The tone is classic undergraduate – jocular, a tad facetious and plainly tongue-in-cheek. The author, an Englishman, suggests his home country seize the initiative and press for ‘unilateral divorce’ and ‘watch Scotland descend back into the deep-fried gloom from which we once rescued her.’ Expelling Scotland from the Union would mean ‘we’d no longer have to feign knowledge of Rabbie Burns and Walter Scott or pretend that Shinty is a real sport’.

Harmless stuff that would, in times of old, have passed without notice. But this is Scotland, 2022, and gentle mockery is very last season. The article was seized on by the SNP’s legions of cyber-nats who duly denounced the Saint and all associated with it. Holyrood’s former presiding officer Tricia Marwick lambasted the students as ‘pathetic wee trolls’ and mocked them for being ‘poor souls who failed to get into Oxbridge. An SNP council candidate dubbed it ‘disgusting and misogynistic’ and demanded St Andrews take action against its students. The National, meanwhile splashed the ‘story’ on its front page; not like there is any other news in the world today.

Such spittle-flecked fury seems to have been sparked most of all by some minor jibes at the Blessed Nicola, the nationalist-in-chief. The Saint article joked that the First Minister had made ‘hell a place on Earth,’ turning Scotland into the ‘ultimate Braveheart tribute act (sponsored by Heineken 0.0, naturally).’ It joked that she ‘must be the only politician who ever looked at Saudi Arabia’s nightlife and said, “I want a piece of that action”‘ and asked how ‘exactly would Nicola’s new society of alcohol-free Gaelic androids survive without English money and common sense?’

Want to see more SNP fails? – Education Matters

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