There is a theory of unintended consequences. We have to hope the No side are suffering under its effects otherwise they are doomed to ricochet off the sides of fate like one of the Sochi athletes in the Metal-Tray Downhill Helter Skelter. (Britain got bronze)
First David Cameron, proudly gripping a lectern emblazoned with the name of what is now Scotland’s only official pro-Union university – Glasgow Caley- told us he loved us (I paraphrase) and we shouldn’t leave because the people of Britain were our family and were pleading with us not to desert them. This brings to mind his declaration of loyalty to the NHS when he underwent the transforming trauma of losing his young son and numbskulls like me fought back the instinct to blub. Now I weep at the idea I fell for it as I see the NHS sold off to Mitt Romney.
It was a brave but forlorn effort by a lightweight politician moulded on the Blair template but Merry England’s response was shorn of the passion for their country that Canadians displayed to Quebec in the nineties. The truth is that nobody cares enough about Britain to get on the streets with flags unless there’s a Royal carriage surrounded by Redcoats with a Red Arrows fly-over trailing politically correct pink vapour streams. Anyway, with austerity and welfare cuts evaporating what’s left in the British purse, a Royal parade today would probably end with George and Priscilla, or it is William and Camilla, being dragged from the wagon by the mob and guillotined at Smithfield Market.
Cameron’s appeal was met with one of those embarrassing moments where we know we’re supposed to do something but nobody knows what and we look at our shoes. Asking an English guy to give us a call and talk us round?! As if…Wanker…
It was at least an appeal to goodness, like when Christian Aid come round with an envelope for African orphans. What followed was like a scene from the Krays where the sinister bloke in a suit smiles at your face and intones: “Alright, Jock, my boy…know what I mean? You’re asking for more time to pay…I’m here to tell you the game’s up. You try that trick again and you get this…” Cue knuckle-duster. Not only did the gang leader come himself, he brought some heavies from the other mob AND he had a bent copper alongside. Message – you can’t win. Run off and tell your boss Alex.
Did they intend to juxtapose two utterly contrasting events? Did they really say in Number 10 it was a case of Good Cop, Bad Cop or was it just a mix-up? Are they serious or are they playing at politics without knowing the rules?
Then one of their thugs lets it be known – down the manor – that the rules have changed. If we don’t do as we’re told, the previous deal is off and even if we deliver our side, we’ll be denied. There will be no acceptance of a Yes vote unless we concede to them in advance. We must not only accept being shut out of our own currency and central bank but if we don’t capitulate in the talks, they won’t recognise our sovereignty. My impression was there would be no pre-negotiation. Now it’s coming thick and fast, position after position declared without consultation. Take it or leave it. Did I misread the Edinburgh Agreement or are we really dealing with political thugs?
Then tonight I read that there will be no combined offer of extra powers from the Unionists, the ones who said: Don’t vote for Salmond, we’ll give you what you want instead. Davidson is the latest one to make it explicit that while the Unionist gang can agree on telling Scotland what it can’t do they have no agreement on what it can. They have a real facility for being negative and threatening and are utterly devoid of the positive gene, almost as if they know how to put the boot in but when the time comes, they look around hopelessly for someone with first aid.
They combine to form Better Together, they bark in the Commons about shared values, they issue dire warnings together at Holyrood but when Scotland asks them for their collective, authoritive alternative, it dissolves into a dissembling mess. Unionism had one chance in this game, having blown their first golden chance at a second question. It was to work closely – as they are on denying us access to our own currency – to pull together a joint credible offer of more powers. They have now blown that too. The only thing they agree on is that Scotland must be constrained, strapped and chained and put to work to their benefit. When it comes to showing combined initiative and leadership to come up with something positive for Scotland to give us a sign of progress, they are split, confused, unprincipled and intellectually crippled.
The truth is there are no shared values, no shared vision, no cohesion, no agreement -only that Scotland must remain their domain for to set us free to soar would reveal them for the callow, self-interested, anti-Scottish, London-centric careerists they are.
This week will have frightened some, as it was intended to do. Many more will have opened their eyes to the deceit and metropolitan arrogance of Britain’s ruling elite – with Labour at its core – and without realising it yet, will have moved closer to Yes. I doubt if that is the consequence they intended.