Monstering for independence

yesnessieOMG. If we’d only known. All this time we thought we were putting a positive case for an independent Scotland and pointing out the misinformation and machinations of a duplicitous Westminster, but no, we’re just being nasty and getting Alistair Darling all upset. It’s wrong to make Alistair sad, he cries himself to sleep at night and it puts him off his cornflakes of a morning. And that in turn means that when he grants an audience to a fawning Andrew Marr he’s feeling a bit tired and run down which could very well bring about the end of democracy as we know it. Or at least as Alistair knows it. And that’s your fault cybernat person. And you at the back, sniggering. And mine. I feel so awful.

Sometimes, when they’ve just come out with a truly spectacular piece of pish, which is more or less every time Blair MacDougall tweets something, we even laugh at them. Laughing at people is worse than talking pish. It’s perfectly fine for unionists to collude with one another in private, then to come out with made up stories to scare folk, scare stories which promptly fall apart under the weight of their own contradictions – but don’t you dare mock them for it. It’s bullying. Mocking is what Nessie would do. And she’s a monster.

Alistair has an image of himself as the Ambassador whose staff hand out the Ferrero Rocher while Scotland goes “ooh you are spoiling us Mr Darling.” Alistair is handing out confections after all, but they have a sour and bitter taste. He’s aggrieved that he’s not being deferred to, because everyone ought to treat him like Andrew Marr does. That’s not a monster coming over the hill Alistair, it’s a chartered surveyor from Banff who thinks you’re talking nonsense.

Anyway, the word “monster” now has a new usage as a verb, it means “criticising the arguments of unionists”. Darling also has a new usage as a verb, it means “unwittingly revealing a lie by frantic blinking”, as in “He said wasn’t seeing George Osborne in secret, but he was darling sexting messages in morse code.”

Demonising independence supporters has been ramped up a notch of late. It’s part of Better Together’s so-called wedge strategy, the one that was meant to drive a wedge between the supposedly tiny minority of nailed on yes voters and everyone else. But all it’s produced is the wedgie in Project Fear’s liar liar pants on fire, which may explain why Alistair was sitting so uncomfortably while he was smooching with Andy Marr.

Since the currency fearbomb went off like a fart cushion instead of a small thermonuclear device, the demonisation of yes supporters is the only part of the wedgie strategy that Better Together thinks there’s a chance of howking out the deep dark skid mark where the rest of their campaign resides. The people they’re trying to reach are not yes voters, they’re trying to persuade the don’t knows that yes voters aren’t the kind of people that sensible ordinary folk would want to be associated with. Yes voters are the kind of people who use words like skid mark with reference to politicians, and Jim Murphy wants that sort of thing banned.

There’s a big problem with this strategy however. It’s what I call the Catholic relative conundrum. Back when being gay was a bigger sin than being a Tory, the Catholic relatives of gay people were confronted with a problem. On the one hand the authority of the church taught them that gay people were “intrinsically disordered” and were doomed to a life of misery and transient sordid affairs. On the other hand they were confronted with the reality of gay family members getting on with life and being perfectly happy in stable relationships. So who to believe? The evidence from authority, or the evidence of your own eyes and ears? The eyes and ears invariably have it.

Better Together now face the same problem the Catholic church did. Demonising a group only works when your parishioners have little or no first hand experience of members of that group. It’s not Better Together which has the active, lively, and extremely numerous volunteers on the ground. But that’s not the worst of their problems, when support for independence reaches over 40% in the polls, everyone in Scotland knows a yes voter. Most know several. Many know a lot.

People who have yet to decide how to vote already know yes voters. They are family members, friends, work colleagues, acquaintances. They will not form the opinion that yes voters are people you wouldn’t want to associate with on the basis of what they are told by a political class which is already held in disrepute. The tactic will not shift the polls back towards No. It’s more likely to have the opposite effect, providing more evidence in the ears and eyes of people who already sense the disconnect between Westminster and the lives of ordinary people in Scotland.

