Broontervening is Gordon Brown’s favourite activity these days, apart from hiding in storm drains and handing out balloons to pensioners. It allows him to tell himself that he’s still politically relevant, a delusion in which he’s ably assisted by the Scottish media and especially the BBC. We’ve been hearing a lot about him since the Scottish Parliament election produced a large majority of pro-independence MSPs because the holder of the title of most incompetent and inept Prime Minister before the last three has now managed to secure a royal warrant of appointment for the jar of invisible jam that he’s determined to flog to the Scottish public. He’s now the official royal family’s approved and appointed purveyor of federalist fantasies and anti-independence promises that he has no power to keep.
But hey, at least we can now spread his invisible jam on some Duchy Original scones, hand crafted in Balmoral by Will-n-Kate as their contribution to the Great British Please Don’t Leave Us Scotland Bake Off. A contribution which in no way contravenes the long standing British constitutional conventions that the royal family doesn’t get involved in attempts to influence the outcome of democratic decisions to be made by the electorate, that Prince Philip wasn’t a racist, and that Prince Andrew never sends inappropriate text messages to teenagers.
Shortly before Gordie had his nothing-to see-here meeting with Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge in Edinburgh, he had announced that his think tank Our Scottish Future was to be converted into an anti-independence campaigning organisation, although to be honest it was always more of a wishful thinking tank than an organisation aiming to develop realistic policies with any chance of implementation in the real world.
As he made the announcement Gordie held a press conference during which he unveiled the results of an opinion poll he had commissioned which claimed to identify 40% of the Scottish population as “Middle Scotland”, people who he said are neither staunch unionists nor committed to Scottish independence. These are the people Gordon Brown claims will decide the future of Scotland and are the group which his rebranded Vow generation organisation hopes to appeal to. The poll didn’t try to identify what percentage of the population doesn’t immediately sigh and go: “Oh bugger off with that reheated auld guff, We’ve heard it all before and you did hee haw about it when you promised it to us in 2014, you discredited charlatan in clown shoes,” every time Gordie creeps out of his crypt and starts to make promises about federalism, but it’s certainly a great deal smaller than 40%.
It later transpired that Gordie’s poll had in fact found that there’s already majority support in Scotland for independence, although this finding was buried away on page 91 of the report. Respondents to the poll had been asked to rate their support for Scottish independence on a scale from 0 to ten where 0 represented strong opposition and ten represented strong support. It was only some time later that it came out that 55% of respondents had placed themselves between six and ten on the scale, indicating support for independence. Only 38% had placed themselves between zero and four, indicating opposition to independence. A further 8% had rated themselves as a five, suggesting that they are undecided on the question.
It also later transpired that the 40% figure quoted by Brown as representing his so-called “Middle Scotland” was in fact made up of everyone who had placed themselves anywhere on the scale between two and eight. Brown sought to present this group as being essentially undecided on the subject of independence, although as we’ve seen his own findings show that only 8% of respondents placed themselves at a five on the scale. We have also seen that people who placed themselves at between six and ten considerably out-number those who put themselves between zero and four. That means that once the 8% of genuine don’t knows is removed just shy of 60% of Brown’s supposed Middle Scotland will be composed of people who rank their support for independence at between six and eight on his scale of zero to ten. In other words these are people who are already leaning – in many cases heavily leaning – towards voting yes in a future referendum.
A person who places themself as an eight on a zero to ten scale of support for independence has already pretty much made up their mind on the subject. What they’re not going to be is a person who is going to change their opinion just because the second in line to the throne and his wife are going to spend more time at Balmoral and provide the press with a few more photo ops in a tea room in St Andrews where they’ll be photographed spreading their scones with Gordie’s patented and royal appointed magic federalism jam.
It speaks volumes about the utter cluelessness and tin ear of the British establishment that they think that a suitable response to the demand from Scotland that the promises and commitments of 2014 that won the referendum for No should be respected is :” Here, have some more Prince William in a kilt and a duchess in a designer frock.”
What Gordie Broon’s Middle Scotland” wants is that this country should have been listened to during Brexit negotiations and that its vote against Brexit should have been taken into account when the British government was deciding what kind of Brexit it wanted. But that didn’t happen. What Gordie Broon’s Middle Scotland” wants is for the British government and the Conservative party to keep its promise that no changes would be made to the devolution settlement without the express consent of the Scottish Parliament and the people of Scotland, but that’s not happening either.
Goordie Broon and his pie in the sky promises of federalism can’t change any of that. He had his chance in 2014 when he made his Vow, he swore to us that he personally would ensure that the leaders of the anti-independence parties kept their word. And then he buggered off and did nothing. Yet now, spooked by an increase in support for independence that only happened because of Brown’s own lies, arrogance and complacency, he’s popping up with a clueless pampered pair of royal idiots whose sense of entitlement is exceeded only by his own to provide a bit of glamour to his transparent deceit. “Middle Scotland” is not going to be convinced.
NEW MODERATION POLICY
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