Wednesday 17 September 2014

'Jist dae it Scotland'

Munguin reader, Alan, is clearly even better connected than the wee furry beastie himself. For he got an email from Nicola Sturgeon asking him to share this article by Andrew Wilson, from the Scotsman of September 14.

Munguin is a big fan of Nicola's. Indeed he'd like to add her to his collection of notables who have been lucky enough to be photographed with him. Unfortunately, two busy people (or one busy person and a busy Munguin) can't always co-ordinate times for photoshoots.

We are, nonetheless, pleased to comply with Nicola's request. 

In fact, I'd been going to try to write something smart and emotive today when this, which is so much better than anything I could manage, popped up in my inbox. So I can get on with delivering leaflets and stop worrying about trying to be profound!

Seriously, it's a good piece. Please get it out there to everyone you can, for Nicola... and Munguin. 

(Illustrations and bold face are down to Munguin.)

Decided or leaning?  If No is in your mind as you ponder your vote this Thursday, I urge you to do me the privilege of reflecting on the next few hundred words. After doing that, I will respect your judgement on Scotland’s future, of course I shall.

If you must vote No, please I urge you to do so for the best of reasons or you could regret your choice, very quickly and possibly forever. Some of my friends and family will vote No with a cast-iron, near religious certainty. But many more of them will lean towards a No vote with a heavy, heavy heart.

They feel the positive case for voting No has just not been made. They would be right. They are as disappointed as I am by the insulting level of disrespect for this small country’s collective intelligence displayed over this campaign. Indeed, it got worse last week with some especially risible interventions from the Downing Street and Westminster establishment.

The cocktail the Tory led Government and campaign want us to drink is “1 part love-bomb to 99 parts fear”. It’s a cocktail of smear and contempt for every person in Scotland. Don't drink it; the sour aftertaste will stay with you for life.

The scare stories of last week and this week are too numerous to rebut one by one. But know this: they are part of an ongoing, concerted campaign to throw fear, uncertainty and doubt into the hearts of voters in Scotland. They range from the invented, to the exaggerated and simple, downright lies.

David Gauke
The fears from above are founded on the idea that the world community will reject Scotland despite welcoming 142 countries before us since 1945. They rest on the belief that a government that tells us it loves us today will set out to destroy our interests from Friday onwards. Here’s the key point. They promote fear even if it destroys their own interests and impedes trade and cooperation between us at the same time. Such fears are founded on the view that unique in the world; Scotland is just not up to self-government and independence. Indeed, even our valuable assets, such as oil and renewable energy, are but curses and millstones around our necks we are led to believe.

The glee with which they stoke uncertainty should cause the more substantial and serious among them to pause. As it should you.

Glee is the word for the faces of Westminster ministers as they told Scotland our banks would “leave.” Indeed, Tory Treasury Minister, David Gauke, said with a chuckle, “there will be more pandas than banks and insurance companies in an independent Scotland.” Please, re-read that phrase and picture David’s goading smirk. For me that quote provided the trough in the atrocious Project Fear campaign and demonstrated a sneering disdain towards those in Scotland they seek to persuade. Don’t let them persuade you.

The truth of the banking story demonstrates much. Because Downing Street, (currently), refuses to even consider sharing the pound, contingency plans are needed to ensure bank regulation remains clear. To remain backed by the Bank of England, the banks would need to move registration to London. So whilst politicians skipped from studio to studio trying to make people worry for their jobs, families and their futures, and get us to believe all branches and offices would close, the CEO of RBS was drafting a letter to staff calming them and pointing out that no jobs or operations would be affected by a technical, brass plate, legal move.

But, unbowed, on the Downing Street tank rolled, cajoling supermarkets, world-wide banks, the armed forces and even telecom companies to join in the fun. No depth is too low for Westminster now. Win at all costs, however ugly and obscene is their intent. If Scotland was worth nothing to Westminster, why do you think they’re fighting so hard to keep us?

If you let this non-stop wall of noise cow you, then you will regret it. Because not only is it not true but it would be the worst possible reason for you to decide to vote No. If we vote No for these reasons, Scotland will feel like the 2nd January, day in, day out, year in year out for decades to come. Vote Yes and we will unleash a massive wave of energy, and a creative pulse that will resonate around us for years.

Of course, we will face tough times and difficult choices. Every country does. But compared to the realities of the crises we have been through since 2008, the risks of our choice are but a whisper in the wind.

Boris, the next UK PM?
Choose No and we will await an election next May to decide who will govern us for another 5 years. The latest ICM poll puts the Conservatives in front, with 49% of the electorate backing either the Tories or UKIP. Think about it. Even if Ed Miliband sneaks a win for Labour, would you trust him to govern us better than our own government here? Really? That truth has been our reality for decades. It’s time for all of us to grow up and remember recent history.

The Scottish Parliament as it is, even with new powers, is but a “pocket money parliament”. Imagine being a 50 year old staying with your Mammy and handing over your wages to her just to be handed out pocket money at the weekend. That’s what the Scottish Parliament is. It’s a small-change, penny parliament at the mercy of our Mammy, Westminster. Without all the levers of power, the Scottish Parliament is no better than you or I being a stay-at-home lodger with some pocket money as we enter middle age.

My friend, Scotland has what it takes to be successful, in bucket-loads. We have economic, environmental and political starting points better than any new country enjoyed before us has ever had. Indeed, we have more resources, information and experience than any of the other 142 nations who have made the positive choice for independence since the end of the 2nd World War.

Scotland also has most of the machinery of government already in place. We have what it takes if we only choose to do it.  The 18th September is our date with destiny and our date with history.

Join with me in sharing this message with your family and friends, rejecting fear, embracing hope and putting our shoulders to the great wheel of Scotland. Let’s make ourselves and our nation all we can be. Let’s not live with regret. We can do this. For the sake of ourselves and generations to follow we must take up the challenge of a Yes vote and change Scotland for the better.

If the Scots from our nation’s proud and ancient past could speak to us now I'm sure they'd say just 4 words.
'Jist dae it Scotland.'


  1. Wish I could understand the NO voter. Seems to me that they either have some thing they think they can lose or the really hate their own people. There are people in the Sahara fighting for a load of sand and I do mean fighting, all these people need to do is put an X in a box and they are swithering and sweating. Well I hope they like the result if they win.

  2. Ah think Scotland's jist gonna daen it, wei a massive land slide.

    1. Oh please let that be true...

      Polling looking good.