Scottish question

24 May 2014

9:00 AM

24 May 2014

9:00 AM

In Competition No. 2848 you were invited to submit a poem commenting on Scottish independence in the style of William Topaz McGonagall.

McGonagallesque long lines leave me space only to congratulate you on a vast and skilful entry before handing over to the man himself, hailed by the TLS as ‘the only truly memorable bad poet in our language’.

Ralph Rochester takes the extra fiver; the rest nab £35.

Bounteous Heavens, let us all rejoice!
For the People of Scotland have been given a
And there is to be a National Referendum
For which we must thank the Scottish
    Nationalists and London.
But how many will vote No and how many will
    vote Yes
Only God knows though other clever People
    may guess
And I think a terrible Excitement will have
Until all the Votes of the People have been
    carefully counted.
And if the People of Scotland should say Yes
There will be much Joy and Happiness.
For Scotland will be independent, which it has
    not been
Since good Queen Anne was Britain’s Queen
Which was a very long Time ago.
But if the people of Scotland should say No
Then I suppose there will just be many Years
Very much the same as they have been before.
Ralph Rochester
Oh! historic decision, momentous referendum,
Which in 2015 will set for the people of Scotland
    a tricky conundrum.
Though some for the whole business will not
    give a toss
Others will deliberate where on the ballot paper
    to put a cross.
From Highlands and Lowlands, both high and
Should indicate whether they want the status
Or our ancient ties with England and the Crown
    they desire to break,
Which I opine would surely be the greatest
And if for independence the winning vote is yes
Then, whatever Salmond says, there likely will
    be an economic mess.
In considering a situation where many are
It is not a poet’s position to appear one-sided,
But I will remain as I have always fervently been
A devoted subject of her most gracious Majesty
    the Queen,
And whatever happens it would be seriously
Not to let her keep the beautiful Royal
    Residence of Balmoral.
Alanna Blake
It will be on the eighteenth day of September,
That we will decide whether or not to embarrass
    Her Majesty The Queen,
And when we will have our hearts and our
    heads examined
For what we think of Alexander Elliot Anderson
Aye! That is the day when we decide upon the
    fate of the Tweed,
Which is a very, very fine fishing river indeed,
And I entreat ye that you watch me grasp the
For sassenachs, alas, are not often worth the
And also I will neither palter nor parley
With the Germans who rejected our very good
    and bonnie Prince Charlie,
A better man than the Charlie we have as our heir,
Who wears a kilt yet fills all Scotland with
And aye, Cameron, too, a Scot of a clan and
    from the city of Aberdeen,
Which is a very fine place where he has not been,
So I will let England become faraway and
For in London, I am sorry to say, they spurn the
Bill Greenwell
‘Twill be on Thursday the 18th day of
Which I hope will be a day which all Scots will
Especially the 16 and 17 year olds, I note,
As they will in the referendum be entitled to vote.
This year is of Bannockburn the 700th
As all Scots are aware, though their knowledge
    be cursory;
So on independence I am sure they should all be
As long as they do not do away with Her
    Majesty the Queen.
Thanks to the skills of Alex Salmond and Nicola
The hopes of the Yes campaign are starting to
Although the Electoral Commission, I am sorry
    to see,
Changed the question’s wording to ‘Should’
    from ‘Do you agree’.
I am sure that we are on very strong ground
To keep both EU membership and the pound,
So success to Yes Scotland against Better
And I pray that God blesses the day with
    clement weather.
Nicholas Hodgson


No. 2851: Paxmanic

To mark the sad departure of Jeremy Paxman from Newsnight, you are invited to supply an extract from an interview with a politician or statesman in which the interviewer doggedly but unsuccessfully attempts to get a straight answer to a straight question. Please email entries (where possible), of up to 150 words, to by noon on 4 June.

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