Siol nan Gaidheal
24 Hours that shook Scotland
A fantasy scenario concocted by one of our members....
24 Hours that shook Scotland.
This is a newspaper report by Rielly Dimwitted of the Daily Retard recounting the events of the most significant 24 Hours in Scottish History. He was privileged to be present throughout as these events unfolded.
9th May 2003
It is just a week now after the historic elections of the 2nd May 2003. The elections held no new surprises excepting for the upstart Scottish Independence Party which won 11 seats, 3 from the Tories, three each from Labour and the Lib-Dems and 2 from the SNP including the scalp of the Party Leader Mr Swinney. The Scottish Independence Party proved to be highly popular with its unfashionable anti European integration stance and its insistence on full Independence as soon as practicable. Their manifesto policies did have vast popular appeal and they might have done better had they more media exposure. They are extremely popular in the farming and fishing communities with their policies.
The Scottish Parliament has returned to the Mound and this morning is given over to swearing in the members. How this new session is going to turn out after the bitter fighting between Westminster and Holyrood over increased Fiscal Powers which has been simmering for two years now, no one knows, but it is likely that a fresh assault will be made on the bastions of power in Westminster for more Scottish autonomy. Mr Blair has carpeted Mr McLeish the First Minister of the last Parliament, he has been told to keep his Labour - Lib-Dems coalition under tight rein and there must be no repetition of the rebellions and squabbles which have marred the last year of the previous administration.
HOLYROOD 2.30 pm
It is now 2.30 pm on a bright, warm and sunny spring day. There have been rumours that something important is due to be announced. The Press Gallery is crammed with Scotland's finest newshounds. The television cameras from the BBC and Scottish Television are manned and ready to record the proceedings. Rumour Control says the word is out that Jeremy Paxman will be interviewing the four main Party Leaders later on this evening. Ah, something is happening, Mr Iain MacNeacail the leader of the Scottish Independence Party has walked over to the podium of the Presiding Officer, Sir David Steel. He has just handed over a bound document and is talking quite animatedly to him as if pressing some important point. Mr MacNeacail has returned to his seat while the Presiding Officer reads it.
The Presiding Officer is deciding on a point of order and calls for Mr Iain MacNeacail of the Scottish Independence Party to speak. 'Mr Presiding Officer, Right Honourable Members of this house, I am bringing forward the Scottish Parliament Proposal SIM0105 2003, which says 'That the democratic will of the Scottish People must be paramount, and as a Clear Majority of the Scottish Electorate namely 59.4% have voted for candidates who stand for Scottish Independence, I hereby ask this house to ratify this democratic majority by voting, either Yea or Nay for this proposition. That the Ancient Nation of Scotland hereby affirms its Independence and declares that the Union of Parliament Act of 1707 is dissolved'.
Mr David Steel, 'Does anybody second this proposal?'
Mrs Margo MacDonald (Leader of the SNP) 'I Second this proposal.'
Mr David Steel, 'Any other Seconders?'
Mr Tommy Sheridan, 'Count Me In!'
Mr Robin Harper (Green Party) 'Me too!'
Mr David McLetchie (Tory) 'Does this mean that we will be voting for a republic or will the status quo be maintained with Her Majesty as Head of Government?'
Mr Iain MacNeacail. 'I can assure Mr McLetchie and this House, that the future constitution of this country will be decided by a full referendum of the People of Scotland, as to their wishes in this matter. The Status Quo with regard to the Queen will be maintained until that time, when the People's will is known.'
Mr McLetchie, 'Thank you, that is what I wished to know.'
Mr David Steel, 'Will you all please cast your votes!'
The atmosphere in the house is electric, there is a real sense of history being created here in the Mound, what will the outcome of this vote be?
NEWS FLASH! 3.05 pm
There is pandemonium in the Public and Press Galleries, Mr David Steel, the Presiding Officer has just given us the result of the Vote 'For the Motion 91, against the motion 38, there are no abstentions.' The Pro Independence vote has been won by a landslide! Mr Steel is pounding his gavel, and shouting over the noise for silence. One of the TV Crews has just interrupted an interview with Mr Blair in Downing Street so that Jeremy Paxman in the TV vehicle can ask Mr Blair what he makes of the result, I can see the monitor screen from here, Mr Blair appears to be in some kind of catatonic shock, he is literally speechless! Ah, the Downing Street link has just been pulled in London. Mr Steel has restored order and is mopping his face with a large blue handkerchief.
