AN online library of short stories and poems in favour of Scottish independence has been launched ahead of the May 6 Scottish Parliament elections.

The creation of Bob Hastings, a Scot who’s been living in Spain for more than 30 years, Indy Tales is a forum for exchanging fictionalised accounts of the need to regain this nation. Hastings told the National: “I’ve been in Spain but I’m still interested and involved in Scottish politics. As a normal independent country, Scotland could share its wealth and resources more equally between its people and play a small but vital part in helping create a fairer and more sustainable world.

“Fiction and poetry can engage people in a way that political discourse, news reports and bloggers’ opinion articles cannot. My hope is that the short stories and poems in Indy Tales will make potential voters feel more positive towards Scottish independence and lead them to vote Yes in the next referendum. I support an independent Scotland. However, to achieve independence, it seems clear to me that we must reach out beyond social media bubbles to people who don’t live and breathe politics. I also believe that fiction can engage people in a way that political discourse and pro-indy blogs cannot.

“That is why I’ve launched a not-for-profit initiative called Indy Tales – – with the aim of persuading potential voters to view Scottish independence in a more positive light. Indy Tales are very short works of fiction. Each one either reveals a reason in favour of Scottish independence or debunks a Unionist argument against it.”

Hastings will upload a story every day from now until the election on May 6, and hopes other authors will contribute. As an example, here’s his own short story, 57 Varieties.

“The thing that gets me,” said Ryan, “is that we’ve fought alongside the English for so long. World War Two for a start.” “Fifty-seven,” said Keith.

“If we were independent, we’d be turning our backs on our comrades at war and that’s no right, is it?”

“Fifty-seven,” said Keith again.

“Fifty-seven what? Types of beans?” asked Ryan, taking a sip of his pint.

“Naw, no beans. Colonies. Fifty-seven British colonies have become independent since World War Two. And they all had soldiers who fought with the Allies: India, South Africa, Cyprus, Singapore, Jamaica … And lots of independent countries fought with us against the Nazis: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, the US …”

“Aye, so what?”

“So, when you’re independent, you can still be on the right side in a war. You can still be an ally, right?”

Ryan smoothed the dark blue and green fabric of his Black Watch kilt, took a long, slow sip of his pint and said, “Aye, I suppose you can.”