by Douglas Lindsay, with Dr Ian Shackleton, senior lecturer at the Glasgow School of Politics and Football
The war of words over Scottish independence increased this morning, with Alex Salmond stating that Scotland would look to claim its rightful percentage of the remnants of the Empire Formerly Known as British following a Yes vote in September's referendum.
There are currently 14 British Overseas Territories, including Bermuda, Pitcairn Islands and the Falklands Islands (officially known in Scotland as the Archie Gemmill Archipelago).
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'If they want us to take our percentage of the debt,' said Mr Salmond, talking to veteran interviewer John Humphrys on Radio 4's Today programme, 'then we want our percentage of the colonies. Whether we take, for example, the entire Cayman Islands, or whether we take a beach in Montserrat here and an ice sheet on Antarctica there, remains to be seen.'
An insider claimed that a friend of an unnamed Westminster source stated that if Salmond wanted to argue over islands, then Shetland, Orkney and Cumbrae were on the agenda.
In what many analysts are seeing as a ramping up of tension, news channels were reporting that the one ship the Royal Navy has left was seen on 'routine' manoeuvres off the coast of Millport as recently as yesterday morning, with some reports suggesting that the Ritz Café was fired upon in a disagreement over the price of a double 99.
'The ownership of islands has been disputatious throughout human civilisation,' says Dr Ian Shackleton of the Glasgow School of Politics and Football, 'and you just need to look at what's happening now in the South China Sea to see the dangers involved and the potential for conflict.'
Speaking to me this morning from his office on the 98th floor of the splendid new Burj Caledonia at the heart of Glasgow's spice district, Dr Shackleton was in contemplative mood.
Sipping on his third cappuccino of the morning, while looking out over the golden turrets of the city, he continued: 'Usually it's not about the islands themselves, of course, but about oil and mineral rights in the surrounding area. In this case, however, it's clear that the SNP are after a decent beach where the water doesn't shrink your testicles to total invisibility, and there are no midges.'
Some political insiders believe the SNP are seeking finally to repair the damage of the Darien fiasco of the 1690s, which saw Scotland's previous bid to become a world power scuppered by disease, famine, English duplicity and attack from the Spanish. Others have suggested that downright stupidity played its part.
'It's a trade war, and this time Scotland thinks it's in a better position,' says Shackleton. 'Everyone hates England now. Just look at Hollywood movies, and Eurovision. Salmond sees this as his chance to start the new Scottish Empire that will one day rule the world.'
Insiders believe that plans are already afoot to open the first Scotmid on Antarctica, selling chips, Irn Bru and Tunnocks tea cakes.
Other Referendum News From The Past Week
Friday May 16:
The referendum debate was thrown into crisis today with the declaration by the House of Lords constitution committee that if the Scottish government seriously thought they would be completely independent by March 24 2016 following a Yes vote, 'they could prepare to get their arse handed to them'.
House of Lords experts reported that it was the strongest language used by one of the chamber's committees since the start of the Opium Wars in 1839.
Chair of the committee, Baroness Finklestein of Shepton Mallet, stated that the rest of the UK could not just lie down and be dictated to by the government in Scotland and that 'if it means we employ our usual negotiating tactic by bombing the crap out of Edinburgh, so be it'.
A spokesperson for the SNP reacted stoutly by stating that the House of Lords itself was 'an unconstitutional, unelected piece of geriatric pish,' and said they'd be writing a strongly worded letter on the subject to a variety of media outlets.
Analysts have described the exchange as a presage to war, with many fully expecting total armed revolt, bloodshed and many millions dead by the end of the year.
'Countries don't just vote for independence and off they go to the Hundred Acre Wood to live a happy life, devoid of struggle,' says Dr Shackleton.
'Countries are born out of war, terror, endless struggle, death and the occasional baffling offside decision. Let no man be mistaken; war is coming. And it won't be one of those nice wars you saw in a 1950s movie. Ice cream will be spilled, make no mistake.'
Other political analysts believe that Shackleton was using ice cream as a metaphor.
It is believed that both Westminster and Holyrood have sent constitutional experts to South Sudan in recent weeks to get tips on how to successfully break a country apart.
Wednesday May 14:
Despite continuing outrage from voters in Scotland that a poll paid for by the Cabinet Office Devolution Team has been buried, Westminster today again refused to reveal the poll's findings, leaving many to speculate that it shows support for the Union plummeting into a rancid, rat-infected abyss.
The poll by Ipsos Mori and paid for with money personally wrenched from the hands of starving Scottish children by millionaire, Eton-educated cabinet ministers, has begun to trend worldwide on social media, as the planet is gripped by the Scottish independence question.
As a sop to voters, analysts and crazy people on the internet, the Cabinet Office this morning released a poll of what people thought the Buried Poll is about.
• 51% think it shows the Yes vote soaring to at least 15 points higher than No
• 17% think it shows that Scottish people consider David Cameron to be a dick
• 16% believe there is no poll and that someone, somewhere is just making shit up
• 15% believe the poll shows Westminster is preparing the case that iScotland will need to be known as the Former United Caledonian Kingdom (FUCK) Scotland
• 1% think the Cabinet Office are refusing to release the poll out of modesty as it shows the Yes vote flatlining
Political analysts, such as Dr Shackleton, believe that the #PublishThePoll fiasco is causing nothing but damage for Better Together.
'It's been a total train wreck of a week for them. First we learn that Alistair Darling hasn't just been dropped from the Better Together team, but that he's been banished from the land and lent out on loan to the Government of Ukraine, and now this.
'This is a classic case of something minor - and remember, no matter its results, today's poll is tomorrow's cut-price ticket on a week-old chicken in Lidl - growing exponentially, entirely down to stupidity.'
Another poll in this morning's newspapers reveals that voters believe that there will be no end to the stupidity, regardless of the outcome of the vote.