Monday, 25 June 2012

Hope v Fear

Living our lives in hope is what most of us try to do, but continually politicians do their best to crush our aspirations by restricting our potential.  They are skilled at the subtle use of fear, dressed in vacuous political speak.

The same can't be said of the leader of the No campaign against independence for Scotland.  Alistair Darling and his cronies have decided fear is to be there weapon in their campaign to convince undecideds to vote No.

“If we decide to leave the United Kingdom, there is no way back.
“It is like asking us to buy a one-way ticket to send our children to a deeply uncertain destination.”

Do they really believe that people will be impressed by such scaremongering?  As for mentioning children in this manner, I find that rather sinister, but children have been used in many campaigns recently - the global warming one is an example - and few have protested.

Today he's also expected to say:

“The truth is that this coming together of family, friends, ideas, institutions and identities is a strength, not a weakness. It is an ideal worth celebrating.”

He's implying when Scotland becomes independent we will be cut adrift from families and friends in other parts of the UK.  I must remember to buy a stack of notelets to send to family and friends living outside Scotland to bid them a fond cheerio.

The No campaign have employed the services of an American company to promote their message and this morning lucky rail travellers could find themselves in possession of their first campaign leaflet, which will be handed out at railway stations.  None for bus travellers I note.

The leaflet will highlight the one in five workers employed by English firms in Scotland and also the 800,000 Scots who live and work in England and Wales 'without the need for papers or passports'.  I find it hard to believe that anyone will be intimidated by the threat of 'papers or passports' given that now, in the UK, you need both to open a simple bank account.

So the campaign will be one of hope versus fear. No surprise really as the unionists have nothing to offer the Scots apart from the 2012 Scotland Bill, which offers little improvement to the status quo.

But the unionists have one deep seated fear and that is anyone asking them what they have to offer other than ensuring they won't give our children a one-way ticket to nowhere.  They have no offer to make on further devolution and excuse themselves by saying discussions will take place after the referendum.  The people need to know exactly what they will be offered beforehand.

There was a distinct hint of pretentiousness when Michael Moore was asked the question on yesterday's Sunday Politics (at approximately 43 minutes). If you listen until the end of his interview, you will hear him contradict himself by saying 'let's have a simple straight forward proposition, resolve that, and then we can get on and work through the remaining issues of what more powers we want for Scotland'.

Now we know the unionists will offer nothing but fear.



William said...

This is utter balls.

It's a plain fact that it's much more difficult to argue for things to stay the same than to argue for change. One is known, one is unknown. The unknown can promise anything; the known can only say what it actually is and warn about the possible dangers of the unknown.

If someone says that they might buy some magic beans and I say that there are dangers in that course of action, that is not fear. That is simply highlighting a fact.

It is a completely twisted interpretation of Alistair Darling's reported comments to say there are motivated solely by 'fear'. Darling highlights positive aspects and benefits.

It is utterly offensive to suggest that anyone who opposes Nationalism is motivated by fear. This is the road to fanaticism. You either back the Salmond personality cult or you're an enemy of Scotland. Shameful.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

If anybody thinks Westminster UK is a safe pair of hands for their or their children's future they are either, in some shape or form, remunerated by it, in fear of it or comatose towards its effects.

Westminster UK is surviving on credit it cannot earn other than by prostituting its commitment to democratic morality and living off the income of a pimp economy.

JRB said...

I have been critical of the ‘Yes’ campaign since its inauguration. Sufficiently critical as to find myself wavering against the SNP and where it is apparently taking us.

That was till this morning …

Hearing Alistair Darling on the Today programme and his condescending, sanctimonious, obsequious claptrap has only rekindled and reinforced my sense of nationalism.

His implication that we should touch or forelock and bow in fear and trepidation before the palace of Westminster with our hearts filled with gratitude for what we have. Just made my blood boil.

And the hint, that if we were good little Scots and voted ‘No’, then we might, just might, get a few crumbs cast before us. That only made maters worse.

Apogee said...

Well said,Crinkly and JRB.
To anyone who knows Scottish History and how this union came about, it must have sounded like a justification for forced marriage, while Westminster is wanting to ban it.
“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life.

Apogee said...

