It Takes Two To Tango

It’s the start of a new month as we count down to voting day. I’m inundated with invitations from all corners of the Yes campaign to take part in everything from a mass canvas, speaking events and plans for the future of Yes after September to a new media for Scotland, crowd-funding for activist groups, for films and plays and last night I watched the latest documentary film made about the campaign. The Yes community is alive with activity and possibilities. (I’ve just taken a call from Business for Scotland with an invite to yet another event)

This week I interviewed for batemanbroadcasting – itself a spin-off project from the referendum – the land rights champion Andy Wightman, a gentle and studious man who is deadly earnest in his aim of democratising land, and the voluble and passionate Julie Webster who has turned the Maryhill Food Bank from a support service into a national cause celebre to excoriate our treatment of the dispossessed.  http://batemanbroadcasting.com/episode-9-current-scottish-landscape/   They are both caring people in the sense that they see injustice and have identified ways to change our approach to help others. To the No campaign, they and anyone else with an emotional desire driving their ambition for their fellow man, are swivel-eyed bigots.

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When Bella Caledonia and Scottish PEN, the worldwide organisation of writers committed to freedom of expression, organise a conference on a public press and how we might get a better media, it is sniped at as a joke by the No trolls. ‘Who cares…’

And indeed that probably is the question to ask at this late stage of the campaign that became a national conversation. Who does care…for the Maryhill Food Bank customers, about aristocratic mass land ownership, about a lazy, one-sided media or, for that matter, about the dissipation of the wealth of the nation?

What has emerged since May 2011 isn’t just two sides of a political question but two attitudes to our society. One wants – craves – debate and engagement in halls, bars, streets and media. The other runs away. It pretends to debate then fails to turn up. It buses in activists, relies on phone centres, taxpayer-funded leafleting and centrally-controlled, paid-for messages all designed to demean and belittle.

Its champion won’t debate with his opponent. When his lieutenant turns up to instruct the Scots on their currency, he dives from podium to taxi to airport ignoring the media.

The film I watched is Scotland Yet by Rough Justice Films.13990777338_f05e2e771a_z

 

The producers turn up at the Better Together offices to grab a word with Alistair Darling, the socialist Labour MP and democrat who runs the No side but he brushes them aside just like Osborne. This is a tight-faced, top-down project team. They could be corporate lawyers taking down the boardroom rebels before asset-stripping the corpse of a company.

The contrast with the glorious democracy of Yes is striking – the ebullient Cat Boyd, the humanely insightful Lesley Riddoch and the intellectual Robin McAlpine and a jumble of other voices and personalities striving for social improvement.

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The contrast endures. When I write something which hits their argument in the solar plexus, as it were, I don’t receive a counter critique – I receive abuse. I look in vain for the No equivalent of myself who blogs passionately about how well the Union serves us, how it enhances our life experience, makes us wealthier, happier and gives us control. There are online midges who buzz around when I have produced a punchy piece, commended by Yes readers. But their effort is derisory, lacking in evidence, argument or logic and almost always little more than personal insult. None of them as far as I can see post their own analysis or reveal their own feelings about their country and their people. Why don’t Unionists blog?

One of the most virulent is a Labour loyalist who is unmoved by the party’s involvement in the atrocity of the Iraq War, likes being funded by the man who heads the world’s dirtiest company, now revealed to be serial tax dodgers, and thinks it’s OK for a Labour MP to be trousering quarter of a million in outside earnings while the country sinks in working class poverty. He has a blog page that has been empty for two years. And yet is unquestioningly loyal to the party and system.

The difference between that unyielding nothing-must-change mentality and the open, all embracing optimism of Yes is yawning. But then No is about the opposite of optimism. The best that can be said is that it entrenches the position of those who already do well out of it so I understand the middle class rejection of any threat to their status. But it does involve saying ‘To hell with the workers and I don’t care about my country’.

The trolling is always in direct proportion to the degree of strength contained in my last post so whenever it happens they are informing me I scored a direct hit. It is, as they say, a dead giveaway.

