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Be careful what you wish for

Posted on March 29, 2013 by

A play in three very short acts.

UNIONISTS:“We need information! We must have more information! We demand answers! Why aren’t voters being given the information they need? It must be given to them sooner, if not immediately! It’s an outrage!”

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT: “We shall deliver this information.”

UNIONISTS:“Taxpayers’ money funding separatist propaganda! It’s an outrage!”

Hey ho. Just 18 more months of these idiots to go, readers.

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    54 to “Be careful what you wish for”

    1. alasdair says:

      So what they’re saying here is that they don’t want people to have the information they demanded … I’m confused.

    2. Craig says:

      In the first comment to the Herald article:

      “The Grab and Dash Party are sinking to a new low by trying to politicise schools and schoolkids.”

      And yet…my first real experience of getting involved with politics, as I recall, was the debates and mock referendum organised by my high school in the run up to the ’97 devolution vote….despite there being only perhaps half a dozen kids there who would have been old enough to vote in it. Curious that.

    3. Stuart Black says:

      On a slightly different tack, Peter ‘Red Pedro’ Russell has a piece dated yesterday on Labour Hame that’s just crying out to be deconstructed, opening paragraph below.
      Many were struck by the low key nature of the SNP spring conference and indeed Alex Salmond’s performance was notably poor: lifeless, read from a (lame) script. Overall, it was in no way the celebration for which the gathered faithful had prepared themselves.
      It’s that ole parallel universe syndrome again, eh?

    4. Doug Daniel says:

      The thing is, this sort of behaviour is genuinely turning people off. I’ve seen folk on Twitter who say they’re still undecided which way they’ll vote, but they find the No campaign petty and spiteful. This may be good stuff for committed No campaigners, but the people they’re trying to win over are not impressed.
       
      Also, I notice Magnus’s article (wow, Magnus writing a petty anti-SNP article? Surely not…) is padded out with the bit about the Greens wanting the referendum bill changed to allow prisoners to vote. It’s like some sort of “round-up of people who are angry at the SNP” or something.

    5. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “It’s that ole parallel universe syndrome again, eh?”

      Yeah, I saw that piece. He’s the only man on Earth who’s looked at the last run of polls all showing swings towards independence and concluded that it means support for independence has peaked and run out of momentum.

      To be honest, I’m reluctant to even give ZombieLabourHame the dignity of a reference.

    6. Dramfineday says:

      Once upon a day – as my little grand daughter puts it,  I used to teach project management. One of the sections I covered was how to sabotage a project and how to recognise that it was happening – guess what? Demanding more and more information and detail on the project was one of the techniques. Nice to see it in full flow. Better still that people have recognised it for what it is.

    7. Gayle says:

      Yep, rank hypocrisy from the unionists who shout about taxpayers funding the information yet are happy with Westminster MPs wasting taxpayers money on food, houses, and expenses that cover toilet seats and porn. 

    8. Cruachan says:

      Of course, the Epilogue, after the Yes vote, will be, “the terms of “separation” are dreadful, how could the SNP sell Scotland down the river, we must demand more from Westminster in the negotiations, etc. …….

    9. Stuart Black says:

      Yes, probably right Rev Stu. It seemed to have been abandoned for a while, I wouldn’t think many missed it.
      ‘Red’ Pedro though, I’m not surprised he is a ‘retired’ speechwriter.

    10. tartanfever says:

      Just waiting for someone who has the privilege to post on the Herald’s site to ask Magnus Hamgard about the East Lothian question, I’m still chuckling from that one.

    11. Macart says:

      Heh, that Times poll really has them rattled. The amount of devo articles run in the Guardian all week has been a laugh a minute. Even the usual troll pack have been unusually quiet. They know the best is yet to come and they’re already losing ground. Most of their arguments have been undermined by their own team starting with wee Ruthie and finishing with Vince Cables sterling aboutfacery yesterday on oil and gas markets.
       