This is incredible! It means that members of the Unionist parties have also voted for Independence, who can they be? Just a minute, Iain MacNeacail is standing and waving his Order Paper for silence, 'Mr Presiding Officer, in view of the momentous vote just taken, I move that we rise for an adjournment, so that all those who voted Aye can meet in the larger committee room with a view to forming a Government of National Unity.'
Mr David Steel. 'This parliament is adjourned pro tem!'
The MSP's have filed into the Committee Room and this may take some time. The TV Crews have told us that the Cabinet has been called to an emergency session at 10 Downing Street and that a press conference is being called for 5.30 pm, in just under two hours time.
NEWS FLASH! 4.20 pm
There is to be an announcement, one of the Press Liaison Officers is reading from a prepared statement. 'A Government of National Unity has been formed, with Mr Iain MacNeacail as Toiseach and Mrs Margo MacDonald as Deputy Toiseach. Some appointments have already been settled, Environment - Mr Robin Harper. Social Security - Mr Tommy Sheridan. Nationalisation of Railtrack in Scotland - Mr Dennis Canavan. Agriculture - Mr Struan Stevenson. Law and Justice - Mr James Wallace. There will be further statements as portfolios are allocated during the next few hours. The Toiseach is certainly not letting the grass grow under his feet, the Press gallery is agog as to what post Henry McLeish will be allocated, as leader of the labour group, it must be something important.
NEWS FLASH! 5.00 pm
Ah! the TV crews have linked through to Downing Street as Mr Blair and Alastair Campbell come out of the front door and walk up to the podium. Mr Blair speaks 'Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the midst of an unprecedented constitutional crisis. As you may already know, Scotland made a Unilateral Declaration of Independence this afternoon using as an excuse, the refusal to grant Fiscal powers to the Scottish Parliament. Accordingly I and a team of advisors are now going to fly up to Scotland so that we can negotiate with the Scottish Independence people to see if a compromise solution can be arranged to restore the status quo and secure our future in Europe. If we fail to reach a settlement then I will be forced to dissolve the Scottish Parliament and if necessary send in the Army to restore the rule of Westminster.'
NEWS FLASH! 5.10 pm
Our Colleagues on the staff of Radio nan Gaidheal are motioning us over to a headset. Two people are talking in one of the press briefing rooms and somewhere in that room is a live microphone. One of the techies reckons one of the voices is Henry McLeish and the other is the Toiseach. A techie is fiddling with the mixer board, that's better, we can hear more clearly now.
The Toiseach is saying 'Henry, you will be assisting Alex Salmond to recover the oilfields and Crown Estates appropriated by the British Government as 'Ex Regio Territories' and in particular I want you to get back the 6000 square miles of North Sea as you were the one responsible for its theft in the first place. You know where the skeletons are buried, Henry, and who better to dig them up than you as poacher turned gamekeeper.'
Henry replies, 'It will give me great pleasure to give that bunch of numpties the finger.' Ah! The sound of a mobile phone ringing, it is Henry McLeish answering it,
'No Prime Minister, I have come to my senses at long last, you have screwed Scotland into the ground for the last time...' No, Prime Minister, I WILL NOT declare this result null and void, the result is a genuinely democratic cross party consensus and Scotland is now Independent and as a democrat you should accept this fact!'...
'No Prime Minister I will NOT attend a special meeting of the Scottish Labour Party tonight, there is too much to organi...''Oh P*** Off! you W*****! You have always despised us Scots, you are Scottish yourself, yet you deny it.....Yes! Deny it! '....'Why don't you stick your head up your fundament where the sun never shines you A***hole!'
Sound of phone being switched off. The Toiseach is speaking
'Well, that's one way of burning your bridges I suppose. But you have made an implacable enemy in the process.'
Henry McLeish, 'I am sorry Toiseach, for losing my cool with that useless c***, but, I feel a lot better for telling him that, he's been hectoring me like some errant little boy for years.'
The Toiseach is speaking, 'I was very surprised that the majority of your Scottish Labour Group actually voted aye back then, why is that?' Mr McLeish. 'They are Scots first and Labourites second and blood is thicker than water, our land is being rogered by those useless English w******, our assets are being stolen daily and I suppose Blair's refusal to entertain Fiscal Autonomy was the straw that broke the camel's back.'
