Dress for yes success

Tuesday was a beautiful day, even if the weather was back to grey after a rare spot of sun. I went out socially for the first time in ages thanks to a neighbour who’s a trained carer who sat with my partner allowing me to meet up with a couple of friends for lunch in a nice restaurant. A few weeks back, they gave me an iron because the old one had exploded as irons are wont to do. So I ironed a shirt and put on my best suit. A handmade three piece Savile Row suit bought in a charity shop in London nearly 25 years ago for the princely sum of a tenner. It’s my lucky suit. Every time I’ve worn it to a job interview I’ve been offered the job.

I wore it to a posh do at the Irish Embassy after accepting one of those jobs – which happened to involve the occasional trip to places like the Irish Embassy where they didn’t offer anyone Ferrero Rocher and I was totally gutted – but by way of compensation an even posher man from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office came up to me and attempted to engage me in conversation. I’m sure he fancied me, because I was still young and had hair, but he didn’t look like any of the James Bonds so I wasn’t really interested. In the plummiest of tones he said: “I do so love your suit. You must give me the name of your tailor!” And I said, “Aye, it wis Relief Fund for Romania.” He sidled off quickly.

I used to buy all my suits in charity shops. But that was before vintage menswear retro became fashionable, prices went through the roof, and hipsters ruined what was once a cheap hobby. And made me fashionable, which was quite annoying because one of the reasons for getting into retro vintage gear in the first place was because it was deliberately unfashionable. I used to tell people I was an anarchodandyist – bringing about the downfall of capitalism by being extremely well dressed.

Some people believed that was a real political position. Which only goes to show that there’s a proportion of the population who are more prone to believing things if they’re said with conviction by man in an expensive looking suit – this explains a great deal about modern politics and why things need to change. The great Steve Biko, the anti-apartheid activist who was murdered by the racist South African police in 1977, knew that too. He said, “If you want to say something radical, dress conservatively.” But I digress.

Anyway after a very pleasant afternoon with my friends, and without being asked for the name of my tailor by any posh Foreign Office persons, I come home to find there’s been news in the independence campaign. Very good news indeed. The lucky suit’s been lucky again.

The Radical Independence Campaign published the results of their mass canvassing held on 22 June. The results show why the No Hope campaign has been in full-on panic mode for the past few weeks – because they’re doing private polling and canvassing too. The 978 volunteer canvassers spoke to the residents of 46 districts across Scotland, getting 8317 responses; 40% Yes, 29.5% No, 30.5% undecided. In every area canvassed, Yes was ahead of No, often by a considerable margin. In some districts, the percentage of No voters was as low as 14%.

The usual caveats and disclaimers apply. Good news always comes with small print, but it’s still good news. Extremely encouraging news, and news which for once chimes in with the opinions and views of the people I actually encounter in real life. In this part of the East End of Glasgow, there are a lot of Yes supporters, a lot of don’t knows, a not insignificant number of don’t give a shits, but very few confirmed No voters. The Yes supporters are the ones who are excited and motivated and are going to turn up and vote. Yes supporters are the happy ones. Their excitment and motivation is proving to be contagious. It’s not the virus of nationalism after all, it’s the cross-fertilisation of hope, supporting Yes is infectious like laughter.

There’s not much in the way of joy from the miserabilists of No. The stitching has come loose in the arse of their suit troosers. The expensively besuited Alistair Darling has spent the last six months telling anyone who would listen that he would debate Alicsammin “anytime, anyplace”. He must have been wearing his lucky suit too because over the weekend Alicsammin waved the sparkly debate wand and granted his wish, with the proviso the debate was held after the Commonwealth Games have finished and there’s half a chance people might watch it. You’d think Alistair would have been happy, since “in an STV studio in August” does indeed fall within the definition of “anytime, anyplace”.

But it transpires that Alistair meant “anytime, anyplace” except August, because he’s off looking for a tailor to repair the arse of his troosers. Oh and any day with a Y in its name is right out too. It’s a religious thing, like not eating meat on Fridays or not being eaten alive by a First Minister any time at all.

