The Better Together Campaign launches
The Better Together campaign launched yesterday. If you have zero interest in politics this is the no to independence campaign ahead of the referendum in 2014 although according to the Times, it might now be 2015. Depending how you read it, you either think Alex Salmond is running scared or Salmond wants to disrupt the 2015 general election as much as possible.
Andrew Page over at Scottish Liberal attacked the launch on several grounds. I agree with some of them but not all of them.
I didn’t see anyone but Alastair Darling speak purely because BBC News didn’t show anybody else, although I hear from Adam Stachura that Willie Rennie was very good with no spin. Being the Scottish Lib Dems Director of Campaigns, Adam would say that.
From what I heard, the no campaign was full of the same rather tired arguments. Darling used Miliband’s, a welshman created the NHS etc. and all the other examples could still hold true in an independent Scotland.
He talked of the SNP still having big questions to answer over what an independent Scotland would look like. What Darling doesn’t realise is that his big questions, on defence, on the monarchy, on EU, on currency etc. would actually by and large be our choice come an independent Scotland. Currency may have to be negotiated with other countries and if its the pound then we’d have to negotiate with the rest of the UK. Whether we are automatically in the EU is more up to the EU commission than it is Scotland, but by and large the decisions would be up to us.
Yes, they will be difficult decisions but they will be Scotland’s and yes the UK is facing difficult decisions right now and they are decided by the whole UK. The pro-indy camp want to take those decisions at a more local level.
The slogan unveiled the day before yesterday, “Join us to ensure a stronger Scotland, a United Kingdom” what does that even mean? The phrase “a United Kingdom” seems to be thrown in there, with no thought. It adds no meaning and actually confuses the sentence. Do they want Scotland to be a United Kingdom or within a United Kingdom?
The message seems to be we get the best of both worlds! What is the best of both worlds? What’s great about being Scottish and what’s great about being in the union? Is the best of both worlds, the current devolution settlement which quite frankly is not fit for purpose?
Darling and the website say they want to put the positive case for the union forward well so far, I’ve not heard a single positive thing about the Union. Where are we going as part of the union and if the union settlement is going to change shouldn’t we at least discuss it and shouldn’t we discuss it with the rest of the united kingdom as well as just ourselves?
If this article on the guardian is right and the unionists want to just beat Salmond. In the article a Whitehall source is quoted as saying “It’s all about beating Salmond. He can’t have any gain from this,” surely then the unionists have lost sight of what they are fighting for?
I believe the unionists have got so wrapped up in their own determination to protect the union, that they no longer can behave rationally and intellectually about this. They will defeat the enemy and at the moment the enemy is Alex Salmond and independence. Its no longer about whats best for Scotland or the United Kingdom but about beating the opponents.
Sorry, but for me I think this question is far too important to be used in a political tennis match. This is a question about who decides the important questions on the economy, on jobs, on defence etc.
This independence campaign has seen everything I hate about politics come to the fore. The debate is no longer about the decision we have to make or what is best for Scotland but has come down to who is more Scottish than who. Different sides slinging mud at each other and all trying to cover the same space in order to convince voters.
Whatever happened to having a belief and arguing your corner. The campaign has barely started. (In fact the campaigns shouldn’t have started yet as we don’t even know what the question is or when it will actually be held.) We are already down to the SNP trying not to offend anyone by saying anything and everything is possible and playing Schrodinger’s cat i.e. we’ll be in NATO and we won’t be in NATO, we’ll have the euro and we won’t have the euro, we’ll have the monarch and we won’t have the monarch. Like Schrodinger’s cat is both dead and alive until you open the lid and observe the cat, we won’t know what alliances or what currency we’ll have until we open the lid on independence and look inside. The unionists meanwhile seems to have empty rhetoric about how brilliant the UK is but if you look to hard at their arguments, they play look what the SNP are doing, isn’t that outrageous in the hope we don’t recognise the emptiness of their rhetoric.
The journalists report all this dutifully without trying to hold anyone to account or doing any investigative journalism as to what independence might actually mean. The mainstream media are all too happy to parrot the views of both camps at different times because their terrified of being seen as not being impartial. The media fail to realise that if you offend everybody, you are being perfectly impartial.
With, this launch I fail to see a positive vision going forward from anyone in the so called better together or indeed found out why indeed we are better together!
If you know why the UK is better together then please send your answers in on a postcard? Or better yet send them to the No campaign, it looks like they need all the help they can get.