak, of course, about the clash between Rangers and Hibs in the Petrofac Training Cup.

I watched on BBC Alba. Oddly, it mirrored the few toggling peeks I caught of an event on another channel, where Eck Athletic and Darling United competed for supremacy in the Vitol Referendum Challenge.

At Ibrox, Rangers fans — Scottish people — sang Rule Britannia and God Save the Queen, and booed when Hibs fans retaliated with Flower of Scotland. Against the run of play, Rangers won, while at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, a defensive Eck was outdone by the gamesmanship and dirty tackling of a notably aggressive Darling.

I heard Scottish people cheering the idea that England/rUK would act vindictively against an independent Scotland over currency. And it wasn't only Scotland that got it in the neck. I heard Mr Darling describe Ireland and Iceland as "bust", whereas anyone who keeps up knows they've both bounced back admirably.

Why Icelanders and Irishmen don't take umbrage at this financially out-of-touch abuse is beyond me. But maybe they too were watching Rangers v Hibs. At half-time, I switched over to hear oil depicted as a curse rather than a blessing, and briefly saw Eckridge floundering in a puddle of facts he forgot to mention as he focused more on projecting a nicer, more laid-back personality.

It was a depressing night. Between the booing of Flower of Scotland and the gloating over potential setbacks for their own country, I started to think of the Scots: "What kind of people are these? Does any other country have an equivalent of this?"

Even Boris, as a straightforward Englishman, is preferable. I really can't see him as PM. It's all too daft. Even if he wins Uxbridge, it'll have echoes of singing Scottish comedian Tommy MacKay's line, adapted form Leonard Cohen: "First we take Lumphinnans."

I wish Boris well. But not in my backyard.

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