A Trip Up North


At the door to the allotment shed, old Uncle Jeremy dozed in the broken armchair with the springs sticking out. ‘Wake up’, said a voice. It was young Kezia, his niece, shaking the shoulder of his Mao jacket.

‘Eh? What’s up? What day is it? Has the revolution started?’ He ran fingers through his straggly beard. ‘Stalin didn’t shoot his own wife, you know. It’s a lie put out by the Kremlin plotters.’

Kez laughed. ‘Don’t be silly, uncle. The revolution’s over – Mr Blair has gone. I want you to come north with me on a trip.’

‘Up north! You mean north of Islington? Like Enfield?

‘Even further north, uncle.’

‘You mean Watford’

Kez remembered why she loved old Jeremy so much, despite thinking he was doolally and should have retired years ago.

‘I’m taking you to see my new place which I run all by myself and have lots and lots of new friends. It’s called Scotland.’

‘Oh alright. But only if we can travel in an overcrowded carriage with the peasants carrying chickens in wicker baskets and share home-made bread while the guard plays a balalaika.’

And so Jeremy arrived in Scotland on an island Kezia said was called Stornoway where people spoke a strange a language and made garments out of steel wool. Kez said it was named after a Mr Harris. They had a meeting with a nice Mr Brian Wilson who said he had a plan to make it another socialist paradise like Cuba.

To make him look more Scottish and make sure he didn’t patronise anybody, Kez asked him to play the bagpipes for the camera.

Then a rude person asked a whole lot of ridiculous questions. ‘How can you protect workers’ rights outside the EU? Why do want to keep nuclear weapons? The Institute for fiscal Studies says you would keep £7 billion of Tory spending cuts hitting the poorest. That true?’

Jeremy smiled. ‘Did somebody remember to water the strawberries before I left the allotment?’

Then it was on to a traditional bastion of Jeremy support – a working steel plant where men wore overalls and had dirty fingernails. This was what he stood for – honest toil in a furnace factory. The union official told him the only reason it was still open was because something called the SNP had stopped it from closing down.

‘Quite right too! They are heroes of the people.’

Then Kez whispered something in his ear. ‘I mean they are the enemy of working people and must be crushed. They are the same as the wicked Tories with their boot on the throat of the workers.’

The SNP had privatised Cal Mac ferries, he said next until a rude person coughed and said that was a lie from nice Mr Wilson. And they sold off Scotrail, he added, until a voice said they had no power to do that.

‘Well, never mind. I’m open to lots of different devolution ideas like Scotland having its own legal system.’

Someone coughed again.

‘Will you SHUT UP’, shouted Jeremy.

Kez gave him a cup of tea and said they would visit Lanarkshire where many people liked him and would have turned up to see him if only Cash in the Attic wasn’t on BBC1. Jeremy asked if he could meet the council leader but Kez said he was under house arrest accused of corruption.

‘That’s a shame’, said Jeremy. ‘I wanted to tell him how the SNP must use all their budget to reverse the injustices foisted on Scotland by the Unionist government they didn’t vote for.’

He said they should abolish student tuition fees, retain the maintenance grant, reverse the housing benefit cut for 18 to 21 year olds and create thousands of apprenticeships. They should pay another £600 a year to carers, prevent profits being made from assessing disability and cover for cuts to council tax support. They should mitigate the bedroom tax and oppose the third child benefit cut and not waste money on Trident and not privatise the NHS…He went on and on with his list of progressive demands and waited for applause. But there was only silence. People looked away. Kezia took his arm and whispered that the SNP had already done all this while Labour had abstained on the Tories’ austerity plans in Westminster.

She said he should stop now before he embarrassed her in front of her new friends.

Kez realised she had been right all along. He really was doolally and should have retired years ago.

The only thing he’d got right was that Scotland should never ever, under any circumstances, run its own affairs, because even an ignorant, condescending allotment dweller from Islington could do a better job than any Scot.

Jeremy waved goodbye to Scotland. ‘Got to go. I’m chairing a meeting of the allotment summer produce collective in the morning. We’ll need to grow all our own once we leave the EU, you know. Och aye the noo.’

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43 thoughts on “A Trip Up North

  1. Derek. An absolute masterpiece!

  2. Out of touch much like Kezia in their very own parallel universe , most people learn from their mistakes , nope not old jesa regurgitating the same tripe over and over again , it’s not even remotely close to the truth either , thats what makes it even more suspect . Why would labour in scotland allow him to continue to make a fool of himself , the dark arts and boney fingers of Mc Ternan are on this one , methode in their madness ? . or just Labour in scotland unable to learn from past failures .

    Maybe you shouldn’t be pointing out the faults in labour’s approach , Why deprive so many of a right good laugh , dont interrupt them they are doing just fine playing in their own wee sand box .

    A very good post Mr Bateman havent laughed so much for a while .

  3. Bang on the money, that SNP mob deliberately make Labour look bad, how do they get away with it. lol


  4. Love it ! Could become more wee series ! Uncle Jerry !

  5. you missed a line,
    “and I’ll tell you something else, they’re doing it deliberately!” . . .

  6. Thanks for that it was pouring with rain & I needed something to put a smile back on my face…Brilliant 😂😂😂

  7. With illustrations this would make a wonderful little present at Christmas……and especially if it’s the first of a series as suggested by Iain.

    Great stuff! Thanks, Derek.