      They’re scrabbling for arguments even as their heroes rip the rug out from under their feet. 🙂

    12. Edinburgh Quine says:

      “Many were struck by the low key nature of the SNP spring conference and indeed Alex Salmond’s performance was notably poor: lifeless, read from a (lame) script”
      I dont buy paper news any more (they’re rubbish, biased nonsense) so did he mention the speech by Dennis Canavan which came before Alex’?  Probably not as he probably wouldn’t like it to get out that there are more than Scottish Nationalists who are interested in Independence.  Twallys

    13. FreddieThreepwood says:

      Leader in the Guardian this morning trying to get its readership interested again in independence (even though it’ll never happen – don’t worry) but also the ‘post no vote’ Britain that even the Scottish Tories are beginning to contemplate (??!!). We really should all be thinking about the challenges the independence vote in Scotland brings to the whole of the UK, is their message.
      The result, as always, will be absolutely no letters whatsoever from the contented and ignorant English lefty middle classes.

    14. Vincent McDee says:

      Talking about the P.U.S. that lot seems to be mired in, Alan Massie’s breaks a record in “wishful thinking” : http://www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/opinion/comment/alex-massie-forging-the-fiscal-future-1-2864354
       
      “Building a sound Scotland in case of independence may require embracing neoliberalism”!!!
       
      Not even Groucho’s eyebrows can cope with it.

    15. Gavin Alexander says:

      Dramfineday,
      a very interesting comment there about project sabotage. Do you have any links/references to that technique? I’d like to read more about that and also mention it online too.

    16. Marcia says:

      Macart
       
      The circulation of the Guardian in Scotland is? If anyone stumbles to their website the comments below each article is in the main better than the article itself.

    17. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Talking about the P.U.S. that lot seems to be mired in, Alan Massie’s breaks a record in “wishful thinking” : http://www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/opinion/comment/alex-massie-forging-the-fiscal-future-1-2864354

      “Building a sound Scotland in case of independence may require embracing neoliberalism”!!!

      Not even Groucho’s eyebrows can cope with it.”

      I couldn’t figure out when I saw that piece this morning whether Massie is trying to damage the independence campaign by putting left-wingers off, or subtly trying to help by persuading Tories that it might not be so bad. Given that the Scotsman’s print audience is very much the latter category, I’m telling myself to be optimistic.

    18. McHaggis says:

      Happily, the hysterical nazi reference in the opening comment in The Herald has now been removed… but JM OBE Woking is becoming more panic ridden and shrill every day…
      In the space of a few posts he includes words such as shameful, indoctrination, exploitation, disgraceful, propaganda, separatism, futile…
       
      The man is has become a caricature of a hysterical, foam-flecked, anti-Scottish Unionist.
       
      As I recall it, Labour were in late 2010, committed to giving away a free copy of The Scotsman or Herald to youngsters. Given the editorial bias prevalent  I’d say that was far more akin to propaganda than anything the Scottish Government propose – bribing a compliant press…

    19. McHaggis says:

      Sorry, but there are a few JM OBE belters on The Herald discussion boards today, including this gem —>
      ” In Scotland the SNP is the second most unpopular party after the Conservatives.”
       
      does he always drink this early?

    20. The hypocrisy over this issue never fails to astound me – the BT mob demand almost microscopic levels of detail over what an independent Scotland will look like, neatly missing the point that for most of their questions the correct answer is ‘that depends upon who gets elected in the first post-independence elections’, whilst simultaneous avoiding giving any indication of what things will be like after a no vote beyond mealy-mouthed suggestions that ‘it’ll be better than it is now, so it will’.

    21. Doug Daniel says:

      Stu – “I couldn’t figure out when I saw that piece this morning whether Massie is trying to damage the independence campaign by putting left-wingers off, or subtly trying to help by persuading Tories that it might not be so bad. Given that the Scotsman’s print audience is very much the latter category, I’m telling myself to be optimistic.”
       
      I would go with the latter, although maybe not so much “help”, more just trying to take a neutral stance on it, which naturally leads to pointing out that independence might not be a left-wing utopia that those on the right probably worry about.
       
      I remember on the New Year edition of the For A’ That podcast he described himself as always being a nationalist in his heart but a unionist in his head, and that he felt perhaps the two were switching places now. Or something along those lines anyway. I certainly think Massie is the kind of right-winger who can be persuaded to vote Yes.

    22. Macart says:

      @Marcia
       
      Exactly. You can reach out and touch a lot of folks using their own tools against them. And their comments section is as good a place as any. Its almost a guarantee that most neutral, socially liberal or generally leftward thinking people will gravitate their online reading to such sites. Its also a guarantee that because of the leanings of their Scottish section editorial staff that they’ll attract a lot of attention (rightly or wrongly, mainly wrongly). Its also a useful place for handing out information on sites like WoS or just generally to the next door neighbours readership. Quite stunning how so few of them actually understand whats going on in Scottish politics. 

