Many people will rush around at the last minute as they prepare for Christmas Day, writes Colin Campbell. But Ross MP and SNP Westminster leader, and simple 10 acres Skye crofter Ian Blackford, has his plans all in place.
8am: A Buck’s Fizz breakfast in the four poster with a silver platter of heated mince pies for Ian.
9am: The annual exchange of Christmas presents. This year the gifts will be a matching pair of his and hers luxury Range Rovers.
11am: Ian will dress up as a crofter in his traditional crofter’s garb of a pullover and pink trousers, as previously posted on his Twitter site, ideal for concealing splatters of grime and mud, and stride out to have a look at the sheep. This will be recorded and later posted on Twitter and will include a Christmas message to SNP supporters. Looking straight at the camera, Ian will promise them another referendum in 2022. In the background the sheep will go “mehhh”. Later on, others will cry: “Yeesss!”
3pm: Ian and guests will settle down to watch the Queen’s Christmas Message on YouTube. She will say: “This has been one of the most difficult and challenging years any of us can remember. However, I am proud to say we have risen to these challenges, and the Gender Recognition Act is finally set to come into law in the year ahead. At the same time, the entire nation can be proud of the progress we have made in promoting transgender rights, and in eradicating the scourge of transphobia, which I know affects every household in the land. I shall not flinch or falter as we pursue this to a successful conclusion in the months to come. Now, moving on to the issue of independence…”
4pm: A traditional turkey Christmas Dinner will be served. Ian’s will be a 12lb large basted served with a full range of trimmings and stuffing. But he’ll still have room for the trifle. A second turkey will be carved up and shared around the table.
5pm: Games time, with the most popular being Charades. Ian’s turn will involve a man who earns a vast salary and £250,000 a year in expenses from Westminster, with mime and movement depicting himself as someone who wants to leave that all behind and pursue independence.
6pm: While the ladies chatter among themselves, the men will retire for cigars, brandy and a game of darts in The Smoking Room. Their target will be a photo pinned to the wall of Boris Johnson. Ian, slightly tipsy by this time, will hurl his darts with venom, while wildly missing the target. “Damn… Tories… Every… Time…I…Open….My…Mouth…To…Speak…They…All…Start…Laughing…At…Me.”
Thud, thud, thud, thud, thud.
7pm: A signed copy of a book of speeches made by the Queen, published by Sandstone Press amid some Scottish Government funding controversy earlier this year, will be carried with reverence into the Guest Lounge, and those present will take turns to read out the speech they have chosen as their favourite. During the readings Ian’s eyelids will begin to droop and he will sink back into his armchair. A guest, very close to the top of The Regime, will lean over and whisper in his ear that signs of disrespect are carefully noted and reported on, anytime, any day, anywhere.
8pm: A video link up with the rest of the SNP hierarchy for a Grievance Day Conference Call. Traditionally, the SNP leaves Christmas Day grievance free, as there are no papers to report it. But Ian and the others are under instruction to come up with a real humdinger to aim at Westminster on Boxing Day.
9pm: A little bleary by this time, Ian does his daily check on internal SNP polling on his popularity in Scotland. Currently his approval rating is minus 150.
10pm: After a final glass of port and a box of mint imperials, Ian is assisted up the stairs to the four poster. Before falling into deep slumber, he is heard to mumble a few words. “Wake me up when we’re free, tee hee hee.”
Another Christmas Day on the simple, 10 acres croft is over.