Tuesday 21 August 2012


One of the problems for "No" campaigners is that they have very little that is positive to advance as reasons for their argument.

I've no doubt that they feel what they feel with all their hearts, but therein lies the problem.  It's mostly sentiment and little logic that forms the basis for their arguments. 

Most of them, particularly Labour supporters, but increasingly Lib-Dems too have nothing good to say about the Tory dominated government in the UK, but they have to somehow make it sound better than a Scottish government, which might largely consist of their own people, without seeming to be anti-Scottish.

So it is little surprise they are left looking less than consistent in their arguments.

Poor old Alistair Darling found himself as a victim of this situation in two articles in The Scotsman yesterday. Darling, the ex-finance minister, warned in one article in the paper, that if George Osborne didn't change direction immediately, he would do immeasurable damage to the British economy from which it would not recover for many years. 

He painted a picture of a gloomy future and, given the unlikelihood that Osborne will follow the Darling plan for recovery, it seems likely that, if Darling is right, things can only get worse. 

Adding a measure of verisimilitude to Darling's predictions David Cameron himself has recently said he thinks that the economy won't start to get better before 2020, and he, after all, is unlikely to be painting an unnecessarily depressing picture of the future under his stewardship. 

A few pages later in the Scotsman, however, Mr Darling wearing the hat of the head of the 'Better Together' campaign appears to argue that Scotland would be better as a part of the United Kingdom, and therefore that it would be worse off with a (very possibly) Labour-led government in Edinburgh making decisions on the economy. 

Summing up his arguments, but 5 pages apart, it appears that Scotland will be better off as part of a state that is heading towards economic melt down and high unemployment, than being a country standing on its own with the chance of introducing economic policies tailored specifically to its needs.

It seems to me that that's a confused message to be sending out, and one which leaves one or the other argument ...or both, looking vulnerable.

I sympathise with his predicament. He has chosen to be,  or been pushed into being, the front-man for a campaign which seems to be Tory dominated, and thus far has been funded by donations from rich boys' dining clubs in the South East of England, at the same time as feeling that he has an obligation to attack the economic plans of the very people with whom he is teaming up.

Politics isn't always easy.

I remember reading that the 3 unionist parties had chosen people to represent them as leaders of the Better Together Campaign. Alistair Darling was to represent Labour, and as the biggest unionist party would take the overall lead. Charlie Kennedy was to be the Liberal voice and Annabel Goldie, the Tory representative. Has anyone seen or heard of either of the other two?

Finally, seriously, who would you like to see leading Better Together? Alistair's position seems rather dubious (and always did). He may be Labour, but he's a tad pan loafy. Would someone a bit more down to earth, and less Morningside be more appropriate?


  1. Maybe Annabel is baking fairy cakes to raise funds and Kennedy, I fear he has not yet recovered from what I suspect Mickey Moore also has.

  2. Anyone wanting to ask these sort of questions to a unionist face to face could do worse than attend a Better Together event this Saturday, and watch them try to explain why Scotland should throw away this opportunity: http://bettertogether.net/page/event/search_simple

  3. I've just a wee look at the better together road show for the 25th of Aug at Register House in Edinburgh. Along with who ever is organising it, at this point there will only be three other people there being 'better together'.

    Probably not a great idea to say how many have registered for each event. I say event but that might be an exaggeration.

    I don't think there is a politician who could front the unionist campaign, they'd need to have some ego on them. It says a fair bit that I can't think of any because I'm quite forgiving.

    Someone like Charles Kennedy but I'd hate to see it because he seems like a reasonable sort most of the time, it would be disappointing.

    If ego and an over-inflated sense of self were the main qualities then Tony Blair would do. Add in delusions of popular acclaim then you could also include Gordon Brown.

    If the UK was a firm of undertakers, you could probably put Jim Murphy in place...

    George Foulkes & David Mundell job sharing? Surely a dream team...

  4. Hi Wolfie...

    Jeez... I can't imagine what Annabel would look like in a peenny with flour half way up her arms...

