Time to welcome the English, Ian

by Colin Campbell

IT’S time for Ian Blackford to recant, repent and make amends. And crack a smile unless he’s been surgically warned his facial bone structure risks falling apart. Three weeks ago the Ross MP and SNP Westminster leader enthusiastically endorsed a sign at the border telling English people to f*** off.

Well the tourism industry is set to reopen for business here on July 15, in a month’s time. And as it struggles to get off its crippled knees, we needs the English to come here, in very large numbers. By heaven we do.

So what is Blackford – who can surely at this critical time be trusted to keep a civil tongue in his head – going to do about it? He must use his position of eminence in parliament to the same effect as he did three weeks ago when he told the people of England in very unpleasant terms where to go.

It would drive some of his nationalist pals crazy – the English haters who’d close the border and let the tourist industry go to hell in a handcart.

They’d be happy to tell everyone south of the border to **** off every day of the week.

And we know what the rancid crew who stir up dissent and divisiveness to sell a few extra copies of mini-rag The National would make of it. They’d go berserk.

But who cares about them. We’re in the middle of a national emergency and a Highland crisis in particular, with thousands of jobs at stake.

From the Mother of Parliaments Blackford should make a special address aimed specifically at folk south of the border.

Here’s what he should say.

“My dear, much-loved and generous English friends, may I invite you now to head northward to sample and to enjoy our splendid and world-famous Highland hospitality. You are not only welcome, you will be our honoured and cherished guests.

“As you know, the unbreakable bond between the good people of Scotland and the fine people of England goes back decades, generations, centuries. It is a matter of enormous regret that, because of the unfortunate events of recent months, we have been unable to greet you in the manner to which you’ve long been accustomed.

b morris
The splendid English tradition of Morris dancing…Ian Blackford must roll out the welcome mat to the Highlands for fine people and their culture.

“My dear English friends, I speak for all Scotland – of course, I always do – in extending to you the hand of friendship and welcome. Village green cricketers, Morris dancers, florid-faced Cornishmen enjoying your flagons of cider, royal wedding celebrants bedecked in red, white and blue bunting, we welcome you all. And, of course, God Save The Queen.

“From the Yorkshire Dales to the South Downs, from the Southern Uplands to the Lowland shires, from the London suburbs to the Lakeland moors, we greet you as our friends, our kinsmen and kinswomen, our fellow countrymen and our guests. Explore, ramble, relax, dine, drink and be merry, the bonny glens of Scotland are wide open and waiting for you all.

b celebrate
English folk love a royal wedding celebration…and we’d all celebrate their arrival here in their hundreds of thousands.

“Nothing would delight me more now than to see you cross the border in vast numbers. The bond between our two countries is such, in fact, that I have personally arranged for a particular border sign in which I have recently taken a special interest to be removed and crushed into a metal briquette, so you’ll be in bonny Scotland before you even know it. In difficult and stressful times, don’t we all make silly mistakes?

“The past three months in my homeland have been a time of yearning – of yearning to be reunited with our English friends. Now is the time, now is the hour, and booking.com is the place. Sweep northward in your tens, your hundreds of thousands, into our fond embrace. Good folk of England, we hold out the hand of friendship to you. It is time for all true Scots to welcome you with open arms. And it is time for us all to meet again.”

Now that’s what Blackford SHOULD say. 

Such an intervention has never been more needed. And wouldn’t it be a delight to see this normally rotund bundle of puce-faced rage transformed into a true Highland gentleman, tapping into a reservoir of natural, hospitable charm?

Nat 1


We know what the nationalist lunatic fringe would make of it. It may be a tough personal call. 

But it’s time to step up Ian, and put people before party and politics. The Highlands, and your country needs you. Forget about any potentially untoward consequences.

You will always have your 10-acre croft to fall back on should your career take an unfortunate twist. Make that speech, speak up for Scotland, and help save the tourist industry. And, unlikely as it may seem, we may forever be in your debt.

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