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Independence debate to reach its final hurdle at Tokyo Games

Party leaders agree new approach to settle the issue of independence -- once and for all

runABC Scotland online can exclusively reveal that the leaders of Scotland’s main political parties have agreed to settle the question of independence once and for all this summer.

Caught on a hot mic by our reporter after the party leaders' debate on Monday night, the politicians were heard agreeing that whatever their personal views, it would not be in the country’s emotional or economic interests to be further divided by another long, drawn-out referendum campaign.

Instead, the five leaders present at the event agreed to revert to a more traditional way of settling disputes: with a show of physical strength.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government, Flora Poil, said, “No matter what side you’re on, this constant arguing about independence – and then arguing about how we decide about independence – is ridiculous. We need a definitive answer so we can all move forward. To do that, we’ve decided to turn to sport rather than politics. After all, in a race there can be only one winner.”

As Ms Poil explained further, “For generations, the Olympic 100m final has decided who gets to be crowned the world’s fastest man or woman. Why can’t it also decide whether or not Scotland goes independent? I mean, it’s not like we’ve found a better way to sort this out.”    

The time and date of the special 100m dash featuring the leaders of Scotland’s main political parties has not yet been finalised, but it is sure to be essential viewing. 

Rather than run the risk of being accused of political bias ourselves, runABC Scotland asked our elite sport correspondent, Alan Newman of runABC South, for his thoughts on the field – and with it, Scotland’s constitutional future.  He told us, “Initially, I thought that the race would be an easy win for Willie Rennie of the Liberal Democrats. His talents as a runner are well-known, but mainly over longer distances. I’m not sure how well he will fare on the track.

“As a football referee, Douglas Ross of the Conservatives will benefit from the interval work he does sprinting around the pitch. That will stand him in good stead over such a short distance. Likewise Anas Sarwar of Scottish Labour, who I understand spends a good deal of time running around after his young children.

“The Scottish Greens have two leaders, so I can’t comment on their chances until I know who will run!” 

As for Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP, Newman said, “Even in England we know that your First Minister is a woman with a great deal of grit, determination and focus – all important qualities on the track. I understand she’s had some issues with her memory lately, but as long as she remembers to show up at the event, I think she’ll be in with a chance.” 

With two pro-independence and three unionist parties currently signed up for the Tokyo showdown, the odds might seem to favour the first runner crossing the line wearing red, white and blue. 

But a blue-and-white win cannot be ruled out – especially considering the possibility of a late entry from a Mr A. Salmond of the Alba Party – a man whose capacity to surprise as well as thrive against the odds cannot be underestimated.

Speaking exclusively to runABC Scotland online on behalf of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, Rafi Llopo said: "We’re delighted that Scotland’s party leaders have approached us to help them settle this vital debate once and for all."

"We’re well aware of how sensitive the matter of independence is and how much it divides Scotland. So in the true Olympic spirit of unity and goodwill between nations, we’ll be doing everything we can to ensure the race is fair."

"But for the sake of your country, we’re all hoping that it won’t go to a photo finish."

Image courtesy: Adi Goldstein (Unsplash)

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