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The Shackleton Report: Issue 5

by Douglas Lindsay, with Dr Ian Shackleton, senior lecturer at the Glasgow School of Politics and Football

Panicking Better Together Make Pact With Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse

A strange feeling of Groundhog Day has settled over the campaign, news cycles inevitably melding into one another, the words and faces barely changing.

Business Leader A states that Scotland will be fine post-independence; the Yes campaign nod sagely while the No campaign mutter and grumble.

Business Leader B states that independence would be catastrophic; the Yes campaign ridicule, the No campaign praise his perceptiveness.

Day after endless day the public endures, as if walking through an arid desert beneath the baking sun of the politician's forced smile, Darling's eyebrows blending inexorably into Sturgeon's nippy sweetie grimace.

'It's all good for the Yes vote,' says Dr Ian Shackleton, of the Glasgow School of Politics and Football. Speaking to me this morning from his 98th floor office in the magnificent Empire Biscuit Building in the heart of the city's financial sector, Shackleton sees the tide of the campaign flowing only one way. 'It doesn't matter whether the story is for or against, it all serves to normalise the notion of Scottish independence, which is what this lengthy debate has been about.'

Now, while refusing to admit that they're starting to panic, news has emerged from Better Together that they have made a pact with The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse. After months of being accused of negative campaigning, it seems they are determined to finally embrace the label.

'See the Yes campaign,' Johann Lamont will tell a conference of businessmen later today in Brechin, 'They're consistently negative about the Union. That's fine apparently. But see as soon as we're negative about breaking up the Union, we're the bad guys. Well, if they think we're negative, we'll give them negative. It's about time we got biblical on their ass.'

While it's not thought that the Four Horsemen will be available to work on the campaign full time - due to other commitments in Ukraine, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and across the Levant - they will make several speeches warning of the dangers of independence over the coming weeks, and will act in an advisory capacity on negativity up until September 18.

'Is Britain all that Great?' Lamont will continue. 'Probably not. But it's more A Bit Shit Britain than Utterly Atrocious Britain. The people of Scotland need to be told that there is a vastly increased danger of death, war, pestilence and famine in the event of a Yes vote. Is it negative of me to say this? Maybe it is. Bite me.'

In the face of the No campaign's new approach, the First Minister was in belligerent mood, immediately accusing his opponents of bullying by seeking the support of four apocalyptic harbingers of the last judgment. 'These people don't even have a vote,' he said.

Other Referendum News From The Past Week

Saturday April 26:

The man in charge of the CBI in Scotland, although no one is entirely sure who that is, today admitted that the CBI's approach to Scottish independence had so far been made largely by consulting Chinese fortune cookies.

'The fortune cookies have been successful for us over the years,' said the unidentified man. 'Yes, admittedly there was the financial crash of 2008, which we didn't see coming.

'And we had Rangers pegged to win the Champions League three of the last four years, but those blips aside, we were pretty confident.'

The Yes campaign have watched with undisguised pleasure over the last couple of weeks as CBI Scotland have repeatedly shot the No campaign in the face, one public relations disaster piled on another.

However, political analysts, such as Dr Shackleton, believe the Yes campaign would do well do consider the CBI fiasco a cautionary tale, rather than a reason for celebration.

'Just remember,' said Shackleton, 'that the people at the centre of the CBI debacle, just like those running the hapless No campaign, are Scottish. These people will still be here, making a total arse of everything they touch, regardless of the outcome of the vote.'

CBI Scotland have confirmed that they will continue to make shit up as they go along for the foreseeable future.

Friday April 25:

The debate took an ominous twist this morning when a leaked Foreign & Commonwealth Office memo revealed a secret plan to offer Scotland to Russia in the event of a Yes vote.

The memo, written by a Whitehall mandarin, but signed off by Foreign Secretary, William Hague, outlines a strategy that would see Scotland handed over to the Russian Federation in the interim period following the vote, while the country remained part of the UK.

The FCO memo reveals that as soon as a Yes vote happens, approaches would be made to Russia, offering up Scotland in return for an end to Russian aggression in the east, against Poland, the Baltic states or even Germany. The UK would then use this as a bargaining chip within the EU, in order to put their membership on a more favourable footing.

'That's what this is all about,' said Shackleton. 'They don't care about Scotland, they never did. Most of them don't even know where it is. They've been looking for a Yes vote all along, which is why the No campaign has been so utterly shit. They're doing it on purpose.

'Now Putin's playing into the Tories' hands, and Cameron is going to tie it all together and use it as leverage within the EU, crushing Ukip in the process. With the Russian military on England's northern border, they'll have to bolster defences up there, spending huge amounts of money in the north, which will make the Tories a political force right across the country. This is Cameron's way of guaranteeing centuries of non-stop Tory rule in England. It's genius.'

Under the terms of the memo:

• Russia would have naval bases at Rosyth, Faslane, Aberdeen and Kinlochbervie

• The currency question would be cleared up by Scotland using the rouble

• The Scottish football team would be subsumed into Russia, ending years of Scottish football dominance

• Russian would replace Gaelic as the secondary language of road signs that virtually no one understands

Tuesday April 22

The debate exploded into life today with another intervention from everyone's favourite elephant in the room, Gordon Brown, as the former Prime Minister brought north the message that an independent Scotland would sink beneath the waves of a pensions crisis, and that every single Scottish man and woman would die poverty-stricken, broken and alone, living in a disused croft in the Campsie Fells, with an outside toilet and no wi-fi coverage.

The man who sold Britain's gold, and instigated the UK's pension crisis in the first place while plunging the country into trillions of pounds worth of debt, used all his experience of turning an economy into a train wreck to lecture Scotland on just how dreadful things could be without people like him in charge of their finances.

During the seven-hour speech to students at the University of Glasgow, Mr Brown outlined four steps that would see the Scottish economy crumble upon independence, as the nation fell into a burning pit, easy prey for the empire-building vultures of the modern world.

• After only one year the pensions bill will outstrip income from oil, wind farms, tourism and Tennent's by over £275billion (or over 10 trillion Scottish Imperial Shekels, as the currency will be by then)

• burdened with pensions debt, the Scottish government will introduce a ground-breaking forced euthanasia law, killing everyone over the age of 60

• despite ridding themselves of the pensions hindrance, it will be too late for the economy, which will already be like Greece multiplied by Iceland. Squared.

• Scotland will be bought over by China. China, in the ultimate act of consumerist revenge, will start getting 4 year-old Scottish children to manufacture cheap, plastic crap toys for the Chinese market

Dr Shackleton is in no doubt that Big Gordon's intervention will have a decisive effect on the electorate. 'Voters in general, and in particular those in Scotland, tend to live their lives largely in ignorance of political realities. What they need is for people like Big Gordon to tell them how to think. It always helps.'

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