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The Shackleton Report: Issue 6

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

With just over four months to go until polling day, Dr Ian Shackleton tackles the burning questions of the week, giving you, the voter, all the information you'll need to come to an informed choice.

Q: In the event of a Yes vote, will Scots still be able to watch Dr Who?

A: Of course. Indeed, it's thought that Stephen Moffat will insist on the production of Dr Who being moved full time to Glasgow, with Peter Capaldi and David Tennant rotating in the role of the Doctor for the next 50 years. Also, Sherlock will move to 221b Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, with Gerard Butler playing the lead.

Q: If there is a No vote, is it likely that Westminster would use the victory like Cumberland after Culloden, to crush the Scots, stripping them of their traditions and heritage?

A: Probably. A recently-leaked Westminster memo revealed that in the event of a No vote, Scots would be made to bow before David Cameron, or die. Many analysts predict that Westminster would sell Scotland to China to help pay off the current £1.7trillion UK national debt. The same analysts believe that if Scotland becomes independent it will quickly sink, and will sell itself to China. Either way, Scotland will soon be part of China.

Q: In the event of a Yes vote, what will happen to Berwick Rangers?

A: No one knows. However, the chances are that FIFA will stick their noses in and the Wee Gers will be forced from Scottish football. There's a rumour they could be parachuted into the English Championship, as that's generally considered the equivalent of Scotland's League Two.

Q: Did Alex Salmond really call Scotland a "nation of drunks"?

A: No one knows. As soon as the story broke and journalists tried to get hold of the tape of the interview, they found a 15-second section had been erased. The scandal quickly became known as DidSalmondCallScotlandANationOfDrunksGate, although the moniker failed to catch on.

Q: I'm thinking of going to Blackpool on holiday. Will I need a passport?

A: Go to Millport instead. It's closer, and the views of the nuclear power station are unparalleled.

Q: iScotland: Land of milk and honey, or boulevard of broken dreams?

A: Could go either way. In truth, it would likely end up somewhere in between. A bit pish, but not as bad as Somalia. Which is like most places really.

Q: If Westminster bloody-mindedly stick to their guns and don't allow iScotland use of the Pound, what is the SNP's current Plan B?

A: No one knows. However, a recent secret internal SNP memo revealed that they are considering plans to introduce the Scottish Imperial Shekel (SIS). There would be 100 Thingwies in 1 SIS.

Q: What will become of Trident in the event of a Yes vote?

A: No one knows. The SNP insist on its removal, but despite their denials, it might well become tied up in a deal involving currency, national debt, the BBC and Andy Murray. Or perhaps the SNP will hand the facility over to Russia as part of a deal with the First Minister's new BFF, Vladimir Putin.

Q: We've had contrasting assessments from S&P and Moody's. What is iScotland's credit rating likely to be?

A: Pick a letter of the alphabet and triple it, and you'll be as close as anyone else. Those people just make that shit up as they go along.

Q: Following his catastrophically inept handling of the Better Together campaign, will Alistair Darling ever work again?

A: Given that he's an entrenched part of the establishment with friends and contacts in the highest levels of politics and business, the chances are that his inadequacies will be swept under the carpet, like so many before him, and he will continue to make millions and die a rich, entitled man, while his countrymen live in squalor and despair. The next time you feel pity for him because he's so embarrassingly inept, don't.

Q: Are these politicians ever going to just stop talking?

A: No. Like the old question about a tree falling in a forest not making any noise if there's no one there to hear it, most politicians believe that unless they're on the television embracing the philosophy of verbal diarrhoea every night, no one knows they exist. Sadly, regardless of the outcome of the vote, none of them are shutting up any time soon.

Other Referendum News From The Past Week

Saturday May 3:

The tide turned dramatically in Scotland's referendum debate this week with the revelation that a new grassroots movement of millionaires in favour of the Union has suddenly appeared.

Millionaire businessman Malcolm McMalcolm wept openly in a video posted on the movement's new website, BordersAreForLosers.com.

'This is a difficult time for millionaires,' says Sir Malcolm, struggling to hold back the tears, before finally sobbing dramatically. 'There are so many of us whose wealth is based on the Union. It's time for millionaires to stand together and speak as one.'

While no one knows exactly how many millionaires there are in Scotland, Dr Shackleton believes that it's not so much the numbers that matter, but that they have at last chosen to speak.

'Most ordinary people are fed up with the campaign, fed up hearing from politicians and celebrities,' he told me this morning, as we spoke in his office on the 98th floor of the towering Burj Cullen Skink in the heart of the city's financial distract.

'They're even fed up hearing from ordinary people. What they've been waiting for is the input of millionaire businessmen, because that's the voice that really counts.'

On the website there are numerous videos of ordinary millionaires speaking about how much the union means to them, most of whom spontaneously cry at the suggestion of the Union breaking apart.

'This is a real grassroots movement,' says Sir Malcolm. 'We'd all been having conversations in our private members' clubs and on our Lear jets and in Cannes and the like, when suddenly we realised we were all saying the same thing. So I called up my pal Biffy in Verbier, and BordersAreForLosers.com was born.'

'Thank God the millionaires have spoken,' said one ordinary person in a street in Glasgow this morning. 'Now, at last, we know what to do.'

Wednesday April 30:

A leaked memo has revealed that leading Westminster-based, Labour Party Scots, such as Douglas Alexander, Big Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling, will all seek to play a significant political role in an independent Scotland in the event of a Yes vote.

The memo, written by a friend of a Labour Party insider, acknowledges that the current party in Scotland "is a total train wreck, by the way", and that there will be a major push to make Alexander the leader of Scottish Labour in the nation's first election after independence.

'Gradually the smoke begins to clear,' said Dr Shackleton. 'Until now we've been unsure what the Westminster Scots would do in the event of a Yes vote. Would they try to get an English seat and stay or would they come home? Alexander, for example, has been the UK's Foreign Secretary-in-waiting for some years now. Yet, he'll no longer be British, so how can he represent their government?'

The memo makes clear that the Scots will not be welcome in the UK parliament and will return home to tackle the SNP head on. Few political analysts are surprised that Alexander will be chosen to be the new face of Scottish Labour.

'He's young, he's gorgeous, and the rumour is that he's hung like a mammoth. Women love him. By 2016, Alex Salmond will have been First Minister for nine years. The voters will be like, enough already, just stop talking! Wee Douglas, on the other hand, will be a relative stranger.

Suddenly the SNP have a choice to make. Lose the referendum vote, thereby continuing the status quo; and with any Labour politician of quality - as well as Margaret Curran - going to Westminster, the SNP will be more or less guaranteed decades in charge of a devolved Holyrood government.

Or they win the referendum, and risk immediately losing power when the Labour big guns come home, and the electorate return to their Labour-voting roots. It's a tough call.'

Insiders believe that Salmond has already started a subversive campaign to get people to vote No. Having earlier this week praised Vladimir Putin and threatened the EU with Cod War II, he is expected to:

• make a speech in which he calls President Mugabe of Zimbabwe "my brother"

• sign a bilateral pact of "mutual support" with Syria's President Assad

• threaten to invest heavily in submarines and sink all EU fishing vessels anywhere in the world

• offer Boris Johnson the position of Mayor of Edinburgh.

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