The demonisation of yes voters, the accusations of monstering, they’re unpleasant – and are likely to intensify – but they are the sign of a No campaign which has lost its way.

Project Fear has been gulped down by its own imaginary monsters. Nessie’s having a good laugh at that.



43 comments on “Monstering for independence

  1. macart763 says:

    As a campaign strategy its probably the most foul, divisive and misguided in the politicians armoury. Its the one which gets pulled out and dusted off when all else has failed. There’s a good reason its the last one used though and that’s because its also the most damaging and dangerous to the electorate. Its a double edged sword which causes untold harm within the community if it works and if it fails, as seems inevitable on this occasion, it leaves the perpetrators and their ideology out in the political wilderness, ostracised and shunned for attempting to wilfully damage the community they were supposed to be representing.

    What Westminster and BT are attempting deserves mockery. It warrants laughter, humour and derision. The people they are harming most though are those union supporting friends and neighbours we’ll still be going to work with and living next door to on September 19th. Lets keep that in mind when we’re laughing our asses off at the contortions of Darling, McDougall and their eejit bosses in Westminster.

  2. Maggie Craig says:

    You’ve surpassed yourself here. Brilliant. That was one weird interview. Darling just kept repeating himself but still saying nothing. Why didn’t Marr call him out on any of it, demand details? All Darling seemed to be saying was that it’s shameful to have the temerity to think Scotland could be independent, that it’s shameful to have the temerity to think.

    I’d love a badge with that picture of Nessie on it!

  3. Eilean says:

    Time spent reading indi blogs is not time wasted. Every Yes supporter should be as knowledgeable about the positive case for independence as they can be. When talking about independence we should always be polite and welcoming it makes a good impression. People are much more impressed if you have a good knowledge of your subject. And most importantly smile while you are doing it.

    Small things like wearing a Yes badge are important as well. Let people see that there are folk just like themselves that are voting Yes. It is like you say the “catholic relative conundrum” the evidence of the eyes and ears. Unlike the unionists we can be proud of the Yes campaign so wear a Yes badge with pride.

  4. Eilean says:

    In my capacity as carer I am off for a wee visit to ATOS today wish us luck.😦

    • Eilean says:

      Well You didn’t think that I was up at this hour for no reason.

      • hektorsmum says:

        A bit late to wish you and your’s luck with that disgraceful organisation but know that I will be thinking and hoping all goes well.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Hope all goes well.

      • Eilean says:

        Thanks for the good wishes. We now have to wait a couple of weeks for the result which is as always taken by a “Decision Maker” in what I used to call “The Department of Stealth and Total Obscurity”

        Because my friend and I split our time between my flat in Bothwell and her lovely wee rural cottage in Fife it wasn’t lost on us that we were attending the interview in Kirkcaldy which is of course the constituency of the clown who first introduced ATOS.

  5. dennis mclaughlin says:

    Darling and his band of Quislings should be taken aside after September’s YES vote and quietly disposed of for their traitorous treatment of the Scottish Electorate.

    Monstering …don’t make me laff😦

    • hektorsmum says:

      Believe me, while allowing for those who will be duped by these, I will lend a hand happily. Too many of these have been let off by the State of Scotland, started with Bruce and continued ever since. Time to say enough of selling your country to another.

    • Careful Dennis. I have already been criticised for suggesting something similar, although my targets were the “proud scots”, people like Carmichael, Alexander, Murphy, and their acolytes. I’m sure there are many more threats and insults to come from this mob, but that’s all they have left in their locker, apart from the unquestioning support from most of the print media, and of course, their cheer leader, the B.B.C. We’re not there yet, not by a long way, and while we can laugh at their “campaign”, we have to keep going right up until the 18th, September, to make sure we win and rid ourselves, once and for all, of a politically, financially, and morally bankrupt Westminster.

      • hektorsmum says:

        You are right Alex, specially given the latest on WOS. I will revoke what I said but I will continue to say I still think that people should be brought to account for what used to be called treason, but in this mixed up society what IS treason these days.

