The Scexit Files : Farming Today, 17 July, 2027
Old Mac is proud of his scapegoats. “My herd can be blamed for pretty much everything – from wars to waiting lists. Anything that gets your goat, really.” The old breeder is especially fond of his ram. “He’s a pure Old English. In great demand, these days.”
Prices have duly soared since Scexit. “It has been great for business,” he chuckles. Ever since border checks were introduced, you can’t get UK scapegoats for love nor money.
Mac is exhibiting his ram at the breeders’ equivalent of Paris Fashion Week, just outside Perth. “We call him Baa,” he explains, “… short for ‘Battering.’” In fact, he’s the only pure English on show this year.”
But nothing is left to chance. Baa’s very own Vidal Sassoon is doing the finishing touches. “Lovely goatee work. Very metropolitan elite.”
Before Scexit, the blame market was usually covered by southern suppliers. Mac was lucky to sell a few local Scottish scapegoats a year – anonymously, to football managers mostly – but now he’s having to raise production to fill the gap. “Holyrood is pressuring us – we can’t keep up.”
Older breeds are currently being revived. In the next pen, a couple of Doric scapegoats frisk about. “They’ve this really weird Aberdonian bleat,” says Mac, feeding them a handful of granite chips. “Hardy devils. Great when you have economic turmoil to explain away.”
Over in the corner, attention turns to a flock of jet-black Shetland scapegoats chained up with tethers, all bleating their characteristic ‘daaa.’ “They’re cute wee things,” Mac says, patting one on the head, “but if you pull their teats, they produce high grade crude. Worth the effort, eh!”
“Trouble is … the little rascals keep trying to run away. My son calls them escape-goats. I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep them in their box, to be honest.”
The loudspeaker booms across the arena. All eyes turn to Baa as he prances majestically down the goatwalk with a haughty swagger. “See, he’s lovin’ it,” Mac grins. “A proper star.”
In minutes, Mac’s phone is hot with bids from anonymous buyers, some rumoured to be treasury ministers, according to reports. “I’m sayin’ nuthin’,” Mac winks. But the calculators are out. It looks like his accountant will be grinning for the rest of the season.
A text has come in. Mac reads it, gazing at the words till his face sizzles pink with outrage. “Due to a critical shortfall, the Scottish Ministry of Home Affairs hereby orders, under Section 12 of the Civil Contingencies Scotland Act (2026), all Old English scapegoats requisitioned for compulsory purchase forthwith, with immediate effect.”
“WHAAT!” wails Mac. “They can’t take my Baa. I’d rather have him roasted on a spit.”
Baa flicks his ears on the winner’s podium. Something’s wrong – he senses it. Animal instinct kicks in. With one leap, he launches over pens and paddocks, rampaging through the rows of panicked poultry. The Doric scapegoats follow, making a dash for it as their Shetland cousins flee out the door, dripping oil in their path.
“EEE-I-E-I-Oh,” cries Old Mac, raising his hands to the heavens. “We’re ruined! RUINED!”
But after Scexit, there’s nobody left to blame.
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