The ugly word 'SCAB' is splashed in angry red paint across the front door of Brian Blackleg's Edinburgh mansion, where the defiant bank director, alone among his colleagues, refuses to withdraw his labour in protest at the withholding of their traditional bonuses.
And he is indeed 'alone among his colleagues', none of whom will speak to him. Even the milkman and the paper boy, disgusted at Blackleg's lack of class solidarity, have joined in the boycott.
But he stands firm. The strain of the past few weeks showing in his face, Blackleg explains, 'I'm not in banking for the money, but to serve the public and help the economy. This strike is so shortsighted!'
We got a different story, however, at 6 a.m. in front of RBS Head Office in St Andrew's Square, where striking bank directors huddled over a brazier and insisted, 'This action is absolutely necessary. We bankers have come in for a lot of criticism lately, but how can we be expected to do a first-class job when we're living in poverty? And to refuse us our bonuses at Christmastime is barbaric.'
'It's totally demoralizing,' another bank director agreed, rubbing his hands and stamping his feet to keep warm. 'My wife is worried sick. But whatever the hardships, our families are sticking by us. This strike is solid! And it's in the public's interest to support us.'
With the strains of 'THE BANKERS UNITED WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED' ringing in our ears, we head towards Princes Street to find out how the public is actually reacting to the strike. And the mood is grim.
On the crowded street, instead of the good cheer and serene enjoyment that normally attends the activity of Christmas shopping, we see faces etched with anxiety as people struggle to come to terms with the prospect of Christmas without bank directors in place to ensure the country's prosperity.
A department store Santa wipes his eyes as he confides that no fewer than eleven children have implored him that morning, 'Please, Father Christmas, bring back the bank directors in time for Christmas!' - while a Samaritans poster appeals for extra volunteers to cope with the influx of calls from desperate citizens who don't know how they're going to manage.
'It's because of these poor people that I'm holding out,' declares Blackleg, back at his mansion, as an envelope slips through his mail slot. Sighing resignedly, he remarks, 'More hate mail, I suppose,' and opens the letter. Then he frowns and shows us the message.
In letters cut out from magazines, the cowardly anonymous missive reads, 'wHO GiVes A fUCk'.
'Now what can he mean by that?' Blackleg wonders.