25 January 2012

Kinlochbervie Chronicle: Scots gold "worthless", experts claim

No doubt several of you saw Alex Salmond being interviewed on Newsnight last night, attending to such vital matters of how Scotland would transfer its share of much depleted British gold stocks to Edinburgh. As ever, the plodding BBC trails behind the fleet-footed local press. Just yesterday, the Kinlochbervie Chronicle published the following....

Scots gold "worthless", experts claim
Ecclefechan Mackay (MA), Political Correspondent.

An independent Scotland would be forced to sell its gold bullion in a two for one deal with sport socks, it has been claimed.  Whitehall sources have warned that the world's gold markets would "almost probably" shun the Scottish share of UK gold supplies if the country becomes independent, which would instead have to be "flogged by this guy I met down the pub who keeps an affordable line of foot-absorbers for the physically active in the back of his van. Could I tempt you with a pair?" Another senior figure told the Chronicle "although so-called Scottish gold shares all the same properties as real gold, is indistinguishable from real gold, we're confident that no one would touch it unless it was sold with a pair of icy-white sports socks at a recession-busting, not-entirely Kosher price. This is just basic economics."

This comes in the week that the Spanish government confirmed that it would not allow newly-independent Scots to borrow its treasure fleet to transfer the gold bullion from London to Edinburgh.  Spanish Minister for Rapacious Imperial projects, Rubén Gómez Castellanos, told the Chronicle that "those tartan Catalans aren't touching a single plank of our fucking galleons."

SNP sources were quick to distance themselves from the Spanish Minister's claims, arguing that the Scottish Government were in the process of putting the "finishing touches" to their plans for the gold, and denyed that the Spanish had been approached. The First Minister's official spokesman said "our plans to transfer the gold using a well-shepherded south-to-north blackfaced sheep convoy are in their final stages. We've bought Stewart Stevenson a crook and a pair of walking boots and everything. This is just Unionist tapas-mongering, cooked up in London". 

The Scottish Government plans have now been criticised by prominent transport commentators. Railway expert at the Polytoyn-B Research Institute, Jeremy Paxman, suggests that for "security reasons", an independent Scotland would be forced to build "some sort of armoured train or summink" to convoy the gold to the Scottish capitol. However, last week George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, indicated that an independent Scotland "may not be allowed" to use the wheel, promising that the UK treasury "vigorously enforce its intellectual property rights".  It is understood that an armoured train unable to employ the wheel would be "uneconomically unviable", leaving Scots no option but to leave the gold in Bank of England vaults, and pay "at least ten million groats a year" for its storage, according to early estimates from Bank officials.

However, Scottish street vendors have expressed skepticism about the estimated losses caused by the casual selling of Scotland's national wealth on Sauchiehall Street. Wee Rab McGarry, 34, told the Chronicle: "The casual sock market is really picking up. Shifting a few gold bars oan toap of that? No bother, pal". McGarry was also asked to estimate the gold's retail price from that dank looking alley just off the Glasgow high street.

"Two for a pound, two for a pound", he said.


  1. The unionists are looking forward to a chastened Alex Salmond being forced to front up up a gold-for-cash campaign on the telly.

    "Dear people of Scotland. If any of yous have some spare cash lying about - unlikely since our economy has totally collapsed - but if yous do please gonny send it into the Scottish Government and we will send you back some gold that you can then sell to any of your English (spit!) mates to flog to a cash-for-gold company and maybe make a few bob, eh?"

  2. Excellent stuff - but are you not a wee bit of date with the sports sock sellers? I'm sure there are much less about than formerly.

  3. >>last week George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, indicated that an independent Scotland "may not be allowed" to use the wheel, promising that the UK treasury "vigorously enforce its intellectual property rights".<<

    This is not parody but an analogous descriptor of real life. :)

    magic stuff big chap!

  4. Oh and great to see you in the Guardian LPW


  5. Indy,

    With Salmond wafting a handful of Scottish groat notes, I hope? *bling*


    Me out of date? I fear that you've mistaken this report from a professional and trustworthy news outlet with a ridiculous work of fiction. Ecclefechan would be scandalised to be so traduced!

    On the Guardian, spotted! A bit of cross-platform blogging based on my academic work seemed indicated, but the paper picking it up from the UKHR blog was somewhat unexpected...

  6. I haven't seen a sock seller for ages - I think the pound shops have eaten them all.

    The odd thing is that today I asked the Graun on their 'What do you want to talk about?' thread to have you on Comment is Free on Scottish issues and another poster popped up to say you had been on the legal space a few days ago - synchronicity is wonderful.

  7. Edwin,

    Just goes to show that your top-level Whitehall mandarin clearly has little to no comprehension of major recent developments in the Scottish economy. Perhaps trade will pick up, when the sock-sellers are able to offload a bit of bullion too...