sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul

Wings Over Scotland


There is no third way

Posted on January 31, 2013 by

Alex Salmond’s appearance on Scotland Tonight this week raised an issue we’ve been meaning to address for a while, so let’s do it now before we forget again.

Of the numerous polls of the last few months, the most encouraging for supporters of independence was the one conducted by Panelbase for the Sunday Times in late October. It showed a pretty tight race at 37% Yes to 45% No, but the most interesting aspect was how the numbers changed when voters were asked for their opinion in the hypothetical scenario that they expected the Conservatives be returned as either a majority or coalition government at the 2015 Westminster general election.

In that scenario, independence leapt ahead with a massive 10% swing, to lead by 52% to 40%. But much less reported by the media was another finding of the poll.

So much so, in fact, that the only place we could locate the rest of the numbers was Newsnet Scotland, which noted that if voters were presented with a Labour majority or coalition administration to contemplate, the numbers still got more favourable to independence than on the bare question. Here are the full results:

SUPPORT FOR INDEPENDENCE (no conditions)
Yes 37%
No 45%

SUPPORT FOR INDEPENDENCE (likely Labour-led UK government)
Yes 44%
No 48%

SUPPORT FOR INDEPENDENCE (likely Tory-led UK government)
Yes 52%
No 40%

Weirdly, as far as we’ve seen it’s never occurred to anyone to ask the obvious question that arises from those numbers: if 52% support independence from a Tory government and 44% support independence from a Labour government, what the hell other outcome of a UK general election are the people in the 37-45 result expecting?

After scratching our heads for a bit, we eventually figured out that more Labour voters would embrace independence as an escape from a “hostile” Tory government than vice versa. (That is, Scottish Tory voters would be prepared to put up with a Labour UK government more readily than Scottish Labour voters would put up with a Tory one, most probably because Scottish Tory voters know that independence wouldn’t be likely to deliver anything they’d like any better.)

But nevertheless, the fact is that ONE of those two scenarios IS going to arise. Either the Tories or Labour are going to form the next Westminster administration, and the chances are that with the referendum being barely six months before the election, people are going to know which one it is.

So the 37% figure – which in context becomes a purely abstract theoretical reaction to the notion of independence rather than an actual guide to voting intention – is in fact meaningless. The reality is somewhere between the other two figures, which for the sake of completeness average out to 48% Yes, 44% No. And that’s a long way from what you’d believe if you read the press.

Those numbers come from the end of autumn 2012, when the UK was still basking in the last of the glow from the Great Year Of Britishness. The “likely Labour government” figures are probably pretty much set in stone, and with the bulk of austerity cuts still to come it’s unlikely that a Tory government is going to get any more attractive to Scots.

But south of the border, David Cameron seems to have steadied his party’s poll ratings with his EU speech. More than halfway through the coalition’s term, Labour’s 5% lead is nowhere near what they need to realistically entertain hopes of victory. They must be praying that life for poor people in England gets a LOT worse in the next two years.

Be Sociable, Share!

48 to “There is no third way”

  1. Alastair Hutchisn says:

    Events will be a big player in this.

      

  2. Malcolm says:

    Y’know the more I read about these polls, and the more I try to talk about independence to actual people in the real world, the more I am reminded of the 1992 general election.
    I wish it weren’t so, but supporting independence appears, still, to be something akin to being one of the shy tories of 92. To my shame, my parents were this kind of person. Anyhow – I mentioned that my view of independence had changed while visiting friends in England – to intakes of breath and awkward silence. I get jokes occasionally about being Alex Salmond’s Acolyte, despite being a Green voter.
    It was something like a 9% swing from opinion polls in 1992 to the actual result. I hesitate to liken the yes camp to John Major’s tories but that’s a definite vibe I’ve picked up. Anyone else experience something similar?

      

  3. blunttrauma says:

    I don’t care if the polls say it’s going to be a blue Tory government or a red Tory government I’m voting YES anyway.