.....Sound of footsteps receding.
NEWS FLASH! 5.30 pm
TV Cameras at 10 Downing Street show Mr Blair and a large number of advisors being taken by limousine to RAF Northolt where an aircraft of the Queens Flight is sitting on the tarmac waiting for them. Mr Murgatroyde Smythe the political commentator of the BBC is about to make an announcement...'Hello Viewers, I have just been informed that Robin Cook, the Leader of the House is calling an emergency debate on the Scottish Independence crisis for 9 o'clock tonight. This is highly unusual, could there be moves afoot here we know nothing about?
NEWS FLASH! 5.55 pm
The spokesman for the Scottish Parliament or Dail nan Alba has just entered. 'Ladies and Gentlemen, The Toiseach has just taken a telephone call from Prime Minister Blair's car and he has requested that he be allowed to address the Dail. The Toiseach will be calling the first session of the Dail for 8.30 pm tonight to elect the Speaker and Depute Speakers. Extra press facilities will be made available and it is expected that Mr Blair will address the Dail no later than 10 pm as his aircraft will fly direct to Turnhouse and be taken from there by car.' An aide has just entered and handed the Press Officer a note.
NEWS FLASH! 6.00 pm
'Ladies and Gentlemen, The Toiseach has just received this telemessage from the Taoiseach of the Irish Republic. 'Let us be the very first to recognise the Independent State of Scotland, and to congratulate the people of Scotland on having the courage to throw off the yoke of their Anglo-Saxon oppressors and take their rightful place in the community of Nation States. We in Ireland extend the hand of friendship to the people of Scotland as one ancient Celtic people to another.' That is all.' There is pandemonium in the Press galleries as reporters try to get the news through to their papers.
NEWS FLASH! 6.12 pm
One moment! The TV Crews are switching to an outside broadcast van in Union Street, Aberdeen: 'This is Kirsty Walker reporting, there is pandemonium in Union Street this evening, tens of thousands of revellers are doing a conga down the centre of Union Street, and we have a report that one of Aberdeen's most popular howfs has run out of beer! Revellers have gathered round the statue of Sir William Wallace, and the crowd is singing 'Flower of Scotland!' over and over again. it must be the world's biggest street party ever!, now we go to George Square in Glasgow where Bill Weegieman is waiting, Bill are you there?' 'Aye Kirsty ah'm hearing you fine, well George Square is packed with singing and dancing folks, there's a couple of pipers dirling ma luggs so let's look at Sauchiehall Street and it too is thronged with partying revellers and everyone we have met has thoroughly let themselves go! so over now to Torquill Plummietone in Princes Street Gardens.' 'Hello viewers, this is the most extraordinary behaviour on the part of the Edinburgh citizenry. Everywhere there are citizens singing debauched songs and some are obviously inebriated. Tut! Tut! and we are told that the whole of Princes Street here in the capital is thronged with rejoicing men and women as well. Oh Dear! there are a couple of young ladies stripping off their fur coats and ... disgraceful! they're not wearing knickers! Back to the Newsroom!' By the looks of it, Scotland is letting its hair down with a vengeance!
NEWS FLASH! 6.47 pm
The Government of Norway is the second country to recognise Scotland's Independence! The King of Norway says ...NEWS FLASH! Republic of Singapore recognises Scotland's right to self Determination. REUTERS REPORTS that the European Commission are meeting in emergency session to discuss the Scottish Crisis! Things are happening so fast now, this is so exciting! We have just received word that Mr Blair's aircraft has taken off from RAF Northolt.
It is now 8.10 pm and the MSP's are starting to arrive. The Toiseach has changed into Highland Dress, the bright red of the MacNeacail Tartan stands out bravely. Mrs Winnie Ewing is taking the seat of the Presiding Officer, correction Speaker as it is now being called, so that the Election of the Speaker and the deputes can take place. Mr David Steel has been nominated with deputes from the Labour, Lib-Dems and SNP ranks. The vote is being taken, Mrs Ewing is speaking to two of the Ushers who are cross checking the results. Ah, she is switching on her microphone and speaks. 'The election of Mr David Steel as Speaker is confirmed by 126 Votes with 3 abstentions. Would Mr Steel please take the Speakers chair?' Mr Steel now supervises the votes for the depute speakers.
