The BBC dealt a further blow to Alex Salmond’s referendum hopes last Sunday night by revealing that conventional arithmetic no longer applies in Scotland.
“Fourth is the new first,” smirked David Dimbleby. “That makes UKIP the European election winners for North Britain, and if Alex doesn’t like it, he can complain to BBC Glasgow. Care to join me in a celebratory titter, Professor Curtice?”
As dancing erupted in the streets of Kensington, pasty-faced Danny Alexander emerged from hiding to confirm, “This is a shattering development for the separatists. Alex Salmond arrogantly assumes that the traditional system of counting is his personal property. But the truth is that, by daring to take its future into its own hands, Scotland is walking away from sensible sums and into a world where numbers mean only what Westminster says they mean.”
Entirely by coincidence, the UK Treasury backed up Mr Alexander’s view by releasing the latest cataclysmic figures on the costs of independence for him to stand in front of. These conclusively proved, through a lot of squiggles and arrows you wouldn’t understand, that upon separation the Scottish Government would need to create 17.8 entirely new public bodies for each man, woman and child in Scotland, and that this would make the whole silly project cost more money than there was in the entire universe.
Speaking for Labour, Johann Lamont, chief paper-clip organiser at the Scottish branch, didn’t know what to think, since no-one had given her a script and, anyway, there hadn’t been a debate yet. Her motor-mouth deputy Anas Sore-Ear was somewhat less reticent, telling slavering reporters, “Abandoning proper adding up is a move Labour have been advocating for years. It allows us to pool and share resources without drawing attention to there being bugger-all to dish out in the first place. Now boom and bust, far from being abolished, can co-exist simultaneously, depending on which dangerous ideologue is massaging the figures.”
Turning to the referendum before anyone could stop him, Mr Sore-Ear commented, “According to the new maths, 68% of Scottish electors now support anti-indy parties. Some of those parties have repugnant views, of course, and if they don’t shape up by 19 September we’ll be the first to condemn them. But basically independence is now down to just Alex, Nicola, that specky guy and a ragtag mob of abusive online scumbag tosser ne’er-do-wells. It’s all over bar the shouting, which fortunately is my speciality.”
The Tories issued a statement saying, “We don’t normally comment on arithmetical issues, since our personal assets tend to be weighed rather than counted, and we have staff to do that. As for UKIP, they are undoubtedly a squalid bunch of chancers, and there is 0% chance of us agreeing an electoral pact with them until it becomes greasily expedient. However, as far as the referendum goes, we like the parts of their name that say “UK” and “dependence Party”, and dislike only the part that says “In”. So we’re 89.473684% in agreement with them, which definitely warrants a few congratulatory tweets and, weather permitting, al fresco naked dancing round a burning sporran.”
In a Good Morning Scotland interview with Gary Robertson, who had spent the night poring over Ladybird books trying to find questions easy enough to answer, victorious UKIP MEP David Coburn asserted that 70% of our laws were made in Europe, although he couldn’t specify any, had only the haziest appreciation of the concept of “laws” and wasn’t entirely sure where Europe actually was. His appearance did, however, confirm a 33% increase in UKIP candidate categories, to include not just “racists, homophobes and fruitcakes” but also “grimacing buffoons”.
From a heavily guarded bunker in Little England, a UKIP spokesthing confirmed that the party’s 24 MEPs would be drawing 100% of their expenses and the bars of Brussels had better be prepared for some “roistering, rogering and regurgitating.” Turning up at the European Parliament every so often to hurl abuse at Herman van Rompuy would operate on a rota system, assuming at least a twenty-fourth of them remained sober enough to organise it.
There are sixteen weeks to go until the independence referendum. Under the old numerical system, that’s 112 days. Under the new one, eternity.