The No campaign likes to reassuringly pat themselves on the back. 

Better Together’s campaign director recently shrugged off #donorgate, a funding scandal – revealed by National Collective – that uncovered the No campaign’s cash-backer Ian Taylor’s oil trading Vitol’s resume includes bankrolling Serbian paramilitary warlord Arkan to the tune of $1 million as ‘a storm in a teacup’. While this shows a certain resilience there is evidence that all is not well in the No campaign’s mind-set.

An underlying condition – akin to having one’s head buried in the sand – exists in the No camp. The condition is inadvertently highlighted in The Battle for Scotland from July 2013’s Total Politics magazine. Written by David Torrance, it quotes and paraphrases an inside source from the official No campaign, claiming:

‘People are selfish’ he says bluntly, ‘and they want to know what is in it for them’. That said he believes other aspects of the pro-independence campaign chiefly opposition to Trident and criticism of Westminster’s welfare reforms are wrong-headed.”

“They are fighting on completely the wrong arguments – they’re assuming that normal Scots are as outraged about those things as SNP people are.”

Leaving the notion that everyone in Scotland is only out for themselves, to one side, for now, these claims on feelings about Trident and Welfare deserve closer examination

Firstly, let’s look at Welfare. A Yougov poll from March 2013 asked “Which government do you think would be best at deciding welfare and pensions policy for Scotland? The results in favour The Scottish Government deciding on these currently reserved matters is convincing. The UK government 34 %; The Scottish government 53 %; and the undecided at 13 %.

And don’t forget The Bedroom Tax. A cruel and unfair attack on the weak and vulnerable; opposed by The Scottish Parliament, churches, trade unions and Scotland’s MP’s but undemocratically imposed on the people of Scotland by Westminster.

So, just who is it that is “wrong-headed” on Welfare?

Then there is Trident. The UK government’s very own nuclear Weapons of Mass Destruction system stationed in The Clyde which is due a £100billion upgrade in the very near future. According to a TNS BMRB poll, also in March of this year, revealed 80 per cent of people in Scotland are opposed to spending these vast sums of money on upgrading the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system.

Scratch the surface on these results and it shows just how overwhelming the feeling against Trident – and crucially how out of touch the No campaign’s claims – are.

It is perhaps unsurprising that 87% among those planning to vote Yes oppose WMD, amazingly 75% even among people planning to vote No in next year’s independence referendum are against a new Trident WMD being dumped less than 30 miles from Scotland’s biggest city.

These figures are not new. And yet the Better Together source is blissfully ignorant of the truth.

The disjointed assumptions of the No campaign must wrangle internally – particularly with Labour members – and particularly on issues like Welfare and Trident – as voters of the undecided category will look for to which of the two paths on offer on September 18 2014 hold the brightest future for Scotland. It is well understood that the gains of independence must and shall be laid out for all to see.

From Stornoway to Selkirk – and in every walk of life – the positive case on how all of us will be better off living in a fairer and more prosperous country will be detailed and coherent.

Of course everyone wants to know what independence will mean to them. What it will mean to their household budget and what it can do to improve the opportunities for their children’s future; but to brand a trait of ‘selfishness’ on the collective people of Scotland typifies the No campaign’s lofty and complacent attitude.

The No campaign’s dysfunctional obsession with the SNP in tandem with their unfounded assumptions could yet be their undoing.

Arrogant enough to give themselves big licks and joke about #ProjectFear – 63 weeks before the biggest constitutional opportunity the people of Scotland have ever had – indicates a level of cocksureness that is unpopular in Scotland and, crucially, has a habit of backfiring. 

To be in a position as bookmakers’ underdogs Yes supporters can only take heart. The underdog is alive, well, and unafraid. And crucially it is in tune with the democratic will of the people of Scotland.

Erik Geddes


About Erik Geddes

Erik Geddes lives, works and plays in Edinburgh. Formerly a freelance journalist Erik now works for SNP at the Scottish Parliament. He is passionately working for a Yes vote in 2014 and a dyed in the wool supporter of Partick Thistle FC.

There is one comment

  1. jdmank


    is a little red car who when you pull her back you wind up her spring and when let go she flys in delight,
    but the spoilt rich brat (who’s never really grown up) likes to pull her back and back and back until her mainspring is so tight she is trembling with anticipation as her little wheels spin, but the dead weight of those pudgy little hands restrain the little car from flying off, the the evil delight the brat takes from restraining the little car gives him pleasure feeling the little car strain under his hand but one pull too many and her little mainspring (spirit) will break and then she’ll be thrown into the brats voluminousness toybox (which these days for such an acquisitive brat is strangely empty) where she will lie forgotten and forlorn,
    The brat has always been so and has never had anyone brave enough to say NO
    for a very long time the brat has taken other children’s toys and kept them because people were too afraid of him to say no,
    poor little Scotland was one of his first aqusitions to throw immediately into his toybox and forget, only to be taken out when he wanted to use it for different purposes like a hammer he would use poor little Scotland to bully other boys and girls and because Scotland was being held under a very strong spell did as she was asked and the toll on her was terrible but she did what she was told.

    Other toys followed quickly into the brats toybox America India, Canada, Austraila, and many more toys he took, not because he needed them but just because he could, he the tore these toys apart to see what was inside them and took whatever he fancied and left the toys strewn untidily across his bedroom floor, only when the toys realized they did not have to put up with the brats behaviour they decided to go back to what they were before, however some of the toys were able to repair themselves to such an extent they themselves became spoilt brats having taken a lead from the spoit brat who despoiled them.
    But the spoilt brat went on being what he always was, a spoilt brat and he kept on stealing and gorging himself until he became sick and nearly died from his overindulgence,
    people hoped he would see the error of his ways and become a more responsible brat and stop gorging himself at other peoples expense,
    but sadly no ,
    he simply told the other people they were to blame for him getting sick so he was going to punish them, so while he and his friends (who REALLY WERE to blame for his illness) continued to steal and gorge the poor people HE blamed were made to give him what little they had to keep him in new toys
    i’m going to build a really fast train set for myself and noone else is going to get on it but me, but I’ll make them pay for it ,and I’m sure I can think of plenty of other things I can have and make those people pay for them,

    But just at the height of the spoilt brats greed the other boys and girls decided they’d had enough and while he was stamping his feet with his (playmates) Germany, France (ah beautiful France always liked her,) and the others said NO we wont let you play with us if all you want is to make up the rules of the game to suit you, you either play by the groups rules or not at all,
    the brat had never been spoken to like that before and was speechless (how dare they speak to me like that,) I’ll leave them to play themselves then they’ll be sorry.
    All the wile this is going on his pudgy little hand is holding poor little Scotland down while her wheels spin helplessly but she starts to feel something,
    Is that hand not holding me quite as tightly as it has before? the brat seems distracted by being told off by the others,
    now Scotland now
    fly before the brat takes a tight grip of you and breaks your mainspring so you can never again let you little wheels spin and fly

    fly my beloved precious Scotland fly

Post Your Thoughts