What Project Fear is really afraid of

Poor Better Together, earlier this week Alistair Carmichael claimed that businesses and the media are too scared to speak up about the negative consequences of independence in case indy supporters give them such a nasty look.

Indy supporters have vicious tongues, and mock those good people at Project Fear who are only asking questions – questions which can’t be answered because the UK government won’t supply the necessary information, questions for which there is no possible answer, and questions which have already been answered repeatedly.  It’s unfair to point that out.

Alistair wants us to refrain from mocking the inaccuracies, lies and outright idiocies when Project Fear releases its latest scare story.  Westminster has a right to be stupid and self-serving, and we’re treading all over the Mother of Parliament’s democratic right to self-expression by laughing at it.  It’s the democratic right of a Unionist political party to trade in misinformation, lies and outright idiocies, and if they can’t do that then what’s the point in their existence?  That’s a question which answers itself.

The most ridiculous of his claims is that the media is intimidated by the independence debate, and is constrained against letting loose its full barrage of fear bombs because they’re afraid of the yes campaign.  Does Alistair actually read the papers?

Perhaps they’re not negative enough for him, but if this is them “constrained” then only the gods know what they’d be telling us if they were let off the leash.  When they’re not belittling Scotland with supposed satirical cartoons or asking readers for funny names for a new Scottish currency, they’ve threatened us with everything up to and including partition, penury and the plague.

If your only source of information is the UK media you are left in no doubt that absolutely nothing good can come of independence.  Even the SNP’s proposals to scrap UK Government benefits changes like the Bedroom Tax were reported in Thursday’s Express as “Salmond accused of being soft on the workshy“.

Amongst the sea of pro-Union reportage there’s occasionally a comment piece expressing support for independence,  this must be the bias that upsets Alistair.  It doesn’t give the Union a fair crack of the whip.  It’s only Westminster which is supposed to crack whips, most commonly on people who claim benefits, the low paid, immigrants, and more recently supporters of Scottish independence.

Alistair and the UK Government have more or less admitted that the case for the Union is so weak that it cannot stand scrutiny, never mind criticism.   What he’s telling us is that the case for the Union can only be heard in absolute and reverent silence, followed immediately by mass applause and a choreographed display of placards in a sports stadium making a huge image of Her Maj and the House of Lords.  Alistair’s complaint is that of a man who sees himself losing the argument, badly.  Hence his new catchphrase, “Help me Rona.”

And this is why Project Fear, bankrolled by Tory millionaires and backed to the hilt by the UK Government and all the resources it can muster, is now trying to portray itself as the little guy up against the big scary monster of the massed forces of the Scottish Government and ordinary punters with internet connections and keyboards.   They’re going for the sympathy vote.  It’s a bit like the combined might of the US, Russian and Chinese armies complaining that they’re out-gunned by the Sandyhills Boy Scouts with their peashooters and catapults.

If the Scottish Government really is that influential and powerful just now, when it must operate under the restrictions imposed upon it by Westminster, then with independence it presumably will have supernatural powers, like the ability to transmute base matter into gold.  But independence is unlikely to turn Alistair Carmichael into a political heavyweight, even alchemy has its limitations.

Better Together’s real beef is that Scottish deference to our political masters died a long time ago.  British democracy is in terminal decline.  A report published earlier this year by Democratic Audit found that the UK was moving ever further away from two of the key foundation stones of democracy, control over political decision-making, and how fairly the system reflects the population it represents.  The decline was described as “catastrophic”.

In Scotland we have no control over Westminster decision making.  Due to the massive preponderance of population south of the Border,  we get the government elected by voters in England.  But even if we do vote out politicians whose performance has not been to our liking, their pals only bump them up to the House of Lords where they continue to make our laws and influence policy making.  When the Labour party was first formed over 100 years ago, one of its key policies was the abolition of the House of Lords.  Here we are in 2013, we’re still waiting.

One of the most alarming findings of the report was the “unprecedented growth” in corporate power and influence over government in the UK.  The report warned that unless this was addressed it “threatens to undermine some of the most basic principles of democratic decision making”.  But Westminster has no plans to address it, neither the Tories, the Lib Dems or Labour have any plans or policies to restore full democratic responsibility and accountability.  That’s the last thing they want.  It would threaten comfortable career paths leading to well paid directorships and a seat in the Lords.

Since the political parties and the Westminster Parliament are unwilling to reform there is only one option left, we have to give them no choice.  In most countries that would require a revolution, but Scotland has another option, a peaceful and democratic option – we can vote for independence.  The independence referendum is a vote that will lead to a written Scottish constitution and can restore our political system to democractic accountability.  That’s what Alistair Carmichael is so afraid of.

Updates to this blog will be a bit erratic over the next week or so, because it’s the holidays and because Santa came early and gave the Dug a Hornby train set, big wean that he is.