I used to plead on the blog for intelligent Unionists to engage and inform us but I realise that is useless. There is no argument that anyone articulates beyond it being somehow safer to remain in the UK.

I could actually make a reasonable case for the Union myself. Not that I’m minded to. I can’t help feeling the astringent, lugubrious Darling has cast a pall over the entire debate and stifled anything that hints at optimism, happiness and hope. Is there fun in their dormant campaign? Is there wit? The ones who creep after me think ‘swivel-eyed bigot’ is a punchline. We have Frankie Boyle. They have John Barrowman.

They do also have the media. I re-read for laughs this week a so-called story in the Times of London, fast descending to the same level as the Telegraph, which suggested there had been no uplift for Yes, or as the Times reports it, for Alex Salmond, from the Commonwealth Games. Which polling company had deduced this? Why Betfair of course, the latest source of political evidence used by the Times and possibly the source of their Usain Bolt story. The betting firm hadn’t had any additional bets on Yes during the Games and therefore the odds hadn’t changed and therefore – you’ve guessed it – no improvement in Yes prospects. The Times!? Bloody hell. Quality journalism from the paper that starts every story with ‘In another setback for Alex Salmond….’ If there is a Yes in September the political editor will need a computer refit to prevent her repeating the mantra.

Meanwhile the Unionist disease is catching….another leading commentator is causing some of us get a bit squeamish with his Tweets. Ian Smart is alarming even those of us who know him and don’t blanche at robust language. Despising Salmond is one thing but references to racism, the Nazis and the Malaysian Airline crash belong in the world of the nutters who abuse me, not in the mouth of a TV pundit and former president of the Law Society. Time for Ian’s friends to have a word? Where are your buddies Jack McConnell and John Boothman when you need them?

From this side, Yes is clean and in rude good health. The contrast with No couldn’t be sharper.

I wrote the other day that Yes is coming and I was interviewed by another filmmaker this week and said I thought it was winnable. Really and seriously winnable. And what if it wasn’t done this time…in September? Well, suppose Cameron wins the British election as seems likely and the UK votes to leave the EU…would Scotland acquiesce? Or would Scots demand to stay and choose European union for themselves over British union…and do so in a referendum?

 

 

 

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42 thoughts on “It Takes Two To Tango

  1. I presume the Labour Loyalist to whom you refer is Grahamski (his pseudonym is a play on the name of his hero Antonio Gramsci). Grahamski is one of those who can only seem to define his existance in terms of the ‘class struggle’. For the struggle to continue, there must be class and the ruling class must rule so the Grahamski can ‘struggle’. He cannot imagine an existance where the people say, “You know what? We want to dismantle the existing order and build a new one.”

  2. Another great post Derek. Hope you’ve topped up on the vitamins for the run in.

    Three years and still no positive case for the future from Westminster or BT. They simply invested too much effort in what they considered to be the tried and trusted method of fear and uncertainty. They certainly didn’t see their lead of three years ago disappearing like snow of a dyke. I mean they had all the big guns on their side. The establishment’s impressive governmental machinery, most of the Scottish contingent of Westminster MPs and their constituencies, the media, donors with deep pockets. How could their opposition put up a fight? It was supposed to be a cake walk.

    Simple, they underestimated their opponent and the desire of the electorate for a greater say in their own governance. They have treated the electorate with contempt from day one. They laughed at the notion of devo max and duly chucked it in the bin. They denigrated Scotland’s ability to function as an independent nation and paid lip service with throwaway lines and love ins swiftly to be followed by ever more wild and hysterical stories of doom and disaster. They have been unable to generate their own grass roots movement (because frankly who would like to try and sell the current narrative to their next door neighbour) and their Scottish representatives have visibly and publicly denigrated and smeared at least half of their own electorate. They have not changed this tack from day one and clearly have no intention of doing so now.

    If you can’t care for all of your electorate, you are fit to care for none.

