Only a few weeks ago Jim Murphy said that Better Together or No Thanks was an amalgam of Tory, Labour and Liberals.
He refuted any connections with Ukip and BNP Fascists or the extreme Protestant group, The Orange Order. That they are campaigning on the same side in the matter of the referendum doesn’t imply that they share the same policies on everything. Fair enough. I doubt that the Greens and the Scottish Socialists agree on everything or that Labour for Independence and the SNP can always see eye to eye.
But Murphy made it pretty plain that these organisations could not campaign under the Better Together umbrella.
Unfortunately of course, as we know, Ukip in the form of MEP David Cockburn was spotted at a BT stall chewing the fat with one Danny Alexander. And of course the very fact that Mr Cockburn is in Scotland instead of his home in London, suggests that he’s on the job of keeping Scottish oil British.
Of course Mr Cockburn’s party is entitled to its unionist views, along with its other right wing opinions, but just because I find them repulsive doesn't mean that they aren't entitled to them, and to canvas for them. But isn't this a bit embarrassing for at least Labour and the Liberals?
Now the Herald has revealed that there are people in the Labour movement who are supporters of the Orange Order, which is staging a march in Edinburgh this Saturday in support of the union.
Murphy has said that the march should not go ahead, although, surely, in a democracy, people have the right to express their views, political and religious, even if they are not to our taste so trying to ban the march is a little anti-democratic.
It is true, of course, that in the past the OO marches have attracted violence and that on the last rally for the union, a 12 year old girl was glassed in the face. But one violent incident cannot be allowed to stop people expressing their opinion so, just like any other political group, the OO can march for their cause.
As it will be an embarrassment for Better Together, it seems unlikely that the unionist press, including the BBC, will cover the rally. However I am sure that there will be plenty of coverage on the net.
Interestingly, the Herald carries the story that despite Murphy’s dislike of the OO (he is after all, a Catholic), there are others within the Labour movement who welcome the Order’s involvement. Of course no Labour names are mentioned, but we might draw from this that there is some support in the Labour movement in Scotland for the Orangemen.
Here's an excerpt form the Herald's piece:
Mr [Sammy] Wilson, [of the DUP] said: "In Scotland your biggest pro-Union party is Labour, some of whom are very socialistic indeed. You could say there's no affiliation politically with our brand of unionism. But the lowest common denominator is we appreciate we're better off in the Union.
A Labour source said some within Better Together could seethe parade as valuable in mobilising No - those in areas where the organisation is strong and who do not routinely vote.
I hope that Yes people will avoid the march on Saturday; that the whole thing will pass off peacefully, with no violence, and that the only publicity will be reported on the net of a group of elderly "apprentices" dressed strangely singing their sectarian songs, waving their union flags and making a bit of an ass of themselves, while the grown ups get on with political canvassing on whatever side.