Panic Attack!!

For the real story of how deep the scare stories run, I refer you to my seven-year-old. She said the P4 boy down the street told her that not only would we lose the Pound if there is a Yes, but ‘we wont be able to swap Match Attax football cards!’


Have Better Together? No Thanks been infiltrating our schools? Is this the latest Ed Miliband we’ll-hit-you-where-it-hurts retaliation? Are Match Attax covered by the Edinburgh Agreement?

It made me laugh because in the febrile and panicked atmosphere of jilted Unionism after a single poll, anything is now possible. Anything. It has reached the stage where even the pro-Union media are exchanging on Twitter asking each other what’s going on…What powers? Who knows? Who’s on board? What’s the real story?

Osborne goes public with more powers, possibly; Carmichael doesn’t know what they are – if they are – and Alexander says there will be none if it means devo max. They are all members of the same Cabinet.

Meanwhile the manic outriders like Brown are devising their own Heath Robinson solutions, this time federalism, I think, which isn’t on the table anywhere even from the Lib Dems whose policy it is. Darling then knocks Osborne off his perch by saying there will only be a timetable for powers we’ve already heard about. In the confusion the First Minister of Wales declares that whatever Scotland gets, Wales must get too, along with our friends in the North at Stormont. Good for him. He’s right to demand it and as he does so, he makes the case precisely that there can be no more devolution without a quid pro quo. He spikes Osborne’s guns.


I don’t normally go for martial metaphors for politics but find this one irresistible. It is like a scene from a war movie – inside the military compound all is quiet as dusk falls. Soldiers loll against tanks smoking; there is music and laughter from the officer’s mess; in their bunks men read by the fading light. We see a shadowy figure roll a grenade into the munitions room and moments later the roof lifts off in the massive blast, the sky lights up and men scurry in all directions firing as they go, shouting in panic.

Suddenly there is no leadership, no sense of purpose but survival, no idea how to take on the enemy. Keep down. Burrow in. Throw anything you have at them. Hope like hell for rescue.

This is what defeat tastes like. It may not come to that of course in reality. There is always the glimmer of hope, the whisper of rescue and redemption. But it will be a close run thing, leaving a scarred and sweating band of defenders, panting with relief and left to survey the wreckage of that which they strove to protect. The Union is mortally wounded, its institutional supporters exposed as liars and snake oil salesmen – the very description they sought to apply to Alex Salmond who daily appears controlled, statesman-like and focussed. For those like Darling, Brown and Wilson who appear to harbour something approaching pathological fear and loathing for the First Minister, a doom-laden prospect emerges…not only that Scotland is on course for independence but that Salmond, their nemesis, is on course to be celebrated as a national hero.


In the blizzard of personalised attacks he has suffered, we sometimes forget that throughout the struggle of the last 30 years he is the nationalist figurehead who has been proved right, right and right again. He may be days from vindication.

And what have the world’s greatest media –the London Fleet Street dwellers – made of all this? I look to the Jonathan Freedlands, the Will Huttons and the Polly Toynbees whom I know to be on the side of the angels when power meets people. Well, all three seem to grasp the issue up to a point and then they part from it, as if there is an invisible wall they cannot penetrate. They are I think hopelessly hung up on two points – one, they are convinced at root this is an ethnicity question because its led by the nationalists and they have no understanding of the civic nature of the modern Scottish movement, and two, they think we really should wait for Labour to win again.

Personally, I think this does introduce an identity question because it seems very few non-Scottish (as in rooted here, rather than born etc) commentators understand the intertwined fibres of culture and history with those of social democracy and a fair society.

Which means the success of Yes is all the more amazing given that every institution pretty well resists what we’re doing and still the people come forward. Still they speak out and still they speak up.

If the forces of the Union  haven’t got it yet that fear won’t work, they are certain to lose. If they think bribes will work, they are…well, certain to lose.

I see one chance for the Union and it should never be overlooked.

