Marx on Monday – taking Scotland back to its roots


Walking back from the pub last night I bumped into a strangely familiar character when I stopped off at a chip shop to buy a kebab. He was drinking from a bottle of something hidden within a brown paper bag and trying to order food from the bemused Turkish staff in a strange foreign tongue. At first I thought it was a Bulgarian Big Issue seller but then it suddenly dawned on me who it was – none other than Alex Salmond – the leader of the SNP.

He was a big man for a Scot, about 5 feet 3 inches tall, and I could see that unless he got something to eat PDQ there was going to be violence. My grandfather was a Glaswegian so I understood the language and offered to translate for him.

“Have ye any deep fried butter balls?” he asked the Turkish shop owner.

“What are they?” the Turk replied.

“Exactly what they sound like,” I translated, “balls of butter deep fried in fat.”

“No!” The Turk looked disgusted.

“What about roll and pie?” Alex asked.

The Turk looked at me.

“That’s a deep fried chicken and mushroom pie in a roll with butter,” I translated again.

“No!” the Turk pulled a face.

“What about a munchy box?” Alex was beginning to get angry.

“Munchy box?” the Turk seemed confused.

“That’s a deep fried pizza crust stuffed with kebab meat, chips, cheese and nan bread,” I translated, “it’s a Scottish delicacy.”

“No we don’t,” the Turk shook his head.

“What about haggis and chips?” Alex tried again.

“Haggis?” the Turk raised an eyebrow.

“That’s a sheep’s stomach stuffed with deep fried sheep’s heart, liver and lungs,” I translated, “it’s Scotland’s national dish.”

“No,” the Turk looked physically sick.

“Have ye no Scottish food?” Alex demanded.

“No sir,” the Turk replied, “thankfully not.”

“Well in that case I’ll have a deep fried steak and kidney pie with chips,” said Alex, “have you got anything for pudding?”

“Like what?” said theTurk.


The Turk sighed and looked at me.

“It’s a Scottish fudge,” I explained, “made out of sugar, butter and condensed milk.”

“No,” the Turk replied, “all we have are Mars Bars.”

“Well I’ll have a deep fried Mars Bar,” said Alex, “and a deep fried can of coke.”

I bought a kebab and chips and Alex and I walked outside to enjoy our meals. We sat in a nearby shop doorway and I asked Alex what he was doing in London.

“I’ve come to challenge David Cameron to a televised fight,” he replied.

“A fight?”

“I mean a debate,” he corrected himself, “on Scottish independence.”

“I’d be careful about that,” I warned him, “Cameron is a pretty good debater.”

“I’m sure he is,” Alex replied, “against that idiot Milliband, but he won’t beat me.”

“How can you be so sure?” I asked.

“Because if he makes any good points I’ll give him a Glasgow kiss!”

“So Alex, you’ve set a date for the referendum on Scottish independence.”

“That’s right Kevin,” he replied, “the 18th of September 2014. After 307 years we’ll finally be free of English occupation.”

“Has Scotland been independent before?” I asked.

“It’s always been independent,” he replied indignantly, “we defied the Roman invasion, forcing them to build Hadrian’s Wall. We had a brief period of occupation by England under Edward the 1st in the late 13th century but then got our independence back after winning the battle of Bannockburn in 1314.”

“Was that against Edward the 1st?” I asked.

“No it was against his gay son Edward the 2nd,” Alex replied, “he was more interested in his soldiers looking good in uniform than being fighting men, and Robert the Bruce and 6,000 fighting Scots defeated the gay king’s army of 18,000 men.”

“Is that your only victory over England?” I asked.

“Other than at the home international game at Wembley in 1977, yes it is.” Alex replied.

“So I suppose you still celebrate it?”

“We do,” Alex concurred, “in memory of our victory in 1314 over England’s gay king our national dress to this day is a skirt.”

“You don’t seem to like the English very much Alex.”

“We don’t,” Alex agreed, “we hate them. For hundreds of years they’ve stolen from us.”

“What like the oil?”

“Not just the oil, they’ve also stolen lots of our other natural resources.”

“Like what?” I asked.

“Like prime ministers,” Alex replied, “could you imagine how much better off Scotland would be if we’d had Tony Blair or Gordon Brown as first minister?”

“And do you hate anyone else other than the English?” I quickly changed the subject.

“Yes,” Alex replied, “we hate the Romanians.”


“Because they stole Count Dracula from us.”


“By pretending he was Romanian.”

“Well, wasn’t he?”

“No,” said Alex, “Count Dracula was a ginger Scotsman.”

“Why do you say that?” I asked.

“Look at the facts,” Alex replied, “Count Dracula lived in a drafty castle, his clothes were comically out of date, he didn’t have a job, he couldn’t go out into direct sunlight and was prone to acts of wanton violence against strangers. He was as Scottish as Rabbi Burns.”

“So do you think the Scots will vote for independence?” I asked him.

“I’m sure they will,” Alex replied, “when they realise the benefits to Scotland.”

“What like the oil?”

“No,” Alex shook his head, “that won’t help.”

