Martin Hannan: Scots will vote Yes, by George!

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About 20-odd years ago I had to visit London at least once a month, and on more than one of those visits I was told: “We don’t accept Scottish banknotes, guv.” On one occasion a shopkeeper actually took my Clydesdale tenner and sniffed it, so convinced was he that it was hookey money.

Eventually I gave in and started stockpiling English notes ahead of my sojourns in the south. I still do so, mostly out of habit.

Soon we can get our own back. Thanks to the pronouncements by the Tory, Labour and Liberal Democrat exchequer wallahs, we know that we are going to have a different kind of pound, or groat, or shilling – Bring Back the Bob! – after independence.

“Sorry, mate, we can’t take English money,” will be the cry across Scotland. And that will be very sad, because it will be the English people and businesses who will be put to inconvenience.

One other thing we now know – as I have always said, this referendum is going to get very nasty as perfidious Albion defends its self-interests. Respect? Forget it.

Paying one of his infrequent visits to Edinburgh, Chancellor George Osborne showed just how far into the gutter the Unionists will go to defeat the cause of Scottish independence.

With clan chief Cameron having tried to woo Scots to the No side, it had to be expected that there would be a Mutt and Jeff, good-cop-bad-cop routine with his sidekick, and George did not let us down. Ruling out a currency union showed just what Cameron, Osborne, Clegg and company really think about Scotland. They really do see us as a burden being borne by the English taxpayer, and utterly detest the fact Scotland remains a progressive nation while they wage open warfare on the poor.

As for Ed Balls, the man is simply beneath contempt. He couldn’t wait to jump into bed with the Tories, and him and his sleekit boss Miliband have shown their true colours – when it comes to the post-referendum debate, the Scots can go hang themselves, whether the vote is Yes or No.

Extra powers for the Scottish Parliament? Not one of the Unionist leaders has made any such pledge. The only way to guarantee them is to vote Yes.

A Labourite friend of mine had been swithering about voting Yes. Having watched Balls ally himself to the Tories and Lib Dems, his reaction was definite: “As soon as my stomach stops churning, I’m off to buy a Yes campaign badge.”

As an SNP member, I am actually delighted that this issue of the currency is now apparently settled as far as the No camp is concerned.

Now we can go the whole hog as an independent country.

Have our own coinage, get the border posts built, have our own passports and driving licences.

Stuff the European Union – let’s declare a 200-mile fishing limit as we legally could do and scupper all those EU treaties. Maybe we could legalise cannabis and make a fortune, just as some states of the USA are doing.

Or else we can take the sensible suggestions made by the Scottish Government and negotiate a proper settlement after the Yes vote which is now a bit surer after Osborne’s trip north.

A wonderful pal, but barking mad

A COUPLE of months ago, we let a Jack Russell terrier called Hamish into our lives. Since then, those lives have been turned upside down by a pooch with the constitution of an ox.

He must have that, because so far he has eaten the following and survived: pens, pencils, pants, shoes, slippers, baskets, computer cables (not live!), cat poo, grass, leaves, and every form of foodstuff that he can swipe when we’re not looking.

He is a diabolical terror, but also the most sociable and affectionate pup you could ever meet. And yes, we love him. Who wouldn’t?

Hatred is your issue, Doctor

What the referendum debate can do without is the ludicrous nonsense peddled by Dr Michael Kelly, the former Labour lord provost of Glasgow who is only to happy to cuddle up to the Tories to defend the Union.

On Newsnight Scotland on Thursday, he claimed that “the core SNP detests England and everything about it”.

Well, as an SNP member I am deeply offended by this utterly false and baseless allegation that is not worthy of a former public servant of considerable standing.

Kelly is not a cretin, therefore we must conclude that it’s his hatred of the SNP which makes him spout outrageous lies. As they say in your city, Doctor, awa’ an bile yer heid, ya mug ye.

So folks, are we listening yet?

For years, housebuilders have complained about not being able to build estates on perfectly good land because the environmental experts warn of potential flooding.

Seeing all those dreadful scenes in the south of England recently, maybe, just maybe, we should trust the experts when they say floods are inevitable.