        • Thanks hektorsmum. After what I hope will be a Yes success we must not forget these people who were willing to sell their ain folk in order to line their own pockets.

  6. yerkitbreeks says:

    But Alistair will be happy with another Westminster distraction – the fact that Maria Miller exhibits an equal skill at troughing as his Labour colleagues : dilutes the nastiness a bit.

  7. Angry Weegie says:

    The Hootsmon website plumbs new depths (or is it scales new heights) with a story about an anonymous SLab MP who’s living in fear and whose office staff can’t sleep at night because of the threats and abuse they’ve received. He is quoted as saying that he has to hide his face when he goes out, even just to nip to the shops.

    You have to feel sorry for him, especially if he’s the same poor man whose office was recently vandalised by a sticker.

    Mind you, anyone going about in a union jack outfit is bound to attract some attention. No wonder people look at him in a strange way.

    • Maggie Craig says:

      I presume it is the same MP, language being used sounds the same. That article was a disgrace. If he’s trying not to draw attention to himself, the poor wee soul, isn’t scuttling along to the shops with his hood pulled up like Robin Hood sneaking into Nottingham the wrong way to go about it?

  8. hektorsmum says:

    Says it all, so I am a nasty cybernat, well the badge I wear says I am proud of it. I am proud to be a Scot and managed to live to see the day come, so many have not made it. I will not let the likes of Darling win.

  9. Bigbricks says:

    “Since the currency fearbomb went off like a fart cushion instead of a small thermonuclear device” – thanks for the best laugh I’ve had in the past week ( but I’m not best pleased at having to howk bits of toast out of the keyboard). This article is spot on. We simply need to continue pointing out the untruths emanating from BT. They may well have the airwaves and print media, but I honestly don’t believe that to be a game changer or winner given the range of websites giving a more analytical and truthful viewpoint. Unless, of course, GCHQ or the backroom boys try to close down the pro-Indy internet, which would seem to me to be a logical next step for them since all else has failed. Does any reader know if external election monitors will be present at the Referendum? On current establishment performance, I’ll feel a lot happier if I know that an objective observer from OSCE or UN is involved.

  10. […] Monstering for independence. […]

  11. Capella says:

    As Goebbels said:
    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    • Capella says:

      Apologies, it is not clear whether Goebbels himself said the above or if it was merely attributed to him. It should say “as Goebbels is reputed to have said!.” Nevertheless, the sentiment is real enough.

      • Absolutely Capella, and this is why I probably become something of a bore warning of dire events to come. This is the establishment we are fighting, and boy, they don’t like to lose, so prepare for even more dirt to be dished out, no matter how bizzare.

  12. Papadox says:

    The Westminster Establishment are like a MAFIA mob trying to hold on to their turf come hell or high water, remember once your in the family there is only one way out. You are a made muppet.

    I have never held Tory, Labour or Liberal politicians in high regard, however watching their contortions trying to hold on to their gravy train and denigrate anything or anyone who threatens their sordid system is like looking into a cesspit. Truth honesty sunlight are what brings fear to them.

    Better together, Westminster, anyone who wants to associate themselves with this lot deserve all they get, especially proud Scots BUT.

  13. Indigo says:

    Don’t see how Yes can lose with independent media and commentators like this blog and Wings which so perfectly pierce the propaganda with humour and insight. Thank you for your wonderful writing, this is the first time I’ve commented but I’ve been reading for some time now. Your contribution to the independence debate cannot be underestimated and will become increasingly important in the months ahead, thank you.

  14. smiling vulture says:

    Dug,im hoping your preparing a Legends of the Lords dispatch,plenty of material,not just the ermine.

