The Desperation Days

Danger! Warning! Four days to voting and the die is cast. Expect splenetic outpourings from the defeated. Watch as all reason departs and a red white and blue mist descends. Like a slow motion car crash the hopes of the anti-SNP battalions are dashed in agonising detail. Their futility gives way to rage and the true prejudices of British Unionism spurt forth. All across the media they are bursting their plooks. These are the desperation days as voting approaches.

But take heart. There is much enjoyment in watching your opponent rip off his mask of even-handedness and reveal a face contorted by fury at his own futility.

The impotent rage at you ignorant Scots continuing to support the Nationalists despite repeated lectures from David Torrance in the Herald and assorted sages, has equalled Gary Tank Commander as the most entertaining aspect of the election. There was a time when I myself was moved to anger at the self-righteous vitriol that flowed against people backing a party dedicated to nothing more than self-government. But I now realise that the relentless, predictable stream of whining for a Scotland that has gone is the journalistic equivalent of surrender. You can group any number of columns under the same headline: We know we’re beat and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.

Strapline: Please – just make these independence types go away and bring back the good old days when Scots knew their place.

There’s even an argument about the dangers of majority government. Imagine – in a modern democratic state, deploying a proportional voting system, intelligent people are actually worried that someone might win the election. Indeed, rational people have taken to calling a democratic majority in a multi-party system a one-party state. And they say we’re the fruitcakes!

Best laugh of all had to be Neil Oliver in the middle classes’ broadsheet the Sunday Times. This was foot-stamping tantrum stuff that belittled the man. Anybody would think he’d discovered split ends. I know he’s not a real historian but there was kind of P5 History Class element to assertions about referendums being intended to end the argument for good. Has he noticed that in eight weeks time we will have a second referendum on EU membership? It was via a second referendum that Scotland got its parliament. (Guide for Neil: a second one means there was one earlier)

But this wasn’t one of those considered pieces where a man known for history programmes takes the trouble to reflect on the British story and why, in his view, that background and shared experience outweigh the impact of one party’s policies making it better to remain in the Union. This was more an insight into the unhinged space in Neil’s mind in which the SNP should have remained the joke party he laughed at in the seventies. Indeed, you’d have to say it is a remarkable achievement for an ‘historian’ to have missed the evolution of the SNP into the professional and successful party it is today. (Those missing years from Neil’s tirade are what are known in the trade as ‘history’).

But you can’t argue with a madman. Best to depart the scene of the meltdown and have a laugh on the way home. He will have lost many admirers – not because of a partisan intervention and a reasoned case – but with the frothing and spitting tone along the theme common to all Unionist opinion – that it’s the Scots themselves who are too stupid to see reason. As an aside, can I say I welcome all voices to the debate and don’t think anyone should be shackled. But you do have to accept consequences. For revealing the truth about the BBC, I am blacklisted by them – no hardship as I would decline to appear. But using your celebrity as a platform to insult and demean those who don’t share your views as he did is an abuse of your status. In truth, a furious attack on some outlier like UKIP would not be seen as much of a crime but it becomes much harder to justify when you’re addressing anything up to half the voting population. That’s the same population the BBC wants him to appeal to with its programmes. Mmm…

I won’t go into David Torrance’s last throw of the dice before voting in the Herald because, to be honest, it’s too tiresome to read in full. You only need the heading – that Nationalists are as vacuous as Brexiters – to groan at yet another frankly idiotic offering that demonstrates the yawning hole in the intellectual case for Unionism. Perhaps that’s the problem – none of them can articulate what that now means and how it shapes our future. It is unending negativity railing against the forces of change and democratic renewal without any rational explanation of why remaining is preferable.

It’s a tip some of them might like to consider but there’s clearly a significant group who vote SNP but who don’t yet want independence. They do so because the Nationalists offer the best breadth of policies, the smartest politicians and have the right priorities for Scotland. It is surely a scathing verdict on the others that even people who back them on the key constitutional issue still don’t vote for them to run the devolved government.

Away from the slavering columnists it is another insight I think that those of a more progressive mind like Lesley Riddoch or Kevin McKenna are reduced pretty much to arguing that the SNP must do better. Of course they should. Every government in the history of mankind should have done better. So what? You only have to look at the reverse of that concept to see how little it means. Suppose you wrote: The SNP are totally brilliant and perfect in every way and simply couldn’t do any better. How would that look? Put another way, what they’re saying is: Shock Opinion – the SNP are not infallible. Perfection not yet attained, says new report.

