My Lithuanian friend Diana is a mature student at one of the two universities in my home town, Dundee in Scotland. "Diana and David," she says to me, "we ought to form an international pop duo." "David and Diana would sound better," I try to persuade her.
© Reuters/Scanpix

It was high time for some important issues regarding the future of Scotland to be settled, we felt, in the run-up to the recent referendum. "You will have noticed," declared Diana (who notices everything, I think it's a Lithuanian trait) "how advocates on both sides of the argument remained bafflingly silent on certain key topics, no matter how often they clambered on their soapboxes and try to soft-soap us." I nodded, as if I knew exactly what she meant.

"For example" - there was no stopping Diana now, there never is - "would an independent Scotland have conferred its own knighthoods?"

"Arise, Sir David of Dundee? I would have voted for that," I told her.

"Would border patrols have been set up to prevent fleeing felons from seeking asylum down south in England?" wondered Diana. "Would import duty have been imposed on French gateaux? Scotland is called the Land o' Cakes, after all, isn't it? And might Edinburgh Airport have sprouted separate queuing facilities at Arrivals, to segregate the Natives from the Others?" Diana buys her perfume at Edinburgh Airport, Chanel No 5 I think it is, or was that her Departure Gate? "Cheaper than buying it in Vilnius," she remarks ruefully.

I am feeling a bit flat myself after the No vote. I was sort of looking forward to some new faces on our banknotes to replace Dickens and Darwin (who claimed only the fittest survive.) I had made it known that my head was available for most denominations.

David Aitken
David Aitken

The scaremongers had painted a picture of economic stagnation if Scotland went at it alone, suggesting we might become like France in August, with nothing open for business. To listen to them, we could all have awakened with an independence hangover, asking ourselves, 'Why are we here?' and 'How did we get here?' Those could be the first lines of the Post-Referendum Blues, sung by David and Diana. (I told you it scanned better like that.)

It has all taken a long time and cost a lot of money, for not very much in the end, in Diana's view. After all is said and done, more is usually said than done, just about sums it up. Perhaps we ought to have employed the Dundee Solution to solve intractable problems - in the event of a dead heat for our Lord Provost, cards are cut.

Will we all be any wiser after the event? Should I have kept that seebackroscope I got free with my local comic all those years ago? As a man who has never nailed his colours to any mast, I guess I'll just sink or swim with Scotland from now on, like many of my fellow Scots. We are, if nothing else, a nation of philosophers. Did I mention that Diana is studying philosophy at Dundee University? She says it helps her sleep at night. Perhaps I ought to borrow one of her course books, see if I can chase away those post-referendum blues.

Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments