Ian Martin helps to shape a nation
MONDAY Head north, to an independent Scotland.
Well it WILL be. If not this month, then next year, or the year after that.
All this wittering on about post-independence currency and how much oil do we have in the sea and who gets to keep the Beatles vinyl. Come on, Scotland and England. We can sort this all out in a civilised manner, without (ugh) painted faces.
Scotland must lay a proper foundation for growth, like you do with turf or small businesses. That’s where I come in. Thanks to the tireless efforts of my fixer, Rock Steady Eddie, I’m now on Scottish LinkedIn as ‘quality animateur of epic space strategies and verified architectural logistics provider, no thought too slight’ .
TUESDAY It’s very exciting, helping to shape a nation.
I’ve been drafted in as built environment stylist for the country’s embryonic tourist board, which has cleverly combined the messages of the the Yes and No campaigns by calling itself Get Tae Scotland.
There are some crazy ideas flying about the room, but then people start drinking earlier up here, don’t they? One bearded giant in a ponytail and Loch Ness Monster onesie is reimagining Hadrian’s Wall as much bigger and covered in ice. Closer questioning - ‘and do you get to the top of this wall in a sort of wooden cage thing?’ - reveals that he is indeed thinking of the one in Game of Thrones.
A more elegant solution, I suggest, would be to ‘historianise’ the wall. Leave it exactly as it is but develop an interactive hologrammatic display to run alongside all 73 miles of it. Human presence would trigger the display: the wall as it looked when new; a whistling legionnaire every so often saying things like ‘cor, brass monkeys today!’ in Latin; an English savage rummaging for insects and carrots; a Scottish lass playing rudimentary bagpipes.
The visitor might then experience the wall as a TV historian does. Strolling, chatting, gesturing, smiling, as behind them history rises in shimmering similitude.
Also, as it’s computer stuff it can be more or less permanently in development. It’s not like a half-finished building that’s run out of budget. Nobody can see ‘where we’ve got to with the coding’.
Other ideas: annual pudding convention to be held in a purpose-built ‘People’s Haggis’, Edinburgh and Glasgow to be ‘twinned’.
WEDNESDAY Lunch with my old friend Darcy Farquear’say and his far from independent dachshund, McBauhau. They’re dressed in identical tartan wraps and hats - ‘SO kitsch. Tam of Shatners!’ Apparently Scotland is now the place to be for architecture critics and their parping pets, as there’s a keen interest in the plastic arts and a lot of money about to flood the country. And Darcy’s got an in…
THURSDAY I’m shocked to hear that Scotland’s Mussolini, the duplicitous Salmond, has drawn up a plan to finance New Caledonia with leasehold agreements.
Following London’s lead, Scotland will remain free at the point of delivery (privatised areas run by commercial enterprise exempt) but a new Act of Clearance and Enclosure will divide development rights among the world’s billionaires.
Trump’s getting Edinburgh and half the coastline, for instance. The Koch brothers have bagged the Highlands and copyrighted all heather, with a sinister plan to license it as a verb. Every single member of the Saudi royal family’s got an Orkney each!
With such a diverse ownership, Scotland now desperately needs a global brand. Its own Nike swoosh, its apple, its golden arches.
Darcy and I - and to a lesser extent McBauhau - scratch our heads for some time. ‘These Tam of Shatners are SO uncomfortable…’ whines Darcy.
Wait. That’s IT.
FRIDAY The Salmond has agreed to an emergency brand meeting. We present the new global symbol for Scotland: o’.
‘As in abbreviation of “of”…you know, tam o’ shanter, John o’ Groats…’
It’s both enigmatic and versatile, I explain. It looks like a jolly Scottish dancer, the arm flung up in whooping abandon. Or the glimpse of a thistle. Or whatever, one of those curling pills being slid along the ice. The point is, the apostrophe means ‘shortcut to the future’…
Done. Two grand each, cash.
SATURDAY Ha ha. The No lot have wheeled Gordon Brown out and he’s doing that silent o’ thing at the end of every sentence, simply reinforcing the Yes brand.
SUNDAY Day o’ rest.