    Not sure about Chic, but I worry he's still not a well man. Is that what you mean by Mickey Mous... I mean Moore.

  5. Thanks Doug.

    I see that there is a stall in the City Sq on Saturday 25th.

    I shall try to get along and ask why they think we would be better together...in detail.

    The strange thing is that the event (a street stall remember) asks you to RSVP!! Odd.

  6. There's one including me at Dundee, Pa.

    That's good. I'll have attention lavished on me!

    Yeah, in my experience you are not usually quite so forgiving... so you must be in a good mood.

    I personally think that all MPs have an ego big enough to cope with strutting the stage for BT.

    Yes, Tony Blair would certainly do it, but he's pretty unpopular, and I reckon he'd do more harm than good. After all he's a Tory in Labour's clothing, well more or less.

    Gordon. Ha ha ha ha ha...brilliant. Well, at least it would give him something to do.

    I'm still rolling on the floor laughing at the idea of ffoulkes and Muddle dream teaming...

  7. I can't think of a reason, any reason that ANYONE would vote YES to this poser by Blair Jenkins but maybe that's just me. Perhaps ALL those people pushing the Bitter, srry Better, Together campaign will have an answer. :lol:


  8. tris

    anything Cameron and co do within the UK is reversible by Labour it will take time and some hard slog
    but eventually the sunny uplands of
    a fairer nation more at ease with itself will emerge

    When the moon is in the Seventh House
    And Jupiter aligns with Mars
    Then peace will guide the planets
    And love will steer the stars

    Contrast that with a hate filled snp nation
    bankrupt broke no work no welfare no hope no future.
    The people controlled by the snp thought police any critics disappearing into the snp gulag.
    Bands of snp Einsatzgruppen roaming Scotland eliminating any and all opposition to snp rule.
    Unionists and anti-snp citisens hanging from ever lamppost;

    And finally in conclusion can any sensible Nationalist explain if Independence is so wonderful.

    Why is Alex Salmond spending more time and energy on Q2 then on Q1 ???

    The very act of which of itself weakens and undermines the cause.

  9. tris

    and assorted Nat extremists


    The Treasury says the July figures are a blip. Harry Tchilinguirian, head of oil research at the investment bank BNP Paribas, says a heavier than usual maintenance programme this summer, especially in the Forties field, gives some credence to this argument. Production in the Forties field will be at its lowest level for 25 years this summer.

    However, Tchilinguirian stressed that production has fallen steadily over many years and is expected to continue its long-term decline. The new fields coming into production were unlikely to change the long-term picture, he said.

    "The UK offshore production industry is based on mature fields. There may be some discoveries and there may be some scope for smaller firms to extract some of the oil left in older fields. But only a massive investment will reverse the long-term decline of the industry," he said.

    You lot aint even got the illusion of an oil funded future to bullshite about you lot are being gutted bit by bit.

  10. Niko your friends in the Conservatives are just carrying on past Labour policies only doing it faster as they are greedier.

  11. I just don't think it's about people Arbroath. It's like the people who can't stand Salmond. "I'm not gonna vote YES because I hate Salmond".

    That said, I don't know anything about this guy to be honest...

  12. The trouble is, Niko, you don't reverse things. You just leave them the same...

    You were going to renationalise a whole pile of stuff in 1997, but you didn't.

    As for this:

    "Contrast that with a hate filled snp nation
    bankrupt broke no work no welfare no hope no future.
    The people controlled by the snp thought police any critics disappearing into the snp gulag.
    Bands of snp Einsatzgruppen roaming Scotland eliminating any and all opposition to snp rule.
    Unionists and anti-snp citisens hanging from ever lamppost;"

    I don't suppose you'd like to justify a single word of it, would you? or maybe provide references, or links to where you got it?

  13. Yeah Niko.

    There is plenty of research to show a hundred years of oil... long after we will need it; long after we will be using it.