Usher passes a message to Toiseach, the Toiseach rises, 'Ladies and Gentlemen, it would appear that a large crowd has gathered outside and they are wanting my presence. It appears the Police are having difficulty in controlling them, Mrs MacDonald would you accompany me to speak to them? They are leaving the chamber and the outside broadcast cameras do confirm a large crowd forming up, shouting 'We want the Toiseach!' The Toiseach and the Depute Toiseach appear at the entrance and the crowd are deliriously happy, it sounds almost as if Scotland has scored a hat trick against the old enemy at footie. The Toiseach is trying to say something but the crowds' chanting is drowning out his voice. Margo is having a go too, but this ain't Jim she's trying to shout down this time, now they give a wave and go back inside.
The Dail is sitting, fidgeting and making small talk while they await the arrival of Mr Blair. The Toiseach is beckoning to Mrs MacDonald to go with him to the rear side entrance to await Mr Blair's motorcade. It is now 10.05pm and the Toiseach is ushering Mr Blair into the chamber, followed by Mrs MacDonald. Mr Blair is speaking to the Toiseach, 'I cannot possibly speak to this assembly, First Minister, with all these cameras, and newspaper reporters, get rid of them at once!'
The Toiseach replies,'No Prime Minister, I will not! The people of Scotland elected this Dail democratically and they have a right to see how it conducts its business in its name. Unlike Westminster, in Scotland the rule of the people is paramount, and we are but its Servants who are accountable to them for our actions this day. Kindly note this is not an assembly but the Dail nan Alba or Parliament of Scotland and I am known as the Toiseach, not First Minister!'
Mr Blair is now red faced and his body language tells its own story, chagrin, petulance and frustration. In all my years I have never seen such clear body language. Mr Blair speaks, 'I have come here to tell you that this assembly or Dawl as you call it, is illegal and that you must vacate this building forthwith. You must obey the democratic British Constitution you swore to uphold this morning! Right now!'
Miss Wendy Alexander speaks, 'May I remind you that the British State was dissolved at 3.05 pm this afternoon!' Mr Dennis Canavan speaks, 'Would the Prime Minister kindly F*** Off and stick your head up your A******e!' The Speaker is hammering his gavel, 'May I remind the Honourable member of this Dail about the use of language and that the correct manner of expression to the English Prime Minister is, "Explore Sex and Travel and will you stick your fat head up your Fundament or Alimentary Canal!"
Mr Blair is screaming out 'You F***ing B******s are going to suffer for this, you have ruined all Britain's plans for survival within Europe. You will never succeed with this unconstitutional act. You leave me no choice but to activate the Prevention of Terrorism Act and declare a State of Emergency under Martial Law, once order has been restored you will all be arrested and spend years in prison just like any other terrorist group. You will all be locked up in prisons well away from this miserable dunghill you call a country!'
The Toiseach is beckoning to a Police Deputy Chief Constable. 'Get this idiot out of here before the crowds outside break in and tear him limb from limb. Get the Police helicopter to fly him back to Turnhouse and make sure his plane gets off the ground safely.' Mr Blair is escorted out of the Dail by four burly Constables still shouting for the Unionists to rally round the British state, which is greeted by loud guffaws of derisive laughter.
NEWS FLASH! 10.35 pm
The Governments of Zambia, Uganda, Finland and Iceland have recognised Scottish Independence. REUTERS just in, Russia recognises Scotland's status, President Vladimir Putin sends his heartiest best wishes. REUTERS again, Senator Trent Lott is calling a session of Congress to discuss the US response to Scotland's declaration of Independence. One of the Radio nan Gaidheal techies is telling us that the Toiseach is a member of a Cultural Organisation called Siol nan Gaidheal and that this Siol nan Gaidheal has many US and Canadian members who are busy lobbying their respective governments right now, Siol nan Gaidheal has the most widely visited Scottish website and it beats the SNP site right out of sight and sound.
NEWS FLASH! 1.00 am
Blair's aircraft is back at Northolt and a car is taking him directly to the House of Commons. There is a rumour that Army Warrior AFC's are heading for Edinburgh and a debate is being concluded in the Dail. The Toiseach is about to address the nation and we will go live and hear his speech.
