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Friday, 21 February 2014

They'll be back

"You have to vote," I tell my son over coffee in the kitchen of his flat.

"No I don't," he says. "It just encourages them." 

"That's a cheap joke and the opposite of the truth," I say. "If good people don't vote the extremists get in and we're all screwed." 

"There's no evidence for that," he says. 

"There is," I tell him. "It's how the Nazis came to power. After the First World War, the Germans were totally fed up with politicians, so the numbers voting plummeted every year. By 1933 only one person was voting in the whole country. Guess who."

"No idea."

"Hitler's mum."

He pours me a thick black espresso that could have boiled up from the Athabasca tar sands, and shakes his head.  

"It is pointless though," he says. "No matter who you vote for you get Tories. Cameron - Tory toff. Blair - Tory slimeball. Major - Tory twit. Thatcher - Tory twat." 

"You forgot Brown," I say.

"Who doesn't?" he says.

"Alex Salmond isn't a Tory," I tell him. "So you have to vote in the independence referendum. It's our one chance to get a country that isn't run for City of London mega-criminals."

"So what do you think will happen if we vote Yes?" he says.

"We get to live in a social democracy where the poor and sick are supported," I say. "Instead of abused by rich politicians and their media poodles."

"Good speech but no chance," he says. "The Tories will take over and we'll be back to square one."

"They can't," I say. "Tories in Scotland are like the dodo."

"Bald and stupid with a fat arse?"


"Don't you believe it," he says. "Tories don't go extinct. They're just hiding."

"Where?" I say.

"All over the place," he says. "Caves, marshes, woodlands." 

"You're thinking of the Picts," I tell him.

"They were Tories," he says.

"You're obsessed," I say. "You're seeing Tories everywhere."

"They are everywhere," he says. "Soon as we declare independence they'll slither out their holes and take over the country. Did you know that 99.9% of Scotland's land is owned by 0.1% of the population?"

"You're making that up," I say. 

"I'm not," he says. "And guess what all those big landowners are."

"Tories?" I say.

"Correct," he says. "So we declare independence, first thing they do is put high fences around their land and herd us all into Glasgow."

"We'll climb out again and reclaim our country," I say.

"You won't be able to," he says. "They're taking the pound off us. You'll be so weighed down with two-pence pieces you can hardly move, never mind climb fences. We'll all be stuck in here."

He sips his coffee and shakes his head again. "Five million people trying to get a drink in Sauchiehall Street on a Saturday night," he says. "Bedlam. Is that what you want?"

"I guess not," I say.

 "Well don't vote then," he tells me.

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