With the official campaigns now over a year old, we can’t help wondering whether “Better Together Glasgow” shouldn’t have been launched before now.
But this is a funny sort of “public meeting”, isn’t it?
The last “Better Together” public event didn’t go so well. It was a shambolic affair, attended by a number of independence supporters asking awkward questions, and led to embarrassing scenes as the No campaign’s director Blair McDougall frantically dodged our offer to set up and pay for a public debate (with a neutral host) between his chairman Alistair Darling and Yes Scotland’s public face, Dennis Canavan.
Clearly, BT don’t want another fiasco with the actual public attending one of their public meetings, so they’ve organised a secret one. To be allowed into their latest shindig, you’ll have to jump through all sorts of hoops, including registering your home address, email address and phone number, in order to be permitted to know the undisclosed location for the event.
“Better Together”, of course, has form in this regard.
We know that the No campaign is desperate to avoid actually debating independence with anyone. They’ve tried to silence this site and others with legal threats. They’ve tried to bully us by sending smear dossiers to the media. They censor and ban huge numbers of people from their Facebook page. They try to shut down Yes Scotland stalls by not turning up to fairs and galas and then claiming that the presence of Yes campaigners is an imbalance, or wasting police time with spurious complaints, or threatening people with violence.
But this is surely a new low. Holding a supposedly public meeting in a secret location that the public can’t turn up at without being pre-vetted and handing over their personal information to spammers? Is Alistair Darling really so frightened of having to deal with anything that hasn’t been script-approved beforehand?
(To opt out of Eventbrite spam, you have to plough through ANOTHER tedious registration process to get a company account, then dig your way through the settings to find the option that lets you turn marketing messages off.)
Going along to such events isn’t infiltration and it isn’t sabotage. This is, according to BT, a “public meeting”, not a gathering exclusively for No supporters. And since we can’t count on the media to ask them the questions that need answered, and asking ourselves via Twitter or email or phone call never gets a response, going along and doing it face to face seems the only way.
Luckily, we have some spammable email addresses and telephone numbers we can use for situations such as this, so if you’d like to attend BT’s Glasgow “launch” and put some pertinent, polite questions to their chairman (We suggest, purely by way of example, “Why won’t you debate your opposite number Dennis Canavan in public?”), drop us a line via our Contact page and we’ll see what we can do for you.