The Scottish Spring

This goes against all my instincts but I can’t fight the feeling any longer. For probably the first time since I started blogging last September, I begin to think we can win this. Or more accurately that we really are going to do it. It’s an amalgamation of things. First the combination of Jim Murphy and Alistair Darling this week has mildly shocked me. Watching their performances – remember these are two of the Big Beasts of Labour Unionism – gabbling and scrambling to make questionable point after doubtful assertion, I suddenly had an Emperors’ Clothes moment. I thought: They are desperate. They sound like drowning men with so many pleas for help that it was pitiable. Neither could let the interviewer in, each of them repeating a string of claims which all ran into and over each other, neither of them displaying the gravitas and stature expected of their office, with so many caveats popping up in my mind as they spoke that I was left convinced they were in propaganda, not persuasive mode. They had nothing.

daffodils

I heard Jim – eyes wide as if transmitting horror – on the STV sofa say that Scotland raised less  income than it spent therefore how will it cope…the idea being we would be bankrupt. I nudged my aching head and thought: isn’t that called a deficit? Doesn’t every country have one…except rich little countries like Norway which invested its oil money rather than spending it? Doesn’t Britain – Jim’s real country, as opposed to Scotland – have a deficit? And doesn’t every other country borrow money to cover the gap? Does he mean Scotland will be outside the club of normal nations? And is it not also the case that the deficit is in fact caused by the apportioning by London to Scotland of a share of UK national debt, money that doesn’t actually get spent here anyway? He was equally domineering and unattractive on the Radio Scotland programme in the afternoon.

Alistair too sounded slightly manic like a man on laughing gas, unable to stop himself, talking over the interviewer and reading his list of questionable assertions like someone who had memorised the shopping list and had to hurry before he forgot. I remember Malcolm Chisholm doing this in interviews when he was a minister where he was wound up so tightly, through nerves and desperation to get his point over, that he talked twenty to the dozen and made no sense at all. They sound like some agricultural machine spraying slurry in an incessant stream of meaningless invective. Contrast with Nicola Sturgeon calmly but persistently making one or two key points in a moderate tone. She wins hands down, yet Darling and Murphy are the best Better Together have got. Where is the “proud Scotsman” Alistair Carmichael who campaigned behind Michael Moore’s back to replace him? What an abject failure he has been. What grim pleasure Moor must get watching his replacement flail from the sidelines.

But the real change is Labour’s rubic cube of proposals which lack the element of zing that can transport it beyond mere policy into a campaign theme. It is risible and must shake the faith of the hardened No brigade in suburbia let alone the real hard core Labour voters who would prefer a question of their own on the ballot paper. Not only is Labour’s offer weak, it is only Labour’s. After three years of working together – and the years of Calman before that – the Unionist front has failed to coordinate a response. They jeered and scoffed at the SNP for lack of detail, then got it and still tried to sneer and now, after months of teasing, when confronted with Johann’s own moment of revelation, drop the seventh veil to audience laughter. Truly and historically pathetic.

There is little sign Labour will win the next election and if they form a minority government what might fall by the wayside? Oh, extra powers for Scotland perhaps? There is a school of thought now that whatever the outcome, the impact of this tawdry affair will irreparably damage Labour. Some forecasts have the SNP winning Holyrood again and taking 20 seats in the General Election.

Then there is UKIP, loathed in Scotland yet poised to be the winner is this year’s Euro elections where again Labour’s vote may reduce them to a single MEP in Scotland. The English reaction to this success for a Little England anti Scottish anti immigrant party will repel many Scots and confirm our different political culture.

The daffodils are out in the garden with the snowdrops and spring is in the air. Maybe that’s what I’m smelling. Or maybe it’s the clean cool fresh air of an independent Scotland. I’m begining to think it’s the Scottish Spring.

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80 thoughts on “The Scottish Spring

  1. Well said Derek. I think many of us feel the same way. However we still have the mainstream media to deal with. THey should eviscerate Lamont’s offer but I’ll believe it when I see it.
    I went to the NUJ debate on the media last night and there were still too many excuses as to why the BBC etc took their lead from the papers. Is it possible that Hayley Millar’s great interrogation of Jim Murphy is the start of a trend? If it were we would win hands down!

  2. IT DOES SMELL LIKE SPRING,WOULD LOVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF TONIGHTS TELEVISED DEBATE

    • I watched some of the debate.
      What struck me was the closed body-language of some of the No folks when a Yes argument was being made.They would have the arms crossed,shaking heads and kind of squirm in their seat as though they were being told some horrible truth they were pre-conditioned to reject.

