Monday, 18 November 2013


I must admit that I thought that starting the referendum campaign early was a daft move. People have short interest spans and after the 6 weeks of a general election campaign people are usually sick to death of the sight of politicians. What, I wondered, was it going to be like after 2 years?

I had thought that an early referendum while the independence movement was basking in the glow of a massive victory at the polls in 2011 was most likely to bring in the desired result.

And I was spectacularly wrong.

Better Together, with very little to rely on except “clout” and “power” and “superiority of Britain” and “WMDs” and “empire” (none of which is overly impressive to the average man on the street, anywhere in the UK, especially when his income is static and his inflation is 10%), has instead depended on lies and scares.

And at that they seem to have been unable to coordinate them, so they have contradicted themselves over and over again. You won’t get into the EU; you will have to have the Euro! It would make sense to use the pound; you won’t be allowed to use the pound! The oil is running out for Scotland; the oil is a valuable resource for the UK!

Then the scare stories and demands that “Alex Salmond must come clean on…”. The latest of these as the Rev Stuart pointed out, was hilariously inept. What would the rates of income tax, corporation tax and VAT would be in an independent Scotland, they whined, without giving us any idea what these rates would be in the UK!
This poverty of argument doesn't affect ‘died in the wool one way or the other’, voters, but as lie after lie has been uncovered as such… over the EU, the amount of oil, the pound, the Euro, passports, border guards, grannies in Carlisle, etc, the thinking, undecided voter surely has begun to distrust everything BT says.

Of course the appearance of the public school boys (and girl…girl? Theresa May?) arriving in Scotland for an afternoon and lecturing us that, alone in the western world we, the Scots, would be unable to defend ourselves, heat ourselves, pay our pensions, protect ourselves from terrorism, etc, ad infinitum, whilst all the time telling us that of course there is no reason why Scotland couldn’t manage alone (lest they be accused of using the “too wee, too poor , too stupid” argument, which they have doubtless been told, we find patronising) hasn’t helped their image.
Probably a bad idea from the NO campaign's point of view.
But I'm happy to welcome Eton Boy here at any time.
And Eton boys standing by golden thrones, reading from speeches resting on golden lecterns, all the while telling us that we will face futures of austerity only add to the general sense that the BT campaign really don’t understand us at all.

Change seems to be afoot though. The Herald and even the Scotsman seem, belatedly, to be producing a slightly more balanced reporting of the campaign.

Recently a Labour ex-First Minister warned the unionists that they should start to think about what policies they would present to an independent Scotland…something they have steadfastly refused to do until now.  Why think about it; it’s not going to happen! 

In the last week two Labour party grandees have said what we have all been saying for a long time: that we have no chance of a socially just Scotland while we are joined at the hip with a country which is pulling away farther to the right, offering services more and more American and consequently less and less European, much less Nordic, which is the chosen desire, it would seem, of Scots. Not only have these Labour senior statesmen said this, but they have indicated that they will be voting with the yes side and against Labour party policy. There are those who think that maybe it won't be too long before the aforementioned ex Labour First Minister joins the ranks of the Labour for Independence movement.

Of course, it hasn’t helped BT that people like Anas Sarwar and Johann Lamont are lamentably inept.   

It actually doesn’t matter whether Sarwar’s absence from the Westminster debate and vote on the Bedroom tax made any difference to the overall result or not.

The crashing incompetence of a man who makes a monumental point, on live tv, of demanding that the Deputy First Minister bring forth a bill defying the London government (illegally), and then fails to turn up for a debate on that very subject in a parliament that does have the legal right to get rid of the morally bankrupt policy; a debate called by his own party, shows a remarkable detachment from reality.

Sarwar seems as distant from real people as his "honourable" friends opposite: Cameron, Osborne, Clegg and the other independent school millionaires. 

The argument that it wouldn’t have made any difference if they had all turned up; the government would have won, was a condemnation of the very system of government that they support. If there is no point in turning up for that vote, because the government will win, why turn up for any vote. A government with a majority will always win.

Maybe the long game is paying off for the Yes campaign. 

As folk like James Kelly and  Stephen Noon have said, the reality on the ground is rather different from the results of opinion polls funded by London based newspapers (which as we all know can to a certain extent be engineered to produce a desired result).

So be of cheerful heart.  Notwithstanding Cameron organising a red white and blue flag waving opportunity, just weeks before the referendum, I think we will win.

I’m glad I was wrong.