  3. “The difference between that unyielding nothing-must-change mentality and the open, all embracing optimism of Yes is yawning.”

    Which has made inroads into the mass of people who have been disengaged from politics for many years. I believe the “No Thanks” OneNation Labour-Tory alliance find this increased engagement, desire for information and belief we need change troubling.

    Westminster politics is all about false choices, e.g. tuition fees to increase educational quality, nuclear weapons to provide safety, health service privatisation to provide competition (and thereby increase quality / reduce cost), … These false choices exist to give the impression that there are fundamental differences between the main political parties. The main political parties are now reduced to talk of pace of change, e.g. Labour want to cut harder on welfare, the Tories wish to privatise the NHS even faster than the previous record set by Labour.

    The media provides acres of print, analysis and discussion. They make voters believe all is in hand and that much of it is outside their understanding and/or control.

    I just wish Scotland to get the Parliament its residents actually vote for. I see Scotland’s smaller scale and relative simplicity as a positive thing. If we do not like what our government does, then we vote them out. We need to be responsible for our own risks and rewards.

  4. The No campaign: Project Fear.
    The Yes campaign: Project Cheer.

  5. lastchancetoshine

    No need for a re–chip it’ll be:

    “Scots vote for Independence – Massive setback for Salmond”

  6. You are certainly into your stride Derek and hope you can hold together to the finishing line when we score another Gold for Scotland.
    Grahamski is an irritating midgie, we just haven’t batted him hard enough yet. I would give anything to see the look on his face on the 19th September, then I remember I will probably be off my face that day. We are going to win if we don’t the other side will have cheated that I know.

  7. The BT campaign of project fear has been an outstanding success for them. It is the only weapon they have and, at the moment, around 50% of the electors in Scotland are buying into it. Any debate I have with a NOer is all about possible problems; the pound, the EU, deminishing oil reserves, jobs with companies moving south and worse of all , wee Eck is a D… Yes it’s seems to be working for BT. Never mind the facts, they don’t matter just scare the shit out off them.

  8. “And what if it wasn’t done this time…in September?”

    In that case, it wont happen. It’s a wee hobbyhorse of mine but I am pretty convinced that this will be the last and only opportunity for Scottish independence. Naws want to run out the clock on Scotland – that’s where all the “young generation don’t want to be Scottish” stuff comes from.

    • I agree. This is the biggest threat to the British state since world war two and they didn’t see it coming. There is categorically no way they will repeat the mistake – the narrative of this referendum has already changed to telling us how divisive and dangerous this (massively popular and engaging) referendum has been.

      It reminds me of the trucker protest Tony Blair’s government suffered a few years back when the truckers blockaded the refineries over diesel prices. They caught the government on the back foot then backed down after receiving vague promises, just when they had them cornered. Notice how there has been no successful blockades since (a few unsuccessful attempts)?

      Nope, this is our one and only chance – and there is no depth to which they will not go to dilute and destroy the idea of Scottish nationhood. Clearly it won’t be as crude as the aftermath of the ’45 rebellion but whatever their plans, it will have precisely the same aims and will be equally as devastating.

      • I consider the ’45 an “uprising”. Apart from that I agree with you, Alistair. Your last paragraph describes exactly how the Unionists would treat Scotland should they win the vote. So, it’s imperative that there’s a strong YES majority.

        Another excellent blog, Derek. Thank you.

    • I fundamentally disagree with you @naedD. A No will be a huge stack of course but the energy behind the Yes movement evident as the indyref debate has played out over the past 24 months isn’t just going to evaporate! The problem for the No camp (as I have long thought and will keep banging on about, sorry!) is that they have no coherent alternative plan. Further, even if they HAD such a plan, they have even less chance of ever getting it through Westminster.

      Promises of unionist jam tomorrow will soon be found out for what they are; fantasy. A No vote is independence delayed, not independence denied. It is the older generation which is most pro-union, but we don’t have to wait for them to disappear and be outvoted by the younger generation; the wheels will fall off the ramshackle unionist charabanc long before then. It will disappear up its own fundament in the place of failed devolution, continuing austerity whoever wins the 2015 General Election, and the imminent omni-shambles of the 2017 EU referendum.

