A view of the 2012 'Year of Scares' from an Independent Scotland
By Nat Butcher, Our Political Correspondent
As most publications predictably publish round-ups of the year gone past, we have decided to do something different for Hogmanay 2012 – here is our retrospective from the future.
With the help of our friends at CERN and the University of Edinburgh, we have been able to compile a list of the main news headlines for the year 2016, which we present to you here in an historic first for Scottish online publishing.
Oddly, the main news items for that year, all seem to confirm the accuracy of the many scare stories which were planted in the Scottish and UK press by the anti-independence parties and No campaigns throughout 2012. Who knew that would happen?
We begin in January 2016, less than 14 months after the referendum which, as we now know, was won by the Yes campaign with a vote of just over 56%.
This was the month in which the constituency of Govan announced its intention to remain within the rump United Kingdom (rUK), now known as Greater England after Westminster's refusal to form a new union with Northern Ireland, for what they referred to as "reasons of affordability".
In February, the MoD laid claim to the land surrounding Coulport and Faslane, sending a contingent of marines to ensure no civilian access was possible. Following complaints from the SNP government, Westminster announced their plan to "move out nuclear capability to an alternative site, just as soon as we can find one". Nobody in Scotland was impressed.
In early March, during preparations to form a Scottish Broadcasting Corporation from the remains of BBC Scotland, the BBC in London announced an embargo on Dr Who, David Attenborough and all FA football being shown North of the border, in retaliation for some unkind things said about the BBC on Newsnet Scotland. People were quite upset.
Later in the month, the embargo was extended to include East Enders and Strictly come Dancing. People were less upset now and began to issue requests for other shows to be added to the list. The One Show became the Nation's favourite choice for banning.
In April, the election campaign for the Scottish Parliament became intense. Labour started the month 12 points behind the SNP, reflecting their historic defeat in the 2015 general election. Leader of the hastily registered Scottish Labour Party, Lord Ian Davidson, said they still expected to win an overall majority in the first parliament of an independent Scotland. Not too many people agreed.
In the same month, the pandas were 'repatriated' to London zoo in anticipation of the declaration of Separation, and the Scottish MPS were 'repatriated' to Scotland for the same reason. Angus B Macneil and Dr Alasdair Allan, the MP and MSP for the Western Isles, had a massive stooshie in North Uist, and have not spoken since.
May saw both the SNP win a record second term as a majority government, and May 5 officially become Scottish Separation Day. By Monday 9th, England had already placed border checkpoints at major roadways and announced plans to rebuild Hadrian's wall, but much further north that the Romans had.
On May 5, Greater England petitioned the EU to expel Independent Scotland, but they were ignored by all other members, mainly because they (as the UK) had already asked to leave the previous year, following the Out vote in the referendum.
By the end of the month, the SNP had disbanded, having nothing more to accomplish. This led to the first independent Scottish government being led by independent MSPs, much to the annoyance of the few remaining Labour members. However, within a week they had redrafted the 'Bain Principle' to allow them to oppose everything proposed by the Independents as well.
June saw the bombing of Edinburgh and Glasgow airports, as fears of invasion overtook Westminster. It didn't seem to occur to anyone that it Was still almost impossible to fly to a Scottish airport, without starting or touching down at one in England. Nonetheless, two weeks later, Scotland was invaded by Belgium, who were upset that Scotland now produced better beer.
In July, the Bank of England refused to form a monetary union with Scotland. This decision was reversed less than two days later when the Treasury saw it's credit rating downgraded to 'Junk Bond' by all three ratings agencies. The Scottish government, reluctantly, agreed to restart negotiations, but insisted on much more equitable terms, which included getting the Royal Bank back for free.
August was a quiet month for politics, but the ex MSPs for the Northern isles attempted to persuade residents to vote in favour of becoming an enclave of Greater England. They also tried to include Rockall, but had difficulty canvassing supporters there. The movement gained a few supporters until it was revealed that international law would give the islands no access to oil resources, at which point London began to look a long way away and the idea was quietly dropped.
Athletes from Team Scotland competed for the first time in the RIO Olympics and Paralympics, with Scolympians picking up 10 medals in total, over twice as many per head as Team England, even though that team contained a good number of Welsh athletes.
In September, the Conservative/UKIP coalition in Westminster passed the 'Alien Act' for the second time, declaring that all Scots were now foreigners in Greater England. Due to earlier legislation, citizens of Ireland were officially not foreigners, leading to many interesting encounters. As the UK, or now Greater England, had yet to complete its 2 year exit from the EU, and had already decided to join the EFTA, this had no effect whatsoever, except for making it illegal for Scots to listen to music such as Chas & Dave.
October saw the start of the first school year in which all teaching in Scotland was through the medium of Gaelic. The Nicolson Institute quickly soared to the top of the league tables for attainment, following decades of quiet decline. Anti-Gaelic demonstrations in George Square became violent when protesters described the language as "a load of cac".
Throughout November, NHS hospitals routinely turned flu patients away as there was too little money to support both hospitals and the free prescriptions. Government revenues were actually up by over 6% on the year before, but this was dwarfed by the costs of Alex Salmond's coronation as 'hairy King of Scots'. Apparently, that HAD been his plan all along. As King Eck had no children of his own, he immediately adopted Nicola Sturgeon as his heir apparent.
December was the month in which the Scottish economy finally failed. The bailout from Greece had only delayed the inevitable. It seems that the ending of the Barnett formula was just too much for the fragile economics of the country. Apparently, Scotland was too wee, too poor and too stupid after all.
The misery of the population was confounded yet further when Santa Clause was delayed by a week at a border post on the M6 North, leaving Scots children without their presents.
However, despite predictions to the contrary, Hogmanay still somehow took place.
BBC Scotlandshire wishes all our readers and viewers a happy, healthy and prosperous new year, free from silly unionist scaremongering.
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