If anyone was still harbouring any doubts as to the significance of last night’s poll news, they would surely have been dispelled by this serious, thought-provoking and perceptive analysis on the BBC news channel’s “The Papers” roundup last night.
Of course, the poll might be a rogue. It might just be a temporary bounce from the second Salmond-Darling debate. And it still shows No in front. The Yes campaign will have to redouble its efforts in the last couple of weeks, not start congratulating itself.
But the one thing we can surely all agree on, right across the political divides, is that the most important aspect is whether someone might at some point have been slightly rude to Andrew Lloyd Webber on Twitter or not.
The rather sour Times leader linked in the tweet doesn’t actually specify the numbers, and the poll isn’t officially released yet as we write this, but we’d been hearing rumours of a Y47 N53 (excl. DKs) for a little while beforehand, so it looks like they were true.
Less than a month ago, YG stood at Y39 N61. If these numbers are confirmed, that’s a colossal 8% swing in three weeks, from the most No-friendly pollster around.
Game, as they say, on.
We thought this deserved a wider audience after the Herald’s appalling front-page lead scare story today by Michael Settle and Kate Devlin, channelling Jim Murphy MP:
The Scottish Police Federation represents all police officers in the ranks of constable, sergeant, inspector and chief inspector, police cadets and special constables, over 18,500 people, 98% of all police officers in Scotland.
‘The independence debate has been robust but overwhelmingly good natured and it would prove a disservice to those who have participated in it thus far to suggest that with 17 days to go, Scotland is about to disintegrate into absolute carnage on the back of making the most important decision in the country’s history.
Politicians and supporters of whichever point of view need to be mindful of the potential impact of intemperate, inflammatory and exaggerated language, lest they be seen to seek to create a self fulfilling prophecy‘
Oooft. ‘Nuff said.
The Daily Record, 27 Aug 2014:
‘The biggest beneficiaries of the SNP’s tax policy are the shareholders and directors of the privatised energy companies in Scotland,” he said. ‘”When you look at the Scottish National Party policies, inequality and poverty will survive until doomsday if Alex Salmond is all that confronts it.”
And Mr Brown again in the Observer, 31 August 2014:
“You’ve got to look at what the SNP is proposing. They’re dining out on Scottish traditions of equality to suggest that Scotland will always be more just in the policies we implement, but their only tax proposal is to cut corporation tax for the richest companies in the country.
Veteran readers will know where we’re going next.
Last week, Yes voters only hated their families, not Scotland.
This week it’s both. Can you feel the fear, readers?
From today’s Financial Times:
Sounds terrible. No wonder Gordon Brown’s so depressed.
Wings Over Scotland officially launched on the 1st of November 2011, with a collection of posts imported from a personal blog. (The first original post didn’t appear until a week later.) It was meant just to be a small aggregator site of interesting stories from the newspapers with a short bit of commentary. That month we had 6,290 pageviews.
We’ve grown a bit since then.
So worn-down are we by the job of scrutinising Scotland’s exhaustingly terrible media for three years for you, our beloved readers, that we often can’t bring ourselves to watch current-affairs shows live any more, steeling ourselves to catch up with them on iPlayer only if people say there was something of particular note on them.
We’re glad we didn’t miss this, though. Because it might be the case that no politician in human history has ever been as hopelessly, pitiably, comically out of his depth as Willie Rennie was on this morning’s Sunday Politics Scotland.
After all the unpleasantness of recent days we thought you might enjoy a bit of lighter viewing for a Sunday afternoon, so here’s an excellent short documentary about the Wings card game, “The Last Voter In Scotland”, which is padded out with background footage of a bloke called Greg something.
We think he’s some sort of computer guy.
Thank goodness there are only 18 days of the independence campaign remaining. We’re not sure we have the capacity to absorb much more idiocy like the below.
If you’ll forgive one of my very rare switches to the first-person view, readers, I’ve found the last few days in the independence referendum particularly weird.
That’s because my current life is curiously mirroring my previous one as a videogames journalist. The gaming community is at present mired in a convulsive orgy of the most mindboggling horror over something called “GamerGate”, which I couldn’t even begin to decribe adequately to you, because frankly you wouldn’t believe me and I’m not sure the words exist to do it justice anyway.
By way of illustration of that fact, this article on games website VG24/7 is, genuinely, by far the best, most accurate summary and analysis of the situation that I’ve read. (Twitter followers will already have seen me tweet a couple of random samples of what’s going on. I urge you, if you can, to endure the entirety of that second link, and note that it’s had almost FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND views.)
But while proving that the sort of abusive insanity pervading the world of videogames makes even the absolute worst of indyref name-calling look like two kittens with woolly hats on having a meow-off over who gets first shot at a saucer of milk, the core principles are the same – a tiny handful of total boneheads having their actions blown out of all proportion by the press in a shock-horror frenzy bearing no relation to the actual experiences of 99.9% of people.
Last week I was working in the tattoo studio and got chatting to a client on whom my colleague was completing a large, Japanese-style sleeve on his upper arm and chest. He was sitting upright in his chair, stripped to the waist, his new ink glowing.
We got talking about the referendum. Unusually, this guy was a No voter. I say ‘unusually’ because the vast majority of our clients in the studio are vocally keen Yes types. Perhaps there’s something in the inked person’s character – a bohemian or experimental quality that naturally favours thoughts of change or progression.
This guy was a very nice, friendly, middle-aged small business owner from North Lanarkshire. As a Yes voter, I try not to get too preachy on the subject in the studio simply because it wouldn’t be professional – I wouldn’t want to get into any kind of heated debate with someone I have to tattoo for hours on end.
Still, I lightly prodded him on some of the independence issues. I was curious to hear his perspective as I rarely encounter it in someone face to face.
“Bad for business”, he mumbled in an offhand way. “I just don’t like the sound of it”