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Quoted for truth #2

Posted on January 06, 2013 by

Sometimes other writers say things better and/or more concisely than we could hope to, which is great as it’s a real time-saver for us, so we might make this a regular strand. Today’s QFT is from an excellent Iain Macwhirter piece in the Herald (as, coincidentally, was the first one), which is worth reading in its entirety, but from which we especially commend the following passages (our emphasis as ever):

“But supporters of independence hope that voters will eventually come to realise that, in a sense, they have no option but to go for broke in 2014. Scots will be the laughing stock of every stand-up comedian in Britain if they bottle out of self-government.

“Anyone who believes that the UK Government is itching to give the Scottish Parliament more economic powers than those in last year’s Scotland Act really hasn’t been keeping up. The review of Barnett that will follow the implementation of the Scotland Act will be an opportunity for the Coalition to answer the charge that Scotland has been getting more than its fair share of public funding. With the threat of independence removed, the UK will no longer feel any need to placate Scottish demands for what many English voters believe is special treatment.

Okay, it’s not quite as snappy as “Vote No, Get Nothing”, but it does have the benefit of being actually slightly more true.

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32 to “Quoted for truth #2”

  1. Peter Mirtitsch
    Ignored
    says:

    Given that we will almost certainly have certain powers curtailed, we will get less than nothing if we vote “No”. I don’t understand why anyone would gamble on getting SOME when we can guarantee ALL
     

  2. panda paws
    Ignored
    says:

    Yes it was an excellent piece but how many will see it? I know the yes campaign want to be positive but someone has to remind people that power devolved is power retained and there’s nothing stopping Westminster making Holyrood a de facto ” wee pretendy parliament”.
    When Westminster controls the purse strings and will be reducing your pocket money budget for the foreseeable future, then your bus passes, free prescriptions and free personal care truly will become unaffordable. So look at the coalition’s and NuLabours plans for the welfare state etc and if you really like them, vote no to ensure you get them.

  3. Cuphook
    Ignored
    says:

     
    I’m fairly relaxed about the referendum. The media keep telling us that most people want to remain in the UK but I don’t think that in two years time it will be the sort of country that the majority want to live in.
     
    The Yes campaign hasn’t really started and for all the negativity and jingoism of the No campaign in the previous year their share of the vote has not increased. It’s ours to win.
     
    A few years ago it was unthinkable that we would ever be in this situation. Talk of independence was fine in theory but now people are willing to consider an independent Scotland in practicable terms and that does mean that their UK mindset can be changed. It is an enormous shift in thinking to expect to happen overnight but it can be done in two years.
     
    I can see attitudes changing among people that I know, slowly, perhaps, but it’s change non the less.
     

  4. Rabb
    Ignored
    says:

    I had a rather refreshing conversation with my old man yesterday. He was a steel worker all his days and a die hard Labour unionist. He said to me right out of the blue yesterday “Aye, did you see those b*****ds have been lying to us about the oil now?” I said “Oh right, what was that then?” He said “The boys are telling me their still knocking out tubes ten a penny for the north sea and some of the oil companies are investing hundreds of billions in the oil fields” “And they’re trying to tell me there’s no oil left!!” “I’m voting Yes now the lying toe rags!”

    I said “Good on you pops, It’s about time you saw the truth the same as the rest of us.”

    Another converted Yes voter 🙂

    It kinda supports my theory that most MSM journos are in favour of indy but in fear of “coming out”. They continually trot out unionist scaremongering but then drop in the odd bombshell to dispell it again. My old man is proof of this theory.

      

          

  5. DougtheDug
    Ignored
    says:

    “The compere – a tubby guy from Edinburgh whose name escapes me – launched into an obscene rant about Alex Salmond and Scottish Nationalists who, apparently, are people of a sordid sexual disposition who need to be put down in various brutal ways. And anyway, he said, the Scots “could never govern themselves ‘cos they are totally and completely f***ing useless”. As a punchline, he bawled out: “Does anyone here support independence?” Not a soul spoke.

    The compere was almost certainly Bruce Devlin who’s the resident compere at the Stand Comedy Club. He used to be on the STV show, “The Hour”.
     