  1. the reality is that Salmond is an excellent politican (I've never met him so don't know what he's like as a person) and he and his advisers have planned this with military precision - they know what they are doing.

    IMHO the masterstroke was calling the referendum AFTER the Euro elections next May. If UKIP do well in E&W as predicted, it will be a clear indication that UK plc is going rightwards and there's only one way the undecideds will go at that point and it isn't towards No.

  2. Yes, I hadn't thought of that. Very good point.

    Ukip is tipped to do well in England and is going to be funded by a Tory donor. Ukip has just fallen to pieces in Scotland with some English blokes being foisted on the party and even the fragrant Lard Monkton supposed leader, standing down from the election. They will be lucky to get half a dozen votes.

    Another very pointed message that Scotland and England have gone their own ways.

    I remember that people used to say that Margaret Thatcher was a fool. I used to think that was rubbish; she might be a dreadful woman, with an agenda from hell, but a fool she was not.

    And people who took her for such were themselves fools. Some misogynist Tory MPs, thinking that a woman couldn't match a man in politics, found that to their cost early on in her leadership.

    In the same way, like or loathe him, anyone who thinks Salmond is a fool is deluded.

    He's clever and politically astute. He's made independence his life's goal and there's not much he doesn't know about it.

    Even if you are a fervent unionist you'd have to admit (wait for Niko disagreeing) that he is a good FM, who has done well for Scotland. Even, you may remember Foulkes said that he was making life here better than it was in England, and seemed to think it was an insult to him that he was doing it deliberately.

    I've met him a few times, but only socially and he's funny and witty and absolutely real.

    But I have no idea what he is really like as a person. I'm told he's not the easiest man to work for! I doubt he tolerates fools gladly.

    God knows then, how he manages to smile on Thursdays when he's answering questions from the diddies Johann, Ruth and whatsit...

  3. I think there is a major difference between the YES campaign and the NO campaign and it is obvious and straight forward.

    1) the NO campaign is led by a FAILED Chancellor of the Exchequer who is feart to debate with anyone.

    2) The YES campaign is led by an ex Labour MP and MSP who is feart of NO ONE!

    3) The NO campaign have not got the slightest idea of what to say other than variations of "we're too wee too poor and too stupid."

    4) The YES campaign have a clear vision of the future for an independent Scotland. A vision that encourages self belief.

    5) The NO campaign are constantly having to change their negative fear stories.

    6) The YES campaign have NEVER swayed from their argument and constantly put out positivity.

    7) The Prime Minister is one of the most hated and mistrusted political leaders in the UK.

    8) The First Minister is the most popular and trusted political leader in the UK.


    1. Arbroath, could not agree with you more but actually I think Darling has volunteered to debate with Salmond but whether that was bluster or not it is hard to tell. I think he would have difficulty defending, for example, ATOS which his government instigated. He would certainly have trouble trying to defend HS2 which he initially authorised but now wants to cancel as being too expensive and the expense of the carriers would also leave him vulnerable.

      Maybe m' learned friend. Niko could give him a few pointers.......?.

    2. Och so it is Arbroath. Simples indeed.

      You're back on form!!

      They don't have a lot going for them.

      I got the impression that Darling was volunteered by Cameron to debate with Salmond. Clearly dimbo Cameron wouldn't be up to debating with Anas Sarwar and would make my granny's cat look like debater of the year if he tried.

      However, he's far too busy telling the President of Sri Lanka about human rights... rich huh...

      Poor old Darling though. I dare say he's a reasonable debater, but he's got no facts to debate with.

      Face to face with Salmond it's not good com,ing out with scare stories. He'll knock them away and show you up as a liar or a fool.

      All he will have is the true bits... ie We could blow 2 or 3 suburbs of Moscow to bits; British prime ministers have slept in the president's bed on Air Force 1; Britain has the 4th largest military spend in the world; As long as they vote the way America tells them they are on the security council; as long as they never go against the US, they have a veto; they have an empire: Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Sark, Malvinas, Guernsey, Jersey and Daily Telegraph island.

      As all that means the square root of zero to the average Scot. And whether he is or not, Darling looks like and sounds like a Tory.

      HS2...very important to Scotland... after all it's going to seriously damage the Scottish economy according to the government's own report! That will go down well.

      We taught Niko not to point. It's rude.

    3. Aye JB and Tris, the "mighty" Alistair Darling has indeed "threatened" to "debate" with Alex Salmond. However, in reality this "debate" were it to take place is like chalk and cheese. I say this because he, Alistair Darling, should in reality be debating with his opposite number who is NOT Alex Salmond but Dennis Canavan.