  8. Nicely done!

  9. Iain MacGillivray

    Fantastic, if it weren’t probably true…btw, did you really mean Cash in the Attack (or Attic)

  10. Please get this out to the widest audience!

  11. Indeed. Needs to be read widely and MORE episodes please.

  12. What a belter! On the money and very, very funny.
    As someone suggested above, a series featuring the thoughts of Uncle Jeremy and the endless embarrassment of his clueless niece Kezia has enormous comic potential.

  13. Would make a great addition to the modern adult Ladybird book collection:

    “The Trip Up North”

  14. I see a future in Pantomime writing. Or if Hislop wasn’t such a Unionist it would make a great article in PE.

  15. Masterly contribution,, Derek.
    Demonstrates so effectively that gentle humour can be harder hitting than anger.
    Unlikely however to be followed by our wholly lamentable highly selective news media

  16. A wee request Derek. Can you get someone to alter your ‘masthead’ as when I share on Facebook, all we see is a blank square, with your picture.

  17. Well nobody told me Jeremy was visiting, not even labour hame. Did he make any impression ???

  18. OMG Truth wrapped in comedy , unfortunately for many Scots their incompetence is not in the least funny , Derek where is kezias new pals apart fae tRuthless the tank buster

    Seriously I would love to see this in a cartoon strip illustrated by Chris Cairns it would make a great handout

  19. Hahahaha!!! Best laugh for a while. Thanks, Derek!!

  20. You should get someone to illustrate this & make it into the Ladybird Book of the Labour Party. Hilarious.

  21. Illustrate it? it should be on film, up there with Still Game.

    Col Ruthie of the the weekend signals militia, and linesman Ross are also prime subjects for the Still Game treatment. As for Nil by Mouth, to be sure ( an Irish way of saying), Ruthie’s miscreants, have been for lessons at Nil by Mouth, well retrospective lessons? Will the lessons sink in? Mebbes Aye, mebbes naw.

    And then, why leave out the wallflowers, the LibDems. ” A leaflet there, a leaflet where, every where a leaflet”.Us, we LibDems overspent on campaigning? How dare you sir. We simply oversubscribed on leaflets, and upon realising our/ their error, we “elected” not to deliver the oversubscribed leaflets. Proof? On our word. And so we haven’t overspent, in our opinion.

    More good news for the Britnats, 1 billion barrels oil field found West of Shetland, 20 billion resource likely.All the more reason to lie to the gullible.

    Oh well.

  22. I wonder if Linesman Ross understands the Offside rule?

  23. Awesome. 😀

    Neatly done Derek.

  24. A parody of Corbyns visit to Scotland that has an air of “truthiness” about it. The ridiculous demands. The sheer brass necked grandstanding as they wandered about taking credit for things they had no part in. Calling the Edinburgh festival a “British” festival. Celebrating a steel mill they would have closed. Triumphalist chest beating over a bridge they spent decades decrying. Scottish labour have become a parody of a political party that escaped from a script of “in the thick of it”. And Corbyn…a well meaning, but clueless English MP, who came offering things we already have, with his head filled with Scottish labours pish. If he had the slightest sense, he’d cut Scottish labour adrift and let it wither on the vine and die out.

  25. Ace,Derek. Sadly true. I note Kezia has resigned.
    I’d like to think that her decision followed reading this excellent little piece de ridicule.

  26. What Kezia really thinks and what she says and does are two separate things in my opinion. She has always sounded insincere and forced to me, as though being coached and tutored by others. She flip flops constantly suggesting she doesn’t know herself what she thinks. I think Brian Taylor is right, she has gone before she is pushed by the Corbynistas. I never thought her heart was in it.

  27. Great piece of writing, Derek. Anyway, Dugdale is gone, to be given, no doubt, a helping hand by her anti-Scottish britnat media chums.

  28. And so Kezia quits. Corbyn rattled no one it seems except perhaps Dugdale. His shooting down of the federal fairy made her position untenable. It also betrayed Corbyns lack of knowledge of Scotland’s unique system of law to add to all the other things he seems not to have much of a clue about.

    • A wee devil on my shoulder told me Kezia’s gone now because someone had a quiet word in her ear about what would happen if the leader of (Not) Labour in Scotland lost a libel case…

  29. Great work Derek i needed a laugh. Political satire can be both dam funny and a powerful tool, remember the Mark Thomas Comedy Product? that was priceless. I never missed an episode. We are also sadly lacking the likes of Spitting Image and Ben Elton, where are their equals now? I suppose Kezia Dug tried her best but i just don’t find her very amusing, maybe it’s a modern style of comedy like The Office, that didn’t work for me either. Corbyn could, i suppose, be classed as “Old School” but i was under the impression that clowns were a thing of the past.

    I wonder if Kezia read this piece, it could have hastened her departure, helped her realize just how futile both her position and party really are.

    How about a joint episode with The Broons? Corbyn and the Gordo could have a square go over the point and meaning of the labor party , new or old.

  30. Surely if Col tRuthie was to be placed into comedy it would be with Gary: Tank Commander 😉

  31. Labour delusion in a nutshell!! This document should be read by all SNP canvassers and used to show the vacuum Labour and the branch are in.
    On the way out. Like the Ruthless Tories. Do the day job, and yet it is being done with quiet gusto. Only the yoon msm have deliberately airbrushed it out.

  32. Spot on, Derek. I’m sure Jeremy Corbyn is a very nice person and the life and soul of the allotment.

  33. And he is doing a very fine job too, if you are a conservative. I see he doesn’t fancy Anas to replace Kezia. Mind you i cant imagine Anas getting his hands dirty…….at the allotment.

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