     

  6. Elizabeth
    Ignored
    says:

    Listening to radio this morning, the pundits on the ‘Headlines’ prog (talking about the absence of Scotland and the referendum from so many of the newspapers) were saying that Westminster politicians, and the London-based press don’t feel the need to talk about the referendum so sure are they that a No vote is in the bag – it’s what all the polls are telling them.
    Are they really so unaware – so out of touch?

  7. Luigi
    Ignored
    says:

    Is it easier just to say NO to a canvasser, than to actually get off your backside and go down to the polling station and deliberately mark that X in the NO box, against your country? I wonder.

  8. Seasick Dave
    Ignored
    says:

    This Bruce Devlin?

    http://www.brucedevlin.co.uk/ 

    A bit strange that Ian couldn’t remember his name.

    At least Ian is honest enough to admit he didn’t put his hand up to the Independence question. 

  9. cath
    Ignored
    says:

    As a punchline, he bawled out: “Does anyone here support independence?” Not a soul spoke.

    An uncomfortable silence isn’t proof of agreement. If you believe the polls printed by the Unionist media, around a third of the room would be thinking “yes”. How many more were thinking, “well I’m not convinced yet, but I don’t think the SNP government deserved that”?  

    I’d love to think had I been there, I would have been the one person who’d have stood up and said, “Yes, I do” but I very much doubt I would have been. 

    I do believe it’s quite possible to win though, as I didn’t really support independence a couple of years ago but preferred devo-max or full fiscal autonomy. It was a remarkably short and painless journey from there to supporting indy, helped along by the negativity and abuse of the No camp. Also, similarly to Rabb, I’d been vaguely trying to pursuade my mother with little success and had decided to back off. But recently she mentioned to me that someone had told her about the Stephen Maxwell book and wondered if I had a copy she could borrow.    

    I think there are loads of people out there who are not convinced about independence yet, scared of it, don’t know why we need it and for whom it isn’t a pressing or enthralling issue. But most of those people are open minded and do want to hear the arguments for and against. That’s a totally fair and reasonably position. And for those people, the arrogant assumption on the No side that they don’t have to make a case but can take those people for granted while meting out abuse to the government many of them voted for will probably not play well with them.     

  10. Training Day
    Ignored
    says:

    Compared with the usual drivel in the ‘Scottish’ MSM MacWhirter’s piece is better, but there are still absurdities in the piece.  For instance he asserts (rightly) that Holyrood is likely to be subject to draconian financial cutbacks after a No vote, yet goes on to aver that we can still elect the SNP in a devolved Holyrood to protect us from these cutbacks.  How, pray, is that going to work?  Holyrood will be neutered, Iain, things will not continue as they are.  And the idea that ‘both sides’ have no shortage of cash for their campaigns is arrant nonsense.  One side sends out begging letters for a tenner here and there and the other has the full resources of the British state and the entire MSM at its disposal. 

    The implication in the piece that Scots are still too diffident to talk confidently about independence is a picture I recognise though.  We supporters of independence need to be voluble and assertive in saying to everyone we know – including unfunny ‘comedians’ – that yes, we do indeed support independence.. 

  11. Luigi
    Ignored
    says:

    Ach, the campaign has not even really started yet and are written off already. Have they really convinced themselves that a majority NO is a dead cert in 2014? Is this self-delusion some form of comfort blanket? The arrogance of the Better Together campaign may come back to haunt them. 2014 may be another 2011.

  12. panda paws
    Ignored
    says:

    Training Day – the MSM might inadvertantly help the Yes campaign though. There’s a lot of coverage today about Cameron saying he wants to be PM until (year) 2020. I’ve added “year” because there’s been a fair few comments about many wanting him gone by lunchtime never mind 8.20pm 🙂
    The polls do indicate that the vote increases to a majority Yes if folk think the Conservatives will win in 2015. Though why folk think NuLabour would be any better is never actually explained.

  13. Jeannie
    Ignored
    says:

    Well, something’s changing – if you’d asked me last year, I could have named four family members who were definitely voting for independence.  That’s now up to 10 on my side plus 3 in-laws.  It might be they were always thinking that way – I’m not sure, but I strongly doubt it.  But now they are happy to say so openly and that is definitely different.

