Alan Bissett

Playwright, novelist, performer, bletherer.

My contribution to the debate on Scottish independence


Vote Britain

Alan Bissett

People of Scotland, vote with your heart.

Vote with your love for the Queen who nurtured you, cradle to grave,

Who protects you and cares, her most darling subjects, to whom you gave

the glens she adores to roam freely through, the stags her children so dearly enjoy killing.

First into battle, loyal and true.  The enemy’s scared of you. 

That’s why we send you over the top with your och-aye-the-noo Mactivish there’s been a murrrderrr jings! crivvens! Deepfriedfuckinmarsbar wee wee dram of whisky hoots mon there’s a moose loose aboot this smackaddict

Vote, Jock.  Vote, Sweaty Sock.  Talk properly.

Vote with those notes we scrutinise  in our shops.

(might be legal tender but looks dodgy to me)

Vote for the Highland Clearances. Baaaaaaaaaa.

Vote for nuclear submarines in your water.

Vote for the Olympic Games you didn’t vote for

(but you’ll pay for it, you’ll pay for it).

Vote Conservative. Vote Lib Dem. Vote Libservative. Vote Condabour.

Vote with the chip on your shoulder.

Vote Labour.  New Labour. Old Labour. Scottish Labour.

(Get back in line, Scottish Labour, HQ in Solihull will issue their commands shortly,

Just keep the vote coming in from up there thanks goodbye,

Subsidy junkie).

Vote for any argument you construct in your defence being ‘anti-English’.

Vote for Scots who make their career in Scotland being ‘unambitious’.

Vote for enjoying your own culture being soooooooo parochial.

Vote God Save the Queen and that bit about us crushing you all.

Hush.  There there.

Vote for Scotland being refered to as a ‘region’, like, say, Yorkshire? Or East Anglia?

Vote for our voices dominating your media, but in no way telling you what to think.

Take a drink.  Go on, son, take a drink.

Vote for oil revenue, which we ensure flows directly from us into you.

Vote for being told you’re the only country in the world that could not possibly survive and that without us you’d fall to pieces like children abandoned in the wild, caked in faeces.

Vote Daily Mail and Rupert Murdoch and

illegalimmigrantskilledPrincessDiana and

London London London most exciting city in the world darling

(Glasgow is a very violent place, is it not. Do you have art?)

Vote wth your heart.  Vote Empire. Vote tradition.

Vote for our proud shared history of


Bringing Wealth and Prosperity to the World!

being on the right side just once and that’s only because it was against yer actual fucking Hitler

Vote for the #ScottishConspiracy at Westminster

(who really runs the show here eh – Blair, Brown – got your own in that time, we aren’t allowed to vote in Holyrood but there’s Archie McPhee pulling wee strings in our parliament when we wouldn’t even think about interfering in how you run your own affairs but while we’re at it, this referendum eh? A so-called referendum, is it?  Have it now, make sure it looks like this)

Vote for very, very, very rich people patronising you.

Vote for Glasgow having the highest knife-crime rate and lowest life expectancy in Europe

due to our generosity.  You may thank us at your leisure.

Vote for the absence of your history in our schools.

All Brits together.

Vote for our shock at your ingratitude!

Vote for us saying ‘Eh? Eh?’ when you open up your porridge mooth.

Vote for bafflement about why you want the England football team to lose.

We always want the Scots to win (except in referenda).

Vote for psychopathic villains with your accent in a soap opera.

Vote for tuition fees and student loans, ensuring that the brightest of your working-class

(since you still insist upon the term, although Our Leaders had it banned)

will one day rise and take their place in this great land.

Vote for us deploying strategic references to Braveheart to dismiss you all.

Vote for Robert Burns being called by Paxman ‘sentimental doggerel’.

Vote for The Iron Lady.  Such a strong leader, gave this country backbone

(you didn’t really want the unions, industries or council homes, just made the place look tatty)

Vote for a deregulated banking class, lionising of the hardworkingwealthgeneratingjobcreatingentrepreneurs

who you will in no way refer to as ‘greedy, selfish bastards’.  Give them your taxes.

Vote for foreign wars.

Yes, sadly, some of you will die.  But you will return to a hero’s welcome


the Union Jack, proud symbol of integrity and honour, draped across your coffin

while your mother, dabbing at her eyes, recalls the words she learned in school

in Kircudbright

  ‘There is some corner of a foreign field that is forever England.’

Vote with your heart.

11 thoughts on “My contribution to the debate on Scottish independence

  1. Pingback: Alan Bissett’s Independent Scotland | Bronwen Winter Phoenix

  2. Hi Bronwyn,

    Thanks for your response and it’s a reasonable one. Of course we need people to be positive about the future of this country, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with expressing anger. Since the SNP’s election triumph of May 2011, which triggered the independence debate, there has been a barrage of ill-informed and often ferocious anti-Scots prejudice in the London media, and very little going in the opposite direction. The SNP have been relentlessly positive in their campaign, seeking to reassure the English people at every stage, which is the correct and statesmenlike thing to do. This has not been reciprocated. Westminster has been feeding the English a steady supply of ‘subsidy junkie’ nonsense, creating a politically-convenient backlash against Scotland. When David Cameron tried to comandeer the referendum I couldn’t contain my feelings, and this poem was the result.

    Is it bitter and angry? Absolutely. But surely justifiable?

    Scotland’s affairs have been imperially controlled by London for a thousand years (the last three hundred of those being under the guise of the British state) and yet many people in England genuinely seem to believe that we are the priveliged ones and that they are being hard done by. This is an extraordinary distortion, as anyone who even casually glances at a Scottish history book will realise. The ‘petty’ issues which the poem raises are all parts of the ongoing narrative of exploitation. The Unionists’ rejection of Scots’ anger about their situation – the depiction of it as, say, ‘chippy’ or ‘anti-English’ – in itself is a colonial tactic designed to defuse dissent, and has to be challenged.

    Secondly, there are a great many Scots undecided about independence. I want to wake them up to the reality, historical and contemporary. Scotland is being puppetered for Westminster’s own ends. Anger is the best way of making people listen. The massive wave of support the poem has had suggests, to me, that there is a huge resorvoir of resentment that Scots feel they are not allowed to express for fear of being called negative or prejudiced. The London media feel no such compunctions. This poem is anti-imperialist, pure and simple, and a roared demand for self-determination.


  3. Pingback: Dear Alan | Bronwen Winter Phoenix

  4. Pingback: Broken Nation - A Poem in Response to the Debate on Scottish Independence

  5. Pingback: Broken Nation – A Poem in Response to the Debate on Scottish Independence « Freedom from the Mundane

  6. Pingback: An independent constitution | Methvenite

  7. Pingback: Scotland Rallies for Independence | Peter Geoghegan

  8. Pingback: WEEKLY WANKER #026: LORD KITCHENER | A Thousand Flowers

  9. Pingback: This Road Won’t Build Itself: A Song For Scottish Independence | National Collective

  10. Pingback: Referendum Continued | Wayward Travels

  11. Pingback: 22 poems from 2014 |