      

  4. muttley79 says:

    @Malcolm
     
    There is still a taboo about supporting independence in certain elements, occupations of Scottish society I would say. For example, the BBC Scotland political reporters, and news presenters…
     

      

  5. Alastair Hutchisn says:

    @ Malcolm

    When i used to knock doors for the Lib Dems it was interesting the reactions you got.  SNP voters told you loud and proud, as did Labour voters (often with a story about how their dad and dads dad etc voted labour ) Lib Dems would obviosuly tell us they were Lib Dems…… I never and I mean NEVER met anyone on a doorstep that told me they were a Tory, even though in the seat I was in they were the 2nd largest party. 

    It had become socially unexceptable to be a Tory in Scotland… people were embarrased about it (for good reason in my opinion).  

    I think we are still in a period (one thats coming to an end) that it is still seen as socially odd to be in favour of Independence…. so people who are keep quiet to aviod ridicule.  The MSM have alot to play in this…….. Every paper tells us Independence is wrong so even if we think differently we don’t want to say so.

    All very psychological      

      

  6. Alastair Hutchisn says:

    @ muttley

    beat me to it.   :o p

      

  7. Morag says:

    What worries me about this arithmetic is that the referendum will be held before the 2015 general election, so everyone can play wishful thinking if they like.  Labour, in particular, are past masters of the art of presenting themselves to Scottish voters as likely to win the next general election when everyone and his dog south of Carlisle knows the Torys are a shoo-in.

    I’ll never forget the 1987 general election.  I was living in Hertfordshire, which was a bit of a shock to the system as I’d gone from a “pin a red rosette on a donkey” constituency to a “pin a blue rosette on a donkey” constituency.  In the run-up to the election I was well aware that Maggie was going to get a landslide.

    I got off the train at Motherwell in the early evening of polling day, went straight to the school to vote, then went home to watch the TV coverage.  It was like stepping into a parallel universe.  None of the BBC or STV presenters seemed to have the foggiest clue what a foregone conclusion it was.  They were all bigging up and talking up Labour’s chances (and heaping scorn on Gordon Wilson when he lost his seat – but we know who else gained a seat that election), and more or less ignoring what was happening down south.

    I sat there with my mouth hanging open for a bit, and then started demanding from my parents what the hell was going on?  Surely everyone knew Maggie was a sure thing, and the only way to protect Scotland at all was to vote SNP?  But since I had only just persuaded my mother away from the standpoint that voting for the SNP was a “wasted vote”, I should have figured it out.

    In 2014 I worry that however likely a Tory government in Westminster in 2015 really is, the usual suspects will manage yet again to persuade the unwary that a Labour Westminster is just “one more push” away, and to vote on that basis.  If the Tory voters simultaneously realise the Tories are on a winning streak, we could end up with the dirty end of both sticks.

      

  8. muttley79 says:

    I think Morag makes a very good point.  I hope the Yes strategists have ways to persuade people to vote Yes to independence irrespective of who forms the next UK government.  They should not be counting on a Tory government.

      

  9. macdoc says:

    There is huge amounts of work to be done. Just type in Scottish independence into twitter and get result after result of schoolchildren stating how anyone supporting it is a morn. Type in Alex Salmond and you get Nazi comparisons and about being generally clueless. This is going to be an uphill struggle and its unfortunate that issues such as self government, greater wealth, better socioeconomic factors, pride, being a nation are still not echoing with the majority of the electorate. People by and large have football like allegiance to political parties and are unable to form opinions based on reasoned thinking. 

     

      

  10. Fiona says:

    @Morag
    In 2014 I worry that however likely a Tory government in Westminster in 2015 really is, the usual suspects will manage yet again to persuade the unwary that a Labour Westminster is just “one more push” away, and to vote on that basis.
    There is always that chance Morag, but the landscape here is unrecognisable to 1987. I think that the 2011 election here showed that the Scottish electorate didn’t fall for the “vote Labour to beat the Tories and protect Scotland” scenario and in fact saw straight through it. Once people have seen through the facade once it is very difficult to replace it.
    Labour in 1987 were still “left wing” but I can see the 2015 election being fought on ground as far “right” as we have ever seen before with Labour and Tories trying to outdo each other over the EU, Immigration, cutting welfare spending and effectively demonising whole sections of the population to secure “middle England”. They will both be fighting over UKIP votes the balance of which could win the election for either side, it will not be pretty and the campaign lines are already being drawn. They will find it very hard to change the habits of a lifetime and take cognisance of the effect their behaviour and campaigning will have on Scottish electors who will be paying closer attention than ever with the choice they have before them.
    The electors knew what was best in 2011 and almost without fanfare elected a majority SNP government which no one really saw coming. As long as we on the Yes side stay civil and treat the electorate as grown ups then an Independent Scotland is within our grasp.

