Scottish independence referendum: England has a secret weapon that might just be decisive – Susan Morrison

So we’re off to the voting booths again are we? Well, it's been months since the last jolly to the polls. I do hope we get a free pencil. We did during Covid.

Friday, 1st July 2022, 12:30 pm

This independence vote announcement seemed a little more restrained than the last one. Nicola had the air of a faintly disappointed head teacher telling the school that they had not performed well in the prelims and must try harder for the real exams coming up.

She sprang the date on us after my return from Leeds. It was a glorious drive. I clipped along nicely, stopping only to fill up the tank, thus doubling the value of my car.

Should point out, I don’t drive a tank, although there are times when I think one might come in handy for parking.

And yes, I find it difficult to drive these days without imagining a deeply disapproving Greta Thunberg materialising on the back seat to blame me for destroying the entire planet by choosing the car.

In my defence, there were no trains. There was a strike and everything heading south was cancelled because of a truck on the line. Makes a change from the wrong sort of leaves.

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It was a beautiful drive, on a virtually empty road and in spectacularly lovely weather. Until I hit the Border.

Sunshine on Weymouth. Why can't Scotland's weather be more like England's? (Picture: Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

There was no warning. No slow rolling in of clouds, or the sweep of a sea haar. The minute I crossed the line I drove into dark skies, pouring rain and a howling gale. It was ‘Welcome to Scotland. Sunscreen Not Required.’

Sunshine in the rear view mirror, windscreen wipers on overtime ahead.

The English have captured summer. How did they do that? Have they perfected some sort of weather-manipulating technology, probably bashed together using bits and pieces of junked Second World War radars, old Vulcan bombers and loads of left over Jubilee flags?

I tell you, if one party found that tech and promised the good people of Scotland just one fortnight a year of guaranteed blue skies and sunshine, next year’s vote would be theirs for the taking.