Two full-page ads in today’s Scottish Sun from the two faces of the No campaign:
Vague, incoherent, half-hearted lies from an old dinosaur too bewildered to know where to lie down and die, and a demented racist holed up in a rural Post Office waiting for the men with the nets and the tranquilisers to arrive. “Better Together” in microcosm. This is what they think you’ll swallow, because this is what they think you are.
Scottish Labour, having seemingly faced up to their shortcomings as a political branch office and thereby despaired of being able to win any arguments, have now resorted to what appears to be a final strategy: telling undecideds to vote No for no reason at all.
“If you don’t know, Vote No” is the very basest sort of political message. A direct appeal to people’s fear of change, a call for blind faith in a party that’s proven itself unable to earn that faith from the Scottish or British electorate for the past nine years and shows no sign of doing so in the future. It’s a message that has very little going for it other than a sort of crude animal simplicity.
(Emphasised by the fact that “If you don’t know – vote No!” is the very first line, but Johann and Gordon feel the need to batter it into what we must presume they think are their voters’ thick, primitive brains by repeating it as a PS mere moments later.)
But Scottish Labour being Scottish Labour, they can’t even get THAT right.
Well, at least now I know how a bullet feels when it gets fired from a gun.
I got home on Saturday evening, and started with a wander around the former social-housing estate where my parents live, now bisected by walls and fences and hedges where people bought their houses under Right To Buy and privatised wee patches of once communal ground. The policy clearly didn’t bring the Tories the gratitude they’d hoped for. Somewhat to my surprise I counted 21 Yes houses to 3 No.
The next day I went to Glasgow.
Alert readers will remember that Gordon Brown, who is apparently some sort of former politician, has recently been spreading the completely baseless scare story that Scots would no longer receive organ transplants or blood transfusions from other people in the UK (and vice versa) in the event of independence.
Last night, not long after the Orange Order had marched in the streets of Edinburgh with “NO POPERY” banners, a young woman with a life-limiting illness called Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency climbed the face of Edinburgh Castle with oxygen strapped to her back and tubes up her nose. (The only cure for A1AD is a double lung transplant.)
This is what she did there.
Hello. Some of you will know me, but most of you won’t. That’s alright. That’s not important. All you have to know right now is that I’m just like you. We may well be on different sides in this referendum race – I’m on team Yes – but we are the same.
I come from a working-class family, in a working-class area of Glasgow. My father worked for Glasgow City Council in the Parks department, and I followed him there and spent seven years out cutting grass, planting flowers, picking up litter and raking leaves in the rain.
I joined the Labour Party when I was 17, and was a trade union activist a year later. I was a local branch chair at 21, and I was proud to have worked alongside the team at Keir Hardie House to deliver a Labour government in 1997. The Labour Party was my second home.
In 2001 I decided to go to university, so I signed up for night school and for a year I went religiously, doing three subjects a week on top of my job. I passed them all and chose Stirling, where I quickly became involved in student union politics. In my first campaign for an executive post I was tagged one of “Blair’s Poodles”. I wore my party colours on my sleeve.
An interesting piece in the Herald today:
Right there, in just two sentences, the spirit of the Union: English people think they should have been allowed to force the Scots to remain in the UK against their will.
If 70% of English people voted against independence (or even in fact, if just 70% of the 56% who think they should have had a vote did), it would have vastly outweighed even 100% of Scots voting Yes. That, readers, is the respect the people of England have for Scottish self-determination and democracy. Every single Scot could have voted for independence, and England’s view is that they should have been able to, and would, force Scotland to stay in the UK.
We’re just going to leave it at that.
Yeah, okay, we know the joke doesn’t quite work because the spelling’s not right. But there’s already plenty of comedy in the fact that Richard Branson is the latest celebrity to sign up to the No camp. Why?
That’s why. Still, bless ‘em for trying.