      Victory in September can’t be guaranteed, but ultimate victory is much more likely. There is and always has been only one destination for the devolution process, as the more astute unionists knew when the process began. When we can deliver the coup de grace is the question.

      • The younger generation (16-24) are also more inclined to No. In fairness!

      • Personally, I don’t think the in/out referendum on the EU is going to happen. Miliband has made no secret of the fact that he wants no part of such a referendum if he’s PM, and if Cameron’s still PM in 2017…Well, we all know about his ‘cast iron guarantees’, don’t we?

  9. I fully expect the Times’ reporting of the vote for independence to be “In another setback for Alex Salmond, Scots have voted 60-40 Yes” though? It’s a one-size-fits-all narrative, firmly focused not on the vote itself, but on pre-negotiating blame for the vote. (As a bonus, it also keeps working: “In another setback for Alex Salmond, UK accepts his independence-destroying currency union” and so on.)

    Obviously, as individual voters we will also be blamed whatever the outcome (Yes for daring to exist, No for insufficient loyal enthusiasm) but since the point of pride is *not listening* to people – not ‘giving in to the demands of the electorate’ – that cannot be taken too far. The headline is and can only be ‘Union Still Obviously Perfect in Best of All Possible Worlds: Loyal Scots misled by Salmond.’

    To deviate from this line, though Union-saving, risked suggesting the possibility of altering the basis of modern UK politics: that caring itself has been out-sourced to the private sector. So, no hint that anything beyond loyalism (and complaisance) is required of electorates could be allowed. That might return us to the bad old days, when political parties were expected to serve the interests of voters (instead of voters – as Labour have made very, very clear – *owing* their vote to their political betters).

    I increasingly struggle to find anything in the No campaign which has Scotland as even *part* of its target audience. What is the message, beyond ‘creativity, political engagement, problem-solving and inclusivity are foreign concepts for foreign people, and espousing them is hostile to the UK’? I don’t think that’s a message for Scotland; as a narrative which works whether we vote Yes or No, it’s pre-positioning for xenophobic UK campaigns in 2015 and 2017.

    As is the doublethink mantra testing (that pro-immigration, pro-accountability, pro-Europe multi-party civic consensus, anti-nuclear, anti-inequality policies are proto-fascist, compared to anti-immigration, anti-accountability, anti-Europe single-party ethnic consensus, pro-nuclear, pro-inequality policies, which are just good British politics.) Public acceptance of that spin (alongside ‘we’re anti-nationalists, honest – see how we treat Salmond and Scotland’) can only ease coalition with UKIP in 2015?

  10. Full credit to you now Derek. You have become the type of activist I like. Keep the blogs coming, to give the canvassers and tweeters ammo for the final push.

  11. Oooooo, those last two sentences could almost be foreplay. Tantalising and teasing. However, I punctuate it by bringing us crashing back to earth. If there is a no I have no doubt in my mind that they will rewrite legislation to ensure that Scotland cannot legally mandate a referendum – Ian Carmichael’s interview earlier this week was telling – and it will be pushed through Parliament in an instant either with a large majority or by ensuring no one is actually in Parliament when it is pushed through. Mark my words, they will be out for revenge.

  12. I’ve spoken to dozens of No voters on the doorsteps over the last weeks. It seems to me they split into two broad camps: those who believe in the union as a matter of faith and those who are terrified of what change will do to their own lives.

    It does not do to underestimate the effectiveness of the No tactics. They appeal to both these groups, first with the bigger, stronger, Better Together mantra, and then with the pensions/jobs/currency No Thanks barrage of negatives. The demonisation of Yes works equally on both – the ‘break up Britain’ ‘apocalypse next’ vocabulary and the ‘Alex Salmond can’t tell you what currency you will use’ stuff.

