Column for 15.9.14

Referendum Special

Thursday the 18th of September will see great turmoil throughout the country. A 15th series of ‘The Gadget Show’ begins on Channel 5. Seriously, fifteen series? It’s like spending an hour locked in Dixons. But some people will also be casting their vote in the Referendum. It’s supposed to be a secret ballot, but that hasn’t stopped folk chuntering on about little else for a fortnight. We asked some of our regular contributors how the vote has impacted on them.

Doddie Esslemont, Radical Independence Campaigner

And so, in the People’s Republic of 39G Seaton Drive as in the rest of Scotland, decision day is almost upon us.  Opinion polls (conducted by me) show that the electorate (also me) remains staunchly in favour of independence from Scotland.  However, the leader of the ‘Yes’ campaign (myself) is taking nothing for granted.  The Great Ashvale controversy of 1996 still serves as a reminder of how people, facing a decision of immense importance, can fold under the pressure.  As I entered the queue, I was clear in my mind that I wanted haggis.  But as I placed my order, somewhere, from deep within me, issued the words “mock chop”.  Not the result I had been hoping for, and not one which sat easily with me in the hours and days that followed.

Cosmo Ludovick Fawkes-Hunte, 13th Earl of Kinmuck

I have paid little attention to the referendum debate.  As a rule I pay no heed to the shrill squabbling of the lower orders.  But my attention was taken, this week, by David Cameron’s reference to people giving “the effing Tories a good kick”.  At the time of the Jacobite Rebellion, my forebear, the 5th Earl, spent a great deal of time giving his opponents an effing good kick and added the occasional effing bayonetting for good measure.  If we are to see a return to those heady days, then we may yet see a political system that I can believe in.

Davinia Smythe-Barrett, ordinary mum

I can’t wait for this Thursday. Fidel and Emmeline are both off school, of course, and it’s going to be tremendously exciting to be able to show them the electoral process first hand. It’s a pity the hand in question cant be mine, of course, but Thursday’s are super busy! Not to worry, we’ve cancelled Snezana the au pair’s day off (She’s Bulgarian, but she’s marvelous) so she can pop down to the Polling Station with them. Even better, with my polling card and a big pair of sunnies, she can exercise my democratic rights for me while I’m at Pilates.

Cava Kenny Cordiner, the football pundit who makes his mark in the box

Thursday will be a monumentous day in Scottish history, and I will be voting “YES” to Interdependence without no doubt. But it’s not because I’m really periodic, and it’s not because I reckon Scotland will be more phosphorous standing on its own two foots, it’s because I’ve always regretted that throughout my football career, I never got no international experience under my waistband. If we go it alone, then retrospeculatively, that 1984 pre-season games away at Hartlepool and Bishop Auckland suddenly make my C.V. look a lot more glamorous!

Struan Metcalfe – MSP for Aberdeenshire North

Great to see Super Dave back up here appealing to the Scotch to stay with the Union and stick one right up the Salmon. Super Dave was jolly passionate when delivering his appeal to the jockos not to break ranks, sorry break away. I haven’t see him so emotional since that time in Munich I got totally fizzed on peach schnapps and gave Angela Merkel a wedgie. “Nine, nine” she shouted, but unfortunately I was bundled away by some ruthlessly efficient security chaps before I could oblige.

Barclay Lloyd, a banker you can trust

As manager of the Mannofield branch of the Aberdeen and District Savings bank, I have spent much of this week seeking to justify my Board’s public declaration that, in the event of a yes vote, they will relocate.  Let me just say that I see no inherent contradiction in the Aberdeen and District savings bank being based in Prestatyn, and am very much looking forward to being able to watch ‘River City’ dubbed into Welsh.

Professor Hector Schlenk, Senior Research Fellow at the Bogton Institute for Public Engagement with Science.

As a scientist, I have recently been asked how I intend to vote in the referendum. This has proved problematic, as we in the scientific community are pre-disposed to evidence-based decision making and what is promised by the ‘Yes’ camp is, essentially an attractive hypothesis without any evidential basis; while the ‘No’  camp prophesy a doomsday scenario which may or may not come to pass. Accordingly, to scientifically predict the effects of Scottish Independence, I have bred a colony of 65 million fruit flies in my scullery and then removed 10% of the population and put them in the vestibule. Naturally, I have also established a control group of 65 million more Drosophila melanogaster, to evaluate the consequences of Scotland remaining in the Union. The control group is blind, in that they are in my airing cupboard with the lights off.

And what my experiment has proved, without a shadow of a doubt, is that come September 19th, the Rentokil man will have his work cut out.