Well, they’re certainly a long way from perfect but they’re also a long way nearer to it than anybody else in this election. And everybody knows it. For every doubt – reading standards at primary fall – there is a mountain of evidence to the contrary with impressive outcomes across all education including the best-prepared young people in the world, according to the ONS. And have the Britnat journalists looked at what is happening in English education under their British government? Forced academisation with dodgy businessmen running schools and taking over public assets while paying themselves two stonking salaries.

In health we have a generally well-run service properly funded. Again, look at the English example of health trusts facing bankruptcy and hospitals unable to offer the full range of treatments.

Unlike the editor of the Sunday Herald I don’t know for sure who will win the election – and saying it’s in the bag is guaranteed to reduce turnout – but there are many wrinkles to confound the orthodoxy of the radicals who say it’s boring. Will Labour hold on better than predicted – is there a Kezia sympathy vote? Will Greens be in government and what difference will it make? Can the Tories really be the Opposition? Will Rise make more than a blip? Will the Lib Dems hold the Northern Isles? Will my home territory embarrass me by voting Tory yet again? Will turnout be disappointing? Can we expect a reshuffle if Sturgeon gets her mandate? Who knows. Let’s just be sure what we’re voting for. The simplest question is: Who best reflects your priorities – and vote for them. And when I do, I may just have a little chuckle at the angry losers’ expense.

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34 thoughts on “The Desperation Days

  1. “Bursting their plooks!” A bit graphic Derek, put right of my broth the now. Mind you I got a dose of head spinning and projectile vomit from the holiday home owning couple from darn souf this morning. The Yes badge on my tourie will always set them off.

  2. ” and saying it’s in the bag is guaranteed to reduce turnout ”

    I think turnout is key , I am not expecting 70% + like in the GE , but 60% would be a good turnout , and show that Scots are serious .

    the 50% turnouts at nearly all Holy rood elections , (2003, 2007, 2011) , gets very close to the 40% “voter apathy ” of local council elections .

    So I am betting on 59% TO , unless the Yoon press (that no one reads ) have somehow convinced Scots not to vote .

  3. People are amazed that I still watch BBC News. Reading Torrent’s torrents takes a special kind of guts. The photograph must put most off going any further. As for Oliver, his dress sense and hairdo along with that clampit mean wee mooth send me outside for air.

  4. As for Big Kev, I just don’t know what to make of him. Just an opportunist with no grounding?

  5. Scott Cameron

    Torrance’s infantile ramblings put me in mind of a spoilt brat who spits his dummy out when told he can’t have his pudding until he’s eaten his main course. This pre-adolescence is further substantiated by his decision to sport ridiculous facial hair, perhaps in an attempt to look older and thus get served in the pubs.

  6. This is exactly why you need to keep going with this blog Derek.

    Enough said.

  7. “They do so because the Nationalists offer the best breadth of policies, the smartest politicians and have the right priorities for Scotland.”

    And worse than that Derek, its DELIBERATE!

  8. Excellent article, Derek. We’ve got to keep the pressure on and increase the britnat whining. The best way to do that is SNP x 2.

  9. As I wrote in WGD today, I have a huge problem with “Respect the vote” line of attacks from the likes of Oliver and Torrance.

    If it was so precious to them. If this construct; as Oliver stated, was the work of Great Men(tm) with conviction, vision and imagination, and so was to be cherished & treasured. Why on earth did they stay silent, as the fabric of that union was reduced to nothing more than an argument for a weak, petty and worthless people needing to be subsidised to pretend they’re British?

    Was it truly a case of “The End Justifies the Means”? Did they never once consider the consequences, as to how the means could come to define that end? Their silence removed the possibility of Scotland standing tall within the Union, but what is worse they trapped themselves in that miserablist narrative of an extinguished people who are utterly worthless despite the Union’s charity. How can they in all honesty demand respect from us?

    It’s like you said Derek…you can’t argue with a madman. Best to leave them to their old unionist blues. Obsessed with a past that never was. Oblivious to the world passing them by.