However he’s still willing to debate anyplace, although just not anywhere on planet Earth unless it’s deep within the security bunker of a BBC studio where he’s protected by 6 foot plates of Jim Naughtie. To be fair, this still leaves over 99% of the rest of the solar system, so it’s not like Alistair is being unnecessarily restrictive. I should really stick in a Uranus joke here, but that would just be adding to the cruelty.

Ah but – in breaking newspincycle – it’s actually Alicsammin who’s the big feartie because he won’t debate Alistair in July when Scotland goes on holiday. And it’s all the fault of that nasty STV which is in cahoots with Alicsammin, and probably allows him to broadcast his mind control waves over their transmitters. Someone of Alistair’s stature can’t possibly appear on a minor regional TV channel. He hasn’t run away to hide at all, oh no. He’s just an ageing silent movie star who thinks it’s the pictures that have got too small. The suits of Better Together are lying face down in the swimming pool with knives in their backs. I’m ready for my close up Mr Naughtie.

But rather than descend further into the madness which is the No Clue campaign, I’ll just rehash a Martini advert jingle. It’s in keeping with the lounge lizard suit vibe.

Anytime anyplace anywhere

BT’s speaker is an empty chair

Not the grey one

the scared one

Feartie Ali.

So bring on the empty chair. The case for the Union is brought to you by a vacant space. Tells us all we need to know, doesn’t it.

Perhaps I need to wear that suit more often. After all, Yes is the elegant equation in this debate.Β  Dress for Yes Success.


43 comments on “Dress for yes success

  1. daibhidhdeux says:

    A. Flipper Darling & Co.: Purveyor of Bottling by Merchants (Anytime/Anywhere in Some Distant Non-Existent Parallel Universe):


  2. macart763 says:

    Brilliant news from RIC Paul and pretty much reflects what we’re seeing day to day on the street and in casual conversation. Without the aid of meeja spin or party spads to hand its amazing what simply asking folks opinion on the doorstep can turn up. Grass roots, real feet on the ground. Ye cannae beat it.πŸ˜€

    As for Darling? I’ve lost a pint on that one. I’d have sworn he would have lasted a week before an urgent dental appointment hove into view.πŸ˜€

  3. jdman says:

    RIC is great news and is borne out by a YES campaigner who was at the pipe band championships at the Meadies in Lochore in fife, when his yes stall was inundated with people all smiling faces and lots of kids with yes balloons, while the better no stall was like deadwood gulch complete with tumbleweed,
    Apparently even the drummers in the pipe bands were getting in on the act with Yes window stickers on their drums.
    Oh and the sun was shining.πŸ˜‰

  4. arthur thomson says:

    Thank you. Now I’ve got to rethink what I was going to wear.

  5. andrew>reid says:

    The potential no-show by Alistair Darling raises the question of what he should be replaced with. There was that episode of Have I Got News for You (before it went sour and boring) when Roy Hattersley refused to be on the panel at the last minute and was replaced by a block of lard. Any ideas about what Alistair Darling should be replaced by?

  6. WRH2 says:

    Has Alistair actually been seen since Alecsammin cruelly challenged him to the pistols at STV duel? It seems all the press stuff was from Blare McDougall. Is Alistair still cowering somewhere, sucking his security blanket and lashing out at anyone who dares remind him that he did say, “anywhere, anytime”. But we all knew he didn’t mean it! Just like that Alecsammin to take it at face value and agree to debate with Alistair. That’s just not fair.

  7. Stoops says:

    You’ve made me smile again this morning Paul; thank you for that. I dress like a tramp, but no one has ever taken me seriously.

  8. Helena Brown says:

    Well Paul you got first go this morning, came here first and heard all the good news. Thanks for being the Wee Ginger Dug, and love to the real one.

  9. Jim Galt says:

    You’re right the YES vote is motivated and every YES will turn out come Hell or High Water!
    As for the NOES many counting as such in polls willnae bother turning up, others who realise they are part of the past and will have the decency just to stay at home, and I believe there will be others who when actually in the booth and faced with the paper will say “ACH F**K IT” and put their cross on YES!
    Hopefully this will all add up to a YES

  10. Bigbricks says:

    Make sure you have the suit on when you cast your vote on the 18th of September! In this case, Yes is not only the radical option, it’s the only option which can give the people of Scotland any hope of creating a more egalitarian and caring society, and one which will allow its inhabitants to truly use their talents.
    I’m a bit embarrassed by my M&S linen “suit” after reading this! I do have some nice charity shop silk ties though:)

  11. Alex Smith says:

    “It’s not the virus of nationalism after all, it’s the cross-fertilisation of hope, supporting Yes is infectious like laughter.” Now THAT’S turning their insults around and hurling them back in their faces!
    Thanks Paul, that raised a smile which I promise to pass on to others.