    But maybe if you look around you, you will see that the Scottish government (under Labour too) has diversified Scotland's economy. There is more than oil to it.

  14. And finally in conclusion can any sensible Nationalist explain if Independence is so wonderful.

    Why is Alex Salmond spending more time and energy on Q2 then on Q1 ???

    The very act of which of itself weakens and undermines the cause.

    What gave you the impression that he was, Niko.

    David Cameron is determined NOT to have a second question. He has ruled it out completely. All the SNP is saying is that government doesn't and shouldn't have the power to simply disregard what every poll tells them.

    It's not David Cameron's country or Alex Salmond's country any more than it is yours or mine or princess Beatrix's or the old bloke from down the pub's.

    Why should he dictate what we can and can't have?

    Many Labour people are for independence, and many many more are for some sort of devo max.

    Still Camernob says no, and we all know he never goes back on his word...

  15. Wallace of Thanklessness on Newsnight.

    He's claiming the SG doesn't have the legal right to hold the referendum so there-for it won't happen.

    What a throbber.

  16. I've just endured the Newsnight "interview" with Dunderheid Wallace. Jeez what an absolute numpty. This guy certainly likes listening to his own voice and certainly does NOT like answering any questions, no matter how hypothetical. Still never mind he'll continue to ask his own hypothetical questions in the future.

    Tris, I assume you were suggesting that you were uncertain about who Blair was. If my assumptions are right perhaps this will help.


  17. Oh yeah, Pa... that great constitutional lawyer...Barren Jim of Tankedupness...

    I may be wrong about this, but didn't he handle divorce cases when he practised law?

    I see that when he was "up" he was a member of one of Cambridge's secret societies, in common with Philby and McLean and Burgess.

    So, anyway, I wish they would make up their minds about whether they will let our wee pretendy parliament have a referendum or not.

    They don't seem to be able to make any decisions about it.

    I think it would be best if they just tell us we can't have it, because they say so, so there,
    because they are important nobs, and we are just.... us.

    I suspect it will happen, whatever a lard says. Even card carrying unionists in Scotland don't want to be told what they can and can't do by some lackey of Camernob...That said Darling and Lamont are doing a good impression of Tory lickspittles.

    UDI would be a bit of a lark though.

  18. Aye, Jimbo Wallace, Cameron's man, bought and sold for Try gold.

    I wouldn't listen to him if you paid me...

    No, Arbroath, I do know who he is, I just don't really know anything much about him.

  19. I just thought it was funny when Wallace said Willie Rennie was taking suggestions for further devolution to Ming 'the merciless' campbell, in some LibDem sponsored gumflap exercise

    If Willie Rennie is in the driving seat... Ooooooh, I feel safer already.

    It hasn't sunk in, the libdems are dead in the water, quite literally...

  20. Sorry Tris, I got the wrong end of the stick, AGAIN! :LOL:

    Dearie me Pa, I didn't realise that Willie "the bus driver" Rennie was capable of doing ANYTHING! :LOL:

    Anyway is he still not too engrossed with trying to spread libelous and slanderous remarks about the SCVO to be bothered about anything as serious as dealing with ANYTHING to do with Scottish Independence or devolution of further powers to Scotland.

  21. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ... Oh [please Pa, don't keep mentioning Willie, and doing something, in the same sentence. It always ends up with me having hiccoughs...

    It seems to me that the Liberals were involved in that thing that Wendy Alexander organised, but they kinda got left out a bit, so they had a David Steele thing, and now Ming Campbell thing, I suppose Charlie Kennedy will have to lead an inquiry. It's a pity Joe Grimmond and Jeremy Thorpe aren't around to organise yet more of the same.

    The trouble is, guys, eventually you have to make a decision... and with Willie in change...LOL...as if... with Nick Clegg in charge, it will be the wrong one!

  22. Oh Lordy, Arbroath, don't worry about getting the wrong end of the stick. It's a more or less permanent situation with me.

    What's this about bus driver? Why would Willie need a bus. He could get all his members in a Mini, with room to spare.