I cycled home from the rugby last night through stone terraced streets in Glasgow and saw but two signs – one Yes, one No. What is going on behind those curtains and shutters? There is a conservative, safety-first, no-change Scotland out there which would never dream of advertising its politics. If it collectively looks at the excitement and the aspirations of Yes and snorts at our very presumption, then the Union can be saved – if they turn out to vote. It is an unknowable.

But I think smouldering embers have been fanned into flame. We can smell the smoke and hear the crackle of approaching fire as it eats the old and decaying Scotland in its path. The country is alight.

The very news that Yes is ahead will convert the waverers because they needed their view validated by respectability and there is nothing so respectable as victory.

I think we’re in for a laugh for the next week and half as the Unionist implosion continues. It may even extend to an admission that currency union is desirable in order to calm the markets. Now I would even trade my daughter’s Match Attax cards to see that…



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31 thoughts on “Panic Attack!!

  1. Did the First Minister of Wales not say on more than one occasion that he would block Scotland’s use of the Pound if we go independent? I’m hearing Quid Pro Quo but it doesn’t seem to be the same quid.
    It would also seem that no plans have been made at Westminster for a possible post referendum break-up. You couldn’t make that up. I think they’ve all been thinking that ‘everything would be fine’ as Jon on Sky news said, last night: ‘fine’ meaning a ‘No’ vote.
    It’s about time they were all thinking about reality down there.
    Yes, Derek, they do suffer from ‘pathological fear.’ That’s the fear that the Jobs for the Boys racket is about to go bust and they might need to find a real job for the first time.
    I must say I have been shocked in recent weeks at the visceral hatred some of these No folk have for Salmond. It shows them up, and yes, I was having a laugh this morning at the looks on some of their faces. They can’t believe it.

  2. It’s Westminster’s complacency that has led them to this utter panic. Complacency that led them to reassure Buck House that all was well and that the union would win it .

    If Westminster had been responsible enough and sensible enough to consider contingency plans well before now, the pound wouldn’t be teetering about and losing its balance and Miliband wouldn’t be quacking insanely about armed guards at the border. Westminster MPs wouldn’t all be careering about, bumping into each other and waving cobbled-together bribes to the people of Scotland. Buck House and the royals are looking around and asking what the hell is going on. Only now, less than two weeks before one of the most momentous events in these islands’ history, are they considering contingency plans like Governors and constitutional rearrangements, because Cameron has denied the realities and has given them a false picture of what’s going on, based on his own arrogance.

    Given all that, and apart from all the main reasons for voting for independence, why would anyone in their right mind vote to stay with such an incompetent, blinkered, out-of-touch, irresponsible body of government whatever its political persuasion? Don’t we deserve the best possible government that serves its voters well?

  3. Steve Asaneilean

    Yup – the Union is mortally wounded as you say Derek. Things are such now that even if they squeak through on the 18th they genie is out the bottle and all they will have succeeded in doing is postponing the inevitable.

  4. I am trying to equate the last 24 hours with what is happening now from the Unionists in regards to the referendum and the desire for independence.
    It would almost be akin to a bunch of suddenly headless chickens running around and trying to squawk but just making gurgling noises. None of them have a clue as to what the others are doing and they are jusst running around in circles going nowhere.

    The support gained by the Yes supporters is gathering more momentum everyday and the publishing of polls showing a gain in popularity can only increase this and bring the outcome of the referendum to a positive vote for independence.

    The Unionist camp, as illustrated by your article, is now in total disarray with everybody and his dog uttering statements that contradict each other, leaving them in an uncertain position from their once, unassailable state of disdain for the whole process of the independence question.
    Drastic measures will result from this and the dirty tricks department will be gearing up for another onslaught to prevent the groundswell gaining more momentum than before. We will see even more scaremongering, cajouling threats and lies emanate from them as they try to regain the lost ground. There will be promises, pleading and tantrums from the No camp in order to reverse the popularity of a Yes vote.

