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The Shackleton Report: Issue 14

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

Cameron considers moves to block Yes vote

Shockwaves were being felt throughout Scotland this morning as press reports indicated the existence of a leaked Downing Street memo which proves that enfeebled Prime Minister, David Cameron, reeling from the conviction of former aide, Andy Coulson, and his chastening defeat at the hands of his European partners, has discussed the possibility of reneging on the Edinburgh Agreement should the vote go in favour of an independent Scotland.

'Cameron looks weak,' said one friend of a source close to an aide to a Conservative party insider. 'His authority is almost gone, and now he's scrabbling around trying to find something to cling to. Scotland's such an easy bet.

'If they vote for independence, and he says no, it'll make him look strong. The Tories have nothing to lose north of the border anyway, and it'll play well with English voters, who have all come to hate Alex Salmond, even more than they hate Luis Suarez.'

Political commentators believe the move will prove especially successful with women voters hankering after a strong leader. Tory party insiders are believed to be advising the Prime Minister to buff up, so that he looks good in a series of topless beach shots over the summer.

'The guy's going to be hot, and he's going to crush the Scots. People are going to be looking at him and thinking, Oh my God, what did you eat for breakfast!? This past week is going to be history.'

The SNP were said to be outraged and disgusted. Reports indicated that Nicola Sturgeon was intending to appear on television looking stern.

'People might think it's a joke,' says Dr Ian Shackleton, of the Glasgow School of Politics and Football, 'but lawyers have argued from the very beginning that the Edinburgh Agreement was a political agreement, not a legal one.

'There is no strict basis in law that would allow Scotland to break free, even if it votes so to do. If it befits the Prime Minister to tell Scotland to jog on, and he's backed by a jingoistic press and a baying population, why should he give Scotland anything?'

Analysts believe that Cameron is also considering achieving his aims by making any conditions on Scottish independence so proscriptively unworkable that they never actually get to break away. These would include:

• as one of the four countries currently making up the UK, Scotland would be required to take on one quarter of the UK national debt, already a number so large it can only be communicated in adjectives

• Scotland would be entitled only to those assets which it held prior to the Acts of Union 1707

• Aberdeen would be declared a Free Port, and while rUK might not have access to tax revenue from oil money, neither would iScotland

• the English ambassador to Edinburgh would be able to invoke jus primae noctis

• all English landowners in Scotland would be encouraged to populate their land with sheep and send the human population to Canada by boat.

As he looks out over the golden spires of the city from his 98th floor office in the newly completed Kris Boyd Tower at the heart of the city's Saxon Quarter, Dr Shackleton is in contemplative mood.

Running his fingers through his long, flowing white beard, he added: 'Soon enough each side will come to regret the touchy-feely, lovefest Clause 30 of the Edinburgh Agreement. All that let's-be-nice-to-each-other-regardless-of-the-result schtick. Bad things will happen. The world of men will fall, and all will come to darkness.'

Other Referendum news from the past week

Friday June 27:

There was another decisive moment in the referendum campaign today when Ed Miliband once more defied orders from his mum and headed north to mingle with the rebellious Scots.

Accompanied by a crack team of bodyguards, several of whom used to be Ross Kemp, Mr Miliband took to the stage in the coffee shop in Waterstones on Princes Street to wild applause from Chantelle Buffett, 6, and her dad.

Mr Miliband promised that the Scots could be at the forefront of the drive to change Britain, after Labour had won the UK General Election in 2015. The current Labour leader did not make clear, however, who would be Prime Minister in the event of a victory for his party.

The notion that Mr Miliband himself might one day lead the country has been widely debunked by virtually everyone on earth. In a recent poll, when asked who they would like to be their next leader, Britons ranked Mr Miliband behind the shoe bomber, one of those Isis guys currently hacking a path through Iraq, and Sarah Palin. Only Tony Blair, current EU Middle East War Envoy, ranked beneath Mr Miliband in the poll.

'Scotland has always thought big,' said Mr Miliband. 'Stay with us and be part of the most amazing thing that's ever happened ever. Whatever that's going to be.'

Mr Miliband promised the whole of Scotland that if it stuck with the UK, then:

• Britain would rule the world

• everyone in Britain would have their own punkawallah

• women would have flat stomachs and pert boobs

• men would have six-packs and the sexual prowess of a lion

• Scotland would get to replay their game against Uruguay in the 1986 World Cup, although this time without Stevie Nichol

'If you thought this campaign was turning into a Kafkaesque horror show,' says Dr Shackleton, 'you'd be right. It's a recurring nightmare. One side issues a list of promises, which is immediately debunked by their opponents. Shortly afterwards, the other side promises everyone free sex and doughnuts, and the first side splutter into their single malt. There's literally no escape.'

Later, Mr Miliband went on a tour of primary schools in the Scottish capital, finally enrolling in a Primary 3 class at St Stephen's School For Boys. His mum said she'd pick him up by quarter past 4.

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