    23. DougtheDug says:

      Dramfineday:
      I never knew that demanding more and more information was a recognised technique for sabotaging a project but I used to see a similar technique first hand in project meetings to shut down proposals for change.
       
      If someone didn’t like a proposal at the meeting they would try and shut it down by raising as many questions about it as they could in the “whataboutery” style and couple this with requests for more information in the hope the proposal would be abandoned as just being too difficult to deal with.
       
      It’s very similar to the BetterTogether’s relentless requests for minute detail on what is exactly going to happen to everything you can think of after independence.

    24. James Morton says:

      Alan Massie is pretty much the only voice of reason the Unionists actually have. The rest are slightly swivel eyed constantly reacting to anything the Scottish Government do and framing it in the negative. I remember him on the podcast Doug mentioned, and remember some of his pieces in the spectator. He thinks anyone voting yes because of the tories is wrong-headed. But then he believes that right of centre politics could be de-toxed in Scotland, and who knows, we might like it. But you sense his utter dismay at what he called “we hate you all, now vote for us” strategy not just making the rightwing toxic but positively radioactive for generations. So he instinctively embraces anything that sounds like his party are finally talking commonsense and which leaves him free to imagaine scotland finally embracing the right and loving it. A man can dream I guess.

    25. Doug Daniel says:

      This is part of the problem with Yes supporters indulging in firefighting – if we’re spending all our time refuting every single silly point the No camp make, then there’s no time left to spread our own messages.
       
      Sometimes I think we would be best served by just ignoring BetterTogether completely, and focussing instead on speaking directly to the electorate to make our case. But of course, the reality is that’s not practical, thanks largely to the media. That’s where Wings comes in very handy, of course…

    26. Richie says:

      @McHaggis
      “does he always drink this early?”
       
      I’ve been known to drink even earlier and even if I tried I couldn’t come up with shit like that. He must be on acid!

    27. frankieboy says:

      I think the big mistake I make is assuming that the Better Together campaign leaders are sane and of sound mind. I am beginning to have serious doubts about that.
      If they demand black and get it, its the wrong black. If they demand white, it is separatist white when it arrives. Anything else, they just make up. I admire the courage of those who try to deconsturct their arguments and don’t end up as babbling wrecks. It is monotonous and relentless. Wait until it becomes personal!

    28. muttley79 says:

      The thing to remember with diehard Unionists is that whatever the SG or the SNP say on independence, it will never be good enough for them.  They call for more information then they get the Fiscal Commission report, which world renowned economists, including Joe Stieglitz, helped to produce.  They then go quiet.  It seems Tavish Scott is determined to destroy what remains of his own reputation and credibility.  We had the tired old Orkney-Shetland issue, and now he says sending the white paper to high schools is propaganda, despite 16 years olds getting to vote in the referendum.  It is just another example of Unionists’ lack of engagement and negativity in the independence referendum. 

    29. scaredy cat. says:

      Can someone please explain something to me? I reckon I am reasonably intelligent. I have looked at the pros and cons ( and I can actually think of one benefit to being in the union) but I have come to the conclusion that independence is the best option. I can understand why unionist MPs want a ‘no’ vote. Obviously they will be out of a job. Selfish maybe, but true. But what of Unionist MSPs and biased journalists living and working in Scotland? I don’t get it. Why can’t they see the benefits? They can’t all be stupid and I’m pretty sure I’m not either. But one of us must be.

    30. Stuart says:

      You know what I really don’t like?
      In that picture, the Union Flag is flying above the Saltire. Wannae bet the unionists would be throwing up hell if it was, say, the EU flag flying above the Union flag.

