A black-clad figure rappels unnoticed down the outside of an old stone building in the heart of Edinburgh. It’s late in the short Scottish summer night, and the sky is almost dark; the castle sits blackly against the horizon, huge and foreboding. The figure reaches a window, gently prises it open; sneaks inside.
His job, whatever it is, takes just minutes. Soon the figure reappears, not that there is anyone to see him. He scales back to the top of the building, and stands, arms outstretched, on the head of a grotesque. He leaps into the darkness, and behind him a parachute swells and fills. On it, barely visible in the darkness, is a resplendent Union flag.
The British spy – for such he is – has completed his mission. Across the nation, phones beep and computers whirr. And there, on JK Rowling’s Twitter feed, his subtle bomb explodes with the force to shake a nation. “You specky bitch,” it reads. “Union cow bag.” In his underground lair beneath Arthur’s Seat, Alistair Darling strokes his white cat, and smiles thinly.
It’s a shocking scenario – barely believable. But the scurrilous agents of the British Establishment are everywhere. When they’re not conspiring to get Giorgio Chiellini to push his shoulder into Luis Suàrez’s innocent teeth, they’re running false-flag operations, hacking pro-independence Twitter feeds and sending unpleasant texts to children’s authors in an attempt to discredit the Scottish people’s brave struggle to free themselves from the yoke of the hated English oppressors. That, at least, is the opinion of Christina McKelvie, an SNP politician. Rowling received abuse on Twitter after coming out in favour of the Union this month, and McKelvie sees dark forces at work. “There are interesting conspiracy theorists who think it might all have been down to secret service plants,” she told her local newspaper, the Hamilton Advertiser; no doubt she wanted to say more, but was afraid for the safety of her family.
These false-flag operations are becoming more common by the day. All those Ukip councillors who said that gay people caused bad weather were MI6 sleeper agents, burrowed deep within the system of their most feared enemy, waiting for the day that the Ukip earthquake threatened the foundations of the Establishment’s power. But now the Establishment has realised that the true threat to its hegemony comes from north of the Border, from the fierce bravehearts of the independence movement. “Are you unaware of the role agent provocateurs, Special Branch and MI5 have played in undermining us?”, the former SNP deputy leader Jim Sillars told supporters. “Are you so naive, that you never think that perhaps MI5 and Special Branch are taking a role in this campaign? As their function is protection of the British State, they would not be doing their jobs if they were not.”
No doubt the Establishment will try to laugh this off – to say that the suggestion that the British intelligence services go around hacking into the Twitter accounts of Scottish charities to be rude to the creator of Harry Potter is so laughable that it would be rejected as too implausible for a Michael Bay fim. But ask yourself: what’s more ridiculous, Special Branch calling Rowling a cow bag in order to keep the Union together, or the idea that some Scottish nationalists might be quite rude to people on Twitter? Exactly.