Contractual obligations

May 2011

Dear Westminster,

As an enthusiastic proponent of the privatisation of governmental services, which you have repeatedly promoted as a means to cost savings, greater efficiency and accountability, we trust that you will wholeheartedly embrace the fact that our board members have, after considerable consideration, resolved to take your views to their logical conclusion.

You will appreciate that we have already made numerous complaints via your call centres, which are conveniently open once every five years, to express our disapproval of a number of aspects of your service delivery. However your automatic dialing system permits only a choice between 4 shades of approval – press blue for enthusiastic austerity and privatisation, press red for austerity and privatisation with a sad face, press yellow for a ministerial motor for Danny Alexander, or press purple for swivel eyed lunacy.

Therefore, following intense discussions amongst the 4 million voting members of the board of the Scottish National Cooperative, the decision has been reached to put our contract with you for parliamentary services provision out for tender.

We feel it is appropriate to advise you that the board has received a bid from an alternative supplier, which promises significant cost savings, greater efficiency, and vastly improved accountability.

However, as our parliamentary services provider for 307 years, we hope that you will embrace this opportunity to demonstrate that we are, as you repeatedly claim, better together, and that you will submit a new bid to retain your existing contract. In turn, we anticipate your exciting proposals for service enhancements going forward.

Please rest assured that we will consider your application carefully and sympathetically. We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully



February 2014

Dear Westminster,

Thank you very much for the reply from your Chief Executive, Mr David Cameron. We are disappointed that he chose to deliver his presentation to the Olympic Velodrome in London, and did not present it in person to members of our board. Indeed for a number of our board members the subliminal message of being told to get on yer bike by a Conservative in London provoked a reoccurrence of a distressing medical condition – PTSD (Post-Thatcher Stress Disorder).

While we are heartened that Mr Cameron expressed his deep affection for all things Caledonian, we could not fail to note that he did not give details of the improvements to service delivery which had been requested. We are hopeful that you will remedy this omission in future communications.

Please note that we have now received a detailed proposal from an alternative supplier, and look forward to your bettering this offer. We trust that this will not be problematic for your organisation, as we are, in your words, better together. However we cannot fail to note that until now you appear to have interpreted “better together” as “you’ll be doomed without us”. We are sure that this is merely a temporary lapse, and that you will shortly present the positive case for the union which you promised on receipt of our letter of 2011.

Yours faithfully,



March 2014

Dear Westminster,

Thank you very much for the joint submissions from Mr George Osborne, Mr Ed Balls and Mr Danny Alexander. However you must appreciate our distress that your sales team’s pitch was based on the surprising premise that your organisation has sole rights to a currency and central bank which we were under the impression we already owned jointly with the rest of your service users. This is a situation which we consider comparable to receiving a notification from our electricity supplier that they own our tv set, toaster, and the plug in spa foot bath we got as a Christmas present from Auntie Magrit, which now lives in the cupboard under the stairs along with the last remnants of the Scottish Lib Dems.

It is however regretable that none of the three gentlemen submitted themselves to questions from the floor after making their presentations. We can only assume that they are taking their cue from Mr Cameron and his repeated assertions that he is not getting involved in the debate while telling us we would be nothing without him.

We would also like to express our thanks for Mr José Manuel Barroso’s communication, in which he was so ably enabled by Mr Andrew Marr. We have since discovered that following in the long and venerable tradition of Portuguese right wing politicians, Mr Barroso’s intervention came in response to your offer to write him a letter of recommendation for a lucrative post with another organisation, and we would like to remind you that our board considers that a parliament which goes behind our back to make secret deals with foreign companies is a parliament which is unlikely to prove trustworthy. Indeed we have since received a number of communications from experts in the field of EU enlargement, who assure us that Mr Barroso’s intervention was, if you will forgive our employment of technical EU bureaucratic jargon, a pile o pish.

We have therefore passed on your communications to Edinburgh resident JK Rowling, who is, as you are aware, a leading exponent of the art of fantasy fiction. We believe she may be able to make productive use of them now that she’s killed off Voldemort.

We continue to await your positive case for the union with excited anticipation.

Yours faithfully,



April 2014

Dear Westminster,

Thank you for the presentations from Mr Gordon Brown, Mr George Robertson and Mr Philip Hammond. They have indeed made a deep and lasting impression on our board members.

Mr Brown has now made three interventions on your behalf, each of which was apparently his first intervention in the discussion. We shall be charitable and assume that he forgot the first two. We must also bring to your attention another memory lapse on Mr Brown’s part – it may not have been a good idea to present a warning on the future of pensions by a man who is perhaps best known for wrecking the pensions of millions of workers and whose moral compass is stuck on a permanent spin cycle. However his intervention does prompt us to put a question to you in return – did you actually think this one through? Indeed, have you thought anything through at all?

We are especially grateful for the entertaining impression of Dr Strangelove provided by Mr Robertson, who we are informed prefers to be known by the name Baron Robertson of Port Ellen KT GCMG FRSA FRSE PC. Mr Robertson warned of an apocalyptic scenario should our board choose to reject your services. Having been told for the previous 2 years that we are an insignificant nothing, poorer than Rwanda and with an international presence considerably less than that of San Marino, it was heartening to learn that our contract with you is all that stands between world peace and the end of civilisation as we know it. Who knew we possessed such influence? However we should advise you that in Scotland, we prefer to refer to Mr Robertson by the name “Psychotic Walter Mitty Wannabe”.

