NIGEL Farage was in Scotland yesterday to launch the Ukip manifesto for the Scottish Parliament elections. During a quick fag break, the leader of the Kippers thought he might give the First Minister a courtesy call . . .
Farage: Good morning, Nicola. Is the weather always this cold in North Britain?
Sturgeon: Good morning to you, Nigel. It’s not so cold that we need hot air from England to warm us up. To what do I owe this interruption to my Lorne sausage and fried egg roll?
Farage: Firstly, let me say how much I envy the discipline of your SNP MPs and MSPs on Europe, they are a veritable Clone Army.
Sturgeon: That’s all very fascinating, Nigel, but I’ve an urgent appointment at Caffe Nero for my first caffeine hit of the day. What’s your point?
Farage: Yes, sorry, I’ll cut to the chase. As you’ll know I’ve spent all my professional life as a City trader and I like to think I can spot a deal when it floats up the Thames. This coming referendum result is on a knife edge and we’ve identified UK unity after the referendum as a key concern amongst voters. In short, using the referendum as a proxy war for your Indyref2 is spooking the electorate all over Britain.
Sturgeon: Your problem is my pleasure, Nigel. Anything more I can do for you?
Farage: Quite, here’s the deal: suspend Indyref2 for ten years and we’ll return to Scotland all the powers held by Brussels over agriculture, fishing and energy. We would also provide the Scottish Parliament with its share of the £50 million per day the UK sends to Brussels. That would allow the SNP to reverse the recent council cuts and avoid those £25m cuts in Lothian NHS.
Sturgeon: You don’t have the authority to make that deal?
Farage: Don’t worry about that. All members of the Leave campaign will sign, including Boris, who could be replacing Cameron in as little as a couple of months when the vote goes our way.
Farage: [Lights up another fag from the one about to go out] The Common Agricultural Policy means that food banks have replaced Greggs in the Scottish diet. The Common Fisheries Policy is costing Scotland £1.4 billion a year and lost you 100,000 jobs; European Energy Policy means Scotland can’t provide cheap energy to businesses and the energy poor; the Common Market population clearances were well under way in Scotland before Thatcher’s policies took effect. What is there to like about Europe, Nicola?
Sturgeon: Europe has brought employment rights to all and ECHR defends the human rights of all Scots against yous down south. We get nice fact-finding trips around Europe and . . .
Farage: Employment rights were there already and ECHR is already integrated into Scots Law. Cameron has rewarded your unconditional European loyalty with continued austerity. We are offering real power to change Scotland in exchange for a modest delay to your independence ambitions, a delay you actually want and need. It will keep you in power for another couple of terms. If you want to go your separate way after that we wont stop you – at least we will be outside the grip of Brussels and you can rejoin if you want.
Sturgeon: I’d never get that policy change past my colleagues.
Farage: If a well-disciplined Clone Army can be marched in one direction, Nicola, it can be marched in another.
Sturgeon: Hmm, where’s my bugle?
Farage: [Stubs out his third cigarette and goes inside for a rant.]
Bob could do a job in defence
Fool marks (pun intended) go to the police in Fife for using a cardboard copper to help slow traffic down for fear of drivers getting a speeding ticket.
Bob the Bobby, who is life size and in a high viz jacket apparently holding a speed camera, has been seen in Lundin Links and other Fife fast lanes. The result has been drivers slowing down before they realise they have been had. After an hour he is moved on.
Rumours that other applications, as stand-in defenders for Hearts or Hibs, or replacing MSPs in the chamber, would get better results have not yet been substantiated.
Scared Dave is taking a punt
Following on from last week’s nonsense about inter-rail passes no longer being available after we gain our freedom from the European Union, this week the Giant Raspberry has to go to the Prime Minister who has shown he is nothing other than a scaredy-cat.
Shelling out £9.3 million to send out a pamphlet to 27 million homes shows he is worried, seriously worried, that he is going to lose.
The In and Out campaigns are limited by law to raising and spending £7m, so David Cameron is loading the dice by giving his team an advantage with your money.
In most walks of life that’s normally called cheating.
Spread me another
It’s often said that the best way to avoid a hangover is to keep drinking, or that in the event that you take a rest to have the hair of the dog and start all over again. Well there’s a new hangover cure that I’m looking forward to trying made by craft brewers Innis & Gunn. It’s called Marm Ale and it’s the world’s first beer marmalade. I can’t wait to spread it on my toast, preferably heavily malted bread, before reaching for the real thing.