    The tactics are, of course, deeply cynical, but they have a single, directed purpose – to keep No voters on side and amplify the fear of change in the minds of the undecideds. There are many sub-themes, which you know already, the chief one of which is to divert Yes into countering untruths (as if No cared about truth) or drive Yes supporters into a frenzy – cf Ian Smart’s tweets.

    So they see no need to waste time on blogging or on attending debates. They don’t give a shit about the wave of re-awakened political thinking in Scotland. Their only purpose is to win. Then, they think, all those happy clappy Yes people will give up and go back to their little lives – and if they don’t, the Edinburgh agreement, with that stuff about both sides respecting the result will be waved at them.

    It’s top-down campaigning, and it’s powerful. But, on the other hand, Yes supporters are now committing: I’ve handed out more stickers, flags, window posters over the past week than in the previous six months. We are on the streets at least twice a day – visible – willing to talk –

    It’s going down to the wire. In the end, this really is grassroots vs the establishment.

  13. A relevant campaign verse (copyright-free) to add to “Parcel o Rogues”.
    See Corries version of original song here:
    http://tinyurl.com/mgk9sbw

    Yes shall prevail, as Truth made plain
    Does win the population.
    But lies and spin remain our bane
    (And those Labour eyes on ermine).
    Should gross deceit bring false defeat,
    We’ll shout this condemnation:
    The Press was vile. Most foul betrayal –
    British Broadcasting Corporation.

  14. I met Julie from the Maryhill Food Bank at a recent Yes event in Possilpark. She is a really inspiring speaker and to hear her speak of some the folk who have come to the foodbank would make your heart bleed. I sat there when, Julie was speaking, asking myself “what century are we in?”. Julies accounts of the hardships people are facing under this WM govt’s austerity cuts makes it sound more like the 19th Century than the 21st Century. Only a Yes vote can change this situation. A No will not only continue it, but actually give the WM Govt the green light to make everything worse for the most vulnerable in our society.

  15. 1888 Kier Hardie attacked in the streets by angry Unionists
    2014 Labour are those angry Unionists

    Jim Murphy urging internationalism while the weapons and anmo labour sold Israel in huge amounts
    There will be no ships built on the clyde
    While the MOD buys its latest ship from Norway and signs deals with Australia to work on warship design and build

    This is not a Union of Equals
    There is no case
    Will Tuesdays debate change anything I dont think it will
    I think it will take a kicking from Westminster before we have the courage the belief and that saddens me
    The question being will they allow us

  16. I’ve been following the debate from down south and am really disappointed at the quality of the arguments from the unionist side. I instinctively started off on their side but quickly lost interest in their obsession with economic risk and scaremongering about erecting international borders. They don’t seem to balance the economic risks against the natural desire in every human being on this planet to achieve independence for their own people, and make it work, whatever the complications might be. They just boil it down to a corporate-style risk assessment. Now I am a total enthusiast for indy but I wish there was more that could be done to give an olive branch to No-supporters.

    • There’s always an olive branch to no voters as far as I’m concerned. They’re family members and next door neighbours, folk you work beside or talk to in the street. I believe their decision to be fundamentally flawed, but I’m not about to disown a family member or a friend for being made fearful.

      To those who’ve run the no campaign though, well that’s an animal of a different stripe. What they’ve done, how they’ve acted has been premeditated, deliberate and reckless. From the personalisation of a constitutional debate, to the demonisation of a significant number of their own electorate, they’ve proven themselves beyond any doubt to be unfit to represent anyone and untrustworthy with care of public welfare in the extreme. None of those parties will ever see my vote again.

      • Totally agree with Macart763. Darling, Lamont, Murphy, Brown, Osborne, etc etc. are dispicable.

        • Hear, hear. Johann Lamont decrying the ‘something for nothing’ culture; endorsing a cut in the Barnett formula in lieu of increased taxes, only in Scotland; us being ‘genetically unable’ to make decisions… and absolute scandal this woman draws a salary from our taxes.