      

  11. Bill C says:

    I think Morag and mutley make good points. However, I think the trick for the YES campaign is to emphasise that you couldn’t squeeze a bus ticket between Tory and Labour policies. Both believe in neoliberal policies alien to the vast majority of Scots. If you want a socially just Scotland, if you want rid of nuclear weapons, if you want an end to foreign wars, etc, etc, vote YES.

      

  12. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Morag makes a very fair point, but I suspect by next autumn it’s going to be beyond any rational doubt that the Tories are going to win in 2015. As she says, you get a very different picture when you live in England and things aren’t distorted by the wafer-thin veneer of “Old Labour” that they still get away with shovelling in Scotland thanks to a pliant media.

    Labour doesn’t have a clue what it is or what it’s for any more. The coming hell of austerity will unite England, not in horror but in self-interest and fear, as frightened mortgage payers lash out ever more violently at the seething hordes below them. The unemployment figures will continue to conceal the reality just enough that Osborne will be able to lay claim to a fiction of the cuts working. The bottom line is that if Labour can’t be more than 5-10 points ahead now they have no chance, and they have no chance anyway with Miliband as leader.

    More to the point, though, as I’ve said before I think Johann’s “something for nothing” speech was a watershed for Labour in Scotland. If the scales have even fallen from Kevin McKenna’s eyes – and let’s not forget just how hostile he was to the Yes cause as recently last summer – many more will follow him. Scottish Labour is in a death spiral, and ironically the only thing that can save it is independence.

      

  13. Willie Zwigerland says:

    Rev Stu>The Tories couldn’t win a UK election in 2010 against Gordon Brown running an inept fagend Labour government. Who do you reckon is going to be voting for them in 2015 that didn’t vote for them in 2010? Because that’s what needs to happen to get an outright Tory government.

      

  14. Marcia says:

    Willie Zwigerland
     
    In large parts of England it is the Liberal Democrats who are the opposition or sitting MP’s and not Labour. The reduction in LD fortunes may  be enough to get over the personal votes the LD MP’s usually relied on. If their vote moves a bit  to Labour or the Greens in disgust at the coalition then the Tory candidate wins.

      

  15. MajorBloodnok says:

    Och hullo Wullie, how’re you keeping?

      

  16. Marcia says:

    Willie – another thing this time is that sitting MP’s no longer have a ‘Communication Allowance’ which I think was about £10,000 a year. This allowed sitting MP’s to produce propaganda to the voters saying how wonder they all were. If you look at the seats in England  where the Labour MP stood down in, there were greater swing in seat then were an incumbent was standing for re-election. The propaganda was worth a couple of percent of the vote.

      

  17. Willie Zwigerland says:

    Marcia, so more people vote Labour, yet the Tories still win? Even if Lib Dem seats go 2 to 1 in favour of the Tories they wouldn’t get a majority if there’s any swing at all to Labour. The problem the Tories have is they are just piling up more and more votes in the South, but that isn’t going to win them many more seats.

      

  18. douglas clark says:

    Rant mode on.

    Morag has a very good point. However much we win the arguement at an intellectual level, and I think it is won there, there are areas (growing smaller for sure) of this country that live in something near a time warp. It is as if the last Labour Government should be recalled with a fondness that belies the lies we were told. That thinks Gordon Brown was a great Prime Minister when he was quite evidently not. That assumes that Alisdair Darling was just a tad unlucky to end up holding the wooden spoon for the banking collapse. (If I were many residences Darling, I would point the blame at Brown. But for the political class, as opposed to working class, solidarity is not overblown. Why would it be? They all sup at a table neither you nor I could pay for. And the bastards see themselves as an entitled elite who come here and tell me what to think? Well, fuck that. I am a bear of very little brain, but even I can see through their cosy view that I am just their means to an end. Foie Gras, anyone? )
     
    The Westminster Government lie to us in the smug assumption that we will never find out the truth. And we never do, do we?
     
