There’s an interesting piece from Lesley Riddoch in this morning’s Scotsman, pointing out that “Better Together” is scared to put its prospectus for a Scotland inside the UK to the electorate, preferring a purely destructive critical approach to the Yes side’s:
“If this was an important individual decision like the choice between two homes or two cars, you can bet your bottom dollar the pros and cons of each option would be minutely listed, questioned and compared by prudent consumers.
But while the piece echoes one we wrote last weekend pointing out that Scots will be choosing between two different futures next September (not just opting to keep things as they are) Riddoch doesn’t quite capture the full extent of the No camp’s cowardice, because she misses one important point.
And that’s the fact that not only are the advocates of the Union scared to put their own option fully and clearly on the table, they’re also terrified of allowing Scottish voters to properly assess the case for Yes.
That’s because despite all their shouting and bawling about “unanswered questions”, they’re the only people in the debate who are suppressing information. They scream about uncertainty around Scotland’s membership of the EU, yet the answer to that question is in their gift and theirs alone.
They endlessly demand a “Plan B” from Alex Salmond in the event that the UK refused a Sterling currency union, yet refuse to simply come out and say once and for all whether they WOULD refuse that union. (Because we all know they wouldn’t, because it would be suicidally stupid.)
Indeed, almost ALL of the key questions that the No parties will demand answers to this week after the release of the white paper are ones that only they can actually answer, because the vast majority depend on how petty, vengeful and obstructive the post-referendum UK government would be.
(In most or even all cases, the answer is “not very”, because acting to an independent Scotland’s detriment would also cause serious damage to the UK. Being awkward about currency or EU membership, for example, would have appalling consequences for rUK businesses and therefore the rUK economy.)
But so frightened is the UK government of losing Scotland – with its North Sea receipts, vital balance-of-payments contributions, nuclear submarine base, abundant fresh water and limitless renewable energy potential – that not only do they want to keep their own offer secret, they’re determined to do everything they can to prevent the Scottish people from being able to make a judgement on the Yes case too.
They’re so scared they won’t even make a ten-second phone call to the EU to furnish you with the truth, preferring to construct endless excuses for why there’s no need.
That, readers, is the true meaning of “Project Fear”. It’s a campaign which not only sets out to sow fear, but is entirely created FROM fear. They want you to share their blind panic, and vote with both your eyes closed.