Don’t vote in the independence referendum until you’ve read this
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Hello again to all my myriads of avid readers. After receiving precisely 0 mails begging, nay demanding I post more to the blog, I have returned.
I have not been lazy these past weeks. It seemed a better use of my resources to take part in comment discussions on various news sites – The Guardian, Huffington Post etc – where at least 1 or 2 people might get to read it, instead of the pretty much zero views garnered from this blob. It is all about getting votes, and engaging in discussion in the hope of changing someone’s mind, particularly at this late stage.
Even after the scrappy Salmond/Darling debate, the slightly worrying polls, and the relentless unionist bulldozer of the past week or so, I am getting more optimistic. The love-bombing/planet fear combination is like an abusive spouse slapping their partner then giving them a hug and apologising for what we made them do. I think it could spectacularly backfire.
Ed Milliband, the Wrong Brother and Leader of the Labour party has dealt another blow to the Yes Campaign.
Yesterday at the Royal Linguistics Society Annual Conference he said:
In the event of a Yes vote in the independence referendum, Scotland will not be able to use the English language. I want to make this very clear, and this will be a manifesto commitment, along with keeping all the austerity cuts that the Tories were planning and committing ourselves to another 50 years of Trident.
‘We may put in some crap about helping the poor after the shite we and the Tories have left them in – we’ll see if we can be arsed.”
He was asked if this could be construed as a threat against the very people who have built and maintained the political party he is leader of. He said:
I don’t give two fucks about them.”
Keir Hardie was unavailable for comment.
J K Rowling throws her tuppence (times 50000000 for her donation) into the independence debate. I’ve never read her stuff (I am an adult), and would rather watch wood warp than watch any of the Harry Potter films. It is another example of a phenomenon I have noticed regarding celebrities and their opinion on the referendum campaign: if the person is someone I have previously admired and respected, for example the actors Brian Cox and Alan Cumming, I know what their stance will be before they open their mouths – Pro-Yes. I have never paid much attention to Rowling, but, seeing she is a bosom buddy of Sad Gordon Brown, I am not particularly surprised at her attitude. Her recent intervention though, I found pretty distasteful.
Here is an example:
there is a fringe of nationalists who like to demonise anyone who is not blindly and unquestionably pro-independence and I suspect, notwithstanding the fact that I’ve lived in Scotland for twenty-one years and plan to remain here for the rest of my life, that they might judge me ‘insufficiently Scottish’ to have a valid view… when people try to make this debate about the purity of your lineage, things start getting a little Death Eaterish for my taste.”
I have followed the campaign very closely in the past few months – argued online, read blogs and articles from all sides, attended Yes meetings in halls, pubs and back-rooms, spoken at length about the issues with other interested people, and this is the first I have heard any mention of anyone being “‘insufficiently Scottish’ to have a valid view” or any talk of ‘purity of lineage’. I feel quite aggrieved at these nasty allegations – anyone I know who advocates independence would be appalled to be accused of thinking on these lines. This is a campaign which should be an example on how a national debate should be held – certainly on the Yes side.
Am I being paranoid and overly suspicious to see the past week or so, with its talk of ‘blood and sand’ and comparisons of Alex Salmond to dictators as being a planned tactic of the Project Fear Better Together No Thanks bods? I am not saying Rowling has been given the nod by her mate GB, but her contribution does seem to slide comfortably into place in this. I have said before – the British establishment see this campaign as the greatest threat to the UK since WW2, and we can expect some dirty tricks in the coming weeks – accusing us of being bigots and racists is particularly nasty tactic, but if they think it will reap benefits, you can be sure they will not hesitate to adopt it.
Perhaps it is not such a thought-out approach, and is instead a kind of sub-conscious reaction amongst British unionists against the shame they feel at their country voting en-masse for a proudly racist party at the recent European elections. Pure projection.
The other strand in this attack is the focus on nasty ‘cybernats’ who have said nasty things online. Last week a columnist on the Telegraph announced that Alex Salmond could stop this by asking them to stop. Yes – Alex Salmond can control the internet! As an encore he will herd cats and stop the tide from coming in at Troon beach. Look at any youtube video featuring kittens eating candy-floss and the comments below will be full of trolls calling each other retards or passing comment on each other’s mammies. This is the internet! It is full of fucking trolls! The Yes campaign will have its share, I’m sure, but for grown-ups to make this a point of argument is supremely silly, and just dishonest. More distraction from those who cannot make a decent positive argument for the union.
Interesting Blog post from Former Ambassador Craig Murray, on the rise of UKIP and the Unionist parties response.
Here’s a small excerpt, but click on the link above for the full article:
The Unionist camp’s pathetic attempt to claim that UKIP’s 10% and fourth place in Scotland, squeaking one seat, shows Scotland is the same politically as England where UKIP got 29% and came first, is desperate politics. That in order to make that point they were happy for a racist party to marginally represent Scotland in Europe, is a sign of the total moral bankruptcy of the Better Together neo-con British Nationalist programme.
New Labour are completely screwed. To only beat the Tories by 1%, when there is a huge UKIP voteof which a significant slice will go back to the Tories, shows there is no chance whatsoever that New Labour will win the UK general election.
The people of Scotland have a very simple choice in September. Independence, or another Tory government which will probably pull the UK out of the EU, and might very well be in coalition with UKIP.
Danny Alexander today announced the costs of setting up an independent Scotland. Unfortunately for The No Campaign, the academic on whose work the figure (£2.7 Billion) was based has condemned them for “badly misrepresenting” his data and said that it overestimated the cost by a factor of 12.
I watched Alexander’s press conference this morning and noted that at one point he claimed in answer to a question that while the Scottish government was playing up the assets of the UK which it would want a proportion of, in reality there would also be costs which would cancel these out meaning no real net difference. He then contradicted himself by making all these crazy claims about how we would be down billions on the deal. None of the hacks pulled him up on it.
Anyway – this from the Guardian (click on link for full article):
Patrick Dunleavy, a politics professor at the London School of Economics whose research was used to come up with the figure, said that it overestimated the cost by a factor of 12.
Posting on his Twitter account, Prof Dunleavy wrote: “UK Treasury press release on #Scotland costs of government badly misrepresents LSE research.”
He told the Financial Times: “The Treasury’s figures are bizarrely inaccurate. I don’t see why the Scottish government couldn’t do this for a very small amount of money.”
Research carried out by Prof Dunleavy in 2010 estimated that the cost of setting up a new Whitehall department was £15 million.
In coming up with its figure of £2.7 billion, the Treasury has simply multiplied Prof Dunleavy’s figure by 180 – the number of public bodies the Scottish government thinks it will need after independence.
Later, he tweeted: “Could they be this crude? Phone call from Treasury guy later confirms: Yes, they had been.”
Prof Dunleavy said that such a calculation involved three basic errors on the part of the Treasury – not all 180 bodies would be major departments, several already exist independently in Scotland, and that his figure represented the “chaotic” way Labour set up departments from scratch prior to 2010, not a more orderly transition.
He said that the Treasury overstated costs by around 12 times, estimating instead that the one-off set-up costs would be £150 to £200 million.
God help the No campaign if this is the kind of toe-curling shite they are willing to put out there.
It would be interesting to see what kind of reaction these cinema ads are getting in Scottish cinemas – not too positive, I would imagine.
I have just posted this on Facebook.
It shows you how bad the stuff coming out of the No camp is that we in the Yes camp share it on social media.