    If you live in, say Motherwell, you think that is as good as it gets.
     
    Well, it isn’t.
     
    If you look around the world, Motherwell is the pits.

    Motherwell in any sane society, would be a hell of a lot better than it is just now. But it is what it is, and the Labour Party has saved it from the worst excesses of Thatcherism?

    You’d have to be completely Iain Smart to believe a word of that. The Labour Party’s acolyties are selling lies to you. They have much in common with Young Earth Creationists, folk that would sell you a dinosaur cuddling up to a human being. It is shit, but it is a credo. It is pish, but it is what Young Earth Creationists believe. It takes us back to ‘Comment is Free but Facts are sacred’.

    It is that controlling of expectations, that suppressing of dreams that allows a complete idiot like Ian Davidson to become a Lord.

    If anyone, ever, suggests that we will recognise nobility in an independent Scotland I will tell them to get to fuck.

    It is very very difficult to tell people that they have bought a false prospectus. But that is what huge areas of West Central Scotland have done.
     
    The folk that did it to them could sell ice to Eskimos and sand the Egyptians. That is the ‘political class’ that needs to be brought to it’s knees.
     
    I do not recall having, as a child, universal respect for my Primary School Teachers. It seems to me that Johan Lamont claims a ‘special place’ in our society and our governance, just because she was a Primary School Teacher.
     
    It is just another bit of spin. She might have been a great Primary School Teacher, or she might have been a crap Primary School Teacher.
     
    Anyway, it would make the baby Jesus cry to listen to any more of my rant. ‘cept, perhaps, to say that we need better politicians than we have. In opposition.

    Rant mode off.
     
    So.
     
    Good night.
     
    And Good Luck.
     
     

      

  19. thejourneyman says:

    The referendum won’t be won by trying to calculate tactical voting tendencies.
    It can only be won through enlightenment and that time has arrived. That was what 21st December 2012 signified, not some disastrous end of the world apocalypse as so mockingly reported in some of the MSM.
    Greed, war and unfairness has brought the world financial systems to their knees and the human race expects more from this new age of enlightenment. I would go further and say it is no coincidence that the first opportunity to light a beacon of a better way falls to the Scottish people who have built a reputation world wide even in the times of greed for fair mindedness and winning the hearts and minds of others in times of strife.
    We can rise up and be that nation again – let’s really inspire a generation!! 

      

  20. heraldnomore says:

    Stu, you’ve been playing a blinder this week.  Any more of that and th donate button’s going to have to come into play…..

    Keep it up 

      

  21. scottish_skier says:

    @Willie

    Dave will most likely get his win, but maybe not a majority. It’s imperative he gets rid of Scotland for that now. Otherwise could well be the SNP holding the balance of power based on Westminster VI in Scotland.

    2010 all over again, but with the SNP stopping the Tory majority. That’d be hilarious. I’m almost tempted to vote No just to observe.

    ;-)  

      

  22. muttley79 says:

    @s_s
     
    Oh no, no,no…
    P.S.  How to do get the faces?

      

  23. scottish_skier says:

    @Muttley

    Ha ha.

    Take out the pluses (and no = sign obviously)
    ;+-+) = ;-)

    :+-+) = :-)

    :+-+( = :-(  

     —-

    Oh and folks should note the poll data is for a Tory-led government. They don’t need a majority for Scotland to be off!

      

  24. Turnip_Ghost says:

    The one thing that I’ve always thought with regards to polls…they keep saying the yes is SO low that we’ll never win. Well, all this will do is make every body who is going to vote yes more determined to go out and make every vote count. They keep portraying the No campaign as a sure winner which means people might think “well, we’re sure to win, why bother facing the wind/rain/sunshine?? It is only one vote…”

    I’m quite sure nobody who is voting yes will think “Oh well, why BOTHER voting yes if the no vote is so high…may as well vote no instead!” 

