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The Shackleton Report: Issue 9

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

Rumours of SNP-Ukip alliance sweep Westminster

A secret Holyrood memo has revealed that shock discussions have taken place between the SNP and European earthquake specialists, Ukip, with a view to forming an unlikely alliance at next year's Westminster General Election, regardless of the outcome of the independence vote.

Prince Charles immediately compared it to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact that divvied up Eastern Europe before the start of World War II.

Political insiders believe that while the two parties might seem natural antagonists, they are joined by their feeling of alienation from Westminster and a shared vision of shaking up the system.

In the event of a No vote, they will work together towards Westminster granting Scotland another referendum within five years.

Should there be a Yes vote, the SNP would agree not to launch their expected insurrection to take back Berwick and the land around Carlisle, with Ukip agreeing to move Trident into English waters in the time it takes to float a nuclear submarine down the west coast.

'As Heroclidius once said,' says Dr Ian Shackleton, of the Glasgow School of Politics and Football, 'the enemy of my enemy's enemy is my friend's enemy. Both the SNP and Ukip dislike Westminster and they both rage against the traditional establishment.

"Ukip hate everyone except the English, while the SNP like everyone except the English, so in that sense by joining together they complete the circle. Yes, it's as uneasy an alliance as that between men and elves, but they'll still fancy their chances of taking down the walls of Mordor.'

Sensing the possibility of unrest amongst its grassroots support, the SNP leadership were quick to distance themselves from the rumours of this new political axis. 'Ukip are a party of reactionary, pie-eating, spunk-muppets, and we in the SNP do not break bread with such people,' said the friend of an unidentified party spokesperson.

Nigel Farage was unavailable for comment this morning as he was too busy spending time with ordinary people, downing flagons of finest ale for breakfast.

Dr Shackleton, however, is unsure of the likely benefits of the union, if it exists, for either party. 'What we're seeing with Ukip now,' he told me this morning, as we talked in his office on the 98th floor of the colossal Demetrius the Cynic Building at the heart of Glasgow's Latin Quarter, 'is a replica of the whole SDP brouhaha of the early 80s.

'Remember how that was going to change British politics? With Westminster's first past the post system, it would take a massive swing in any individual constituency for Ukip to win even a single seat. Perhaps Farage might get into Parliament, if he picks the right borough and has a pint individually with every voter between now and next May - and, of course, if those voters don't think he's a dick, and he doesn't die of alcohol poisoning - but that's it. Remember, today's earthquake is tomorrow's cholera epidemic. Essentially UKIP is a one-man vanity project.'

Suggestions from Labour and the Conservatives that therein lies the true similarity between the SNP and Ukip immediately resulted in the re-appearance of Nicola Sturgeon's nippy sweetie face on the campaign trail.

Other Referendum News From The Past Week

Wednesday May 21:

There was major headline news yesterday when the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland said something about the independence debate, although no one really paid that much attention, thereby rendering the major headline news instantly obsolete.

Addressing the Assembly in a kiosk at the far end of Portobello beach, Labour's Shadow Foreign Minister, Douglas Alexander - the last remaining member of the Church of Scotland under 50 - put the case for Scotland's Union with the rest of the United Kingdom, while a church minister of no fixed name stated that Scotland ought to be independent.

Since members of the Church of Scotland have vowed to be nice to each other for all of space/time, the other five attendees of the General Assembly then agreed to disagree and shook hands over a cucumber sandwich.

The Church of Scotland ran into unexpected controversy last week when it stated it would hold a service of reconciliation three days after September's vote, regardless of the result.

Many friends of political analysts thought the move condescending, others said that they were looking forward to the fight and that they would never speak to (insert Yes or No)-voting scum ever again, while an unidentified spokesperson for the Catholic Church issued a statement saying: 'Who gave those entitled, pompous wankers the monopoly on reconciliation?'

'These are tough times for the Church of Scotland,' says Dr Shackleton. 'Yes, the old are dying and not being replaced, and they're shedding members by the bucketload over the issue of gay ministers. But at the heart of it lies their central message; let's all be nice to each other.

'Seriously, it's just so 500 years ago. No one's nice to anyone any more. We're a nation of sociopathic, money-grabbing, YouTube-posting, Buckfast junkies, with a life expectancy of 57.'

A spokesperson for the Church passed away before he could reply to Dr Shackleton's comments.

'Some might say I'm being harsh,' continued Shackleton, 'but have you heard one ounce of humility or decency in this campaign? Have you heard one person say: 'Actually my opponent makes a good point, that's one thing we'll miss if we get our way'? Sneering, carping, petty point-scoring from both sides. Doesn't it just depress the crap out of you? Bugger this, I'm going for a doughnut.'

Later the Church of Scotland announced that it had done a deal with Burger King to give away free Double Whoppers with every baptism.

Saturday May 24:

A vision of Scotland covered in giant wind turbines, all of which stand idle, as barely a zephyr of wind crosses the country, was presented this morning, but it wasn't a page from science fiction.

The findings come from a new report by scientists at the Glasgow Institute of Special Science, which found that the amount of wind blowing across Scotland has reduced every year since 1993, with only one minor increase in 2001.

The paper, published in British Scientist Monthly, predicts that Scotland will be completely free of wind in just over five years, and that the £267 billion so far invested in wind farms will have been wasted.

'We all knew climate change would be devastating,' said Professor Malcolm Connery of the GISS, 'but our report shows just how destructive it can be. With weather patterns changing around the globe, it looks like the winds blowing across the Atlantic will head further south.

'Our extensive scientific modelling indicates that the north Atlantic will soon be completely still for an extended period, possibly lasting upwards of 5-6000 years. It's unlikely that Scotland will see any wind much after spring 2019. It doesn't look good for the north of England either.'

Alistair Darling, lead scaremonger for Better Together said: 'This leaves the entire edifice of the Yes campaign in tatters. Vote Yes and we all die in poverty, it's as simple as that.'

With no winds to blow weather systems across the nation, climatologists predict Scotland's weather will stay the same as it is on the day the last winds blow, predicted to be May 13 2019, for all time.

'You'd better hope the sun's shining,' said Professor Connery, 'but then, if it is, it'll never change, there'll be no wind to cool the air, and Scotland will turn into Western Sahara. Good luck with that.'

Political analysts, such as Dr Shackleton, are in no doubt the devastating effect the report will have on the SNP and the campaign for an independent Scotland.

'Alex Salmond has invested everything in green energy, with wind at the forefront. If we become independent and then the wind stops blowing, where will we be? Bankrupt, and literally powerless. With rUK looking on, and more than likely laughing, Scotland would be forced to look east. Putin would move in, and before you know it, Scotland would become just another beleaguered state of the Russian Federation.'

As we sat in his 98th floor office, the mood darkened and Shackleton finally cracked open the bottle of 60-year-old Macallan that he'd been saving for the end of times.

'With the Russians on England's doorstep, war is inevitable. For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kingdoms.'

The ice clinked in the glass, as dark clouds approached the city, moving ever so slowly on a breath of wind.

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