  12. WRH2 says:

    This has just given a whole new meaning to the phrase, “don’t let that blinking idiot anywhere near a TV studio.”

  13. Capella says:

    It’s the Lallygate paradox. They will debate anywhere, anytime, means they won’t. Got that? Just as ordinary mum means Labour Party activist. Civic nationalism means nazi. Wealthy country means Skintland etc etc. How’s your Independence dictionary of received ideas coming along?

    • John Duncanson says:

      It,s not too difficult to interpret the “No-speak” lingo; their bible is George Orwell’s 1984, and their god is the “Ministry of Truth”

  14. Eilean says:

    My local Yes group took part in the poll. We polled what passes for a council scheme round here. the results were.

    Yes 25

    No 30

    UD 28

    In future we will be targeting this area with our Saturday information street stall. Trouble is, if we all wear fancy suits folk might think we are mormons and run awayπŸ™‚

  15. Andy Nimmo says:


    Maybe I should have added –

    Where Have All The Men of Principle Gone?
    Gone to Uranus Every One

  16. smiling vulture says:

    sept 18th?

    silent majority NO?
    close either way 2%?
    huge majority YES?

    No one Knows

  17. Glad you got another iron. That means you can press the lucky suit and have it in good nick for the celebrations on 19th September. Meantime keep the fingers crossed and the satire coming as well. Laughter is good for us all.

  18. Nana says:

    Crikey, I really must stop having tea while reading your blogs [should come with a health warning]

    I almost choked laughing. You have fine cutting wit…..

  19. Steve Bowers says:

    Damn, does this mean I have to buy a suit or can I just wear my kilt instead

  20. Gillie says:

    Alistair Darling a modern day Toom Tabard, no more than David Cameron’s spineless puppet.

  21. Clootie says:

    Damn it!

    The empty chair improves their chances

  22. JimnArlene says:

    Prophetic dreams and lucky suits, here’s to a yes win.

  23. YESGUY says:

    Brilliant Paul

    Laughed my sock off all the way through. Drying my eyes now.

    Thanks for the laughs and the education and the RIC polls too , That made me feel EVEN better.

    The word is YES = HOPE
    NO = ?

  24. andygm1 says:

    I took part in the RIC canvass in Pennywell in Edinburgh. It’s a poor district but to my surprise my group got a street round the corner which turned out to be modern private housing. On a sunny Sunday, many were out, but it was interesting to talk to those who opened the door. From my experience of the canvass (my first ever) together with what I learned in forty years of selling insurance I drew some interesting conclusions.

    First of all, anybody above three on the one to ten scale is a Yes waiting to happen. All that’s needed is a nudge in the right direction, some information and the incentive to go to the polls and mark their cross.

    Anybody who says they are “One or two” is soft No. They aren’t No because they’ve made a considered choice but because they read the Daily Express and watch the BBC for their news. This is the group that said they couldn’t distinguish between the claims of the competing sides. There were a lot of older women in this group. The fact that we were volunteers with no connection to any party made them more willing to talk. These are the people we need to convince. Anyone who is five or above will convince themselves.

    RIC are the only ones who are talking directly to these people and my own experience says that if only one side comes to your door then you’re more likely to vote for them.

    • smiling vulture says:

      andy –I don’t understand the scale,3 one to ten?1 or 2 no?

      I’ve never canvassed so I don’t understand these numbers?


  25. […] Tuesday was a beautiful day, even if the weather was back to grey after a rare spot of sun. I went out socially for the first time in ages thanks to a neighbour who's a trained carer who sat with m…  […]

  26. I think Mr. Darling might have been dressed in a suit of armour to deflect all the retorts the FM would have aimed his way.

  27. Paul, I assume you’ll be resplendent in your suit on Sept 18th.

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