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Sketch: Is the Scottish government moving to nationalise you?

Credit: Iain Green

Sketch: Is the Scottish government moving to nationalise you?

The SNP wants to nationalise Scotland. We can only assume it’s part of their new independence strategy.

The new tactic was revealed by Tory MSP Graham Simpson in a recent debate at the parliament. “We know the SNP wants to take Scotland into public ownership from next March,” he proclaimed.

Presumably the plan to do it by March is to give it enough time to bed in ahead of indyref2 at the end of 2023. If our minds are run by the government, and the government is the SNP, and the SNP supports independence, then obviously our minds will have no choice but to support independence too. It’d lead to a landslide Yes vote.

It’s unclear how the nationalisation of Scotland will happen, as highlighted by Simpson. He continued: “What we don’t know, Presiding Officer, is any of the detail of what that will look like or any in-depth explanation of why whatever it is they’re proposing – and we don’t know what that is – will deliver.”

I mean, it sounds a bit like independence itself to be honest. We know what the SNP wants to happen, and even when it wants it to happen by. But what of the details: what of currency, what of the economy, what of defence? The years since 2014 haven’t really shed any light on those questions. No in-depth explanation has been forthcoming.

But, sorry, I’ve gone off on a tangent. Simpson had simply misspoken during a debate about trains and the plan to bring ScotRail into public ownership.

Scottish Labour’s Neil Bibby started the debate by accusing the SNP and Greens of “all talk and no walk”, to which transport minister Graeme Dey countered: “We are walking the walk.” That’s probably why things are going so wrong with ScotRail. Instructing its train drivers to walk the lines might be more energy efficient and climate friendly, but it would also go a long way to explaining the frequent delays and removal of services.

“Greener government is impossible with a declining network – children who are watching Thomas & Friends could tell you that,” added Bibby. Labour’s next manifesto will be brought to you by children’s TV. It won’t go as far for owls for all, but every postal worker will be given a black and white cat. Police officers must shout “Stop in the name of Plod!” before pursuing criminals. Groups of teens will be dispatched in a Mystery Machine to support detectives in more serious cases.

Ironic that part of the gas price crisis is blamed on a lack of wind to power the UK’s windfarms, given the amount of hot air coming out of Cabinet

Agreeing with beloved characters would certainly paint a clear dividing line between Labour and the Conservatives, since the Prime Minister has just insisted Kermit the Frog was wrong about being green.

Speaking of the PM, he’s just asked the French to “prenez un grip about this and donnez-moi un break” in what we can only assume is his best attempt at diplomacy. His comments came after the announcement of the AUKUS security pact which means France will no longer build 12 submarines for Australia. Awks, indeed.

Though less awkward than the storm brewing over gas prices, panic buying, National Insurance hikes and a looming cut to Universal Credit. Boris Johnson chose a good time to shelter across the Atlantic while his business secretary warned of a “very difficult winter” and his transport secretary accused hauliers of making matters worse by rudely highlighting the problems. Ironic that part of the gas price crisis is blamed on a lack of wind to power the UK’s windfarms, given the amount of hot air coming out of Cabinet.

You’d have thought it would be the perfect time for an alternative government-in-waiting to rise, ready with answers and ideas to resolve these problems. And yet while this UK Government was facing perhaps one of the worst weeks its ever had, all the forensic leader of the opposition accomplished was changing internal rules about how his successor will be elected and penning a 11,500-word pamphlet about what he stands for, because after 18 months in the job that is still not clear.

To be fair to Sir Keir, he did attempt to criticise the PM in that essay, accusing Johnson of being “utterly unserious and completely unprepared for the great challenges of our time”. (For the uninitiated, that’s middle-class for “scum” – unfortunately Angela Rayner missed that particular elocution lesson.) Truly scathing. The PM will no doubt be nursing that burn for weeks.

Later in his pamphlet, Sir Keir asks us to “take the road to a better, brighter, more secure future together”. It sounds lovely, mate – but none of us can find the petrol to get us there.

Read the most recent article written by Louise Wilson - Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces £170m 'levelling up' funding for Scotland

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