I ARRIVE in time for my meeting with the boss in Blackford’s office at Westminster. Nicola is accompanied by Liz Lloyd, a sure sign that someone later in the day (my money’s on Grady) will be handed their arse. The FM arrives in one of her no-nonsense outfits, a demure but coquettish black Fontaine & Kopa twin-set and a pair of absolutely lethal metallic grey Louboutins from the fabled 2016 collection.

I immediately feel underdressed in my slightly wizened blue Ralph Slater which still bears the scorched imprints of a night out during COP26.

I tell her about the PM’s plan to call her bluff by agreeing to a Section 30 order, but with conditions attached.

“What are the conditions,” she asks. “That the referendum be held early in 2023,” I reply. “He thinks this will catch you on the hop but that you’ll be forced to agree.

“His back’s against the wall and he thinks he can be free of his troubles by winning the referendum and portraying himself as the man who saved the Union. He’s a gambler and will not hesitate to risk the future of the Union to save his political skin.”

Blackford attempts to interject: “Can I just say that the Scottish people didn’t vote for this and won’t be bullied by this undemocratic apology for a …”

“Shut the fuck up, Ian,” says Nicola. “The Scottish people did vote for this. But we need to control the timetable. What do you suggest, Rupert?”

I ask her to leave it with me for 24 hours while I make a couple of phone calls.


I CALL Jackie Zurawski, a former inamorata of mine while I was doing my post-graduate thesis at Cambridge on the philatelic history of the South Sea Islands. Jackie now serves as an adviser on foreign affairs in the Biden administration and is being tipped as a future nominee for the US Supreme Court.

“Hey Rupert; long time, huh? (I think she might be chewing gum). What can I do for you, if that’s not a loaded question, honey? When are you bringing that stiff lil old ass of yours over the pond, sweetheart?”

“Ah Jackie, my dear. How delightful to hear your sweet Alabama cadences,” (at this, she actually giggles … unnervingly). “Look, Jackie, I have some information that may be of use to you and your president. Our Prime Minister is about to call a snap independence referendum in Scotland which he is quite likely to lose.

“If that happens, I have secret documents that the new independent Scotland will impound the nuclear subs, declare ownership of them and sell off the parts on the black market via a group of Ukrainian middlemen who are former officers in the old Soviet Special Forces. Would you mind awfully getting your chap to have a quiet word with Boris and tell him to cool his jets?

“The Scottish FM is happy to hold on to the nukes and will be happy to discuss an appropriate, per-diem rental rate. But if Scotland has independence forced on her before she’s ready, she’ll see the nuclear sell-off as a decent source of revenue.”

“Thank you for the tip-off, Roopy. We’ll get this sorted. What say you and me get together soon for old time’s sake and enjoy a punt on the Cam, geddit! So long, Roopy-doop.”


THE Boris plan to use Scotland’s Western Isles as holding pens for asylum-seekers and refugees is gaining alarming traction in Whitehall.

I attempt to raise these concerns with the CabSec, Sir Norman Stanley-Fletcher. “Look, Sir Norm, this plan is bloody well dangerous. It could kick off years of civil strife in remote communities and introduce an ugly racist flavour to these beautiful places.”

He’s not interested, though.

“I don’t see a problem, Roops, old chap. It’s a win-win. The sheer weight of numbers of asylum seekers would defeat any local attempts to subdue them.

“With any luck they might even annexe the islands in a sort of Spartacus-like uprising and then we could just subsume them back into the British Empire as a protectorate – just like we used to do with their ancestors.

“We could even send them Prince Andrew to be a sort of cultural attache … which would kill two birds with one stone, as it where, what.

“And besides, if that doesn’t happen the arctic weather up there will probably wipe most of them out, anyway.”


WE have a problem. The Sun have pictures of the PM’s fancy-dress, Covid anniversary party in the Rose Garden last week. Boris came dressed as the Grim Reaper swigging from a bottle of Jack Daniels and Carrie was dressed up as a sexy Florence Nightingale.

This could all kick off again.