• June 2012
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Better Together?

I still haven’t decided how I’ll vote in the referendum on Scottish Independence.

Partly, that’s because I have yet to examine the issues properly and come to an informed decision. Partly though, I think I’d like to know what I’m voting for or against. It’d be a help if I knew what the question was and if there is to be one or two questions.

The Yes campaign, trailed as a multi party effort, was launched a few weeks ago. High profile fellow travellers like the Greens’ Patrick Harvie and independent Margo MacDonald have since jumped ship because they say the SNP is dominating the campaign.

I’m truly shocked by that.

Who’d have thought that the SNP would be positioning themselves at the forefront of such a campaign?

Anyway the Yes campaign launch had actors Allan Cumming and Brian Cox there and of course Sir Shshawn is a long term supporter.

Yesterday “Better Together” (i.e. the No lobby) launched their campaign.

It is fronted by Alistair Darling, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer who, lets face it, presided over the best period of growth and stability worst banking and financial crisis the UK has experienced in 300 years.

The bold Alistair said yesterday, obviously referring to the Yes campaign launch:

“I don’t think people are impressed when you line up actors, no matter how good they may be, who have flown in from the other side of the Atlantic to tell us what to do.
“This campaign will be decided in Scotland by people living here.”

This roughly translates to:

“We couldn’t get any actors”

Mind you, the campaign song is a snappy one:

As well as such luminaries as Nick Clegg, Ruth Davidson and Michael Moore, the BT team paraded some ordinary Scots who let their feelings be known.

For example:

I cast my mind back to 1971 and the days prior to the liquidation of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders.

Edward Heath, the Prime Minister of the day, stepped in and with his government saved the yards from the risk of closure by pumping investment into them refused to give UCS, who had a full order book and projected profit for the following year, a £6 million bail out to allow them to continue.

Only after a widespread trade union and civic campaign did the Heath government relent and put some money in.

But really, I do wonder about the whole campaign thing. The SNP seem to be even more afraid of the “I” word than anyone else and seem to be spending most of their time telling folk how they won’t really notice much difference. We’ll still have Pudsey Bear, Michael McIntyre and Alan Titchmarsh on the telly and the Queen adorning our currency and opening our parliament.

Kind of makes you think, er…what’s the point?

Will the Eurozone crisis and the resultant fall out not be much more relevant to Scotland’s future than any referendum?

As I say, I haven’t made up my mind on how to vote but knowing Scotland as I do, I just can’t see a yes vote being achieved from this vantage point. To do so would require the independence lobby to have a massive majority at this stage because there will inevitably be a shrinkage in that vote as the time draws near. They haven’t and what support they do have seems to be ebbing already.

The SNP is the only cohesive and remotely plausible political party in Scotland just now. It is going to take all of their skill and powers of persuasion to win the vote.

I don’t think they will, and that is nothing to do with “Better Together”.

It is because to persuade others of your case you have to be 100% certain of it yourself.

The SNP just don’t give the impression that they are.

Mind you, Brave hasn’t been released here yet……..