On the weekend when Project Fear ought to have been gloating about a plummeting yes vote after Osborne’s currency veto, Barroso’s intervention on the EU, and the announcement of Labour’s devo proposals, they are instead searching for the Tory minister who crapped all over a stumbling no campaign and destroyed what little credibility they have left. Well I say stumbling. Like when you stumble off the edge of a 300 foot cliff onto the jagged rocks below. The last couple of weeks couldn’t have been worse for them.
Labour is sinking into the quagmire of devo proposals that not even their own front bench can understand, the arguments and recriminations have barely started. The party’s UK poll lead over the Tories has shrunk to 1%, making it unlikely that they will form the next government, so their devo-nothing proposals are not even likely to get as far as being eviscerated in Westminster committee hearings. Johann has gone back into hiding, leaving Jackie Baillie to attack Alicsammin at FMQs for “standing shoulder to shoulder with the Tories” only for him to helpfully point out that Labour sits down and dines with them. Jackie is going to be a speaker at a Cowal Conservatives lunch.
The Lib Dem conference was notable only for the fact that a couple of leading party members announced their intention to vote yes while the Lib Dems continue to plummet in the polls. The European elections are looming, and the anti-Scottish UKIP looks set to do well, giving voters in the referendum another reason to reject Westminster politics.
Yes campaigners have been chuckling away all weekend at the self-inflected wounds of Better Together. Schadenfreude is the evil twin of a good laugh, it is wrong to take pleasure in the misfortunes of others. Fortunately there is a special dispensation when the misfortune is suffered by people who have engaged in underhand and deceitful behaviour, only to learn a very hard lesson in Buddhist philosophy. Project Fear’s bad karma ran over their currency dogma and Danny Alexander’s annoying wee yap lies pancake shaped on the A9.
Translated from the original Pali, the law of karma says that if you spend your days throwing turds, everything you touch will get covered in crap. Following the news that even a Tory minister doesn’t believe Osborne’s sterling threat, Better Together makes the lavvy in a dysentry ward look hygienic.
The currency threat formed the centrepiece of Project Fear, the big scary story that all the other little scare stories hang from like dangleberries on an unwiped arse. It lived up to Better Together’s expectations in one important respect. They wanted a game-changer, and it was. It just didn’t change things in their preferred direction.
We now learn the currency threat was the invention of Alistair Darling, who was one of the main players presiding over the last Labour government’s economic implosion, and a Scots Tory advisor called Andrew Dunlop who had a big hand in that other Westminster success story, the Poll Tax. They’re Proud Scots but. They’re only trying to threaten, bully and scare Scots shitless because they love us so much. They call it tough love, the rest of the world calls it abuse. If Westminster was a parent, social services would have swept down and taken Scotland into the safety of a foster home.
Tory backbenchers are beelin that a former Labour Chancellor is influencing Tory Treasury policy. It’s not that they have any greater understanding of the nature of the Scottish debate, they’re just annoyed that they didn’t get the chance to screw Scotland over first. But the cracks in the no campaign’s fragile façade are now wide open, exposing the nasty germs on the dirty toilet seat they want Scotland to sit on.
The Secretary of State for Scare Stories has had a busy weekend on janitorial duties, rushing from tv studio to tv studio with a bottle of Osborne own brand mind bleach and doing an impression of bog paper, denying that the leak came from anyone important and the person doesn’t know what they’re talking about anyway. The problem is that the person he’s talking about is a senior Tory minister. Better Together’s defence of their discredited currency threat rests on persuading Scotland that Coalition ministers don’t know what they’re talking about, which we had kinda already figured out for ourselves.
Demonstrating only that there may be some truth in the theory of nominative determinism, Karmamightkill delivered the message with the look of a man who knew that his excuses were on a par with “the dog ate my homework”, only with less chance of being believed by the teacher. Although to be fair, that’s the look he’s always got, but now he’s covered with suspicious brown stains as well.
It’s too late. From now on in, every claim from Project Fear, every scare, every threat, can be countered by pointing out that even their own inner circle don’t believe them, so why should anyone else. Scotland switched off when the threat was first made, and with every attempt to retrieve the situation, Alistair has only made it worse. Karma has killed.
You can only lie to people so often before they stop listening. The leading lights of the naw campaign ought to understand that better than most. Gordon Brown’s words to Tony Blair in 2004 have come back to haunt the Better Together campaign, and will set the tone from now until September.
“There is nothing that you could ever say to me now that I could ever believe.”