You know a cunning plan has flaws when the Three Stooges are able to articulate the essential problem.
Scotland faces a referendum next week on independence, and a recent poll showing the "Yes" vote with a narrow edge made that side very happy and made the British pound tumble, because the nationalists expect to continue to use the pound as their currency.
And if the Stooges don't actually lay out a detailed economic analysis, well, neither does Matt, but he makes the point nonetheless. ("RBS" being "Royal Bank of Scotland.)
For those who do want exquisite detail, the Scotsman newspaper (which I might add was one of the first and best of the online pioneers) has a page of links to their coverage of the push that you may click upon to your heart's delight.
There is a lot of sentiment involved in this, and I'm not insensitive to that, having sorta kinda hoped Ulster might find a way out of the Union in the Eighties, and also having followed Quebec's move in that direction in the Nineties.
Both had significant problems, but the Irish nationalists had a slight edge in pragmatism, since they were looking to unify with an existing nation with an existing economy.
Which doesn't mean the Six Counties would have easily flowed into a united Ireland, since, despite the bigotry behind the old phrase, "Home Rule is Rome Rule," there's more than a grain of truth in it, and it's doubtful that Ulster would have enjoyed living under the thumb of a government dominated by conservative Catholic law.
Scotland's move, however, seems more like Quebec's, a type of breaking away which really has more to do with sovereignty than with actual independence, since Quebec also expected to maintain economic ties with Canada.
And, with all due respect to nationalist feelings, that's a bit like pitching a tent in the backyard but still counting on access to the refrigerator and the bathroom: You've established some distance, but you haven't actually achieved any real independence.
The bottom line is that independence isn't as simple a proposition as people seem to think, and the easy crossborder interactions of a free-trade world are not really that carefree and strings-free after all.
Kal plays upon the sentiment while suggesting the practical limitations, including the dubious notion that Scotland can keep its oil revenues while expecting an allied English economy to remain buoyant.
As well as the even more dubious notion that those oil reserves could be a permanent economic benefit to either country.
It's a lovely piece that makes a nice pairing with Matt (Pritchett, by the way), since, while Matt's is based entirely on current, pragmatic economic issues, Kal Kallaugher's style is wonderfully appropriate for playing upon the romance of it all.
His depiction of the Highlander piping away captures the heart, and it's important to note that the romance is hardly one-sided, and that some of the dread being expressed south of the border is not simply based on the economic fallout, but also on the extent to which Scottish culture has been embraced by and intertwined with English tradition.
Scottish militants might dismiss this as a sort of pat-on-the-head attitude, in which they are trotted out to play the bagpipes, but it is a factor nonetheless: The two countries have been in union since 1603, and while that first conjoined monarch is referred to as "James the First and Sixth" north of the border, the fact remains that 400 years is a long time and a lot of cultural interbreeding has naturally occurred.
It's also those damned addictive cookies.
In any case, while that poll may have cheered the nationalists, it seems also to have been a wake-up call to the more pragmatic among the 97 percent (!) of Scottish voters who have registered for the referendum.
Including the fellow who put together this somewhat repetitive but passionate and detailed argument.
At this point, it seems doubtful that Scots will actually vote to pull away, but things will be close enough that nationalist sentiment will have to be acknowledged, and Britain is already offering a degree of sovereignty in exchange for a "No" vote Thursday.
Which could turn out to be as much of a victory as you could have, short of a complete disaster.
And it really is a rather nice place they've got up there:
And then there's this:
I've seen so many bad puns badly played that the bad pun in today's Brewster Rockit was a delight. No apology, no backing away, and a delivery as staged and silly as the gag itself. Goo'ness gracious, people, either be proud of the gag or come up with something else. Embrace your foolishness!
Peabody and Sherman could not have done it better.