  14. sneddon
    Ignored
    says:

     
    cath says:

    As a punchline, he bawled out: “Does anyone here support independence?” Not a soul spoke.

    Iain doesn’t say but I bet no one laughed either.  I won’t call Iain a liar but in my experience of comedy clubs that kind of statement would get a fairly robust response.  was it a boy scout night out or whit?  Journalistic licence?

  15. Scotswhahea
    Ignored
    says:

      Quote to Note
    “What was won could now be lost. Have no doubt, what was gained with devolution can only now be guaranteed with independence.” (Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, in a speech to the Scottish National Party conference at Perth on October 20th 2012)

    Aint that the truth, there is ONLY one way we can vote.  We just HAVE to get it right in 2014…

  16. muttley79
    Ignored
    says:

    I think highly of McWhirter as a poilitcal reporter and commentator.  However, there were several questionable things he said in the article today.  Training Day has highlighted one of these well.  He also seems to keep referring to the referendum as an election or in electoral terms, he mentions the Labour and the SNP a lot.  This is understandable to some extent, the SNP are the biggest party in the Yes campaign, and Labour is the largest in the No campaign.  However, it has been known for some time that a sizeable section of Labour voters in Scotland support independence, and that a small element in the SNP’s support will likely vote No.  In other words the SNP-Labour divide only has so much releavance in terms of the referendum.             

  17. Matt
    Ignored
    says:

    “Iain doesn’t say but I bet no one laughed either.  I won’t call Iain a liar but in my experience of comedy clubs that kind of statement would get a fairly robust response.  was it a boy scout night out or whit?  Journalistic licence?”

    If you are suggesting that you don’t believe no-one would have heckled, then I think you are mistaken. I am a semi-regular at the Stand, and heckling there just doesn’t happen. There are messages painted on the wall asking the audience to show respect to the acts, and to the rest of the audience, and not to shout out during the performance. Now I’ve never witnessed a performer come out with anything like what Iain reports there, but I can still well believe that if the audience was mainly regulars then they would have kept their mouths shut. Perhaps bystander syndrome comes into effect here?

    The story makes me feel sick though, and I honestly don’t know what I would do if I was in the audience when something like that happened. It’s not a situation I’d like to find myself in, and I’m not sure I’d have the courage to stand up and say something. I just hope that some of the audience members spoke to him after the show and put him straight, or that the audience were visibly discomfited and that the Stand don’t hire him again.

  18. Dave Smith
    Ignored
    says:

    I’ve just been mulling that one over. I think a slow handclap would have been a handy tool.
    Whereas he is clearly just a tool. 

  19. pmcrek
    Ignored
    says:

    There is still frankly a taboo about openly supporting independence in Glasgow, in the face of such microphoned hostility I’m not in the least bit surprised nobody spoke up.

  20. AnneDon
    Ignored
    says:

    I saw a comedy charity gig during the Festival in Edinburgh. Although, obviously, it wasn’t really a Scottish audience.

    The (London-based) Scottish comedian made ‘jokes’ about the improbability of independence, altho’ he didn’t get many cheers.

    The English compere said “Don’t do this [independence]. It won’t go well. You know what we [English] are like. We’re c*nts.” 

    Didn’t realise at the time he was summing up the NO Campaign!    

  21. Gallacticos
    Ignored
    says:

    Any advice on how to get around the paywall, other than to register multiple email addresses with them? I must be on my sixth or seventh just to read MacWhirter, Ian Bell and the sports pages

  22. sneddon
    Ignored
    says:

    Matt

    thanks for your response- I can understand the heckling ruling especially for new acts but the bloke asked a question of the audience.  As it was I understand from the article he was the compere not the act and should be used to heckling as it’s all part of the compere’s role to get the audience engaged and that involves developing the skills to difuse and/or direct heckling.  Everyone’s an adult at these events and if I’ve paid to get in and hear that kind of shit he should expect to be heckled or in light of the policy at this venue  I probably would have a word with him after he came off at that venue or complained to the management.  But he didn’t say that rubbish and not expect to get a reaction (unless he thought they had a busload of the Better Together lot in for a staff night out!)  It’s  a credit to the regulars ,out of respect to the Stand, they didn’t give him what he deserved maybe the lack of reaction may give him cause to reflect. It’s probably that policy that Iain didn’t know about, therefore his puzzlemnent at the lack of reaction.