    As said in many a case like this, trying to bolt the stable door after the horse has bolted is a futile waste of effort.

  5. Had Cameron said right back at the start that this was a debate for the Scots and then kept out of it and made sure that the assorted political pygmies, buddies of war criminals, billionaires and aristocrats also stayed out of it, then No would have cruised it.

    Fortunately, he didn’t.

  6. “What is going on behind those curtains and shutters?”

    Surely they can’t be waiting for an assortment of Labour lords to come up to Scotland to cajole us into voting No. Not to mention Nigel Farage and the Orange Order. It must be curtains for that lot.

    • I was in the Yes shop on Morningside Road in Edinburgh (leafy, middle class area) on Sunday and a recent convert to Yes came in, a typical Morningside matron, middle class, and a pensioner, the last person on earth you would take for a revolutionary, looking for materials. She was an ardent, if nervous Yes. Not nervous about her voting intention, just nervous about how it would be perceived by her neighbours. ‘Nobody’s got any posters up in our street. It’s not that kind of street’. So that might be your answer? I tried to persuade her to put a poster up because I argued that her neighbours needed to know that Yessers were just normal people.

  7. One of the great things that has come out of this referendum process has been the emergence of so many intelligent,articulate women who argue the case for Scottish democracy and a fairer society (and I do not mean Ruth Davidson or the Lamontable one!).
    This has been in complete contrast to the Public school boys and their moribund pals in British Labour who are trying to deny us our future as a nation.
    Whatever happens,thanks Ladies,it’s been a pleasure!

  8. You can see the fear and blind panic in this latest ‘offering’ , especially from Labour, he he!

    And i have to apologize for our First Minister he’s overwhelmed after meeting real politicians with real power and influence at the NATO summit this week, but Wings summed up my thoughts on Carwyn Jones latest ‘intervention’ in your referendum campaign and i wanted to share it

    Go for it Scotland, VOTE YES

  9. Jeane Freeman, founder member of Women for Independence, is my new hero. She demolished Andrew Neil in a recent interview. You’ll find it on Youtube.

  10. A brief glance at soome MSM websites (well, the ones that are free and “intellectual” )shows that the rabid dogs have been turned loose.
    The Telegraph has, as a major lead story by Andrew Gilligan has some stuff about “An anti-English racist group linked to Scotland’s Yes campaign is behind some of the organised intimidation which drove a prominent No supporter off the streets. Siol nan Gaidheal, or “Seed of the Gaels,” (in the shape of Bruce Ogilvie)coordinated abuse and attacks during at least four street-corner meetings held by Jim Murphy, Labour’s former Scottish secretary, immediately before the growing threats forced him to suspend the events.”
    There are some photos, of course but these loook a bit dated to me, like 1980s dated. Now some chap has been identified and convicted of the Murphy murder, sorry, I mean egging, and the man convicted was not Bruce Ogilvie. Research DT, research…
    They also carry a story the gist of which some woman who wrote some fantasy novels for pre-adolescents is urging us to be rational.
    The comments are pretty interesting. If we vote YES, they are going to “fix”us, I suppose sums it up.
    The Independent has a headline, “Scottish independence: George Osborne offers Scotland fresh powers, but says no chance of sharing the pound .” Nothing new there then.
    The Telgraph leads include this by Iain Martin “It is Thursday morning on Buchanan Street, Glasgow’s busiest shopping thoroughfare, and Scotland’s First Minister, a gambler and racing-loving punter,,is doing what he does best: smirking.” I have conflated the quotes – pretty sweet?
    The whole thing should be savoured as a case study in unbiased journalism at:
    Comment from Stylo : “My sympathies. Salmond is a Hitleresque rabble-rouser whose message is as credible as Mein Kampf.”