      Alex Salmond should be wiping the floor, sorry I mean "debating" with his holiness himself David Cameron!

      The reality of the situation is that all the top dogs at Better Together only see Alex Salmond as their adversary, it all goes back to the "Bain principle".......Labour hate SNP with a vengeance full stop. Unfortunately for everyone at BTHQ no matter who they put up against Alex Salmond they will end up imitating a floor mop as evidenced by the"noble" Anas Sarwar when he had his one sided shouting match against Nicola Sturgeon.

    4. Tris: I thought your granny's cat was debater of the year.....oh no sorry its Johann Lamont in recognition of all those times she wiped the floor with Alex at FMQs.

    5. I think that David Cameron would do his best to avoid a debate with Alex Salmond, even if he were confident that his debating skills could match those of Alex. There is evidence that any proper, well-conducted debate on independence swings a significant percentage of the audience towards voting 'Yes'. A debate between DC and AS should have a very large audience and could result in a surge in support for independence, even if DC performs as well as AS.


      PS I do not have or want any of the accounts that would let me post as anything other than Anonymous.

    6. Hi Scaraben... :)

      I'm sure his advisors have told him that a debate with the FM would be suicide.

      A posh plummy English voice and posh plummy Londoncentric arguments, from an unelected Tory would be a disaster for UKOK.

      But he should still do it. Head of government to head of government.

      Of course he's far too posh to talk to someone who doesn't went to an ordinary school.

      Don't worry about posting as Anon. It helps if you put your name, as you have, because if three or four people are posting as Anon, we get confused!!

      However, without an account (depending on how you are posting) you may be able to use the drop down "reply as" box, and select name/url, and just type in your name. :

      It's up to you though.

  4. Tris

    Posted a wee blog about similar this morning, great minds think alike. I was thinking over the weekend, having watched Carmicheals carcrash on Newsnight with Brewer, that I just don't really care about what they have to say anymore. As you have noted every story they come out with looks increasingly more stupid as time goes on. Carmichael was shocking, even more shocking than Moore and when Gordon Brewer is taking the micky you know the tide is turning. I wrote today about just not blaming them anymore because they have nothing to say to me anymore. They are more afraid of what I want than me of them. They are the ones who will lose the most not me, it's a win win if it's a yes. I actually think the closer we get the more likely it will be a yes and when people face the stark choice in the polling booth, like Derek Bateman says, we are more likely to say Fuck It YES vote for me. Unless Bitter Together come up with some serious post no vote devolution policies of substance then I just don't think they will win. The fear has well and truly worn off and my blame is gone, I just feel sorry for them now as whatever happens things will never be the same again and this journey towards a socially democratic Scotland will not be stopped be it next year or in 10 years, it will happen but I really believe now it will be 2014.


    1. Away to have a look now Bruce...

      Yep. I think it will be next year.

      But they have behaved badly; they lied and threatened and there has been a shift.

      More and more information that people didn't know before about how they stole from us, by suppressing reports, demanding that the Clyde be left open so their warships could sail up and down, used out money to build the M25 and build a super sewer... and on and on and on.

      Not to mention the bloody wars they have fought using our money.

      If we lose it will be a very uneasy period until the next referendum.

  5. You may or may not like Alex Salmond or the SNP but the SNP have done more for Scotland in the last 6 years than Westminster Tory or Labour have done for 300+ years. They may not get it right every time but their heart is in the right place and that is in Scotland. The referendum is about " Should Scotland be an Independent Country" and not about any particular party or person. In 2016 there will be a Scottish General Election where the Scottish people can vote for the party of their choice be it Labour, SNP, Tory, Lib-dem or any other party standing. Scottish people voting for Scottish MP's who will make decisions for Scotland and the Scottish people in Scotland and who will be very accountable to the Scottish people. Why would any country in the world want to be governed by a parliament they didn't vote for or want who are sitting in a Parliament in another country making decisions about your country which you don't agree with but are stuck with anyway. Doesn't make sense or logic. Vote YES! and end this one-sided Union.

    1. Absolutely agree, Gordon (and welcome to the blog).

      Policies are for governments and whichever government we have in 2016 will make these policies.

      And whoever it is, it will be our government, and not the one chosen by the next door neighbour.

  6. Excellent... Going to put it up as a post.

    Now I can put a face to Mr Brotherhood's name too!