  3. Ms Millar was simply telling Mr IMJolly to cheer up – orders from Charlie Kennedy. Don’t look for anything more in that direction but in Derek’s interview with Steven Purcell there are several pointers towards a YES vote. Listen for a second time to find the under-lying message.
    Spring is here!

  4. Derek, I have suspected your lack of true conviction reflected in some of your blogs. I completely understand that today is a significant “line in the sand” I too heard Murphy, not at all impressed. To quote you on AD and JM, “Neither could let the interviewer in, each of them repeating a string of claims which all ran into and over each other, neither of them displaying the gravitas and stature expected of their office”. Desperation is an understatement.
    Sadly, the MSM with the BBC, once again, taking the lead are woefully misrepresenting what is going on.
    Ok, now the gloves are truly off. We need to get down to business. When does the radio show start? Please stop covering for the blatant BBC bias.

  5. I did not hear all of today’s session from Pacific Quay with Humza Yousef and Jim Murphy answering questions from young voters (chaired by Johnny Beattie – yek!). However I got the strong impression that Jim was on really shaky ground. He sounded nervous and kept getting it wrong in terms of engagement with the audience. Humza sounded relaxed and confident on the other hand.
    Today is very much an Emperor’s Clothes moment. When they finally come down to present their manifesto it is entirely empty of substance and now out there for all to see.
    Roll on September 18.

  6. YES its spring we had a wee YES meeting in Tain tonight planning our events for the next six months loads of ideas and helpers willing to spread the positive YES message. What we cannot organise is a YES/no debate as we cannot find any no folk willing to speak!

  7. PS Farmers and crofters are beginning to move towards YES so now we’re sure that Spring is here!

    • Sorry to pop your balloon there but I attended a farmers debate on independence a couple of weeks ago, there was a vote afterwards. Out of 60 votes 1 (yes 1) voted yes.

    • cynicalHighlander

      That is strange as I can find nothing in here!

      The one Stirling is mentioned but none in East Lothian I am sure you can find a link to back up your claim as we don’t wish to jump to conclusions do we?

      • there are other farmers organisations than NFUS. ill leave you to work yourself into a lather over this one.

    • cynicalHighlander

      No lather we just know that you are talking like a puff in the wind here one minute before being drenched in the thunderstorm of Yeses coming over the hills to wash you away in its impending torrent of positivity.

  8. cynicalHighlander

    The tide is turning Scottish independence is winning over uncommitted, says SNP

    The interesting thing is how Pacific Quay copes when public pressure shows them up to be incompetent in getting to the facts by allowing unionist spin to prevail.

  9. Derek,any Scot with a brain can see that we are Not better together.
    It is going to take a wee bit for the penny to drop but as the next few months go by more and more Scots will see the force of our arguments.
    We shall prevail.

  10. After watching John Swinney’s tepid and lacklustre performance tonight. I had a horrible gut wrenching moment that, like the Scotland Rugby Team, we are going to fumble the ball when it should be easier to score the try.
    Hope to God your vision’s more accurate than mine.

  11. GPW, I didn’t hear the programme to which you refer at all. However, on previous programmes JB’s struck me as someone who’s not following BBC Scotland’s usual anti-independence agenda but genuinely trying to put information before his listeners. The one exception to this was last week (or the week before) when some swivel-eyed ‘neutral economist’ was, I’m guessing, planted on him by a producer or whoever that bore him illwill.

    • I’m not saying Johnny Beattie is biased – he just has a bull-in-a-china-shop approach that worked very well in rugby but does not translate into nuanced journalism. Shouting “who buys that?” to the young audience after the politicians answered a question didn’t really add value IMHO.

  12. My gut feeling, my sniffing of the air, says the same. But then I look at these opinion polls and think I must be suffering from online delusions. The opinion polls say we’re trailing by at least 10 points, and here in the Borders Yes people are still whispering among themselves, assuming that everybody else is a No. Or at least that’s what I find myself doing.

    Are we all suffering from some sort of internet-induced hallucination that we’re winning?

    • The opinion polls are talking to people you only meet at the post office on pension days or the chemists and then only when you are up early. But, they always vote, so it’s still a battle.

      • A lot of these polls use online panels of registered participants, and they’re weighted demographically, so that doesn’t really fly.