      

  25. scottish_skier says:

    “It is only one vote…”

    And all across Scotland, those who would like it to be independent in an ideal world but are nervous about the prospect so were thinking ‘no’, stop the pencil before it hits the ballot and pause. They hover for just a second, then the pen is drawn to ‘Yes’ where an X is placed. After all, it’s just one vote, it won’t change the result after all, so what’s the harm.

    Such is the power of a single vote.

      

  26. macdoc says:

    Its a real shame that the threat of the Tories would be the major reason for supporting Scottish Independence. You just need to look at the recent section 30 debate to see with your own eyes what the North British Labour MP’s think of the country they claim to represent. Socialist fraudsters and actively acting against the interests of Scotland. 

    Would Scotland be better off as an independent country. Absolutely, I don’t think its credible to argue anything otherwise. That’s why the unionists don’t want to debate but merely try and confuse and obfuscate. 

    At the moment if we take away the don’t know’s its probably 40Y:60N. I won’t be confident until its the other way around. The unionists have been incompetent but effective. simple scare stories and control of the media makes it easy for them. 

    Has anyone noticed a change in direction, less hostility to the idea, more openmindedness, complete conversion. In my experience the general feeling is either ambivalence or outright hostility and mocking of the very thought. 

      

  27. Jeannie says:

    So, the referendum will be in the Autumn of 2014 and the Westminster election will be in May 2015 and there will be polling in the year before the election, won’t there.  So, it seems to me that although the political parties might not have to produce an actual manifesto for the Westminster election prior to the referendum in Scotland, I can’t see that the media won’t be interrogating them about relevant issues such as “more powers” prior to the referendum in the event of a No vote and negotiations on shared assets in the event of a Yes vote.  So, no matter what David Cameron says, I think it will be very difficult for any of the main parties to avoid commenting in these areas in the run-up to the referendum.  And what will appeal to the voter south of the border might well be very different from what Scottish voters want to hear and could therefore affect the outcome of the referendum.
    I think that the timing alone creates a significant dilemma for the unionist parties.  For those parties supporting independence, there is unlikely to be any conflict of interest as they can only be seen to be acting in Scotland’s interests. I really cannot figure out how the unionist politicians will mange this dilemma. Example: Labour is asked by the London media in the summer of 2014 whether, if they are elected in 2015 and Scotland votes Yes, they will negotiate Scotland’s share of the oil on a per capita or geographical basis (Yes, I know it’s geographical).  English voters are likely to want the answer to be “per capita”. But they can’t say this without upsetting the Scottish voter in the run-up to the referendum as a per capita arrangement would mean Scotland losing out substantially. And if they say “geographical”, they’ll be very unpopular down south.  Just how will they square this circle?
    Equally, if the London media ask them (and they will) what further powers they will give to Scotland in the event of a No vote and they refuse to answer, they will upset voters  both in Scotland and south of the border.  If they say they will offer powers that voters in the south are unhappy about, that will affect how those voters vote in 2015.  If they offer no increase in powers, they are likely to lose the referendum.
    It seems to me that this is a problem which will be very difficult to solve and that is why I think the dirty tricks brigade will be working overtime from now till then.

      

  28. Andy Anderson says:

    This is most interesting. The Scottish electorate have become much more sophisticated in their voting habits since the new voting system which came in with devolution. In the UK General Election in 2010 it was widely predicted by the polls that the SNP would make big gains it was predicted around 20 seats. At the actual election they went from 7 seats to 6 and Labour did remarkably well.
    In 2011 the polls were predicting that “newly energised” Labour would become the largest party in the new Scottish parliament and would have to form a Government with the Liberals. However the polls were wrong again the SNP got an overall majority which no one thought possible. Since these elections were just a year apart and the voting numbers did not change significantly it is clear that large numbers moved from  SNP to Labour and back again. Is this a signal of the same thing likely to happen again?   

      

  29. Elizabeth says:

    I’d like to read Iain MacWhirter’s article in the Herald but I forget how to get past the paywall – can anybody help?

