The Better Together campaign was celebrating last night after Northumberland County Council granted planning permission to restore Berwick Castle to its former medieval glory, to include high spec arrow slits and top of the range murder-holes.
The decision comes ahead of the Scottish independence referendum on September 18, the result of which is expected to come down in favour of Scotland forging its own destiny based on the template set out by Take the High Road.
Berwick supporters of the No movement had been campaigning for the restoration of the 12th-century castle to become a fully functional edifice of terror since Alex Salmond promised to:
“Flow doon frae the purple braes, the rushy glens and sentinel granite to lay waste the Sassanach toon of Berwick and thence work oor way doon in an unstoppable tide of IrnBru-fuelled vengeance.”
In light of Yes Scotland’s hostility, Northumberland County Council felt that the only viable solution was to reinstate the ruin as a bastion of certain death for painty-faced skirt-wearers from north of the border. However, they were quick to reassure locals that the renovation would be undertaken sympathetically, honouring the ancient bones of the building while bringing the neglected stronghold into the 21st century.
“The Council is mindful that here is a building of considerable historical interest,” said Planning Officer, Jono Jenkins. “We are working closely with English Heritage to ensure that Berwick Castle works both as an elevation from which to rain destruction and as an adaptable space for modern living. With this in mind, we’ve insisted that the outer curtain wall is reinstated in brushed steel, thus clearly delineating the old from the new and continuing the castle’s narrative.”
The Council has also approved triple-glazing and cavity wall insulation to block out the drone of Scottish people complaining, predicted to reach record levels when income tax from a population of 5.3 million fails to cover free prescriptions for a nation of obese alcoholics.
However, with the referendum less than three weeks away and Berwick Castle currently nothing more than a pile of stones by a litter bin, there are concerns that work on the castle will not be completed in time to repel the first wave of Gaelic marauders, a fear that Northumberland County Council says is misplaced.
“Due to time constraints, we’ve given the contract to the Germans. They’ve assured us that Berwick Castle will have its first siege test-run next Friday and have the oil up to temperature Tuesday week. Yes, it is disappointing that we were unable to employ English contractors to work on a building that has played such a prominent part in our great nation’s history, but the budget simply couldn’t stretch to the volume of strong tea and Rich Tea biscuits required to motivate them.”
Many residents of Berwick are puzzled how the relationship between the two countries has deteriorated to such a low that English longbows are now being stockpiled beneath the Ramparts alongside dead and diseased livestock.
Entrepreneur Zac Richardson, owner of McChips on Their Shoulder, a company selling military epaulettes encrusted with semiprecious gemstones to the Scottish diaspora in the United States, said: “I like the Scottish. They seem very nice people. I don’t even mind when they assume my English accent means I’m a capitalist oppressor with my own estate in Dorset. And I like haggis, yum.”
Professor Jonty Hardcastle, Head of GeoWhinging at the University of Southampton, explains:
“If you live in a climate consisting entirely of drizzle, you wouldn’t expect the other side to be greener but you might reasonably expect things to be a lot less depressing. When continually exposed to leaden skies and a temperature never rising above that of a melting Feast, minor irritants that most people shrug off – like Highland Clearances and Duncan Bannatyne – cause a dissatisfaction out of all proportion. Rather than fading through the centuries, this bitterness and resentment is distilled through the cultural practice of first-cousin marriage, and thus hatred for the English and their ability to stand in the sun without spontaneously combusting is perpetuated through the generations. It’s really not their fault.”
When questioned about the Scottish stance on sharing the pound, Professor Hardcastle said: “Really? They suggested that? Ah, bless.”