    • Morag, the nearer the Border the bigger the Cringe. Do not be afraid to say YES. I am now wearing my YES badge every day and am very proud to do so.

  13. John Swinney is an economist and not a communicator, however, he has done a great job with Scotland’s very fiscal levers. Michael Fry was excellent, but I found myself shouting at the screen whenever Jackie Baillie spouted her nonsense. And, of course, the highlight for me was when the audience laughed at the woman from the Scottish Fashion Awards.

    As for your optimism Derek, I think you might just be right. Though I am getting nervous the closer the date gets.

    • Exactly the same response in my house tonight, to the extent that my wife said “who would buy their knickers from That C8nt from the F*king Fashion Awards. What an idiot. Also, not surprised that there were a few Di*kheads in the audience, especially the guy with Prince Charlie ears. Otherwise, YES won the debate, no doubt about it..

  14. I have to say in my family of 5 iam the only Yes.
    I have an eyes-shut,auto-dismissal Brother who thinks we cant afford it,a Mother who identifies as British emotionally because of being raised in a forces family,a Dad who voted SNP in the 70’s but is lapsed because he ‘grew up’ and is now a soft unionist capable of expressing outrage at things like HS2 not reaching Scotland but thinks we cant afford it and a Brother who supports Rangers and is a really nice and polite Unionist who is incapable of bearing a grudge,he just finds good everywhere,a 6’7 gentle giant who appeals to you in arguments rather than fight you.

    • M4 ,when your family say Scotland cant afford independence after 300 years of union,–ask them what that says about the union and why we are that position .

    • Bigger they are, harder they fall but I like “gentle giants”. But, as a YES voter (at 5′ 5″) I am willing to take anyone on who will try to prevent me from creating an independent country, which will mean my children and grandchildren will be able to live in a wealthy, confident, INDEPENDENT country. So coma ahead.

    • Bigger they are, harder they fall but I like “gentle giants”. But, as a YES voter (at 5′ 5″) I am willing to take anyone on who will try to prevent me from creating an independent country, which will mean my children and grandchildren will be able to live in a wealthy, confident, INDEPENDENT country. So come ahead. I watched the “debate” tonight, and Swinney won by a mile. Bailey, as usual, smiled her sleasy way through with no thought to what anyone else was discussing. Sickening.

  15. Quite agree Derek – they look and sound like beaten men!

    O/T While I have great admiration for John Swinney’s qualities and rate him far above AD & JM, he is equally poor on TV when it comes to debating, albeit in a very different way (and I think he knows it bless him). Tonight on the BBC debate he even managed to make Jackie Baillie look good!

    Dear John – please find somewhere else to be when they invite you on next time!

  16. Great analysis Derek, however, every day I hear people repeating the NO campaign lines, lines taken straight off the TV and radio. I would say again, only face to face discussion can help people to see what the true position is in Scotland. If all your life you have believed in Britain, in the impartiality of the BBC, in the concept of British fair play, then the realisation that these are constructs designed to mislead, that what you believed is based on myths and lies designed to benefit the elite, then it is like suddenly losing faith.

    When you realise something is a fact that runs counter to your faith, it is only natural to reject the evidence, even when it is staring you in the face. Helping people to overcome this loss of faith is one of the reasons to engage face-to-face with people. That way you can help them to come to their own conclusion, and show them that they are not alone, many if not all YES supporters have already made this journey. Remember all the resources of the British state and the efforts of those with a vested interest in the status quo have been used for years to reinforce the myths. Keep on talking to people and making them aware of facts as opposed to opinion.

  17. John Swinney needs to be kept away from a TV screen for the next 6 months FFS How can’t anyone in the SG see that? Its getting so obvious and he is still allowed on. JOHN stick to what your good at. The biggest danger is the auto dismissal type of M4rkyboy’s brother but I have to say they will turn when they see through their fingers that everyone else is turning. This vote will be won in poor areas. Getting them out to vote will be the greatest challenge. Especially when so many aren’t even registered.

    • Totally disagree. John Swinney, even if YOU thought he was ineffectual tonight, wiped the floor with Jackie “Smiley” Bailey, using the Fashion designers knickers. Blonde?

    • The only mistake Swinney made was in not answering the question on BBC bias – even so – I understood why he didn’t want to.

      I remember seeing John Swinney at the first Indy March at the Ross Band Stand, he was in gales of laughter over something, I was quite taken aback having never seen anything other than his TV poker face.