      

  30. Robert Kerr says:

    Elizabeth.

    It’s easy. you have to remove the cookies for heraldscotland.com. I use Firefox as browser. I run on a Mac but I guess it works on other computers. 
    Go to Firefox preferences, Privacy, remove individual cookies, scroll down list to heraldscotland.com and remove cookies, close off privacy, then preferences and reload the page.

    I also have safari as browser and the same structure can be used.

    Good luck. 

      

  31. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I’d like to read Iain MacWhirter’s article in the Herald but I forget how to get past the paywall – can anybody help?”

    If you’re using Firefox, this:

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/remove-cookies-for-site/

      

  32. Jeannie says:

    @andy anderson
    I’m wondering what the effect of the different voting systems was in these results.  I know it can’t account for the disparities in total, but would be interested to know if any of the other posters have an opinion on this.  Also, because of the Holyrood voting system, I think the pundits find it really hard to match polling results to actual number of seats.  But again, I don’t think this accounts for all of the disparity and do wonder about the effectiveness of polling procedures in terms of predicting outcomes.

      

  33. Elizabeth says:

    @Robert Kerr
    @Rev Stu 

    Thank you! much appreciated. 

      

  34. albaman says:

    Blair Jenkins got it right,
    It`s not about” right or left”, it`s about “right and wrong”!. 
     

      

  35. May says:

    Malcolm mentioned intake of breath when spoke about independence in presence of English people.   I had same experience when on holiday was asked by an English lady whether I thought  Scots would vote for independence.   I replied that I thought it was quite likely, as a fair proportion of people believed it was the best thing for their country.   The reaction was one of total affront.   I really did get the feeling that the English media are also into real misinformation of their own citizens, spreading the news that Scots hate English people, which as far as I am concerned is a huge lie.   I have much affection for many English friends and relatives.   My objection is to the Westminster government which does not represent Scotland consistently and well, and I am in no doubt that Scotland needs to go for independence.

      

  36. Morag says:

    “Unitrolls”!

    Snigger….

      

  37. Old Mikey says:

    Politics on tv last night. Prog. finished with the betting for the referendum at bookies Wm. Hill. So down this morning to confirm. Guy new nothing but phoned up, and here it is. No vote 7 to 2 on, Yes vote 5 to 2 against. While in Bookies went back to an old habit and put 3 quid on a horse which went down the swanee. I want these Kopecs back so i’m going to put a few quid each month on a Yes. As a member of the SNP i have a look at the Better Together site as the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know, and from what i get there i’m comfident i’m on a winner. Och aye the noo. 

      

  38. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Douglas Clark (8.03 pm)
    It’s not a rant man – it’s the truth, and more power to ye for stating it. That’s why this site is so good – I’m hearing voices like mine, and I’ve never ever heard them via any media, ever, and I’m almost fifty years old.
    Seriously – I’m an atheist, but I thank all known gods that I’m alive now, when punters have a level shot at getting their voices heard. Oh, but that more of us would take this chance to shout and bawl for all we’re worth when we have the freedom, these outlets, and, hopefully, others who can hear us.
     

      

  39. douglas clark says:

    Elizabeth,
     
    You should be aware that anything that is said behind the Herald’s paywall is not going to influence anyone that hasn’t paid their £30 per annum. It is pretty free, in one sense,  but utterly useless in another.
     
    There are a couple of trolls there, someone known as Obi-Wan Kenobi who appears to have an MBE, and has commented here about what a wonderful chap he is. I am not particularily convinced, but there you go.
     
    I think that The Herald opinions are a, very, very, minority pursuit. Not worth bothering about except for your amusement.
     
    I used to not be moderated there, until I called them out for not allowing a link to the source of their own article.
    I might have been less than polite.
    It is now my joy to have any comment I make there ‘moderated’. Recall that I paid £30 per annum to be treated as poison.
    Such is the ways of the press. They are ultimately behind the curve about freedom of expression and up themselves in thinking that they know anything better than you.
     
    They don’t. They just have power.
     
    They are just up themselves.
    It seems to me that reading Wings Over Scotland is a tad better than reading the nonsense on The Herald.
     