  10. I used to work with a guy who was the double of Neil Oliver. He would haunt what ever company there was in the pub or at any gathering of people. People would almost jump through shut windows to avoid him. He swigged lager, and would spit some back in to the glass to interrupt someone who he decided was “wrang”. Did not matter who they were known to him or not. The plaintive cry of “yer wrang” would be thrown at them. He was an expert on every subject known to mankind. But his view of the world remained stuck in his childhood somewhere, simplistic and immature. The long hair appears to be a trademark of these guys. They want to appear windswept and interesting. They always wear some kind of dodgy apparel round their necks. Both wrists will usualy be swathed in bands and ethnic type bangels. They are absolutely guaranteed to turn up at funerals wearing denims and trainers. Avoid like the plague.

  11. I am with you on this Derek , I do not know who will win this election either .I used to think it was in the bag , now I’m not so sure . The unionist press (that’s all the press ) and unionist broadcasters (that’s all the broadcasters) have done a good job I would say . With their relentless SNP bashing , I think apathy will be the biggest deciding factor this time round . People are constantly hearing how far ahead in the polls the SNP are , a lot will think they don’t need to vote , believe me I think they do !. It has to be a beautiful sunny day on Thursday , make sure you get everyone you know that is going to vote SNP to the polls .

  12. Great post Derek. 🙂

    Yeah, certain elements in both the political parties and the media appear to have gone into a bit of a froth that they are being both out maneuvered and ignored in equal measure. To be sure, the poor dears are taking a mixture of rejection and complete indifference quite badly. The truly striking thing to note about their condition is that STILL they blame others for their failures and short comings.

    Their perception of the voting public, near as I can see, is that we are gullible and just wrong.

    Probably not a great way to influence folk, basically insulting them like. Mind you carrot and stick does appear to be your average unionists strategy. Heavy on the stick to be sure. Subtle tactics such as honouring pledges and assurances made. Speaking to rather than at people and seeking a middle ground through consensus. Using a little more honesty with the public and being seen to act from respect for office, media platform and public common good.

    But it appears they find the approach, ‘dae as yer telt you thick heathens’, more to their liking.

    Who knew?

  13. Well thought out and put together as usual Derek , these twateristas have no shame , they grovel at the feet of their paymasters, integrity is foreign to them. As Steve A said keep up the good work

  14. Neil Oliver – another of these very public, proud and patriotic Scots.

  15. Proud Cybernat

    Nailed it, Derek. Thank you.

    Get out and vote people. The Colonial Media are hoping we are taking the result for granted. That would be the daftest thing you could do. A majority SNP Govt is NOT in the bag and it WON’T happen unless you all get out and vote SNP x2. Take nothing for granted.

  16. Derek, Ive never commented here before, but am a long-time lurker driven to comment by your threat of giving up last week! Please dont give up, your blog is one of the best pro indy blogs IMO. We need you – whatever the result of this election, the grass-roots fight for democracy and self-determination goes on. Its an inspiring movement. Look how far we’ve come. Even 10 years ago, the position we are in now would have been almost unthinkable.

  17. smiling vulture

    The Scotsman

    SNP campaign vans spotted parking illegally

    me thinks–last throw of the dice

    • They weren’t parked. As the van was occupied by driver & passenger they were merely stopped:)

  18. The impotent rage at you ignorant Scots continuing to support the Nationalists despite repeated lectures from David Torrance in the Herald and assorted sages, has equalled Gary Tank Commander as the most entertaining aspect of the election.

    It is amazing that David Torrance can write basically the same article every week, and yet he is still lauded by the MSM. The SNP are very bad, unionists are very good, the British state is excellent. That is the sum of Torrance’s output. I cannot recall him ever criticising the British establishment, no matter their crimes and evident corruption. The MSM in Scotland are filled with these characters.

  19. Really enjoyed it, Derek. Thanks again.

  20. I think it has to be acknowledged that this Holyrood election campaign has been one long snore fest. Dismal would be too kind for it. Even the politicos look shattered. I suspect the last 5 years are catching up on everybody. The MSM and some of the new media in Scotland are trying to talk up the new powers, but I think most people know that they really are not going to make that much of a difference. After all, Labour watered down quite significantly the already fairly weak Smith Commission proposals. Essentially we are getting a tad more responsibility over welfare and taxation, but not nearly enough to make a sizeable difference. The borrowing powers will be more useful and even then they are fairly limited. At least those who are between 16 and 18 years old are now getting the chance to vote in major elections. I cannot see turnout going over 60 per cent. I cannot imagine this election campaign is going to be remembered fondly, even if it leads to independence in time.

