A few random thoughts at the start of a new week and a new life. Queen Betty has spoken, she wants people to “think very carefully” before exercising their vote on Thursday. The No campaign has, predictably, taken this as an endorsement of their position, although thinking carefully is the exact opposite of shutting up and eating your cereal, refusing to send speakers to public debates and events, and claiming that Scotland is on hold. It’s probably a safe bet that Betty is a Unionist, this is news of the milk makes your cornflakes soggy variety. But the Nawnentities are now desperately clutching at any fresh rice crispies that are going.
There’s not much else a world power that punches above its weight can do when it’s put on the run by two guys with a rickshaw, the theme tune to the Empire Strikes Back, and a sense of humour. The British establishment is intimidated by a tune. Mighty Britannia stands before the people of Scotland intent on cowing us with shock and awe and we laugh and point out she’s got nae knickers and nae vision, only managementwankspeak, unfocussed focus groups and glaikit glares. The shlock of naw scares no-one except those who were already cowering.
So this week we’re going to bring about a new global depression if we vote Yes, as opposed to last week when a Yes vote was going to turn us into an unnoticed non-entity. There was me quite resigned to a future where where Scotland would be so insignificant that Belarus would seem like a giant striding the world stage, and now I need to get my heid around being personally responsible for a global cataclysm that will see New York bankers leaping out of windaes in Wall Street and landing on Buster Keaton. See that damp patch in an Armani suit, that’s Scotland’s fault that is.
Can these people not make up their minds? Scotland, incapable of tying its own shoelaces or wiping its own arse, but an evil genius of catastrophe creation which can paralyse the entire planet and bring about the downfall of capitalism. Ach feckit, I can live with the guilt. People already tell me I look like Lenin. I was going for a Beatles’ look and it all went tragically wrong, but I’ve learned my lesson and am now immune to the pernicious influence of style-icons. So David Beckham’s letter begging Scotland not to leave has come a bit late. It was supposed to have been published a couple of weeks ago, but it took a while to decipher the crayon.
Mind you the free thinking Viviane Westwood has said that she’s all for a Yes vote and thinks it would be “absolutely great”. Scotland could become an inspiration to the world once it’s got out of Westminster’s bondage trousers.
The No campaign’s message for this week is “we’re not panicking” and an entreaty to people who don’t know to vote no. There we go with that just don’t think thing again. Being told by John Reid not to think and to put our trust in him and his pals is precisely what got us into 13 years of Labour’s wasted opportunities and the Iraq war. You can trust John, you can trust him to push for ID cards, rendition, cosying up to defence contractors, and a Labour party made in his own image.
Meanwhile in order to prove that it really is a mass movement, no honest, the No campaign published a photie a No logo formed out of ordinary people. Or as they were described in the Irish Times Posh Edinburgh cricket types.
We’re also getting a dose of love-bombing. The No campaign is closely following the Canadian Federal Government’s Quebec referendum playbook, which likewise involved making a big deal of currency threats. But having overdone the negativity, the U-KOK campaign is struggling badly with the happy clappy cuddly stuff. The Canadian government subsidised thousands of plane, train and bus tickets so Canadians from the rest of the country could go to Quebec to say je t’aime to a Quebecois. There was a mass rally in Montreal a few days before the vote, with tens of thousands of Anglophone Canadians swearing blind that nous adorons toutes les choses francophones and had even realised that French speakers do not in fact finish every utterance with beep beep like they did on the audio in French classes at school.
However in the UK Naw version, the lovebombing rally is being held in London, which would be a bit like the Canadians holding their rally for Quebec in Vancouver or Calgary. This decision was taken in the knowledge that the only critical mass in Scotland is the mass of critics that greets every hauf-airsed intervention by a clueless celeb. However it’s also because they really love us even more than the Canadians love Quebec, as holding the event in London means it’s really REALLY important. If it wasn’t important it wouldn’t be held in London. Besides, the UK Government is both too cheap to subsidise trips to Scotland, and knows that damn few would take them up on the offer. Most people in England don’t give a toss – and this is part of the problem.
Over the next few days the combination of scare stories, threats, and patronising condensension will continue unabated. We will have no let up, no respite. We’re going to get a lot more of the same stuff that drove many undecideds to turn Yes in the first place – just today the CBI and other business people made yet another entirely predictable warning that doom and gloom can be the only outcome for an independent Scotland. They think that the system in the UK isn’t broken, but they’re amongst those broke it.
Our job is to persuade, to reassure, and to include. Time is running short now, so focus your efforts where it can make a difference. Stay calm, stay positive, stay happy. Don’t get frustrated with people who don’t seem to be receptive, move on. Not everyone is going to be convinced by you – but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be convinced, it may just require a different approach so let someone else do it.
We can do this, we are doing this. Scotland stands before the first days of a new future, or we are looking at a return to the hopelessness, powerlessness, cynicism, and apathy that disfigured this country for decades. Moving on is hard, it’s difficult, it can be frightening. At this particular juncture in my own life I know that better than anyone. But I will not be bowed, I will not cower, I will draw on my inner strength. I choose hope, choose power, choose self-belief.
We stand hand in hand, we can do anything.
Click here for the audio version of this article, courtesy of One of the 99%