We had not considered the eventuality of an invasion of lizard aliens from outer space, and are grateful to Mr Hammond for bringing this important matter to our attention. However we are of the view that a civilisation which possesses technology allowing it to successfully navigate the vast distances of interstellar space is unlikely to be deterred by a submarine which is incapable of making a successful orbit of the Isle of Skye.

We would also like to point out that, contrary to the impression given by your representatives, lizard aliens from planet Alicsammin are not the rival bidders for your existing contract. We are in fact proposing renationalisation, and intend to supply parliamentary services ourselves.

We cannot escape the impression that you do not in fact have any concept of what a “positive case for the union” might consist of. Please note that given you have now had some 2 years in which to make this presentation, we have little confidence that you will do so before the formal meeting of our board on 18th September.

Yours faithfully,



26 April 2014

Dear Westminster,

You are running out of time until your contract is up for renewal, and we are running out of patience.

We have now come to the inescapable conclusion that your organisation is not in fact the world beating parliamentary services provider detailed in your glossy but misleading leaflets, but rather you are a bunch of clueless shysters who are only interested in furthering their own careers.

Please be advised that there are now less than 5 months until our full board meeting, and it is now looking increasingly unlikely that we will vote to continue with your services.

However should our board vote to cancel your contract, we are confident that following the market principles which you repeatedly promote, the cancellation will inspire you to remedy the deficiencies in service provision for your remaining customers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We consider this our lasting legacy to the union, a legacy which will have considerably more positive and lasting effects than anything you’ve done yourselves.

Yours faithfully

Scotland, your friends in the north



0 thoughts on “Contractual obligations

  1. Pingback: Contractual obligations | Scottish Independence...

  2. I think the Unionists have gone beyond parody and are approaching the surreal. Who would have guessed before the Indyref began that bastions of the Establishment would fall apart so rapidly. What’s next?

    • The British establishment have often got by due to the belief in their own entitlement which instead of being seen as arrogance can appear to be competence.

      ‘After the war, the inhabitants of Singapore and Malaya welcomed the British when they came to free them from the clutches of the Japanese but no longer viewed the British as ‘all-powerful’ as before.
      Now, they held the British with contempt as they not only did not manage to protect Singapore as promised, but the fall of Singapore merely happened in a matter of days.
      The mistakes that the British made were irredeemable in the eyes of the inhabitants, who had lived the horror that was the Occupation.’

      I remember seeing a programme about this and the British marched back into Singapore post war thinking they could just take over from where they left off and were greeted with silence.

      Singapore’s first general election in 1955 was won by David Marshall, the pro-independence leader of the Labour Front. He led a delegation to London to demand complete self-rule but was turned down by the British.

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  5. These days the Establishment reminds me of a Hollywood film set. From the front, you see tall buildings, solid-looking. Then you walk round the other side and see that it’s just fibreglass frontages held up by scaffolding.

    In the (now unlikely it seems) event of No vote, we are not going to be able to trust UK politics and politicians ever again.

  6. Just brilliant Paul.
    I look forward to Westminster and friends getting their P45s in September (not sure if board members ever get P45’s but here’s hoping).

  7. Hola Wee Ginger Dug,

    We have been in Valencia for past three months and cannae wait to return tae Scotland next week ….. wu’rr just inspired by aw’ yurr posts an hu’v enjoyed sharing them with the other dugs we’ve met on oor travels!! We hu’v learnt a lot; laughed a lot n snarled a couple of times in solidarity. Keep them coming……inspired or what?? Dougie the Glesga Westie n Hector the Glesga Scottie!

  8. Fantastic, especially

    “We had not considered the eventuality of an invasion of lizard aliens from outer space, and are grateful to Mr Hammond for bringing this important matter to our attention. However we are of the view that a civilisation which possesses technology allowing it to successfully navigate the vast distances of interstellar space is unlikely to be deterred by a submarine which is incapable of making a successful orbit of the Isle of Skye.”

    Nearly coughed my Macallan over the keyboard

    PS My spellchecker suggests I change Macallan to Matalan. What do you think?

  9. Mr Barosso’s intervention was, if you will forgive our employment of technical EU bureaucratic jargon, a pile o pish.

    not Marr,bbc finest moment

  10. Let us all remember ANYTHING that comes from Unionist mouths is only for their self interest.
    It is not that they “love” us, in fact according to a myriad of Unionist blogs, not least the MSM ones, are full of bile and hatred. Dare we want democracy in Scotland, well yes we do.

    They fear democracy here, as it will show the Union for what it is, and it is likely going to lead the English want it for themselves, that is what the “Elites” really fear. Nothing else matters, they must maintain their cosy lives off the backs of the poorest in society and have absolute commitment in continuing to do so.

    You may think of Scotland as a test case for them within this mindset, if democracy fails here, they have a working formula should it raise it’s head in England. That is now their prime intention.
    To defeat democracy here to show any other upstarts what will happen.
    Trouble is, ” the best plans of men and mice! “.

  11. This is another hilarious attack. Brilliant, Paul. I sometimes think that what is wrong with those who want to vote No is that they must lack a sense of humour. There is so much which is ridiculous in the BT campaign, cleverly exposed here.

  12. I’ve re-read this three times and found something new which has sent me into fits again Paul.
    You have constructed another cutting, satirical masterpiece which shall be printed and distributed as widely as possible. ( You’re costing me a fortune in ink.)
    Your contribution to the future of our country is immense Paul, and I am helluva glad you are on this side of the debate. Thank you.

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