A speech by the Right Hon Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, to Scotland in Union

MY fellow Britons, today I’d like to offer you a snapshot of modern Britain that shows how ready we are to make a compelling case for the United Kingdom.

To illustrate this I’d like to lead you all on a journey through Teletubbyland, legendary home to a fictional drama series in the UK aimed at teenagers. Although targeting a younger audience, I feel the characters and their adventures offer life lessons for us all.

Each time I watch this ground-breaking example of the documentary-maker’s art I am moved beyond words. Ironically, there are no actual words either in the Teletubbies’s daily adventures. I’ve always been of the opinion though, that the most profound actions in life carry a significance that mere sentences –written or spoken - can struggle to convey.

Teletubbies presents us with a vision of unity that’s a rebuke to the nastiness and division of Scottish independence. It accurately portrays us as a happy, go-getting land where we’re all united by a common goal and go to our bed happy as Larry. I’m told that our friends and partners throughout the globe have been similarly moved by Teletubbies and this has resulted in £500 billion of inward investment which will help fund a bridge between Scotland and Scandinavia.

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I think the unemployed can draw special inspiration from Teletubbies. The economic challenges facing us as we seek to plan our Covid recovery will be very difficult. But I think Teletubbies shows us that you don’t need to be actively employed to be happy. There’s so much to see and do in the great British countryside to keep yourself occupied. I think, too, we can reflect on the Teletubbies’s relaxed approach to life. You never see them complaining. Instead, they help each other to laugh and have fun. If Tinky Winky is feeling sad, up pops Po to help battle the demons.

At this point I’d like also to acknowledge the inspirational wisdom of some of the other great British thinkers who formed the philosophical almanac of my youth: Basil Brush; Bagpuss and the Clangers. And not forgetting the great locomotive savants, Ivor and Thomas the Tank. Special mention must go to the Wombles of Wimbledon who were pioneers in Green and sustainable outcomes. Many of the ideas of Bungo, Orinoco and Great Uncle Bulgaria in that ground-breaking series formed the basis of my recycling initiatives as Mayor of London.

I sincerely believe too, ladies and gentlemen, that the television programmes of our youth also carry immutable truths about the enduring benefits of the Union.

Let me now lead you on a journey through Greendale, legendary home of Postman Pat. This magical place perched twixt the Yorkshire Dales and the Pennines was a favourite holiday destination of our family, so much so that we had a third holiday home there. When I attended Oxford University the adventures and homespun wisdom of this stalwart postal worker often saw me through difficult times.

Postman Pat, it seemed to me, represented everything that was good and honest about British industry. Pat went about his day diligently and without fuss. He was all about just getting on with the job and making friends wherever he went. His developing relationship with Jess, his intuitive and astute black and white cat, was a metaphor representing the values that we all of us strive to reach in our daily lives. Jess also conveyed subtle but important messages about racial diversity.

I ESPECIALLY liked Mrs Goggins, the Scottish postmistress, whose vivid and profound interactions with Pat symbolised the angst and pitfalls of small communities with humour and sensitivity. This pair never take themselves too seriously or allowed themselves to be swamped by trauma and strife.

As Pat’s signature song says: “Everybody knows his bright, red van, all his friends will smile as he waves to greet them.” This, I feel, represents everything that is good and positive about our great United Kingdom.

During one of our many cordial meetings at Bute House, I told Nicola Sturgeon that her calm authority and dry wit often reminded me of Greendale’s formidable Scottish postmistress. The First Minister’s brow furrowed in appreciation.

I also felt that Mrs Goggins’s neat bun, granny spectacles and knitted shawl represented all that was good and solid in the Scottish character.

In my other career as a journalist I had the privilege of editing The Spectator. Occasionally I was moved to write about Scotland, a place I only really knew from the pages of the Sunday Post which Morag, my Scottish nanny, would leave around the house for me. She spoke with a rich, Scottish cadence and taught me words and phrases from your language which, to my untutored ear, was a mix of Anglo-Saxon and Old High Norsk just before the great European vowel shift of the 15th century.

Whenever we were moved to write about Scotland in The Spectator, we took as our guide and inspiration the couthy perspicacity of Balamory. I recall often starting my day watching Miss Hoolie and being captivated by the homespun discernment with which she inspired generations of Scottish schoolchildren. I feel all of us in the Better Together family can draw strength from her example; never complaining and keeping it simple for the Scottish voters.

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I even asked our Scottish editor to seek an interview with this visionary educationist as a way of illustrating the good outcomes that come from levelling up in the school curriculum and bridging the attainment gap. After Scottish devolution I ordered the full box set of Balamory and made it mandatory viewing for all Spectator journalists whenever they were required to write about Scottish affairs.

And did I tell you about the stag weekend on Balamory for my chum from the Bullingdon Club, Algy Glimp? “By the time we’re finished with it they’ll be calling it Bollymory,” said Dave Cameron. We all got rather howling though and failed to locate it on the map. But we ended up stopping on an island called Mull whose municipal buildings and seafront dwellings possess the same baroque magnificence of Balamory.

And today, ladies and gentlemen, it also gives me great pleasure to announce that I have recommended Mrs Goggins for a suitable honour in Her Majesty’s New Year Honours list in recognition of her service to the citizens of Greendale and her towering example of hard work and cheerfulness.

I’ve also asked Miss Hoolie to serve on Ofsted and suggested to the Women’s Institute that they invite her to make their annual keynote speech at next year’s annual conference.