There are some questions that are guaranteed to bring a sudden end to any internet discussion. (In real life it’s harder for people to just vanish into thin air.) One always effective on Labour supporters, for example, is the classic “Would you rather live in an independent Scotland governed by Labour or one in the UK governed by the Tories?”
Of course, more strictly speaking that’s actually a near-certain way to ask someone to choose between Option A and Option B and every time get the answer “Non-existent Option C”. Other questions, though, are sure to solicit no response at all.
Last year, when occasionally debating with Rangers supporters about whether The Rangers International PLC (or whatever it’s called today) was a new club or not, I must have asked this one at least 60 or 70 times of 60 or 70 different people: “If they’re the same club they always were, why are they in SFL 3? They were neither relegated on the field nor demoted as a punishment, so why aren’t they still in the SPL?”
I’ve as yet never had a single response – even a bad one – to that, just instant and complete radio silence or, at the best, an abrupt change of subject. And recently I’ve discovered there’s a holy water for the Tory type of vampire too.
Because every time a new opinion poll comes out that shows a large majority for No, the air is thick with gloating Tory (and Labour, but we’ll get to them another day) politicians, activists and commentators proclaiming that the referendum, still nearly two years distant, is a done deal. Should you ever find yourself on the wrong end of such tiresome premature crowing, you might find this handy:
“Presumably you also believe the Conservatives are going to win the 2015 election too. But given that polls show you can only do one or the other, not both, and that you’re apparently so keen on the infallibility of polls, which one do you think you’re going to lose?”
You don’t need to thank us. All part of the service.