William. I heard Darling's spiel this
morning. It was just as JRB described it. JRB's language was accurate and measured.It is a pity that Darling did not stick to facts, that would have been honest. But Westminster and its spokesmen and politicians are incapable of facts, except when justifying their allowances,no, sorry but they can't even be honest then.We have heard how independence will disadvantage Scotland, quite fanciful some of it. No one talks about what the effect of the withdrawal of Scotlands resources will have on the rump UK (England), oh, but of course, from what we have been told they will be better off,without us to support. Which begs the question of why they want to hang on to us.
They don't seem to want to answer that.No they are not altruistic, rather more the opposite if one looks at the history of empire. So why? Have they mortgaged Scotland's resources to another party and forgot to tell us.No they wouldn't do that,would they, but they told lies about oil (McCrone report) so why would we trust anything they say,they have form, lots of it.
William, I think you have swallowed the Kings shilling!

Hamish said...

Well said SR.
To suggest that there is no way back is preposterous. If, after a few years of independence, Scotland were to approach Westminster cap in hand, saying we didnae ken, we didnae ken, of course he would draw himself up by the eybrows and fulminate; Well ye ken noo.
But there would be much rejoicing at the return of the prodigal, albeit ShadenFreude.

How many nations having won their independence apply to return to the status quo?

It is time for the parties opposing Scottish independence to answer the question: What if?

What if the Scots vote to run their own affairs.
Will you work constructively to help the new Scotland to be a success? Will you snipe from the sidelines? Will you actively oppose it?
It is not enough to parrot "It ain't going to happen".

A slight niggle about your post. You write "The people need to know exactly what they will be offered beforehand". That line is usually directed against Alex Salmond.
Neither Alex nor anyone else can guarantee what will happen after independence. That is up to the Scots themselves to decide post-inependence.
Are we feart of that prospect?

Hamish said...

'Schadenfreude' of course.
The shame of it.

Woman on a Raft said...

They've somewhat shot themselves on the passport issue; anyone who wants to fly from England to Scotland already has to do that, in effect creating an internal border although it was supposed to be for security reasons.

Anon said...

"But the unionists have one deep seated fear and that is anyone asking them what they have to offer."

The unionists offer war and poverty.

- Aangirfan

Apogee said...

Is this to be the Union Benefits,
more benefits if you live south of the Watford gap? Anything to the north to get less benefits?

They pick their time right for these announcements,do they not!

subrosa said...

Fair enough William, I respect your opinion. However why is it more difficult to argue for the status quo against change? I disagree with you on that.

Auch William, all the unionists have is fear of change.That's why they can't progress.

As for being offensive I don't think so at all. I'm not a fanatic yet I see the possibilities of an independent Scotland.

subrosa said...

The problem with Scottish independence is that we'll never be told the facts of a 'velvet divorce' Crinkly, because London won't discuss that.

subrosa said...

I didn't hear that JRB, thanks for telling me about it. I may listen on iPlayer.

subrosa said...

Good point about forced marriage Apogee. The signatories to the document were only interested in their own positions.

Jo G said...

"It is utterly offensive to suggest that anyone who opposes Nationalism is motivated by fear."

I'd rephrase that. I'd say it is utterly offensive to use fear as a means of dissuading people from taking an important step forward. I'd say to use fear as one's only weapon rather than discuss the issues that are there to talk about is braver. It is NOT harder to argue for the status quo. It is harder to argue for change.

The most telling quote from Darling the other day was when he urged all listening to "to play the ball and not the man" and then went on to attack the SNP.

Jo G said...

The other thing, William, is if the UK government itself, and the other Parties at Westminster are so keen for Scotland to remain part of the Union why is the NO campaign having to be led by Darling? I just don't get that. I actually was a wee bit offended that Cameron said just a few weeks back that it wasn't his place to get involved. Why ever not when he is the UK Prime Minister which currently includes Scotland? Why is Ed Milliband staying well out of it when he is the Leader of HM's Opposition in the UK Parliament? Their reluctance to officially be associated with the NO campaign is bizarre I would say when they are constantly speaking about the "break up of the UK" with all the implications that has, not just for Scotland, but for England and elsewhere. Why aren't they officially involved and why are they leaving it to Darling? It seems to me that the main Parties in the Commons aren't that fussed about it if the level of their involvement is anything to go by. Just saying.

Jo G said...

"I'd say to use fear as one's only weapon rather than discuss the issues that are there to talk about is braver."

Sorry, wee edit needed. I meant to say:

" I'd say to use fear as one's only weapon rather than discuss the issues that are there to talk about is anything BUT brave."

subrosa said...

You've struck the nail on the head Hamish. What If should be promoted by the likes of the SDA.

subrosa said...

Excellent point WoaR.

subrosa said...

War and poverty Aangirfan. They refuse to discuss either.

Both should be brought to the fore by the pro-independence campaign.

subrosa said...

Thanks for that Jo. That was my point although you state it far more eloquently.

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