  15. The Collins English Dictionary contains two verb senses of ‘monster’, both marked as Australian and NZ: (1) to criticize (a person or group) severely, (2) to use intimidating tactics against (an opponent). Have these senses crept into Scottish/British usage recently, or have they been imported directly by Better Together? Somebody on Twitter suggested that ‘one of their communications guys was working in Australia recently’, which could explain it, but it is also possible it was already more widespread here than I had realised — here’s for instance a one-year-old citation from New Statesman:

    • Thomas William Dunlop says:

      ‘one of their communications guys was working in Australia recently’

      Step forward into to the light, Mr Australian Karl Rove, Lyton Crosby

      • Capella says:

        Interesting link Thomas. It says: “Crosby is described as favouring what is called a wedge strategy, whereby the party he advises introduces a divisive or controversial social issue into a campaign, aligning its own stance with the dissenting faction of its opponent party, with the goal of causing vitriolic debate inside the opposing party, defection of its supporters, and the legitimising of sentiment which had previously been considered inappropriate.”
        Trident? Currency? EU? Something to watch out for.

  16. alex mckechnie says:

    Who is going to prepare the History of this when I was at skool history was dark and long ago now we have events almost overnight as part of “History” we need someone to start recording all the crap from Bombing Scots airports to Barb wire fence and Border Posts before they drift into it was never said unless we start to record what was said in the Liebour camp no one will believe as you cannot make it up. Flipper once again blinks his way into the Monty Python scrap book

  17. bjsalba says:

    I understand that Yessie (with a Nessie) T-shirts (for little monsters) are selling well at the Yes Scotland shop. Do you think Flipper could have got muddled about it and thought buying a T-shirt was akin to losing your shirt?

    • Maggie Craig says:

      Thanks for info re Yessie t-shirts. Unfortunately no adult ones. In the meantime I’ve printed out your Nessie poster WGD and am about to stick it in my window.

  18. People are more inclined to believe what they hear from friends and family, or other folk like themselves, than what politicians spout.

    We visit TripAdvisor or read the reviews of items online before we book a holiday or make a purchase because we believe these comment more than those of the company bosses or ad men. So an on-the-ground campaign must surely have more clout with voters than any of Darling’s rants or any Unionist’s diatribe.

  19. […] OMG. If we'd only known. All this time we thought we were putting a positive case for an independent Scotland and pointing out the misinformation and machinations of a duplicitous Westminster, but …  […]

  20. Gavin Barrie says:

    And just, as you say, ordinary lay people looked at the Catholic hierarchy with their gilded vestments and decrees,then considered their kith and kin. So Labour now trot out their hierarchy of ermined Lords of unelected, privileged status, and who in earlier political career phase voted to abolish the House of Lords. I doubt if they will come and talk directly to the public, too risky. The BBC will give them airtime.

    Well done Anas, just keep doing what your doing.

  21. JGedd says:

    Many years ago when the Guardian was a readable newspaper, I remember a comment made by one of their political journalists ( can’t remember the name at the moment) in which he made the memorable observation about the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and her evident dislike of the lower classes. He said that the thing about Thatcher was that her own origins were lower middle class, the class that was most uneasy about the class just below them, and that she – like many of them – was haunted by the monsters of the social id which stalked her subconscious.

    Perhaps Darling and the rest of the Westminster establishment have troubled dreams stalked by their monsters of the social id, in this case the dreaded nationalists?

  22. BoabyBruce says:

    Glad to see increased comments and hoping its as a result of increased page views as your writing most certainly deserves it. Found the site several weeks back and its a calming remedy to the excitable nonsense of formerly respectable publications.

    I fear the aftermath of the vote either way as it seems Better Together could be heading for death by wedgie and even if that thin piece of crotch material holds, well the resultant stains will not come out in a cold wash.

  23. […] OMG. If we'd only known. All this time we thought we were putting a positive case for an independent Scotland and pointing out the misinformation and machinations of a duplicitous Westminster, but …  […]

  24. Maggie Craig says:

    As regards influence on friends and family, I read somewhere over the last couple of days – was it on here? – that Margo MacDonald said that if all Yes supporters could persuade one other person to vote Yes, then the referendum would be won.

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