Readers of the Daily Record will this morning have been treated to "Ten Reasons to support Independence" by their Nationalist commentator, Joan McAlpine. I regret to say however that her predictions seem to me to be altogether too modest. They're never going to win a referendum like this. So, in the spirit that saw me offer speech writing advice to Ruth Davidson, I have decided to compile my own list of what she might have said. It is, it seems to me, a more attractive prospectus than that offered in real life. I'm sure readers of both pieces will agree that it's also a bit more realistic.
1. The weather will be better
On a day like today, you appreciate what Scotland's weather could be like. It is no coincidence that memories of one's youth leads you to believe that Summers were all like this in the past. That's because, before 1707, they were. And even if, post-independence, the weather remains rather colder and wetter than the South of England, since we'll no longer be obliged to watch the BBC, at least we'll be kept in blissful ignorance of that fact.
2.Drink will be cheaper
Given our miserable constitutional status, is it any wonder Scots drink too much? The fact that the only way to address this presently is through higher prices only demonstrates the wholly inadequate current powers of the Scottish Parliament. After Independence people will clearly drink more responsibly and that will allow a reduction in prices. And if, occasionally, you do get too hungover to go to your work? Don't worry, such will be our oil wealth that work will be a voluntary activity anyway.
3.Rangers and Celtic will both win the League every year
Nothing illustrates the weight of the English Yoke more than the taxes that are demanded from our leading football teams. Obviously that would end immediately but it will still leave the problem that, every year, at a certain point, one half of Glasgow ends up miserable. Freedom, however will leave us free to have two Premier Leagues, solving this problem at a stroke, in a way current arrangements would never allow.
4. Everybody will be famous
There is nothing sadder than the dashed expectation facing so many of our young people. Anybody who has ever watched the disgracefully titled Britain's Got Talent, knows that grannies across Scotland are only too aware that there are better singers, dancers, indeed performing dogs in their very own front rooms. Once it is not the limiting concept of Britain but the liberating one of Scotland that is at issue, all of these talents will be recognised.
5. You'll can use any currency you like
It is a perfect example of the way in which Unionists try to mock the whole idea of Independence that they say that we can't decide what currency we'd use. Why should our vision be restricted by their terms? People will be free to use whatever currency they like. True Scots will of course use the Pound Scots, but those not sure about Independence will still be able to use Sterling and, indeed, such will be our cosmopolitan approach, foreigners will even be able to use the Euro.
6. People will be better looking
Now, before you think I'm daft, I'm not suggesting that Independence will immediately change the genetic make up of Scotland. That will clearly take some generations of freedom. But, who doesn't look better with a smile on their face? And, after independence, we'll all have a smile on our face. You may have noticed that the First Minister is already trying to set an example in that regard. Particularly when faced with an awkward question.
7. Shipbuilding will return to the Clyde
At the moment, nothing annoys us more than the number of Royal Navy warships built in England. After Independence all British warships will be built in Scotland. There may be some details on this yet to be worked out but that's one of the reasons we're not having the referendum till 2014. One thing is certain however. No warships built in Scotland will ever be allowed to take part in any actual wars.
8. There will be high speed trains. Everywhere
One of the first demands of an independent Scotland will be for the high speed rail network to be extended here. It is simply unacceptable that the UK Government is planning, for the moment, for the network to go no further north than Manchester. Again, this is a matter which will be fully thought through by the time of the Referendum. Even if it's not, once we're free nobody will need to go to England anyway.
9. We will still have a Queen
No one need worry about that. Whether it needs to be the current Queen is something we can decide once we're free. For the moment I don't propose to say anything more on this subject.
10. Lunch hours will be longer
Nothing is surely more annoying than having to hurry your pudding just because, for example, you're meant to be doing the job you're paid for. So, after independence, you'll be able to take as much time as you like. Everybody else will just have to wait. And if they don't like waiting that will only demonstrate how anti-Scottish they are. And, anyway, Alex says Rupert has promised not to report it.
See you next week.