  21. Great blog Derek – as usual. The only thing missing was a reference to the latest havering of Leo McKinstry in the “Daily Express” who has surpassed himself. My favourite ever McKinstry rant! Totally lacking in any awareness of the irony in his argument!

  22. Sums up my feelings exactly; well said Derek.

  23. Good solid stuff, Derek.Thank you for maintaining the momentum and doing it so concisely.
    I always have a glance at the headlines on the front pages of the Scottish (sic) Daily Express and the Scottish (sic) Daily Mail at the newsagents and there is a discernable rise recently in the level of hysteria in their SNP Bad themes as Polling Day approaches and they headline their peculier unionist agenda. They seem truly incapable of recognising the changes that have taken place north of Hadrian’s Wall in recent years.
    Their front pages on Saturday should provide us with a fair measure of Schadenfreude.
    Meantime the Labour Party is tearing itself apart in full public view over Ken Livingstone and the aftermath of the EU referendum, whatever the outcome, will serve to confirm that the factions within the Tories are irreconcilable

  24. Well said Derek. The shrill tenor of the hegemonic unionist bilge being spouted is predictable and tired.
    An outside observer of the ‘debate’ being offered by the respective leaders of the ‘Union Defenders’ could only conclude that these proponents of the status quo are epsilon minus cretins.

    ‘Once in a lifetime’ they scream indignantly, clutching cut and paste ‘statements’ by NS or AS. If they were talking about a holiday somewhere nice, like one of the Crown dependency tax havens so beloved of their leaders, then I could understand it. But for a democratic mechanism to be limited pure and simply because THEY WANT IT, is not a logical, honest or grown-up thing to demand.

    But yet our toadying and partisan media allow such ludicrous’ arguments ‘to be given the gravity of a Socratic discourse , when in fact it is the level of the nursery playground. History will not only condemn the rat pack unionists and their one dimensional leaders but surely the downright vicious, partisan and pathetic media that has sustained them, well beyond their shelf life.

  25. I have not watched TV for two years but I’m sure Neil Oliver will not have changed in that time. His silly posing meant I immediately switched off and as for David Torrance…… petty arrogance is abhorrent.

    Thanks, Derek, for painting an honest picture.

    • Robert Graham

      oh its his pal Alex Massie’s turn today with his very confused view of democracy in line with Wullie Rennie , indeed he goes on to say Wullie has ignited the campaign after his outburst on the BBC leaders debate , I wonder what nut job is in line for tomorrows diatribe , i wonder what organisation is operating in the shadows unseen by everyone ,but pulling the strings in this orchestrated attack on the SNP it certainly isn’t any of the opposition parties they simply dont have the Brains .

  26. No complacency, folks.

    Get ’em out to vote SNP twice over this Thursday.

    • Robert Graham

      agreed not in the bag as the media would have everyone believe , this has been the tactic for months now and having spoken with a few “YES” voters it might just have worked splitting the vote , lets hope not and the ones contemplating a wee gamble , get a grip come on you are being used waken up .

  27. To think that those two Wastesofspace, Sarwar and Tomkins are to be handed a £1200 a week PT job on the unionist benches without breaking sweat is the true insult to Scottish democracy. I believe that Prof Tomkins wants to keep his day job on as well…
    Thank you, Mr Bateman.
    Like I Seymore, Optician, and I Pipe, Plumber, you were well named. We must ‘bate’ the propaganda impact of this torrent of Unionist abuse, lies, and threats, at every turn.
    There’ll be a few knighthoods and OBE’s in it for ’em, though, but, mind.
    I’m trying to find out who the producer of the BBC’s Leaders’ Debate from Hopetoun House was. A strange choice of venue.
    Anybody discover a link between producer and the Hope Clan?

  28. Do you think they will be more concerned about Labour and Tories being put back into exactly the same positions they had pre election, or a main Unionist party in the LibDems being outside the top four for the first time ever in any UK Parliament thanks to the Greens ?

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