Do you remember back to when you wanted to ride a motorcycle, but your parents wouldn’t let you because they thought it was too dangerous? You watched every passing motorcycle with envy, imagining how it might be to be so free and cool. The more your parents said “No”, the more you wanted it.
But of course, like Scotland and independence, you had no idea what it would really be like to ride a bike, and only the generalities of questionable road safety statistics to indicate how dangerous it might be. People like that orthopedic surgeon friend of your fathers might try to shock you with his tales of the motorcycle injuries he’d dealt with, but in reality, you could get run over any day as a pedestrian.
So the Scots have got the motorcycle itch, and it isn’t going to go away regardless of the result of the referendum. A close result either way will give them terrible problems. A ‘No” vote may well make the itching worse. And was we know, “born-again bikers” who defer scratching their itch then buy a super bike can almost as dangerous on the road as 17 to 24 year-olds.
And then we have the prospect of Gordon Brown making history as both the first Prime Minister of Scotland, and the the first person ever to be Prime Minister of Great Britain and then of Scotland. Why do I say this? Well, there will have to be a General Election in the newly independent Scotland, which Alec Salmond is likely to lose as the “No” voters take their revenge. Gordon Brown is the next big name – or arguably even now, actually the biggest name in Scottish politics. He also probably would like to become an elected PM…
But nobody has thought this through.
If they had, as UK Prime Minister, David Cameron would be leaving the Scots to get on with it with a studious lack of comment or intervention. Agreeing to the referendum was his big decision – for which arguably he could be criticised. But the rest of it all is nothing to do with him. He should have kept out of it.
One feels sorry for Millband and Labour at losing their electoral foundation – but they should have seen that coming before Cameron agreed to the referendum. Their campaign should have been back then. Now, it’s just them trying to survive and little to do with Scotland.
I say, if the Scots want to become bikers, that’s their business. I’ll ride out with them when they’ve got it all sorted out. But I hope they opt for a Triumph or Norton-based bobber. A British custom bike is always best!