by Douglas Lindsay, with Dr Ian Shackleton, senior lecturer at the Glasgow School of Politics and Football
Better Together Look To Scoop Awards
In exciting news for Better Together, unnamed political pundits this week said that there was every possibility that the team behind Scotland's No Vote for September's referendum could be winners of the forthcoming Citizen Kane Economic Digest, Worst Political Campaign Of All Time award.
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'We're certainly doing everything in our power to make this the most disastrous political campaign that anyone has ever seen,' said Alistair Darling, Better Together's über-chief.
'Just when you think it can't get any worse, we think of new ways of plumbing the depths and sending confirmed No voters over to the other side. The SNP say that to achieve our true potential as a nation we need to be independent. We, at Better Together, are demonstrating true levels of greatness - in the field of political ineptitude - from a cross-border perspective.'
Although many seasoned observers, and friends of seasoned observers, had presumed that Better Together would struggle to get much worse than they'd already been, this week they brought out the big guns and showed those observers who's the boss.
In a little more than 72 hours:
• Darling caused uproar by accusing Alex Salmond of being the bastard child of the Satanic union of Kim Jong-Il and Eva Braun.
• The UK Treasury produced a document entitled Patronising Guide For Fat Scottish Pie-Junkies, giving step-by-step instructions on how to waste money, with the well-known L'Oréal strapline, slightly amended to: "Because you're stupid."
• Prime Minister David Cameron coerced President Obama into denouncing Scottish independence, with threats of a full-scale British invasion of the eastern seaboard of the United States.
• The campaign continued to roll out a never-ending troupe of scientists, political grandees and John Reid to issue dire warnings on just how catastrophically shit everything's going to be in Scotland should there be a Yes vote.
• Darling defended the No campaign booklet, Your Baby Could Die Between The Jaws Of A Zombie Nationalist, as presenting a positive message for the future of the UK.
'When the dust has settled on the campaign,' said Dr Ian Shackleton, of the Glasgow School of Economics and Football, when we spoke this morning, 'and the bodies of the damned are being shovelled into the council skip of unrecyclable, contaminated waste, this will be remembered, and taught in political classrooms for generations to come, as how not to run a campaign.
'Imagine Fred Goodwin, the captain of the Titanic, the guy in charge of health and safety at Chernobyl and one of the Muppets had got together to run a political campaign, then multiply it by Scotland versus Peru in '78, and you might get close to how atrocious this has been.'
With only 100 days to go before the vote, Big Gordon Brown is expected to attempt to make matters even worse for Better Together by joining the campaign full-time.
In a speech this morning to a group of babies in Dundee, he will tell them: 'Alex Salmond's ego is writing cheques his country can't cash.'
Other Referendum News From The Past Week
Friday 6th June:
A shock internal US Department of Defense report has revealed secret plans for an invasion of Scotland.
Sources close to unidentified officials in the department have confirmed that President Obama has ratified the report's findings, which would be implemented in the event of a Yes vote in September's referendum, and should David Cameron ask for US assistance in crushing the rebellious Scots. Illustrated with photographs of Lego figures storming across the border using the latest US military hardware, its writers predict that the Scots could be overwhelmed quickly, and that any fighting would be 'over by Christmas'.
The report quotes US intelligence sources as comparing Alex Salmond to former North Korean despot Kim Jong-Il, saying that he has the same determination to turn Scotland into a rogue state, with four million land mines laid across the border with England, and no food.
DoD insiders contend that any invasion should happen quickly, before the Scots become too entrenched in their isolation.
Further to this, the report states that any Scottish forces would be easily overcome as it is 'a nation of deep-fried-Irn-Bru-eating alcoholic drug addicts who would kill their own grandmother for a pie and Bovril.'
An SNP spokesperson denied that you could deep fry Irn Bru.
When asked about American invasion plans for Scotland, President Obama seemed to verify the reports when he said: 'I'll admit it. London came along with us when we crushed Iraq, the least we can do is repay the debt. So, if we have to, we'll crush Scotland. We crushed them before, when we beat them 5-1 in Florida in 2012, and we can crush them again.
'I'm a man of my word. I said when I first ran for this office that I'd close down Guantanamo Bay, and now, here I am, six years later, just letting everybody outta there. Scotland beware.'
It is believed that the invasion would start with the Americans securing the strategic port of Millport. The Scottish government are thought to be considering strengthening their forces in the Clyde Coast area as a precaution.
SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon said: 'He pulls a gun, you pull a knife. He puts one of your men in the hospital, you glass the bastard with a broken bottle. That's the Glasgow way.'
Wednesday 4th June:
The Institute for Fiscal Studies today revised its economic forecast for an independent Scotland.
A statement issued on behalf of the IFS began: 'iScotland would be completely and utterly f*cked, right from the off. We're looking at a South Sudan type situation here.
'If you're thinking of voting for independence, you're a douchebag. Forget it. I mean seriously, everybody's going to die if this happens. Fly, you fools! Or just vote no, and that'll save you having to fly in the first place.'
In a dual announcement, Easyjet said that in the event of a Yes vote, they would lay on more flights from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Aberdeen for September 19.
A Better Together spokesperson immediately hailed the findings of the IFS report, pointing to its integrity, honesty, and non-partisan wording.
Meanwhile, Yes campaign supporters marched in an orderly procession upon the headquarters of the IFS, carrying torches and pitchforks.
'Better Together just can't help themselves,' said Dr Shackleton. 'They insist that they'll be more positive, then some group or other produces a negative report based on UK government figures, and Alistair Darling can't say 'see, I told you it'd be shit' quickly enough.'
While the Yes campaign have routinely based financial projections for iScotland on the price of oil being $700/barrel for the next fifty years, the No campaign have used estimates which suggest barrels of oil will be going 2-for-1 in Lidl for 99p.
'The truth as ever,' said Shackleton, as he looked out over the golden spires of Glasgow from his 98th floor office in the new Ally McLeod Complex at the heart of the city's spice quarter, 'lies crushed and broken beneath the weight of mendacity and misrepresentation.'
Politicians, news programmes, political analysts, and friends of political analysts, have agreed to suspend the discussion on Scottish independence until after the summer to give everyone a break.