By Chris Hammond
Here’s the scenario; it’s 2020 and Scotland is an independent fully functioning state. But Alex Salmond has been usurped as Scotland’s first president by ‘people’s champion’ Tommy Sheridan. Things start off well for Big T, but after a disastrous attempt to connect Easterhouse with Bearsden by tram, Scotland runs out of cash. The will to struggle on in poverty vanishes with the last Scottish pound; Scotland needs another union. But rather than go cap in hand back to the UK to listen to ‘we told you so’ forever, the country decides to explore other partners.
Deliciously poised these are the referendum options. Will the Scots be bought and sold for foreign gold, or will we make our political partnership with a bedfellow who offers other guilty perks?
Current GDP Ranking: 6th
Population: 192 million
The last time Scotland took a collective jaunt over to South America we ended up scrapping with the Spanish, starving and spending the rest of our time in a swamp. It was to be fair, a pretty crappy time. The ghosts of the Darien Scheme have long since vanished though and this exciting continent has much to offer us beyond the customary bout of malaria and malnutrition experienced back in the 1690s.
Brazil is booming and as there’s always been a curious bond between those sunny smiley South Americans and the grey faced, wheezing malcontents of our wet little nation they could be ideal partners. Perhaps in exchange for all our Irn- Bru, whisky and oil we can have our own stretch of Arpoador beach and maybe amalgamate our football sides. It’d be a fair trade to see an 85 year old David Weir lift the World Cup.
Current GDP Ranking: 11th
Population: 35 million
Canada might be huge in terms of landmass but with a population of 35 million, Scotland would hardly be swallowed up if the two were to combine. But would the two be a good fit? Well first off both have had to live with a bigger noisier neighbour so would perhaps appreciate the partnership a little bit more. Further to this, many Canadians share an ancestral heritage with the Scots, so introductions shouldn’t be too difficult.
But any alliance would have to come under the condition Mike Myers is executed on Aberdeen’s Castlegate for crimes against kilts, Scottish accents and film (in the case of ‘The Love Guru’). Without his head, it’s difficult to see how the two nations could be reconciled to work together in future.
Current GDP Ranking: 5th
Population: 66 million
Resurrecting the Auld Alliance would be a massive boot in the stones for Westminster. One of the original reasons England was so keen on a political union with the Scots back in 1707 was because of their cosy relationships with the French. For centuries Scottish knights served as a special guard for French Kings, exiled and outlawed Scots in England were lavished with monies and mansions across the channel and Scots enjoyed a typically overenthusiastic relationship with red wine.
This could all be the same again. Sarkozy could have an honour guard of angry Glaswegians captained perhaps by John Smeaton. The Krankies could host their swinging parties in splendid Parisian manors rather than squalid tenements. While the hoi polloi could drown their sorrows at the prospect of yet another domineering next-door neighbour with the finest discounted Cabernet Sauvignon. Throw in a potential Six Nations victory every year or so and this could well be the one.
Current GDP Ranking: 44th
Population: 6 million
Could there be a better cultural fit than the Irish? Think about it; U2 and Simple Minds, Graham Norton and Lorraine Kelly, Shamrocks and Thistles, leprechauns and Ronnie Corbett – these are two nations destined to be together in eternal insobriety. Ireland would bring to the table an entrepreneurial nous Scots long since lost along with a whole host of empty new builds and a cracking chance of a Eurovision win.
Should union between the two be a goer the Celtic Tiger might even re-emerge to claw its way to the economic middle ground. And if it didn’t, the utterly epic party to celebrate the joining would doubtless negate any future troubles and torments.
Current GDP Ranking: 112th
Population: 33 million
This might seem a strange one, but there is solid reasoning behind Uganda being on our list of union potentials. Right now most of Europe might be experiencing stagnant growth but Uganda is flying ahead, with annual leaps of up to 8% in recent years. After decades of misrule it looks like this African nation is getting back on its feet.
Despite the distance and cultural difference Uganda does share some strange bonds with Scotland. Bobby Williamson coaches the Ugandan national football side, kilt wearing former dictator Idi Amin was a huge fan of Scotland (even going so far as to proclaim himself our King) while Victoria University in Kampala provides oil and gas training in conjunction with Scotland’s universities. It might be a leftfield bet, but for Scotland’s long term future an up-coming African partner might be just the ticket.
Current GDP Ranking: N/A
Technically this little rock in the Pacific belongs to Chile but we’re pretty sure that they won’t miss it. If they did put up a fight to keep their territory, we’d empty the cells after an Old Firm game onto the island and take it by force. Why Easter Island? Well Easter Island is so small, so insignificant and so empty, Scotland would be the major partner no matter what bargaining went on.
Not that the union wouldn’t benefit our new friends, we’d knock down a few of those massive stone heads and build some bloody great big beachside hotels and bars to cope with all the sun seekers and stag nights who’d head out there on holiday. Tiny needn’t mean terrible when it comes to a country.
Current GDP Ranking: 70th
The minute state of Luxemburg is exactly half the size of James Corden but houses half a million uber-productive central Europeans. The people of Luxemburg, while cramped, know how to make a buck or two from next to nothing. So just imagine what this landlocked country could do with access to Scotland’s natural resources?
Throw some Luxembourgers at the oil and renewable industries and watch increased efficiency ramp up the profits. Though hardly glamorous, a Luxemburg-Scotland union could see us all driving about in BMW’s as we zip back to our penthouses following a hard day evading income tax. Also, we’re pretty sure Luxemburg’s football titans F91 Dudelange would make an excellent addition to the Highland League.