LAUNCHING his online library of short stories and poems in favour of Scottish independence, Bob Hastings told The National recently that Indy Tales would be a forum for exchanging fictionalised accounts of the need to regain this nation.

Hastings told The National: “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.”

Hastings will continue to upload a story every day from now until the election on May 6, and has appealed to other authors and poets to contribute.

He stated: “You can also contribute your own stories or poems by sending them to

“Stories should be between 100 and 314 words long – no prizes for guessing the significance of those numbers.”

Please be aware that Indy Tales is a not-for-profit initiative, so by contributing your work, you are renouncing your rights to royalties or any other form of payment.

The National’s Yes DIY page has been impressed by one particular Indy Tale penned by Hastings himself. It’s a piece of “future history” called Last Man Standing and looks to be very apposite.

“When he woke, there was a ringing sound in his right ear and he could see some black dots drifting across the ceiling. His lower back hurt, too. Groaning quietly, he got up, taking care not to disturb his wife. As he put on his red, white and blue socks, he felt dizzy. ‘I’m not getting any younger,’ he thought. But a man has to do what a man has to do. Especially one with such a vital job: Scotland’s sole remaining Labour MP.

“After breakfast, he polished his shoes, checked the contents of his briefcase, knotted his tie and left the house. It was a bright morning so he decided to walk to work.

“It would clear his head before another challenging day defending the interests of his constituents and protecting Scotland from the narrow nationalism of the nasty Nats.

“Two hours later, his wife approached his usual park bench whilst he was addressing an assembly of cushie-doos. She shook her head. Scotland had stopped sending MPs to Westminster three years before but the poor man just wouldn’t accept he was redundant.

“‘Tea?’ she asked. He nodded and to a fluttering of wings, he rose from his seat.”

A terrific short story that says it all, really.

We should of course make it abundantly clear that any resemblance to any Scottish Labour MP is entirely accidental.