'My Fellow Scots, our Nation in its long history has faced many challenges in the past and tonight we are facing one more, which we must defeat. The Prime Minister of England has unilaterally invoked the Prevention of Terrorism Act and has ordered tanks to surround and occupy this building. I have been advised by the Senior Scottish Judiciary that the PTA has no legal authority in Scotland unless the warrant is signed by one of the senior Judges. No one has signed such a document. The tanks are a different matter and we will resist them through civil disobedience as taught by Mahatma Gandhi. No resistance is to be offered and in that way no lives will be lost, remember 40% of those soldiers are Scottish and we need them on our side. Our Declaration of Independence has been recognised by over 30 countries so far, so let us pray for strength to surmount the challenges of the next few hours, that we may overcome. The world is looking on closely with bated breath, that this morning we will not see a repeat of the events of Tiannamen Square.'
The Toiseach has just been approached by Jeremy Paxman, 'Mr Toiseach or whatever you call yourself, who gave you the authority to break up the United Kingdom? Do you really think we English are going to pay any more attention to this tinpot Dail of yours than we pay to the Bogtrotters across the water?'
The Toiseach replies, 'Mr Paxman, you really are a rude, aggressive and obnoxious little Englander! I am NOT one of your stupid students on University Challenge. The People of Scotland voted to break away from your precious United Kingdom, it is called DEMOCRACY and I am sure you are ignorant of its meaning, or you would not have asked!'
NEWS FLASH! 2.30 am
The outside broadcast cameras have picked up something, it appears two tanks and a Land Rover are driving slowly through the crowds up towards the mound. The Toiseach along with Margo MacDonald, Jim Wallace, Henry McLeish. David McLetchie and Tommy Sheridan are coming out of the front entrance and are walking down the road to meet the tanks, they are walking directly up to one of the tanks and the tank has come to a stop, it looks like the Toiseach is speaking to the crewmen, the Toiseach and his party are being joined by an officer from the Landrover and they appear to be in debate. Ah, the officer has saluted the Toiseach and is waiting while the tanks turn round. The Toiseach is coming back into the Dail, he speaks
'Ladies and Gentlemen, I have just spoken to the General Officer Commanding Scottish Land Forces and he has agreed that all military units will return to barracks and stay there until further notice!'
NEWS FLASH! 3.00 am
One of the Cable TV reporters is calling for quiet, he's saying President Bush will be broadcasting to the American Nation in about 5 minutes. FLASH! Canada has recognized Scottish Independence shortly followed by Brazil. In Westminster the Cabinet are meeting in a crisis session.
NEWS FLASH! 3.20 am
NOW FROM CNN. President George Bush live from the White House. 'My Fellow Americans, today is a momentous day for all Americans who have Scottish blood flowing in their veins, as I have. The People of Scotland have seized their Independence from England. As from this moment the Great Nation of the United States of America recognizes that Scotland is a Free and Independent Nation once more, and we welcome her to the community of nation states. Furthermore we are giving practical help to the Scots by providing a squadron of naval patrol planes, a Squadron of F15 fighters and 12 Coastguard vessels to protect Scotland whilst it builds up its armed forces. We look forward to establishing cultural and trading links with a country whose people have helped make the United States of America, the great nation it is today. An Ambassador will shortly be appointed. May God bless Y'all!' It looks like the lobbying of the American SnG Members has borne fruit...
NEWS FLASH! 3.30 am
Mr Dennis Skinner, member for Bolsover asks the house to move that since 3.05 pm the M.P.'s from Scottish seats have no longer any authority to vote on legislation. The members are proceeding to the voting lobby now.
NEWS FLASH! 3.55 am
It is now official. The English Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to expel the members for Scottish seats. This is an ipso facto admission that the English Parliament has recognized Scotland's Independence.
NEWS FLASH! 4.30 am
In the House of Commons Mrs Gwynneth Dunwoody, seconded by Mr Dennis Skinner has brought in a motion of NO CONFIDENCE in Prime Minister Blair. A very tired house is now trooping through the voting lobbies.
NEWS FLASH! 4.55 am
It looks as if Tony Blair's political career is over. Yes,! It is confirmed, an overwhelming number of M.P.'s have given a vote of NO Confidence and Mr Blair has just declared that he will meet with the Queen tomorrow morning to tender his resignation and dissolve the parliament by calling a general election....
Could this possibly happen? It is not as far fetched as one would imagine.
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