  11. The stunned look on faces as London pundits try to explain the latest opinion poll findings are revealing and entertaining.
    They are so remote from the Scottish political scene that unsurprisingly they just “do not get it.”
    Just beware of trading in your daughter’s Match Attack cards too cheaply.
    Keep in mind that those people are quite unscrupulous and occasionally tell lies.

  12. One swallow does not a summer make. Yes, we have the momentum, yes we have the rationale, yes we have the emotion, but it is not over till it is over. Keep on campaigning folks, and a new Scotland is just around the corner.

    This is a historic independence movement, one without violence, and one with mass involvement. Let’s just keep right on and we will bring all our hopes to fruition. The real journey starts on September the 19th.

  13. I now have huge respect for Alec Salmonds,where else can a leader of a country walk about with no protection ,only one poor soul with a no placquard,
    the press and media have been downright ignorant with so called searching (arrogant patronising vilifying) interviews,and through it all he has smled ,and carried himself with a statesmans demeanour.whether we have a currency union or not he has manouvered them into a corner,where they will be begging him for this unon or their pound will take a hit
    and as for defaulting which it is not,the markets will deal with the country with no debt and a bucketload of assets in a balanced economy
    hatred of the english? I find the posts on most “grand newspapers” vilifying us poor scots whom they have funded for years??

    on msn the report was the queen was horrified,no reporting,nothing, except she is horrified
    please your “whatever” keep your nose out of OUR business.
    ps hoprfully our land reform act will eventually catch up with you

    • The Queen must be devastated by the stupidity of her government and it’s opposition. I wouldn’t be surprised if she broke tradition and showed some real emotion. then Smacked him one. Her beloved Scotland, driven to the ultimate act, because of the total incompetance of her ministers and their cronies. There will be no Knighthoods for that lot!

  14. Seeing without understanding.

    The Legacy of Mgt. Thatcher was and is a change of culture.
    But the change is still evolving.
    It started life as a small thing, a baby.
    But it has grown, and how, and continues unabated.

    What began as a baby has grown not just into an adult – but a monster.
    In the same way that a new-born Tyrannosaurus Rex could be described as harmless
    so also the ‘baby’ culture change ushered in during the Thatcher Government.
    But my how it’s grown.

    A culture, by the way, fully embraced and endorsed by New Labour, then as now.

    In the last 40 years of the Thatcher culture change,
    we have witnessed a political transformation in England
    which has left the Union of Scotland and England hopelessly divided.

    Thatcher’s abandonment of the traditional government motto
    of ‘Public Service’, opened the flood gates
    to a virtual tsunami of self-interest in political life
    to arrive at the situation we have today
    whereby self-interest has brought us all to the edge of self-destruction.

    Successive government privatisations of the publicly owned assets of the UK now finds it’s zenith in the handing over of the vast NHS budget into private, profit-greedy hands.
    And mostly Tory supporting hands at that.

    But Mrs. Thatcher’s baby, now a monster of T. Rex proportions and power,
    continues to grow even beyond the voracious absorption of taxpayers’ national infrastructure, investments, pensions and savings.

    We are now witnessing the privatisation of Government itself.
    Not to mention the privatisation of Democracy itself.

    MP’s, elected by the public, but who work for their true masters in big business
    either within or without the City of London.
    The electorate end up being ignored and fobbed off.

    MP’s, who have become, not representatives of the people, but self-serving actors on the stage of national and local politics.

    MP’s, in Cabinet, making nightmare decisions which leave the country shaking it’s collective head in bewilderment.

    Remunerated by the taxpayer, living off expenses -tax payer funded,
    but then, in addition, receiving ever greater ‘funding’ from businesses
    who wish to influence and indeed control the political decision making
    of national and local government.

    This is what Cameron, Osborne and Milliband are currently, desperately, trying to preserve – the march to the money of the super rich, the Gravy Train for politicians and the cattle wagons for the taxpayer.

    It’s all about oil. It’s not called ‘black gold’ for nothing.
    Scotland has it, Westminster wants it, more than anything else,
    because in the culture bequeathed us by Mrs Thatcher
    the love of money is the driving force.

