In a surprise development, self-styled “wee Scotsman for hire”, Sir Jackie Shortbread, has revealed the shocking truth behind Alex Salmond’s resignation as Scotland’s First Minster. Speaking from his second home in the tranquil Swiss village of Beaucoup D’Argent, Sir Jackie told our European correspondent, Jean-Claude Van Dryver, that he had brokered a pre-Scottish referendum bet between Mr. Salmond and semi-reclusive Better Together leader, Alistair Darling. The head of whichever campaign lost the referendum, explained Sir Jackie, agreed to wear a pair of Sir Jackie’s patented tartan trousers for 50 weeks each year. It would seem, however, that Mr. Salmond had no intention of fulfilling the bet. “I called Alex immediately after the results were declared and asked him to confirm his trouser size,” said Sir Jackie. “To my surprise, he embarked on a tirade of abuse, claiming that I had persuaded all of Scotland’s senior citizens to vote ‘no’. I assured him that this was not the case, Better Together having declined to meet my fee demands, whereupon he claimed that he should only have to wear the trousers 55% of the time. When I told him that this was unacceptable, he shouted, ‘Right, I quit then’ and banged down the phone.” Sir Jackie has since promised to donate the trousers to The National Centre For The Colour Blind.
In other news, Sir Milton Finesilver of The All England Club today confirmed that charismatically by-passed tennis player Andy Murray will only be allowed to enter next year’s Wimbledon Championships if he agrees to wear a pair of Sir Jackie’s trousers for the duration of his participation in the tournament. When our tennis correspondent, Charles Forte-Love, suggested that this was too harsh a punishment for Murray’s support of Scottish independence, Sir Milton replied, “Not really; if he maintains his current form he’ll only have to wear the bally things for a day or two.”