      He may not appeal to those viewers who prefer a Sturgeonesque ding dong, but to those who like a quite implacable debater with a proven track record of balancing the books – he’s the man.

      I thought, in terms of that particular debate, he was actually a bit more firey than usual.

  18. Lachie Macquarie

    My snowdrops have been and gone and sadly I had a very poor show from my aconites. I attended the Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard, Referendum Debate, held in the Borough Hall Dunoon, tonight and I must echo your sentiments, MacIntyre-Kemp was a very safe pair of hands, Sarah Collins, from the Unison youth wing injected left wing passion and commitment. However, Rob Shorthouse from Better Together, seemed tired and trotted out the BT mantra, which was well worn, lacked passion or any real belief. Alasdhair McBride, DGS Head Boy, tried hard but was cold. Questions were taken for over an hour, three were made by a No supporters, twenty or more from Independentistas? Maybe we are more vocal and I await with bated breath the voting that took place after the debate, which will be announced in this Friday’s edition of the Wee Paper. Looking forward to my cowslips flowering, they being the true harbingers of Spring!

  19. Finally a BBC interviewer scrutinised a no campaigner. On tonight’s Newsnight Gordon Brewer fully questioned Johan Lamont, and she did not handle it well, stuttering and spluttering and going over the same old mistruths and scaremongering. Maybe finally some of the media is starting to be fairer! I do hope that this is going to happen more.

    • Couldn’t believe this was Gordon Brewer. He must have realised how shoogly the peg his coat was hanging on, and decided “I might need a job after 18 September”. Might be too late Gordon, but you will probably still be in front of Glenn Campbell in the queue. Mind you, he is a good (although dead) country music singer. Anyway, neither of you will survive in an iScotand Media

    • Maybe they didn’t realise that they were being politicians instead of reporters. Or, maybe it’s just giving us wee spin before they launch their proper campaign against us.

  20. Love your blogs – I normally can live without them buy there are exceptions – great stuff.

  21. A new voice giving clarity – I agree, I don’t think there’s a BritNat BBC conspiracy but they do help the BritNats because of their own personal politics and deliberate or not we get the British nationalist perspective thrown in our faces constantly and it becomes de facto bias

  22. Must defend Swinney. Sure, he’s not exciting, but that’s his thing. Very steady and level-headed in spite of some pretty awful provocation. He is very effective with the undecideds, and nobody could have got through to the closed minds on show in that audience tonight. Would concede that he fumbled the question on BBC bias. Party policy is to ignore it but that doesn’t work when faced with a direct question.

  23. The nicest guy in politics!

  24. Dougie Campbell3

    Thought u might like to read this. Dx

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  25. We should feel optimistic but there should not be a moment of complacency until the polls have closed on 18th September.

    Every single vote counts and our aim should be to convince every single voter of the benefits of an independent Scotland.

    Alex Salmond holding Andrew Marr to account on live TV must have rattled the BBC.

    That is why Gordon Brewer did a more or less competent job with Johann Lamont.

    But be aware that this will be very short term. They will all be back to their usual selves very soon.

  26. Derek… I was at Tariq Ali’s Glasgow University Lecture on Friday and the atmosphere was buzzing. From speaking with people one on one, there has been a real and palpable change over the last 6 months. There is a buzz in the air, even despite the MSM’s best attempts to silence it. We Can, We Must, We Should and We Will… Bring on the YES 🙂

  27. I see visit Scotland plan a re-enactment of the Battle of Bannockburn this Summer. Following BBC guidelines on fairness I suggest using Bettertogether politicos as Son of Longshanks crew to be faced with a select mob of football supporters and pro wrestlers. To ensure it lasts a bit longer there could be a reserve bench of Stirling council Britnat “Toom tabard” cooncillors.

  28. “Then there is UKIP, loathed in Scotland yet poised to be the winner is this year’s Euro elections”

    UKIP are a very English pary (geographically and culturally) but their message does resonate in Scotland. The YouGov poll found 47% of Yes voters favoured a full currency union, 35% own currency, and only 5% joining the euro. No voters concurred at only 6% for joining the euro in the event of independence. Saying not to the euro was one of the few things Gordon Brown got right.