    31. Vronsky says:

      There’s an interesting article on Irish censorship over at the London Review of Books.  Some of what is said on censorship could as easily apply to Unionist propaganda – especially the line from Yeats:

      “Irish writers describe censorship as ridiculous; not just the censor but his rabble are foolish. ‘You have disgraced yourself again,’ Yeats’s line to the rioters protesting against O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars at the Abbey is quoted over and again.”

      http://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n06/anne-enright/diary

    32. cath says:

      I’ve noticed this same technique on NO sites where you get posted over and over again “but they (either the SNP or Yes campaign) haven’t said anything about x,y or z.” Someone then points out that actually, they have said loads and you can see what they’re saying by going directly to the place they’re saying it – Yes Scotland or the SNP manifesto or site. Immediately followed by “that’s a biased site. I’m not going there!” then followed again with “but they haven’t said anything about x,y,z”
       
      Makes you want to tear your hair out in frustration.

    33. Stuart Black says:

      @ Scaredy cat says: But what of Unionist MSPs and biased journalists living and working in Scotland? I don’t get it. Why can’t they see the benefits? They can’t all be stupid and I’m pretty sure I’m not either. But one of us must be.
       
      This, yes. I wish someone could explain it to me.

    34. kininvie says:

      @scaredy cat
      Leaving aside the grubby personal ambition and outrage at having their pockets unfairly picked by a separatist party which should never have been allowed to be more than a noisy protest group, I think the more genuinely thoughtful unionists have an idea of Britain as a united whole, and they can’t see the point of breaking it up. In fact, they see it as a tragedy. Britishness is a very powerful brand (if we must call it that); you only need to look at Falklands, Gib, NI to see its grip on people. The fact that it doesn’t really exist is neither here nor there – it’s loyalty to an idea that drives no voters. I take all the negativity and scaremongering to be symptoms of a much deeper fear – that of being abandoned.
      It’s a curious thought, perhaps, but after a Yes vote, we are going to have a lot of miserable No voters on our hands, and we shall need to somehow give them reassurance and a new idea of the future.

    35. Albert Herring says:

      @Scaredy Cat
      @Stuart Black
      Returning MPs will oust MSPs who will in turn oust councillors, hence they’re all agin. As for journalists, it’s probably a culture thing + how do you get up the slippery pole – certainly not by defying the owner’s viewpoint. With the BBC you also have the strong Labour influence.
      I think in the end, it basically comes down to self-interest.

    36. rabb says:

      Scaredy Cat,
      This is my take on it.
       
      1. The MSM are commercial entities, they have shareholder dividends to pay out so MUST cater for the masses to maximise revenue. At this point in time the No campaign (if we are to believe the polls) are ahead. Logic says that No voters are the majority so the papers will cater for them.
      When the polls tip in our favour the papers will duly follow. This already starting to happen and some of the articles coming from the Sun for example are encouraging.

      2. Unionist MP’s & MSP’s are all bound to “the party line” dictated to from Westminster. I think Margo McDonald made a comment a while back saying that most of the Labour MSP’s spouting from the party line will in all likelihood vote Yes next year (Or words to that effect).
       
      I am absolutely and totally convinced that Lamont and the rest know independence makes sense but cannot say so because that’s not party policy.

      Just to add, the BBC are the exception as the state broadcaster they have no commercial responsibility and free to spout biased propaganda at will aided and abeited by Westminster.

    37. Stuart Black says:

      @Albert Herring says: With the BBC you also have the strong Labour influence.
       
      Yes of course, you are right but, given that Labour supporters, as demonstrated by Labour for indy, are able to see the very strong case for independence, it can’t be beyond a BBC journalist to come to the same conclusions, especially when they are confronted with the likes of Jackie Baillie prevaricating and obfuscating furiously, not to mention spreading outright lies. Yet the Yes side are still treated in a much more brutal way than the No side.
      Regardless of personal politics, a journalist with any pride in his profession should be able to hold both sides to account in a robust fashion, but still we see No campaigners offering up open goals only for the BBC – and others – to decline the gift.
      I only wish Izzy Fraser was back on the team.

    38. Patrick Roden says:

      @scaredy cat,
      Good point by Kininvie, but I wud add that for some journalists at both newspapers and tv, they know that they are expected to promote a unionist narative and they could easily find themselves out of a job if they don’t do their job ‘properly’
      One or two are allowed to promote nationalism in order to attempt to show some ‘balance’ but every single mainstream media outlet is pro union and they are all owned by people who are not Scottish.
      Hope this helps
       

    39. cath says:

      I suspect a lot of journalists must be under severe pressure. Basically the establishment, especially that in Glasgow where most media are based, is Labour and has been forever. Their links, many corrupt, run so deep in Glasgow and the West that essentially everyone who is anyone has ties to them: to get on people had to have. So there is already a deeply ingrained bias, with people promoted way above any ability and more along party lines, allegiances and who they know.
       
