It’s a fact – and we imply only correlation, not causation – that most of Scotland’s least pleasant people are to be found on the No side of the independence debate. The BNP, the SDL, Britannica, Holocaust denier Alistair McConnachie, the Orange Order and all manner of other Loyalist nasties cling to the Union Jack and a distaste for “foreigners” that they share with the most senior levels of Scottish Labour.
So far, however, it must be noted that “Better Together” has been pretty diligent about disassociating itself, at least publicly, from such groups. But as the referendum draws closer and pressure increases, it’s getting tougher and tougher to keep a lid on the nasty underbelly of the Unionist movement.
This page appeared on the official No campaign website and Facebook page yesterday. It features Yvonne Hama, a “single mum” from Airdrie with an uncanny knack for imitating Alistair Darling’s writing style (a trait she shares with every other ordinary member of the public who ever appears in BT literature, invariably repeating the full range of catchphrases from “best of both worlds” and “pooling and sharing” to “the strength security and stability of the wider United Kingdom”).
She perhaps picked it up while appearing with him on a recent “No Thanks” platform.
And the reason we suggest that the style might be a new development is because Ms Hama didn’t used to write like that.
The tweets above come from one of several Twitter accounts of Ms Hama’s, all of which have been deleted or locked down since last night. Other than likening the SNP to Nazis – something which again puts her in good company at Scottish Labour – she hasn’t said anything particularly offensive herself, so far as we can tell.
But the tweets do provide a context suggesting that when Yvonne retweets the likes of the bankrupt and recently-deposed BNP leader Nick Griffin (and others) saying “No Surrender!” and suggesting that they’d like to see Celtic fans hanged from trees, it’s not because she wants to highlight how unacceptable they are.
We couldn’t help noticing BT’s last poster girl, “ordinary mother” Clare Lally, leading a team of “United With Labour” canvassers on BBC Breakfast this morning. But Ms Lally is a woman of impeccable character who was simply misrepresented by the No camp as being something she wasn’t. (Or rather, as not being something she was.)
But in their increasing desperation to present voters with “grassroots” No voices who aren’t Scottish Labour MPs scrabbling frantically to save their own cushy Westminster jobs, expense accounts and gold-plated pensions, the Unionist parties and “Better Together” are having to scrape ever lower into the bottom of the barrel.
It’s only a few weeks since Labour candidate Kathy Wiles had to resign for likening some Yes-supporting children to the Hitler Youth. Now we’ve got a bigoted, sectarian BNP fan appearing on platforms with the leader of the official No campaign and being prominently featured on its website. There’s still another month to go and the polls are tightening ominously. How far will they sink next?