Alistair Darling’s gremlin-plagued “positive case for the Union” speech in Glasgow yesterday, even leaving aside the weakness of its tired, reheated arguments (basically the same old “We cannae dae it” doom and gloom resprayed with an atom-thin coat of All-New Positivitrex!) might be the most boring thing we’ve ever read.
It drones on for a soul-sapping 26 pages and we can’t imagine how long it must have seemed when you were stuck in the room hearing it in Darling’s querulous, vexatious voice, but there’s one saving grace: the graphs. There are no fewer than 23 frequently-incomprehensible boxes, charts and diagrams, of which this is our favourite.
We’re not sure they’ve quite grasped how polling works.
It is, for example, more than a little odd to ask a question starting “Regardless of how you are likely to vote in [the] referendum…” and then offer two answers that explicitly depend on your vote in the referendum, along with three answers which DON’T express a preference on the constitutional option. Either your vote in the referendum is irrelevant or it isn’t. Take away the preamble and it’s even more striking:
“Which currency would you prefer Scotland to use?”
We’re also fans of the second-most-popular option, which we think it’s fair to say is just a touch on the leading side. We look forward to the next survey, which our busy Project Fear mole has leaked us the draft of.
Regardless of how you are likely to vote in the referendum, do you think Scotland should stay in the EU?
(a) I would like Scotland to stay in the UK, because the UK is in the EU. We’re better together! I will be voting No in the referendum.
(b) Become independent but stay in the EU, even though we’d probably not be allowed into the EU and if we did we wouldn’t get a rebate and we’d have to have border controls with England and we’d all become foreigners and probably die of Foreign AIDS.
(c) Scotland should leave the EU and join Australia.
(d) Scotland is in the EU?
(e) I prefer Frosties to Ricicles.
(f) Please go away.
We’ll have more fun from Mr Darling’s speech for you soon, unless attempting to read the whole thing makes us attempt suicide again. Either way, don’t hold your breath.