      Even given that, there must be many within the media who are deeply unhappy about the role they’re being asked to play but all media, the BBC included are cutting costs, so there is a big axe above eveyones head as well. In that kind of situation, it’s not necessary for anyone to be issuing edicts or instructions – people will see who is being used and who isn’t, what their line is. Isobel Fraser, for example, seems to have disappeared after Ian Davidson’s rant at her for being not-quite-as-biased as the rest to the unionist cause. People are genuinely afraid for their jobs and futures.
       
      That will be the same with Labour MSPs and councillors – afraid to speak up because it will lose their career prospects.
       
      However, all that said, it really doesn’t excuse anyone, especially elected MSPs and councillors. Any Labour MSP who goes along with this and doesn’t have the courage to speak out, but votes Yes regardless is a spineless non-entity, utterly unworthy of any position of power or leadership. These are the people in positions of power and control – it is their job to represent their constituents, and their job to speak up for what they believe in, and believe is right. Where people like John Finnie and Jean Urquhart felt in conflict with SNP policy, they left and became independents in Holyrood. That is open to any Labour MSP, as is publicly joining Labour for Indy, raising a debate at conference, or simply speaking out from where they are.

    40. cath says:

      “given that Labour supporters, as demonstrated by Labour for indy, are able to see the very strong case for independence, it can’t be beyond a BBC journalist to come to the same conclusions”
       
      I’ve long since stopped watching Newsnicht. But I get the impression on here that even Gordon Brewer is starting to show signs of frustration with some of the Better Together “material” he’s having to work with. Would that be a fair conclusion?

    41. creag an tuirc says:

      Speaking of Izzy Fraser. Where is she? Has she been demoted to the BBC research department, does she have her own blog? Are you on here?

    42. heraldnomore says:

      and over on the radio isn’t Blair Jenkins coming across well, which is no surprise at all.
      Delighted to hear him state firmly that he does not speak for the Scottish Government.  Let’s get these debates under way, for this man has a role to play.

    43. Dcanmore says:

      mentioned before, I’m convinced that the outing of Swinney’s ‘top secret dossier’ was supposed to be the knock out blow against YES/SNP and the Times poll has got them severely rankled hence all the Devo talk now. Bitter Together are falling apart with little or no ammunition and all they are left with is lies.
       
      O/T Johnston Press have until the end of 2014 to cut £240m in debt or they’re finished, pretty much. They have shed over 1300 staff in last 12 months and made a pre-tax loss of £6.8m last year. Circulation and advertising rates went down an average of 14% as they frantically try to have an online impact. Somehow I don’t think they’ll do it. If anybody wants to buy a newspaper title on the cheap, then look out next year (Ray Tindle waiting in the wings to buy the Scotsman).
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/mar/19/johnston-press-financial-results
       
       

    44. Albert Herring says:

      @Stuart Black
      a journalist with any pride in his profession should be able to hold both sides to account in a robust fashion……………………………………..Izzy Fraser.
      You answered your own question.

    45. GH Graham says:

      There are two fundamental reasons why Unionists are so bitterly opposed to Scotland’s people chosing to return to full sovereign independence.
      The first is a personal economic one; MP’s have built a career working at Westminster & enjoy uniquely generous financial & social benefits. Those benefits will evaporate after independence & they will be left economically worse off. It could be mitigated by positively engaging with the Scottish government & electorate but that cannot happen until AFTER independence. This creates huge personal uncertainty. Thus they are fearful for their career, their livelihood & their family’s wellbeing. This is entirely understandable and for which I can offer some empathy.
      The second is the destruction of an idea called Great Britain or Britishness. The definitions are inevitably personal & varied but there are many visual symbols that are common regardless of how one defines Britishness. In England its bulldogs, Westminster, The Queen, fish & chips, Churchill, Dunkirk Spirit, Stonehenge, fair play (oh, the irony), cricket, shite beer etc. You get the idea. For Scots working the westminster circuit, I wreckon its more about influence, power & global presence, since most of the geographic, institutional & visually British clues are specifically English.
      Independence then, rejects all of these cues. Unionists are struggling with the idea that Scotland doesn’t need them anymore. Scots have woken up to the fact that we have our own, equally powerfull references that can stand up on their own two feet on the global stage & be recognised for what they are; uniquely Scottish cues. And we have the economic ability to run our own country.
      In essence, independence means that unionists are forcibly ejected from a club; a club that pays well, offers powerful jobs & lucrative economic returns for those willing to grease the wheels of Whitehall & the lobbyists representing special interests.
      Meanwhile their hands are tied by political dogma; they advocate the status quo even when they know deep down that Westminster is corrupt, the City of London is rotten & that economic inequality between the people only gets wider.
      There is a future for some of them after independence but they can’t play their hand until they’ve lost. 
      For others such as Jackie Baillie & her thick Labour chums, well … as the American comedian Ron White says … ” You can’t fix stupid.” 