    Just saying.
     
     
    They don’t like it up them! 
     
     
     
    Nuff said.
     
     

      

  40. Ron says:

    O/T Sorry – did anyone else see BBC Question Time tonight on the subject of nuclear waste disposal, where a suggestion by a member of the audience was ‘why don’t we just ship it all to Scotland, and then ‘give’ them their independence’?

    VOTE ‘YES’!!!    

      

  41. silver19 says:

    Yep seen that Ron on QT, I think the chap in the audience is working for tories to help us folk up in Scotland all vote Yes. Video clip of QT said incident http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iXRcs-oS0E thanks to Moridura

      

  42. Lochside says:

    Watched ‘Question Time’ again and was disgusted by the audience and panel’s obvious delighted laughter at this idiot’s comment. Prior to that ‘comedian’ Dom Jolly(!) made a snide comment about the French and their apparent unwillingness to fight despite the Mali campaign (try Verdun as a reason laughing boy). Again cue audience laughter. I’m afraid racism is so endemic in English society that they don’t even recognise it in themselves..the French, the Americans, the Germans, and now for the last few years..us. It’s like back to the future, remember how the Irish were treated in the ’70s? In case you didn’t see it..have a look at Steve Bell’s cartoon on Wednesday in the Guardian re. Alec Salmond and ..well, just look at it and wonder at just how atavistic and visceral the hatred directed at our democratic struggle is and why it exists.

      

  43. Paul Wright says:

    A straw -poll of people I know showed folk born in Scotland split 50/50, but an overwhelming majority of those who have moved to Scotland in favour of Independence.

      

  44. Jeannie says:

    @Paul Wright
    Do you think that’s because the people who have grown up elsewhere and moved here haven’t been brainwashed all their lives into thinking they’re too wee, too poor and too stupid?

      

  45. Paul Wright says:

    @Jeannie
    In some cases that might be true, but I think also there is a justifiable pride amongst people of all parts of the UK for important institutions such as the NHS, Open University, etc etc, these people cannot countenance/understand/believe that such collective endeavour is being destroyed by a very small sector of society – a group that due to their unearned wealth and privilege are incapable of behaving in a respectful fashion and unfortunately seem to model themselves on warlords and feudal monarchs. I also wonder if the brainwashing is engineered by the ruling elite of Scotland to maintain their feifdom, I moved to Scotland in the 1980′s – I’ve encountered a fair amount of anti-english sentiment, but then I have found that a wee bit of cut and thrust (verbal) usually sorts things out. The working people of Scotland have been exploited  as have the english and those of everywhere. I believe and trust that our position on Independence is to develop a society fit for all and a model to share.

      

  46. Jeannie says:

    @Paul Wright
    I believe and trust that our position on Independence is to develop a society fit for all and a model to share.


    Well said, Paul.  I’d agree with that.  What’s even more heartening is that you say you’re not from Scotland, but you use the term “our” – and that’s what inclusive civic nationalism means – all of us, working together to make things better for everybody who lives here in this wee country – we’re all Jock Tamson’s bairns, at the end of the day with equal rights to walk its earth and breathe its air.  It may well be that those in the Better Together campaign believe in something similar within the context of the UK, but so far they’ve failed to achieve the equality we dream of and have instead created one of the most unequal societies in the western world.  Yes, they believe in the principle of equality all right……just so long as some of them are more equal than others.

      

  47. Paul Wright says:

    @ Jeannie
    To live in a country that encourages and helps all its people to explore, engage and be magnanimous is a possibility, a land where equality is a given, a land that shares its resources, let us be positive about this – many people in this land have suffered needlessly – It is part of this process to bring people together, we have a huge amount of damage to repair, and those of us who love this country and its people must rise to the challenge.

      

  48. Tris says:

    The thing people must try to see is that, even if (and it’s a big if) Labour win the 2015 election the 2020 will probably go back to the Tories.

    Labour won’t change back anything the Tories have done under Cameron, and when they come back in 2020 they will go on with the hard right agenda, probably under Foxy… or some such.  

      



Leave a Reply




↑ Top