‘Twas the night before GERSmas, and all through Scotland
The bloggers were screiving; their time near at hand.
The headlines were crafted with doom and despair
In hopes that Lord Darling soon would be there.
The MPs were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of oil money gushed through their heads.

And Brown with his spreadsheet, and Mackay (who’ll fudge it),
had just settled accounts and balanced the budget –
When outside the office there came such a racket,
They wondered if Ewing had started to frack it.

Away to the window they flew with a boom,
Tore open the curtains, and peered through the gloom,
at the Moon’s silver rays shining down on the hill,
and to the city below, feeling night’s chill.

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When to wondering eyes, what should appear?
But a BBC newsvan and crew full of cheer,
with a silver-haired “guest”, inaudibly mumbling,
they knew right away, of course it’s Lord Darling!

More rapid than eagles his press team they came,
And he hopped and he danced and he called them by name:
“MacDougall and Dugdale! Murdo and Baillie!
“Cole-Hamilton, Tomkins, Mundell and Kelly;

“To the top of the land and down to the wall!
Report on the figures, mention them all!”
So into the GERS book, they buried their heads,
to find all the deficits, losses and debts.

Armed with his story, Darling’s smile grew,
he turned to the news team, brows glittering with dew.
“The case for independence has suffered a blow,
Sturgeon’s day job is waiting – she’s not doing it, you know.”

Brown and Mackay drew back from the eave
What they were hearing, they could scarcely believe
The GERS figures weren’t that bad, of this they were sure.
from just the right angle, they had a certain allure.

“We can fix it”, they said, going back to their books
“We just need someone who can tease out the hooks.
“Who can quote all our numbers with a laugh and a joke,
“and is just simply all-round a capital bloke.”

So they called up ol’ Salmond, fresh from the stage
who dashed o’re to Holyrood with the air of a sage.
He appeared on the screen, cheeks flushed by the journey.
“But remember”, he said, “GERS says nothing about Indy”

“If only we had, the levers of power,
“We could do so much better, it’d be fixed in an hour.
“But there’s good in here too, just look at this line.
“Ignore that projection, you can always have mine.”

And so all throughout GERSmas, the racket went on.
Each side blaming the other, right through till the dawn.
And by the end of the day, nothing was solved,
Scotland remained with powers barely devolved.

And outside the bubble, the public still snoozing,
Scarcely aware of the political bruising,
which repeated each year, almost without fail
and which kept those inside it hearty and hale.

So to we who have chosen this life political,
I offer a toast and don’t mean to be critical.
Whether tomorrow brings you good news or else.

Merry GERSmas to all, don’t just write for yourselves.