    ICM poll on Scottish voting intentions for the European Parliament had UKIP on 7%, so less “loathed” than the Lib Dems (6%) or Greens (4%) – which is pretty good going for a party that I don’t think even has a grassroots network in Scotland the way the Lib Dems and Greens used to. Probably they’ve replaced the Lib Dems as the protest vote.

    http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2014/jan/snp-lead-european-parliament-voting-intentions

    • Not wanting to join the Euro does not make you a raving eurosceptic, wanting to keep the pound doesn’t either. Considering how universal Niggle Farago is on the BBC and how invisible the Greens are is it any surprise his party is higher in the polls? But 6% won’t get them within earshot of an MEP, will it?

      How many kippers were elected to Holyrood in the 2011 election? There was one on my ballot paper so don’t try and tell me they weren’t standing. Remember we have two votes and if people really feel as strongly about Europe as you suggest there was NOTHING to stop them bunging their party vote UKIP’s way. I bunged mine the Green’s way and enough other folk did that they got MSP’s entirely through the party vote. Why didn’t UKIP do that?

      Your thesis is empty.

  29. Nothing to add, Derek. You covered it all.

  30. Here is the transcript of Johann Lamont’s interview on Newsnicht

    Q: Your big devo plan is you can raise tax up to 15%.
    A: Aye.

    Q: We’ve had 3% for years and nobody has every raised it so whats the point in putting it up to 15%?
    A: Cause it is oor big idea

    Q: Can we reduce tax…
    A: Naw it would put the rest of the UK at a disadvantage.

    Q: Surely raising tax’s to 15 % would put Scotland at a disadvantage then?
    A: Aye……….

  31. Cag-does-thinking

    The Lamont interview on Newsnight was cracking. Gordon Brewer had the faintest of smiles on his face as if he couldn’t resist shooting fish in a barrel. You can have higher tax in Scotland to disadvantage it but you won’t allow lower tax to advantage it? He didn’t have to try hard to end up with hilarious results. Johann isn’t genetically programmed to have any answers.

  32. Derek, why, oh why, as you say ‘…isn’t that called a deficit? Doesn’t every country have one…except rich little countries like Norway which invested its oil money rather than spending it? Doesn’t Britain – Jim’s real country, as opposed to Scotland – have a deficit? And doesn’t every other country borrow money to cover the gap?…., so why doesn’t anyone ask Murphy or Darling the ‘elephant in the room’ question – “what point are you trying to make Mr Murphy, why cannot Scotland act like any other countrey in the entire world and borrow if a deficit hits home?” I distinctly remember reading in some published table that even Norway was borrowing money to go about its business. Why is this seen as a problem only for Scotland by these desperados?

  33. Well said Mac. Brewer’s face was a picture saying ‘Is this woman for real?’

  34. Car crash TV, no other words for it.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03yq7hy/Newsnight_Scotland_18_03_2014/

    What I get from Johann Lamont’s confused state of mind is.

    1. If you are currently paying 40p or 45p tax in the pound, a Labour government at Holyrood is going to increase your taxes. That will please a lot of folk in Edinburgh

    2. Universal credits will no longer apply to Scotland when housing benefit is devolved. Now that is an accident waiting to happen

    3. The Barnett formula will be subject to adjustment.

  35. I thought the BBC 2 debate last night would be unlikely to persuade any undecided voter either way. John Swinney tries to come across as ministerial and serious and as a consequence seems to lack passion. I didn’t particularly rate anyone but John had a chance to nail Jackie Bailey on the UK deficit and I think, failed to do so. Also, as expressed by the lady who posed the question, hugely disappointed in his reticence in critising the BBC re. bias. I know the headlines this morning would be ‘Swinney says BBC anti SNP’ but he could at least have said he sypathised with those who thought there is a lack of balance. It was an open goal and John failed to score. I think a lot of people were disappointed in his response. In the audience I think things went a little flat after that.

  36. On politicians speaking without thinking there is the contribution from Alistair Carmichael, who was taking part in a debate at the National Union of Farmers, 18th March. There were talking about farming subsidies and the EU and the IN/Out EU Referendum came up. He said:
    “There is no question of there being a referendum. There is no mechanism for the Conservatives to deliver a referendum 2017. That is the hard political fact.”

    Interesting!
    http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/latest-news/sparks-fly-at-nfus-scottish-independence-debate/63097.article

    There were 450 farmers there and an exit poll from 100 showed 46% declaring for Yes, 29% for No and 25% undecided.

  37. ‘Course we can do it. Probably even at this first time of asking. 🙂

    Independence is going to happen Derek and even now its too close to call for this referendum. Not exactly the walk in the park Westminster or BT envisaged, hence the panic. They’ve been caught with their pants down and no ‘PLAN B’ for a strategy. They worked themselves into a corner using fear and intimidation. The electorate hasn’t backed down and now they have to answer some pointed questions by those who supported devo max or were undecided.

