All is well, nothing to worry too much about, just a little wobble that was entirely to be expected. Wibble wibble went the Unionist press as it tried to minimise the effects of eight little words from a senior Tory minister on a campaign which is neither better nor together. “Of course there will be a currency union.”
Sadly for Alistair Darling these words did not come as a heroic but minor wound to a Naw campaign that has been confidently carrying Scotland into a red white and blue future, words that could be shrugged off manfully like John Wayne insisting it’s just a scratch before single handedly defeating the entire Commanche nation. Project Fear had already received so many kicks in the bollox that they’d swollen up and are being used as a space hopper.
Tragically for them this must be the only form of transportation they possess – because every time they attempt to move, they only do themselves further damage. Alistair’s assertion that there would have to be a referendum on a currency union in the rest of the UK was quickly squashed by a Downing Street that will not countenance the idea of a popular vote on a policy they’ve spent the last few months making unpopular but which they know they’ll have to implement in some form if the independence referendum goes against them. So in that sense, aye, they’re wobbling. Alistair Darling has turned into Buster Gonad.
According to Benedict Grogan in the Telegraph, there is no sign in London that the No campaign is about to change its strategy. They plan to keep digging themselves into a hole, confusing the quagmire into which Better Together has sunk with undermining the Yes campaign. They’ve put all the family jewels in Buster Gonad’s wheelbarrow. There is no Plan B, there can be no Plan B, because Plan B could only mean making a positive case for the Union. The Unionist parties can only come together when Alistair tells them he has a wizzard wheeze for killing Scottish nationalism stone dead, again.
Alistair was the architect of the Balls, Osborne and Alexander plan, the BOA which is currently the star of their unconvincing Unionist drag act, the BOA their Unionist fathers woah. The knives are out for him, as the realisation dawns on Westminster that the BOA isn’t the colourful neckwear at the centre of their campaign, the highlight on their dowdy frocks, it’s a noose that’s choking them.
In the absence of anything that looks like it will gain purchase in the referendum campaign, Project Fear can only ramp a failing strategy up another notch. Now they’re trying to create fear not just about independence, but also about those campaigning for it. Evil cybernats who insult and abuse – that would be me, you, and thousands of others then.
But Scotland isn’t Kenya during the Mau Mau rebellion, it’s not Ireland when the IRA were bombing their way to Irish independence. Now Westminster is reduced to turning law abiding citizens into demons as they desperately try to pretend they are the underdogs in this campaign. The might of the all powerful British state, reduced to a quivering Help Me Rhona by a granny with a laptop, a carer with a computer, and the ancient Scottish tradition of mocking those who lie, dissemble and deceive. It’s a strategy which works well south of the Border, but in Scotland where people live the reality of this campaign no one is fooled, except the Unionists who fool themselves.
It raises an interesting question. If the British state can be bullied, threatened and abused by a bunch of ordinary citizens with nothing more than wit, humour, and the truth as their weapons, just how do they expect to convince Scotland that our country can’t survive without their protection and stewardship? If they’re threatened by a pensioner with an ipad, just how would they cope with a real threat? Not well, is the only possible answer.
Meanwhile Westminster’s focus has shifted to the more pressing issue of May’s European elections where it is looking increasingly likely that Nigel Farage and UKIP will perform strongly, forcing the Conservatives to tack further to the right and giving Labour wriggle room in the so-called centre ground of British politics. Which means clearing a space on the right for Labour to occupy, and removing the party even further from the aspirations of Labour’s traditional voters.
So the flooding of fear continues, today the eningeering and defence group Weir Group made their predicted and predictable claim that independence would damage jobs and their business, citing a paper they had commissioned from an economic think tank with close links to the UK Treasury. In 1997 the company made similar claims about the doom and gloom that would befall Scotland if the country voted for devolution.
Few listened then, few will listen now. Scotland has had enough of being lectured to by voices of self-proclaimed authority, tied to Westminster by an umbilical cord of patronage and contracts. The warnings didn’t work when they were issued by other think tanks and other companies. Better Together has no more hope that they will work now. Poor Alistair, nothing but spin while he’s not for turning and the BOA wraps itself ever more tightly around his neck.