Dear People of England

North Britain

8th March, 2015

Dear People of England,

Sorry to interrupt your Sunday morning toast and marmalade.

If you’re the sort of person who reads this you might also be the sort that listens to Radio 4. Did you hear Broadcasting House today, the newsy programme at nine o’clock presented by Paddy O’Connell?

If you did you might have noticed that his Sunday paper reviewers included Alex Salmond. You know, the man who used to be our first minister and is now looking for a seat at Westminster in the May election. He’s quite a congenial cove isn’t he? He can give a view on most topics and comes over very well. If you like the sound of him you’ll be able to buy his book about our recent referendum shortly. Should be plenty of copies around in your neck of the woods – it’s being published by a London-based company. That’s caused a bit of a stir because he says he supports Scottish business and we’ve got some quite good publishers up here.

Where was I? Oh, yes. Mr Salmond. You might have seen his successor, Nicola Sturgeon. She was down in ‘the smoke’ recently having a wee blether (that’s a lecture to you) at your University College. Nice lady. She was really keen to learn from what goes on in London and has asked her civil servants to have a look at the initiative that seems to have turned public schools round in your city so they’re performing a lot better than the average Scottish school, although she won’t actually put it that way (by the way, just to confuse you we call our state schools ‘public’ even though public schools for you are posh and private and I know you don’t really have state schools like us any more).

Ms Sturgeon is hoping there’ll be lots of SNP MPs in the next British parliament. Well, she would, wouldn’t she? I’ve seen some English people saying that’s good, it’ll bring some fresh new ideas to a stale old institution. It’s all a bit confusing though. We can’t tell if her party wants to be part of a government, support it somehow, or just stand by what it calls its ‘red lines,’ things up with which it will not put in any circumstances as my old dad used to say. Like the renewal of Trident. Or not. (Sorry, that’s a sort of Scottish in-joke. The SNP are against nuclear weapons but they’ve just suggested that they still might support a UK government even if it renewed Trident. It’s very complicated.)

Anyhow, who knows whether the other, bigger parties will want anything to do with the SNP? The Conservatives seem to have said they won’t, but then Ms Sturgeon says she doesn’t want anything to do with them either – they worked with each other in the past but not everyone wants to remember that. Some of us up here including many of his Scottish colleagues are hoping Mr Miliband will say clearly that Labour also won’t have anything to do with the SNP. But he doesn’t seem willing to do that yet.

So what’s this all about then?

It’s really just a small reminder not to be fooled by Greeks (sorry, Scots) bearing gifts. I know, I know. It’s tempting to think about all those stodgy old MPs being given a good shake up by the SNP. It’s nice to think that some of the things you really want might happen because the SNP (and perhaps their little brothers and sisters Plaid Cymru and the Greens) stomped their feet at Westminster and said ‘We will NOT have a bedroom tax.’ Or Trident. Or whatever else they decide is their ‘red line.’

But please, please, remember one thing. The sole reason for the existence of the SNP is to break up the union between our two countries that has worked so well for over three hundred years. Everything they do has that one aim. They tried to persuade us that we should want that too last September but it didn’t work. And now, all that progressive niceness, that new determination to get on with the neighbours, is just a tactic to gain influence so they can ease Scotland away from the rest of Britain.

Sorry about all this. It’s a bit of a bummer, isn’t it, especially on a Sunday morning? Never mind. There’s always The Archers on Radio 4. They seem to be suffering an apocalyptic flood at the moment. No one saw it coming. But don’t worry. It’s only fiction.

Yours aye


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