    46. Doug Daniel says:

      I actually think someone with a bit of clout in the Yes campaign or one of the pro-indy parties should try to find out why Izzy Fraser has disappeared from our screens. Someone once suggested to me that perhaps she just preferred radio, but it’s simply too much of a coincidence that she went from being Pacific Quay’s main political presenter to being shunted into the shadows so soon after the Ian Davidson incident, only to be replaced by Andrew Kerr, who simply isn’t up to the task of being an anchor. (I said ANCHOR… Stop laughing at the back.)

    47. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Andrew Kerr, who simply isn’t up to the task of being an anchor.”

      He’s not even up to the task of being an ACTUAL anchor, never mind a TV one.

    48. scottish_skier says:

      All the polling evidence would suggest ‘support’ for N peaked in October 2012.

      With respect to Holyrood VI, SNP peaked at ~50% late 2011 before dropping back to ~43% in October 2012. All polls since indicate a rise again to ~46%.

      The Labour share is the mirror image of the SNP VI. After the lows of ~28% in late  2011, a small recovery occurred, with this peaking in October 2012 at ~34%. Since then, a decline is emerging and they would seem to be down to ~31-32%.

      The peak of N and trough of Y in Y/N polls also occurs in October 2012. Since then, a 4-5% drop in N is seen alongside a 4-5% rise in Y.  Note that the Y was ahead of the N by ~6% (45Y/39N) late 2011, corresponding to the ~50% peak in SNP VI and trough in Labour VI discussed.

      I imagine both Yes and No campaigns are perfectly capable of collecting all the poll data and plotting it up as I have. They undoubtedly have the benefit of their own commissioned polls which we don’t get to see to aid in this.

      So, right now the Yes campaign will likely be feeling increasingly confident and the No starting to worry, notably as the anti-SNP tactic seems to have failed miserably (they have only briefly dropped below the 45% landslide share they got in 2011 and that’s over now it would seem).

      The 2012 peak year for the union was predicted by many, including prominent unionists (although some of these seem to be turning now). Poll data would suggest this was an accurate prediction. Certainly, the pattern observed to date makes a lot of sense.

      2013 will be an interesting year.

    49. BillyBigbaws says:

      Stuart Black said : “Still we see No campaigners offering up open goals only for the BBC – and others – to decline the gift.”

      The most depressing thing for me is how often I see Yes campaigners and SNP spokespeople declining those same gifts, and missing open goals by the dozen. That can’t really be blamed on media bias.

      Every time they get on TV (it doesn’t happen that often) they should be getting the message across POWERFULLY. Too often I’m left with the impression that I know more about the subject under discussion than the official Yes or SNP representative (though that might just be arrogance on my part).

      A lot of gifts have been placed unasked into our hands by the UK Government itself – they are forever shooting themselves in the feet – but I don’t want them to win this for us!

    50. Arbroath1320 says:

      I’ve got to the point now that whenever I see a post anywhere on line about how great the union is I put up this post in response.This is my version of Blair Jenkins’s question about JOINING the union.
      I’m still waiting to read my first response to this post by the way. 😆

      For anyone who is undecided can I ask you this.