    They’re in a pickle right enough. 🙂

  38. Lamont making it crystal clear that the only purpose Labour in Scotland have is to make up the numbers at Westmister.
    They have no intention of improving life for Scots unless told to do so by London and even then,with the level of incompetence on show,I doubt they could.
    Not fit for government but,of course,not intended for government.

  39. Derek, I think you were right to be cautious about a Yes vote in September. I reckon there is still a lot of work to do before September.

  40. Re a shift in the air – because of past times I can barely believe it but desperately want to.

    I think it is true that the thought of being independent has normalised – is that a word – and is becoming an idea that is not impossible.
    We seem to have come an enormous distance in a short time.

    I was listening to one of the music stations on my way to work – they don’t do politics – but the DJ asked what folk thought would be in today’s budget and he read a few replies which were quite interesting.

    ‘Osborne will offer Scots a few sweeties and then destroy us if it’s a No.’
    I can’t remember the exact wording of the other suggestions but they were a few in a similar fashion.

    • The idea of independence “normalising” – it was the same sensation in Catalonia. Although people were active before, the polls only picked it up from one month to the next – I think it was November 2011 here, don’t think reflecting a particular event (lots had happened before) or just one other wee push from a rabidly hostile central government, one push too far.

      It just happened – and there it was, society had turned and there was a new centrality. From being treated like a pesky canvasser and avoided at “consulta” stalls, suddenly you got people coming up and asking for info and really listening. No idea how it happened, but it happened. Hopefully there’s no going back.

  41. Everybody seen the comments on the Guardian’s front-page article on the referendum? Cheering news of a new enlightenment breaking out all over Scotland! Everyone seems puzzled why it isn’t showing in the polls (yet!)

  42. Derek,
    I’ve thought myself recently that the Union camp are sounding desperate. The big beasts, whatever that is, are in fine propaganda mode at the moment. I have also come to think recently that a Yes vote is becoming a distinct possibility. The ordinary folk seem to be engaged in the debate in a way that they have never been in my lifetime. I have spent the last 5 decades trying to convice people that independence is the right thing for us, and often met a brick wall. The difference today is that everyone can get information at the click of a mouse. As for last nights BBC Debate, did I hear the phrase ‘phoney socialist’ being slipped in to describe John Swinney? I’m sure I did. Black Propaganda.

  43. Wonder if grahamski will be along to give us his verdict on last night newsnicht. Perhaps he never saw it though, as according to him, he’s out canvassing continuously, scaring weans, dugs and stray cats no doubt.
    Maybe his Paisley comradely counterpart ( coonsilur terry) will stop by instead.

  44. Anthony Armstrong

    Derek, I’ve been feeling like that for weeks now, that’s 2 NO’S questioned properly and 2 NO’S dismantled, once the MSM even it up a wee bit the snowball will start descending, will the Tory pamphlet be able to stop it?

  45. Anthony Armstrong

    I spoke to a hard NO last night, after 2 minutes she was asking me to shut up as I was driving her to YES, we don’t need to slag anyone or anything, we just need to tell the truth, let’s give the people the truth they deserve.

    • Yes, what is that attitude about? I have encountered that a lot where I live ( that bit of Scotland which did not go yellow in the 2011 election.) There is an intransigent part of this community which, being comfortably off, is perfectly happy with the UK and its inequality. They can’t be reached by appeals about social justice and a more prosperous civic society – best not to bother engaging with them. However, it saddens me that people who would benefit from independence are also similarly intractable.

      As someone commented earlier, it is like religious belief, in which it seems that so much of their personality and family loyalties etc., are invested, that they refuse to have their faith put to the test. I even had someone run away from a mild-mannered discussion when it became apparent that they didn’t have an argument against independence other than ” It’s what I believe “! Actually ran away, with that phrase trailing behind them as a defiant last retort! It was laughable – and sad, too.

  46. I think there’s definitely a change in the air. Malcolm Gladwell’s book “The Tipping Point” sums it up nicely – he defines a tipping point as “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point”. The book seeks to explain and describe the “mysterious” sociological changes that mark everyday life. As Gladwell states, “Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread like viruses do”. If we’re not at they point already, then we’re damn close. All ‘connectors’, ‘mavens’ and ‘salespeople’, let’s get busy!

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