Ouch. It’s not a good news day for Better Together. Admittedly there’s never a good news day with the miserabilist ProudScottery that emanates from Project Fear, but their dogged refusal to crack anything that might pass for a ray of sunshine over the benighted land of Scotland has turned and bit them on the bum. They can’t say they weren’t warned.
A new poll from ICM shows that the yes vote continues to rise, up 2% to 39%, while the no vote has fallen again, down 3% to 46%. The poll is the latest to confirm the upwards trend of the yes vote, and proves that Osborne’s currency fearbomb and the dam-busters strategy to flood Scotland with uncertainty and doubt have not worked. News to which any mature, grown up, and articulate observer of the independence campaign can respond only with the considered and intelligent response: Ha ha, get it up yese.
It was bound to happen eventually. Like the sewage they are made of, there is a limit to the amount of fearbombs that can be handled by any system at any given time. Try to stuff too much down the pipes of your tame state broadcaster and it causes a blockage and backs up, spraying the Palace of Westminster with keech. And this is a big problem for Better Together, seeing as how the place was already full of wee jobbies to start off with.
The second of today’s big splashes but not in a good way for Better Together came from a leading economist who has turned his eye on George Osborne’s claims about a currency union. Professor Leslie Young is a board member of the Journal of Economics, and has been tipped as a possible future Nobel prize winner. He described the Chancellor’s assertions as “misleading”, “unsubstantiated”, “the reverse of the truth”, and “a lurid collection of fact, conjecture, and fantasy”. Which also describes just about everything that Project Fear have ever said or done, come to think of it.
The Professor ripped apart Osborne’s arguments, pointing out that the problems in the Eurozone were caused by the tensions resulting when very different economies use the same currency, but the economies of Scotland and the rest of the UK are broadly similar. There just isn’t the potential for the same degree of tension, despite the best efforts of Better Together to create some. Young summed up the Chancellor’s case as focusing on “non-issues”, calling it a “loose analysis” based upon “inconsistent assumptions”.
You don’t need a PhD in economics to work out that the Professor’s remarks have created a very big blockage in George Osborne’s outflow pipe, and posturing on the currency question has left him standing up to his oxters in the decaying filth of his own intransigence. So the next time you see Osborne sneering like he’s got a bad Scottish smell up his nose, you’ll know that he does and no amount of spraying with an aerosol of Eau de Barroso will make it go away.
Meanwhile Professor Graham Avery, the expert in EU constitutional law and EU enlargement who has already stated that he sees no reason why Scotland cannot negotiate membership in the period between a yes vote and the formal declaration of independence, has stuck another boot into the downpipe from Better Together’s EU toilet. Professor Avery says that Scottish membership of the EU would strengthen the organisation, and give it more clout on the world stage.
Meanmeanwhile, Scotland got another lovebomb. Only this time from Norway, which kinda makes it all the more special, what with them being foreigners and not supposed to know we exist because we’re too wee and insignificant and don’t have any friends. Norway’s literary establishment have penned an open letter to the Sunday Herald telling Scotland to jump right in, the independence watter is lovely. They compare Scottish independence to the independence of Norway from Sweden in 1904, which has been beneficial to both countries. One of the signatories, Thorvald Steen, president of the Norwegian Writers’ Union, says:
“I think Scottish culture would absolutely benefit from independence. The London-based parties don’t seem to understand how independence would strengthen the energy of the Scottish people, of Scottish writers and of Scotland’s economy.
“A majority of Swedish politicians were against Norwegian independence. They said all these bad things would happen, but they didn’t happen. And at that time Norway was much poorer than Scotland is now.”
All this comes as Labour winds up its lacklustre conference and its much heralded commission on devolution has come up with devodiddlysquat and a Red Paper that’s as thoroughly researched and costed as a South Seas cargo cult with Johann Lamont as its prophet. Vote Labour and magic airplanes will fill the skies laden with a cargo of jobs and equality as presents from Uncle Westminster and Auntie Beeb. It’s only the wicked Alicsammin with his old fashioned tribal ways that’s stopping the miracle of the Redistributive Union from happening.
So now we know. The people of Scotland have a choice between taking the future of our country into our own hands, or joining in the ritual chants and prayers for a delivery that’s never going to come. If the Unionist parties can’t come up with substantive proposals for far reaching reform now, when their gemme is about to be called a bogey, they’re not going to offer them under any circumstances. Not now, not ever. Even the most stubborn proponent of devomax has realised that now.
The research on the poll published today was carried out last month. The backflow from Labour’s devodebacle is still to filter its way through. Better Together’s going to be covered in a lot more of its own keech before we get to September.
Update 3pm Sunday
I have to add even more good news for the yes campaign. A debate on Scottish independence was held in Shetland last night, Alistair Carmichael put the case for the no vote. Before the debate, voting intentions were 58 yes, 57 no, 25 undecided. After the debate, voting intentions were yes 70, no 48, don’t know 22. What was all that about Shetland not wanting to be a part of Scotland if we vote for independence, hmm? Shetland is historically the part of Scotland where there is greatest scepticism about home rule or independence, if Yes Scotland can persuade the Shetlanders of the advantages of a yes vote, the prospects in the rest of the country look positive indeed.
It’s a beautiful day here in Glasgow. The sun is shining, and the Dug and me are off to the park. Happy happy.