  23. Matt
    Ignored
    says:

    Good points there, and you’re right enough that the compere should always be open to heckling – as you say, his job is to get the audience involved, but the general practice of Stand audiences is to speak when you’re spoken to. He did ask a question, but reading the article it seems like it was a rhetorical one.

    Pmcrek makes a good point too about there being a taboo in Glasgow – I am still always made to feel embarrassed when I say I support independence, just by the fact that people’s first reaction is always to express surprise.

  24. Craig Gallagher
    Ignored
    says:

    That is FANTASTIC Rev, and I don’t just mean for this. I’ll get plenty of use out of that elsewhere. Cheers!

  25. muttley79
    Ignored
    says:

    The alleged abuse by the compere is not really an isolated event.  The bile from either Labour representatives and/or supporters since the elections of 2011 has been noticeable and is getting increasingly worse. 

    I must admit that I did not keep up much of an interest in Scottish politics from 1997 to 2011, mostly for personal reasons.  However, I did become less interested when Salmond resigned and when Swinney toke over as leader.  Although he is widely thought of as a person and now as finance minister, he lacked leadership qualiities that Salmond had. 

    Since taking an active interest again I must admit that one of the features I have noticed most is the depth of hatred towards Salmond and the SNP from the British Nationalist core of Scottish Labour.  I can remember flicking TV channels a few months ago and watching Have I Got News For You.  Kevin Bridges, the comedian who makes a lot of ned jokes, was on and for some reason called Salmond a ‘fuckin’ arsehole’.  I thought it was strange because when Scottish Labour were in control of Scotland I could not remember the same reaction from the SNP or their supporters, certainly not like that anyway.  I think the SNP were aware that they had to win over at least some Scotish Labour supporters to get into power.  Were the SNP or its supporters as abusive about Scottish Labour, at least in public, or it is just down to Labour’s hatred?           

  26. Indy_Scot
    Ignored
    says:

    To be honest Iain has become a bit too predictable for me. He always seems to start off by making it look like he is warming to an Independent Scotland, draws you in, and then he sets out the scenario he would like to see happen, that is, a Scotland run by SNP under Labour Westminster control. 
    However, I think he is going to be in for a wee bit of a shock come autumn 2014.

  27. muttley79
    Ignored
    says:

    @Indy_Scot

    I think McWhirter would basically like the Scottish Parliament to be in control of taxation powers, energy, natural resources, and the welfare system, but leave Westminster in charge of defence and foreign affairs.  So basically he is a UK federalist, Devo Max supporter.  However, he knows that the Liberals Democrats are useless, and that Westminster does not want to give Scotland any more powers.  Therefore, I would guess he is unsure about the referendum. 

  28. DougtheDug
    Ignored
    says:

    @Indy_Scot, @muttley79
     
    I’ve been reading Iain MacWhirter for a long time now and he has always been a federalist or to put it another way, a unionist.
     
    His dream is devo-max or something like it under a UK parliament and as far as I know has never called for independence.

  29. CEMarshall
    Ignored
    says:

    “Vote No, Get Nothing.” I’ve came up with a better slogan, judging from Tory MP Priti Patel’s comments and Ed Miliband’s talk of “One Nation Labour” (one guess which “Nation” he’s really referring to); “Vote No, GET LEFT WITH Nothing.”

  30. Morag
    Ignored
    says:

    That might just be a wee bit too subtle for some people….

  31. Craig P
    Ignored
    says:

    Comedy audiences usually respond to something they don’t like with a hard silence, rather than heckling. Not that I go to many comedy shows these days, I’m too old to pay for an angry egotist’s psychotherapy.

    pmcrek – there is a taboo about independence in a lot of places, but all it takes to break it is matter of factly announce that you are in favour then quietly get on with your daily business. Suddenly friends/colleagues/family realise independent supporters are ordinary people they like, rather than fat Eck’s nazi puppets as the MSM would have them believe. 

    CEMarshall – I think my slogan was better, no more mention of it here though 😉



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