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the battle for independence

John Swinney, our Yes Finance Minister, and Alistair Darling, the former Chancellor who says No, are to have a fight over North Sea oil revenues.

At least, it says so in the newspapers. There's to be a "clash". Which is good news since I am getting fed up with all this referendum talk. A bit of action will be a welcome diversion.

I hope there are no knives involved. Just a square go. Imagine Mr Swinney and Mr Darling punching each other up and down the Royal Mile, much in the way of John Wayne and Victor McLaglen in the Quiet Man movie. Pausing at Deacon Brodie's tavern for a pint and maybe at a bookie's to place a bet on the outcome of the fight.

There is Scottish historical precedent for a more violent solution to the independence dispute. The Battle of the Clans in Perth in 1396 was a 30-a-side encounter with bows and arrows, swords, targes, knives and axes between feuding Camerons and Mackintoshes. The result in terms of survivors was 11-1 for the Mackintoshes. David Cameron might be up for a rematch but against the Salmonds.

It would be a lot less bloody if Holyrood Education Minister Michael Russell just fights someone from the No camp in a playground after four, or whatever ridiculously early hour schools close these days. Or perhaps settle the argument with a spelling bee (in the Scots leid).

How about if representatives of the Yes and No camps are locked in separate debating chambers, each with a donkey. Whoever's donkey loses its hind legs first is the winner. Apparently, this phrase is not about asses getting legless. This phrase refers to the animal getting so bored standing around it sits down on its back legs.

But really, both sides should be building bridges. Stop the endless debates, get the hard hats on and go construct a new Forth crossing.

We could have a civil war but only if both side remain nice and courteous. No battles, just conflict resolution using empathy, creative response, and broad perspectives to change "power over" to "power with".

Mr Salmond and Mr Cameron might settle the matter over a game of poker. Eck will say: "I'll see your Barnet formula and raise you the Clyde Trident base."

The most elegant solution may be a game of paper, scissors, Stone of Destiny.

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