Birflatt Boy emerges from his customary shadows to rue the possible departure of the Scots from the UK. Has Fletch let on as to where he stands? What do George Herd and Billy Hughes make of it all? We cannot honestly imagine Phil Bardsley having a view one way or the other. The headline reference to Celtic is naturally tongue-in-cheek with no intention of offending people who believe a big chunk of the west of Scotland is already a fifth province of Ireland …
The devolution debate and upcoming referendum on Scottish independence has got my mind racing.
By the end of next week we may be facing the prospect of a genuine border crossing as we head north. Who can say which way the vote is going to go. Alex Salmond claims that Scotland is on the brink of history. The same might have been said about all manner of eye-watering historical blunders too.
My simple Birflattian mind, befuddled by the potential prospect of having to regard our brothers and sisters north of the border as foreigners started me thinking of some of the ramifications of devolution, either real, very tangible or fanciful and far fetched. It would surely put and end of the call for the bigger Scottish clubs to join the English league system.
What would happen for example, the inhabitants of the northern English counties decided that they’d had enough of Westminster rule and threw their hat in with an independent Scotland? If the Scots can go their own way, then what would stand in the way of Tyne and Wear and Durham, Cumbria and Cleveland going the same way?
Would the Scots want us in? Important question to answer.
Imagine Sunderland playing away fixtures at Hamilton and Kilmarnock for example? How the world could change. Rangers (well eventually, perhaps), and Celtic. Aberdeen and St Johnstone all visiting the SoL. Mutton pies and haggis and tatties on offer alongside the burgers etc.
On my various travels across this merry little globe of ours I have always gravitated towards the Scots.
Unquestionably there is a similar cultural and political outlook, sense of humour and general way of life. There have been few political events that have made me feel more sad, anxious and fearful than the prospect of the Scots going their own way. Billy Connolly once said that he had far more in common with a welder in Liverpool or Portsmouth than any Highland landowner. Billy was right. Very few people could speak as much common sense and make you guffaw at the same time has he has over the years.
All flights of fancy aside, the leagues of both Scotland and England should stay as they are, and the unique union that binds us should stay as it is. For the people of Worcester and Hove etc it probably doesn’t matter one iota.
They possibly view the Scots like you would an infrequently seen neighbour who has a habit of lighting a bonfire when you’ve just put the washing on the line. That’s a poor analogy as it must be several decades since damp washing saw pegs and a line in Hove, but you get my drift, I’m sure.
For northerners, it’s very different of course. Their way of life is so much like ours that it’s virtually inseparable. I’ve always considered myself pro-Scottish until they start having a real go at the English, and then my hackles rise in what is usually a temporary indignation, as I remind myself that the things they dislike in the English are the same things that I also dislike in the English too. Stay with us, lads and lasses. We’d miss you.