  17. Mr B.,
    I have waited in vain throughout the course of the campaign for anyone to give an argument that supports remaining in the UK. Apart from the guff about ‘broadest shoulders’ and ‘sharing risks and benefits’ there has been nothing else but ‘we’re fine the way we are’ etc etc.
    The folk who want us to stay in have a vested self-interest. They visualise themselves at the end of their brilliant careers ascending the staircase at the palace, and receiving their honour at the end of life’s journey.
    That’s the reason they want to remain. It’s not good enough, and yes, you are right: it’s all about them, and not about their country.

  18. Is there a link to Bateman Broadcasting?

  19. The Independence shoe fits Scotland’s Cinderella perfectly.

    It’s just that there are two rather unnattractive sisters to negotiate.

    One called Tory, the other Labour.

    Both are consumed with rage that those poor stupid Scots

    could soon be prosperous and beyond their control.

    Both sick at the thought that Scotland’s wealth

    will no longer come to Westminster.

    We all know how it works out in the end.

    Cinderella says ‘Yes’.

    It couldn’t be easier.

    Vote Yes.

  20. I think any yes voter could manage the no campaign far better than this lot could.

    Make Scots feel they were part of something great – not merely a beneficiary of someone else’s success.
    Make them proud of the union, not make them see it as a Giro cheque.
    Make them want to be British – not scare them into staying British.
    Make them proud of Scotland’s achievement’s, not make them feel ashamed of it.

    Need we remind them that the Union flag is a composite of two nations Flags? It’s meant to symbolise union not division and feel ashamed of your own national flag, as many unionists do, ironically means they are disrespecting their own symbol of union and their place in it.

    And that is what annoys me the most. They simply won’t defend themselves or Scotland’s reputation within the union. When you allow the likes of Osborne to trash Scotland they way he did. To reduce the Union with Scotland as a 300yr old act of charity, and not say anything against it. That cowardice is unpardonable folly. It wasn’t only Scotland who was hearing this, it was the rUK as well. How can you hold your head high in this most “successful union in history” when you allow George Osborne…GEORGE OSBORNE! of all people, to make you a laughing stock when he said Scotland had contributed nothing to the success of the Union. Nothing.

    How can a unionist dare to think he will have the respect of the rUK if he votes no, but never defends it?

    It is increasingly clear to me, that Scotland has no future in the Union. I will go further and say this Union is already dead. Its simply a matter of when it happens, not if. It can go out with dignity come September or crash and burn a few years down the line. Its this that makes me disagree with @Nabd. His contention that it’s all over for good if its no – depends entirely on the rUK treating Scotland with respect and dignity. I think we all saw just how much respect we are held in when Osborne came for his flying visit.

    The true achievement of Better together is to make Britishness seem odious and synonymous with mendacity. If that was the plan, then stand up take a bow – you did a bang up job. If it wasn’t then brother…you done fucked it up.

    This is my final post on this subject of a positive case for union. I am heart sick of listening to Westminster’s pish..

  21. Just go in to win and forget all this boring “no” nonsense.

  22. Derek,
    You have given so much to the campaign, taking early retirement and sacrificing any chance of getting contracts from the BBC. One area of the campaign that would really benefit from your help is the work being done on the undecided in the business community.

    Business for Scotland had been running a monthly event in the Piping centre in Glasgow since last year. To have you at the final event in August would be a massive boost.

  23. A few weeks ago Ladbrokes were offering odds of 10-1 for a Yes vote of over 55%. Last week it was 8%. Today it is 7%.

  24. Sorry Derek, I meant 8-1 and today 7-1.

  25. smiling vulture

    Make No mistake,if it’s a No vote,further Devo,will be put on back burner and 2015 election will start day 1

  26. Superb. That will be a great event!

  27. Derek,

    What a strange piece.

    You seem to be unaware that this debate is about the SNP’s proposals for Scotland’s separation from the UK and as the advocates for such it is incumbent on those wishing change to persuade the majority it is in their best interests.