      IF Scotland was already an Independent country and we were having a referendum on JOINING England in a political union (as we did in 1707) and THIS was what we were signing up to :

      “What with the date announced, SNP saying they will reverse the draconian bedroom tax and the ongoing work fare attacks on the ill, infirm, disabled, elderly, unemployed, low paid and continued citing of WMD’s at Faslane, privatisation of the NHS (England and Wales) Tuition fees, possible calls for patients to pay for their meals whilst in hospital, call out fees for doctors, privatisation of the Blood service, privatisation of the air/sea rescue service, closure of vital coastguard stations, illness tax a.k.a. prescription charges over £7.00 now. Further cuts to the armed services and police (England and Wales) are in the pipeline according to Danny Alexander and as Nicola Sturgeon announced yesterday there are further benefit cuts on the way only they are NOT the £2.5 Billion announced by Westminster, she has talked to the Whitehall folks and the cuts will be £4.5 Billion! Mad!
       

      would YOU vote YES to signing up to ALL this?
      If your answer is NO then why would you even be considering voting NO to Scotland leaving all this behind in 2014?
      Surely if anyone is the least bit unhappy about ANY or ALL of the above then there can only be ONE vote to consider in 2014, vote YES on 18th September 2014 and REMOVE Scotland from these ever more draconian 18th Century assaults on the people of Scotland!
       

    51. The Man in the Jar says:

      @BillyBigbaws
      @Arbroath1320
      @Billy I sympathise completely. Sometimes I end up shouting at the telly. A question that I often hear asked is “how is this going to be paid for?” I have yet to hear any Yes or SNP make the obvious link with defence. I wait to hear about the obvious savings on trident (Billions!) And why has the UK the fourth highest defence spending in the developed world? I would have thought that getting rid of Trident and not taking part in illegal wars would appeal to voters regardless of the cost savings.
      @Arbroath. I ask the same question but only the first part. I then ask that they don’t reply but go away and think about it and if I can help them to come to a decision then please ask. I don’t have the patience to recite you excellent list of very good reasons to vote Yes. I hope that a convert who comes to the conclusion with his or her own reasoning will be all the more energised when their turn comes to convert a doubter.
      If only I had more opportunities to converse with naysayers, they will come. In the meantime I make sure that I am conversant with as many facts as possible for when the opportunity arises to debate. And it is thanks to Wings and others that I am confident of those very facts.

    52. muttley79 says:

      It is fairly easy to forget just how entrenched the Labour Party in Scotland has been in the last fifty years.  They have had the largest group of MPs and councillors (that is beginning to change now).  Control of these groups, particuarly local government, meant that they could set up a complex system of patronage that spanned almost all areas of Scottish life.  The media and academia are important in this respect.  I suspect that there is many links between these groups and Scottish Labour over the decades of their hegemony in Scotland.  It has never been documented in detail because it would go against the interests of many influential people in Scotland. 
       
      If there is a Yes vote next year I would imagine that it would provide a rich seam of information for journalists to investigate all the different links and mutual interests that Scottish Labour built up.  At present we can see that the BBC in Scotland and Scottish Labour’s interests are heavily interwined.  In the past how many groups did this extend to?  I think that it would make a good case study of political influence across the range of Scottish life, and how an why it came about and developed.      

    53. Dramfineday says:

      Gavin Alexander and DougtheDug.
      Hi Gavin and Doug – my stuff is all on slideware here at dram towers but you’ll find a raft of stuff on project sabotage on the Internet. Interestingly two other techniques are:
      1) Having a phantom initiative – more powers after the no vote ring any bells?
      2) Starting another initiative – Another glass of Calman anyone?
      Another factor that we pro independence types need to factor into our actions is the Kubler Ross effect regarding change – and we should not underestimate the influence this could have if not properly addressed in Yes Communications
      all the best, Dram
      https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=kubler+ross+change+curve&hl=en&rlz=1T4SKPB_enGB379GB379&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=jQVWUZ-UHe3M0AWX4IGwCw&ved=0CDUQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=506
       
       

    54. Gavin Alexander says:

      Dramfineday, thankyou, and very interesting! That curve immediately explains a lot of things, and useful to keep in mind, especially when trying to find the internal resources to remain patient when debating with doubters!

      (Oh, and it also reminds me strongly of the moods I encountered from my girlfriend when we had to move to a flat which she initially hated and wouldn’t speak to me, then over the weeks calmed down and started looking, started to see the potential, started rearranging things, then basically took ownership of the place and fell in love with it, then wouldn’t speak to me because I wouldn’t keep it exactly the way she wanted! Maybe we should anticipate this last phase when the current doubters move with us into our new country… 🙂



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