Saturday, 26 May 2012

In With A Whimper And Not A Bang

The bid for Scottish independence got under way officially in Edinburgh today with the unveiling of the 'Yes Scotland' campaign.  Scottish Green, Scottish Socialist and SNP figures mingled with celebrities and Scots from all walks of life as the campaign made its bid to become the biggest community led movement ever seen in Scotland.

The thrust of the campaign will be the message that it is better for Scotland if the people taking the decisions are the ones who live here.  A host of famous Scots have pledged their support for the campaign, including Sir Sean Connery, former BBC Scotland head of news Blair Jenkins, poet Liz Lochead, musician Pat Kane and Holywood stars Brian Cox and Alan Cumming.  Yes Scotland got underway with a quest for one million signatures of support before the referendum takes place in the Autumn of 2014.” – Newsnet Scotland

So the launch of the yes campaign started yesterday, not with a succinct summary of why Scotland would be better going it alone – opening arguments if you will -  but with bland New Labour-esque platitudes about how things will be better for Scotland if decisions were made here - minus the five point paper card.  Excuse me while I don’t rush to sign the online petition just yet.

While it is easy to poke fun at the Yes campaign launch and to pick holes in having a panel consisting of several rich white men who have long left behind the world of poverty that most of Scotland still resides in, i suspect (and would very much hope) that the hard facts would come to the fore.  Still, we have the launch of the No campaign to look forward to in the next couple of weeks, and i can’t wait for the hot air from that event.  As an aside, attempting to rain on Salmond and company’s parade was the Daily Torygraph, who announced that a poll by You-Gov and commissioned by the No camp sees staying in the union remain ahead of Independence by 24 points (57% to 33% with 10% undecided, out of a sample of 1004).  Who’d have thunk it that a poll commissioned by the No camp would produce a resounding lead for the No camp.

To return to the Yes campaign though.  As someone who is very much sceptical about the case for Independence, yesterday did not get the blood pumping or enthuse me about the coming 30 months of campaigning.  In so far as I can tell, it only really enthused those already convinced of the case.  Maybe that was the point, as there is a demonstration today against the reporting of the Independence debate at Pacific Quay (the home of BBC Scotland) – enthuse the troops and they’ll put the case for independence out there in a real world version of what the “Cyber-nats” (if I must call them that) have been doing for years.  For those of us on the outside though, in with a whimper and not a bang is a more than an apt description of yesterday’s launch – as a bang was what what was needed to put the No camp on the back foot.

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