    The trouble is – the love of money is still the root of all evil.

    You only have to think of Westminster and the No Campaign
    to see the recent evidence of that.

    The famous Liverpool manager Bill Shankly said:-
    “football isn’t a matter of life or death –
    it’s more important than that.”

    The Referendum is a bit like that.

    Vote YES.

  15. dennis mclaughlin

    These softie southerners are terrified of Jock McMad coming over the horizon with his pipes skirlin’,scarin’the livin’ daylights oota they politicos in Westminster!.

  16. Herald headline “Pound slumps to 10-month low after poll reveals Yes lead”

    My post;

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc, eh?
    Nothing to do with a stronger dollar on US economic recovery and fracking?
    Nothing to do with speculators up to their usual?
    If you want to see what a real slump against the dollar looks like (and a few % up or down is a trivial blip) look at a 10 year graph of £ against $, I would draw your attention to the period 2008/09.
    If you want to see what really spectacular ups and downs look like then buy a yo-yo.

    Instantly deleted by Herald. Do they think I am in favour of YES?

    • The Herald now deletes anything which shows them up.

      They are a disgrace now and I’ve stopped commenting on there ever since their ‘carnage’ story when myself and others posted the slap on the wrist from Police Scotland and every post dealing with that got deleted.

      I’m sure Derek you must be even more annoyed at Andrew Gilligan as I remember in a previous blog you wrote how you were all going to support him when he got sliced and diced by Alistair Campbell over his ‘sexed up’ report.

      My take on it is that he’s probably been trying to get back in with the establishment after he was no doubt black balled for many a club.

  17. If the £ drops because of the newspapers screaming anxiety, then stop screaming anxiety.

  18. Katrine Paterson

    It’s a terrible thing when a country’s wellbeing is governed by a load of speculators
    in the stock exchange. Before Thatcher, it was the balance of payments that was the barometer that governments worried about.
    Maggie created the greedy gravy train free for all that has brought us to the mess Britain is in now.

  19. I am having an identity crisis. First I was told I was a virus. Then I was told I was a Nazi/fascist (delete according to preference). Then Brian Wilson said I was a fundamentalist. Now Tessa Jowell says I am an insurgent. Is it just me or am I detecting a theme here? And why can’t I just be someone who believes there are different and better ways to govern Scotland which don’t involve being tied into a political Union with rUK?

  20. For to be offered more powers ?n what more powers can you possibly have than indendense I mean it is like being offered £5 to refuse millions they really must think we are stupid Vote Yes

  21. Brilliant read Derek.

    Love your broadcasts but love the writing a teeny bit more. I have to agree with you they are tottering but i feel that we are past the tipping point. Everyone i know believe the MSM are biased and they are quietly waiting to get their vote .

    I have 12 Big St Andrews flags to be draped from 12 balcony’s and we will show them Monday. Two whole blocks . Right on the main bus route too. I’m waiting for even more panic to set in and enjoy , as we have been ritually abused for years and now the penny has dropped WE HAVE THE POWER NOW.

    The last week i hope to see yes flags and posters aplenty. Folk have kept quiet and now are getting restless. But we will still try converting more and more until the day. There is no stopping us now.

    No one believes BT/NT anymore. I even saw a letter in the Irish Times asking the OO NOT to march in Edinburgh because it pushes DK’s to the YES side.

    I know it’s not nice to gloat but i am so there. Scots are say no thanks to No thanks and YES , that will do nicely

    We , the people, are raising our voices and the rUK are taking the pish trying to bribe us. They could not buy the UNION what makes them think they can buy Independence .



    • Katrine Paterson

      But did you hear someone say on the radio today ( 9 th ) was it Danny Alexander???
      ‘We are asking you to hang out your Saltires to let people know you are supporting the union.’ That will surely give the NOs plenty of false hope!

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