    The onus is on YESnp to explain why they want constitutional change and what the impact of those changes would be.

    The fact that they have singularly failed to do so is perhaps one of the main reasons why we are seeing an increasingly bitter and resentful tone to much of what is coming from online nat-dom.

    I must admit I had a wee smile at your “We have Frankie Boyle. They have John Barrowman.”

    Why John Barrowman? If you had said, ‘We have Frankie Boyle. They have Eddie Izzard.” It would have been more accurate but then again you don’t really want to compare a world-class comic with a guy who makes cheap jokes about disabled kids do you? But why stop there when you could have gone on with:

    “We have Gaberlunzie, they have David Bowie or we have Alan Bissett, they have JK Rowling”

    It’s pretty silly.

    It’s even sillier to try and frame the debate as between those who care and those who don’t.

    You should know better than that.

    Yours for Scotland!

    Grahamski

    PS Here’s my blog, last post was April of this year:

    http://grahamskisreferendum.blogspot.co.uk/

    Enjoy!!!

    • lastchancetoshine

      Hi Grahamski

      As you well know we are far past ” this debate is about the SNP’s proposals for …” it’s far wider than that, you can’t make it not so by saying it’s not, speak to your party members – the ones who aren’t saying much right now.

      Your blog gave me some hope. (I’m generally pretty pessimistic)
      “A combination of perhaps the poorest campaign in Labour Party history and voter apathy…”Because this one is certainly even poorer, and while I admire your dedication, you can’t do it all by yourself. Take a look at those who represent you publicly.

      “It’s even sillier to try and frame the debate as between those who care and those who don’t.”

      Certainly is, perhaps we should frame it about WHAT people care about instead. personally I couldn’t give a toss about the fortunes of any one political party and that seems to be the way you see it.

  28. Katherine hamilton

    No’s are fearful now, but they started the fear campaign from a perceived position of strength. Even at that point there was nothing positive to say. Why expect anything different now? Vote Yes!

  29. I support Better Together because I hate (Enter prejudice here) Salmond, Muslims, Catholics, Foreigners. Other.

  30. Great post, Derek, echoing my own feelings. However, I would take issue on one point. Your view of the middle classes (But it does involve saying ‘To hell with the workers and I don’t care about my country’.”) is not my experience on the doorstep. No voters just don’t see the problem. They have insulated themselves from all the bad news. Bad news happens to others. They are voting no for a continuation of their own comfortable lifestyles with no real understanding of how others are faring in this wonderful UK of ours.

  31. I’m not sure it’s just down to people’s comfortable lifestyles and their blinkered view of the world past their front gate.

    Its a hard ask to counter someone’s fear, and that’s what BT have done of course – played on people’s fears rather than build up their hopes of what a union could be (no surprises there). Stockholm Syndrome in macroscopic detail.

    I have a friend who was so open to talking about why independence was the best way forward for Scotland, and now she’s been frightened by what all her pals are saying: that things will only get worse, and they’re bad enough now.

    The saddest thing of all is that she and her pals work with vulnerable people day in day out, seeing the effects of what this Tory/LibDem coalition has done to the people right at the bottom of the pile. And yet – AND YET – she and they cannot bear to let go of the strands of hope that things “might get better” when she knows whats coming is far worse than we’ve seen so far.

    I have a feeling that she thinks it’s just too much to ask of her, to contemplate what she thinks is massive change when she is already undergoing massive change every day, trying to keep the rudder steady, trying to save people from going under, fighting so hard every day to prevent people from going under. She’s out of hope and out of energy and out of self-belief.

    I shall keep trying. I shall try and try to counter BT’s vicious lies and their attempts to keep Scotland as a cash cow, in as kind and as gentle a way as I know how. Me – I feel confident that we have this, but I despair at the fear the BT people are causing to such good people like my friend.

    It isn’t only about the self-satisfied. It’s people who are so scarred by present circumstances that they can’t see their way out of them.

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