Monday, 15 January 2007

Bought and Sold for English Gold

The story so far:
England, 1707: dour English MP, Sir Gordon Brownadder, is on his way by stage coach to Berwick-upon-Tweed. Aided by his man-servant, the babbling Edward Ballsrick, the ambitious Brownadder is travelling with the equally dour English MP, Sir Alexander Salmond, in order to secure the passing of the Act of Union by the Scottish Parliament.

Stage Coach, interior

Brownadder: I think we're about to reach Berwick. Have you got that list of the Scottish parliamentarians that we're going to meet?

Salmond: Here it is: Sir Anthony Blair, Sir David Cameron and Sir Menzies Campbell.

Brownadder: Ah, you couldn't imagine a more Scottish-sounding group of gentlemen, could you?

Salmond: Do you think they'll adopt sensible English names like Brown and Salmond after unification?

Brownadder: I doubt it.

Brownadder: Right, Ballsrick, are you sure you've got the cash prudently stowed inside the coach and not bouncing around on top?

Ballsrick: No problem, Sir Brownadder, it's securely stashed between my legs here.

Brownadder: Ah, perhaps the safest location in the whole of England, I can't imagine any highway robbers choosing to investigate whatever's between your legs.

Ballsrick: May I ask, sir, why we are travelling with £20,000 in cash?

Brownadder: Financial persuasion, Ballsrick, this cash will oil the wheels of Scottish Parliamentary democracy and get them to pass the Act of Union with England.

Ballsrick: Why would they want to unify with England?

Brownadder: I think the benefits are too numerous to list.

Ballsrick: Could you list just a few of them?

Brownadder: Erm, well... do we really have time for all these questions? Shouldn't you be polishing some boots or something?

Salmond: Come on Brownadder, I'm sure we can answer his question.

Brownadder: Indeed, well, there's the peace dividend for a start.

Ballsrick: What's that?

Brownadder: England won't need to station troops on the border to protect Berwick-upon-Tweed and the northern counties and Scotland won't need to station troops on the border to oppose our troops.

Ballsrick: Anything else?

Brownadder: Of yes, lots of things.

Salmond: Come on, Brownadder.

Brownadder: Perhaps Sir Alex would like to list some?

Salmond: Oh well, of course, there's... um?

Brownadder: Yes?

Salmond: Well, it will create the largest free trade area in Europe and bring prosperity to both nations through a common currency, freedom of movement and the abolition of trade tariffs.

Brownadder: And of course there will be a tremendous cultural exchange.

Salmond: Indeed, from English literature the Scots can take Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton.

Ballsrick: And from Scottish literature?

Salmond: Well, there's that nice poem by Robert Burns about a mouse...

Ballsrick: One thing that troubles me, sir: aren't you worried that they'll come down to England and steal all our jobs?

Salmond: Ah, the myth of the Scottish plumber! Ballsrick, I think you'll find that your average Scottish worker is as lazy and incompetent as his English counterpart.

Ballsrick: But won't some of their MPs come down to England and join the government?

Brownadder: I hardly think we need worry about that, Ballsrick. I don't think the English will take kindly to people with Scottish surnames like Blair and Cameron telling them what to do.

The End

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