Dear Richard Branson, why would we take Necker Island to save Virgin Atlantic? – Susan Morrison

Scotland already has an abundance of islands so may not be impressed by Richard Branson's offer of Necker Island as collateral for a loan to help Virgin Atlantic (Picture: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)Scotland already has an abundance of islands so may not be impressed by Richard Branson's offer of Necker Island as collateral for a loan to help Virgin Atlantic (Picture: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Scotland already has an abundance of islands so may not be impressed by Richard Branson's offer of Necker Island as collateral for a loan to help Virgin Atlantic (Picture: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Sir Richard Branson’s idea to offer an island as collateral in exchange for a government loan to save Virgin Airlines has a flaw, writes Susan Morrison

So, Sir Richard Branson says if we lend him quite a lot of money to keep his airline flying, he’ll give us his island as collateral.

Well, Sir Dickie, that’s all very good and well, but if there is one thing we have in Scotland, it’s islands. Positively awash with them, we are, and most of them don’t get hit with typhoons with same regularity that Necker Island gets battered, so we are looking at upkeep costs here.

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Also, it’s all well and good you throwing islands about, but where are we going to keep it? You can’t just park an island in the Forth, you know. We don’t have the room.

We’re positively wall-to-wall with cruise ships parked up like those ‘for sale’ motorhomes that tend to clutter up the sides of Ferry Road and Leith Links. It’s like the B&Q car park on a wet bank holiday Friday out there.

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One of those big liners is bound to get a ticket sooner than later. You’re not telling me one of Edinburgh’s finest in the Parking Attendant Regiment isn’t planning a quick ticketing trip, even just for the bragging rights “Ah, so you got a skelp-new Rolls Royce booked, did ye? Check this oot, pal. A 44,000-tonne liner. MV Balmoral. Got her towed.”

You can’t dump Necker Island in the Forth. We’ve got enough trouble with people who don’t seem to be able to read the time properly and insist on making their way to Cramond Island as the tide is coming in.

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And no, you don’t have to be some old sea dog, wise in the ways of the ocean to spot the movement of the tides and waves. You read the big sign the council has thoughtfully put up and check your watch.

Personally, I have long been of the opinion that if you do find yourself stranded on Cramond Island as night falls because you were too dim to tell the time, you should remain a desert island twit until we deign to come and get you.

It’s also worth pointing out, for the benefit of the moronic, that lifeboats cost money. We should insist that the rescued be forced to exit through the gift shop on Hawes Pier, and don’t think you’ll just be buying some of those wee novelty erasers and a bag of boiled sweeties. We’re looking at you picking up some serious RNLI branded goods here, pal.

If we do get ourselves a nice Caribbean bolthole, just how are we going to get there? You can bet your bottom dollar that Richard isn’t going to start flinging free flights around any time soon.

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With the best will in the world, there’s no chance of Calmac starting a transatlantic service out of Oban. The coffee supply wouldn’t hold out, and there’s no way Morag in the galley would be able to batter out that number of egg and cress sarnies

No, Sir Richard, you got yourself an island and a cash-flow problem? I suggest you take yourself off to Cash Converters. I’m sure they’ll give you a fair price.

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