12 comments on “What Project Fear is really afraid of

  1. Papadocx says:

    Over the past year I have never herd one attempt at producing a positive reason from any unionist or BT spokesperson, not one. I have herd a lot of lies and scare stories with no evidence to give them any credence what ever. Just unadulterated nonsense.
    Their messengers of doom and gloom are a strange mixture of Tory money men, slab carpetbaggers and con artists, liberal bully boys, mercenaries with money, media wannabes, a right bag of scoundrels.
    The yes campaign appears full of descent sincere hard working people of integrity, and most of all truthful and trustworthy.
    I don’t understand why the NO voters cannot see this it’s as plain as the nose on your face.
    Maybe these people are scared to see the truth and prefer just to shut their eyes, stick their fingers in their ears and hope nothing is going to change, like what the nice mr Carmichael suggests.
    Well in the event of a NO vote they will waken up much poorer and their nice friend Alistair will be off, to the lords for his share of the loot. The only vote is YES.

  2. […] What Project Fear is really afraid of […]

  3. Aye, Paul, that’ll dae fir me.

  4. Scaraben says:

    “British democracy is in terminal decline.”

    I agree that the UK is becoming less democratic, and would argue that it is on course (following on behind America) for becoming a corporate fascist state where Parliament exists to implement decisions taken by big business and its billionaire owners. However, I am not convinced that Britain has ever been a true democracy; I believe it went from a monarchy to an oligarchy with a veneer of democracy to give people the illusion that they could improve things through the ballot box rather than through a revolution. Concessions to democracy were made whenever the Establishment were sufficiently concerned that they might end up dangling from lampposts or losing their heads, French style. Communism was the last threat to that Establishment, and now they are seeking to make the little bit of democracy we have – in UK terms, the right to vote for political parties which either offer essentially the same right-wing, neoliberal policies or have no chance of being elected – increasingly meaningless.

    I find the UK political scene deeply depressing, and think there is a lot of genuine evil to be found at Westminster, but I still hope Scotland can move in the opposite direction. The final paragraph of your article sums it up perfectly.

    • Scaraben says:

      I think this item on the Lobbying Transparency bill is relevant to my previous comment. It is possible that this bill could have serious implications for a future independence campaign following a ‘No’ vote in the referendum.


    • Swansea Blue says:

      I’ve obviously come to the wrong place to find a fair balanced opinion about the scottish independence debate. All I hear is Westminster is evil, the unionists are scaremongering etc,etc. from what I can see scaremongering is the only argument they can use as Scotland has done very well out of the union. It joined as a bankrupt country and has emerged as one of the strongest parts of the union. This is in no small part due to the fact that it is a member of the union. Scotland has shared in the success of the union. Benefited from state pensions, the NHS, the welfare state, all things fought for and won by the working people of Britain especially the Scottish. If you want to run away from all this and wallow in all your oil money that’s fine. It’s easy to do that in a small country.

      • weegingerdug says:

        Yes you came to the wrong place. I don’t do balanced, no one does. least of all the mainstream media and the BBC. I have an opinion and a point of view, and this is where I write about it. The only difference is that I am honest and upfront about what my perspective is.

        Your understanding is incorrect on a number of points. Scotland was not bankrupt in 1707. The Scottish economy was in fact rather healthy. The money paid by Westminster was a bribe to members of the Scottish aristocracy who had accrued large personal debts as a result of the Darien adventure. They were not debts owed by the Scottish state.

        We are not running away from state pensions, the NHS, and the welfare state. We are taking them with us. Most of us who support independence do so in part because it is the only way to protect them. It’s the rUK where political parties are bent on destroying that legacy with creeping privatisation and ATOS contracts.

        On the question of whether Scotland has done very well out of the Union, I refer you to other small northern European countries. Every single one of them out-performs Scotland on a host of economic, health and social indicators, and these countries are not blessed with Scotland’s embarrassment of natural resources or tradition of education. However these natural resources, and the talents and skills of people in Scotland, are not used to make Scotland a better place for those who live here, they’re used to benefit the casino capitalism of the City of London. Everyone else gets the crumbs from the table. That’s a tragedy for the whole of the UK. In Scotland there is something we are able to do about it.

        We’ll wallow just fine. Thank you for your concern.

        • Swansea Blue says:

          I’ve got to say I don’t know what Scotland has that Norway doesn’t in terms of resources. What I do know is that the UK with its recent growth is on course to overtake france and get considerably closer to Germany in terms of GDP. We obviously cannot compete with Scotland in terms of GDP per capita but generally when you have an overpopulated country it is more difficult to compete. I agree we could be more equal but I don’t think that’s a nationality thing it’s something that will happen onc

  5. Gray says:

    OMG .. where will you get spare parts for your Hornby railway in an independent Scotland .. are you sure you’ve thought this separation thing through properly😉

    • weegingerdug says:

      It’s OK, I thought of that already, and got model SPTE commuter trains.

      Mind you, there’s no way I’ll get a model High Speed Train to cross the border between now and the end of the next century. But that’s going to happen with the Union anyway.

  6. Eilean says:

    A SPTE train set. Is it the rare edition that includes a Glasgow Airport rail link?

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