“But there’s at least a trillion dollars’ worth of oil left in Scottish waters,” I replied, “sell that and you’d be rich.”

“We don’t want to sell it,” said Alex, “we need it for domestic consumption.”

“Surely you don’t have that many cars in a nation of five million people?”

“It’s not for petrol,” Alex replied, “we intend to use it for deep frying everything we eat.”

“So you’re on a drive for Scottish self-sufficiency are you?”

“We can never be truly independent,” Alex explained, “because of our huge balance of trade deficit. The simple truth is – we import too much from the rest of Europe.”

“Like what?” I asked.

“Scotland is the world’s biggest consumer of glue and methylated spirits,” Alex explained, “we import 40% of the world’s glue and 74% of its meths.”

“So what do you intend to do?”

“We’ll set up a huge meths refinery in Aberdeen and plant 10,000 acres of white poppies on the Isle of Skye,” Alex revealed his masterplan, “then we’ll build the world’s biggest glue factory on the site of the current Trident nuclear base in Clyde.”

“So an independent Scotland would give up its nuclear deterrent?” I asked.

“We wouldn’t need a nuclear deterrent,” Alex replied.

“So how would Scotland protect itself from invaders?”

“In the traditional Scottish way,” Alex replied, “with courage, a broadsword and harsh language.”

“So you’ve already sorted out Scotland’s defence policy,” I said, “but what about Scotland’s economy.”

“An independent Scotland would without doubt be the richest country in the world,” Alex announced proudly, “because we have something that no other country has.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“No old age pensions,” Alex replied, “in England today there are over ten million pensioners, and that’s expected to double in the next twenty years – that’s why it’s called the pension time bomb.”

“And how many pensioners are there in Scotland?” I asked him.

“Not a single one,” Alex replied, “the life expectancy of someone from Calton in Glasgow is 53.9 years. Compare that to 88.7 years in Kensington and Chelsea and you can see how Scotland will save a fortune in old age pension payments.”

“Are you saying” I sought clarification, “that there isn’t a single Scotsman who is over 65 years old?”

“There are a few,” said Alex, “but they don’t live in Scotland, the oldest living non-domiciled Scot is Sir Alex Ferguson at 71 years of age.”

“And who’s the oldest Scot who lives in Scotland?” I asked.

“That would be me,” said Alex, stifling a great yawn, “and I’m 58 – too old to be up at this time of night.”

“Come on then,” I stood up, “I’ll walk you to your hotel.”

“I’m not staying in a hotel,” Alex shook his head, “it’ll only get me into trouble with the Scottish Labour Party.”

“Why’s that?”

“Last year I took a group of mates to the Ryder Cup in Chicago at the Scottish taxpayers’ expense, we ran up hotel bills of £470,000,” Alex replied, “then this year I stayed in a £400 a night suite at the Culloden House Hotel during the Scottish Open – everyone was moaning about it.”

“So where are you staying tonight?” I asked him.

“Here,” he replied.

“What, in this shop doorway?”

“I’m re-kindling a fine old Scottish tradition started by Bonnie Prince Charlie in Paris and Rome in the 1780’s,” said Alex, “I’m going to drink a bottle of meths, foul my trousers, then spend the night in this shop doorway arguing with myself.”

8 comments on “Marx on Monday – taking Scotland back to its roots

  1. dr
    April 9, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    I think that you have just provided a new definition of ad hominem.

  2. Bob Dod
    April 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    Rabbi Burns, eh, Jimmy? Canna spell fur toffee can ye? Pisspot!

  3. lastbritstanding
    April 9, 2013 at 8:49 pm #


  4. Mark
    April 9, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

    Tsk, poor Scotland.

    Dunno about most of the other readers here but I sincerely hope that Alex Salmond loses his referendum – the English-Scottish partnership has done some remarkable things the last few hundred years and it’d be a great shame to lose it.

  5. Chris Hammond
    April 10, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    Sadly, not a deep-fried snowball’s chance in Troon of them leaving. They couldn’t stand the thought of the ensuing permanent Conservative majority on their border

    The whole of the Edinburgh finance industry would head south so as not to be trussed like a regulated turkey in the EU(RO) financial straitjacket. They are too canny to let that happen – aren’t they?

    Cameron (remind me whose side that clan was on), only has to offer income tax raising rights for the Salmond lot and blessedly withdraw the East Lothian subsidy as a consequence to settle the matter.

    If we really want to stop them …. that is …

  6. Pete in NI
    April 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    Wonderful, wonderful, so very clever. Actually laughed out loud.

  7. Noa
    April 14, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    A magnificent post! Laugh? I nearly regurgitated my MacSporran Pizza.
    That’s a pizza made out of a Big Mac and an old sporran.
    Let’s hope that after his night out with Kev in the fleshpots of London wee Alex the pilot of his private jet didn’t mistake him for Eric Joyce and throw him off the plane back to Edinburgh.


  1. Salmond: roll on 2014 | The Knife and me - April 10, 2013

    […] most perceptive take on all this that I’ve seen in years is found at Bogpaper. Very funny, and worth reading it all. […]

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