It is one of the strange facts about travelling that doing the same journey in two different ways can leave a markedly different impression.
I’m sure many of you, like me, have done the West Coast Line on the train from Glasgow Central to London Euston (and/or the other way around). If you leave aside the prices, it is really a rather beautiful journey through the border mountains, the lake district and some countryside in England.
However, I’m sure many of you, like me, have done the night bus from Glasgow to London (or viceversa) and found it to be a less than pleasant experience.
To modify slightly a Yes, Minister joke, where someone described moving from the House of Commons to the House of Lords, on said bus you have your choice of sitting with the animals or the vegetables.
The latest twist on the too wee/too weak line from the Better Together camp doesn’t seem to take into account the North/South exchange of criminals that already exists on the night bus.
I’ve done that night bus plenty of times and the north-south south-north traffic of people who don’t immediately strike you as perfectly law-abiding citizens is so regular it is almost a tradition now.
Suspected criminals could be able to escape justice more easily after independence by crossing the border into England, a report is expected to suggest today.
Home Secretary Theresa May will launch the latest Whitehall analysis of the potential consequences of Scottish independence in Edinburgh.
I can only imagine this analysis has been written by people who would never ever be anywhere near that night bus and are therefore unaware of what has been going on for years.
On a serious note however, there is a breakdown in logic here too. One of the other canards of the Better Together movement is that we don’t want border controls at Gretna (neither do I, but no one is suggesting we should have them).
It seems to me that you can’t simultaneously argue that it will be easier for criminals to escape from one country into another AND argue against border controls.
Furthermore, I can’t imagine how Independence would change for the worse the law-enforcement system if a fair amount of goodwill applies between the two independent nations. And therein lies the problem, there is no goodwill toward Scottish Independence in Westminster, though there are a fair amount of criminals, and that is why we keep getting reports like the one we are about to be assailed with by the media in the next couple of days.