No prizes for guessing the big news over the past few days. That’s right, it was of course Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner breaking the speed of sound, reaching a maximum velocity of 833.9mph, during his daredevil feat of jumping from a height of over 128,000 ft. Expecting to go in the record books as having recorded the fastest speed ever attained by a human, he was gutted to see he’d been beaten by Ian Davidson getting to the expenses office with his latest claim form.
There were also a few goings-on in Edinburgh where Overlord Cameron came up to announce to us that he’d “made the referendum possible” for us. Gee – thanks, Dave. No need to jump from 128,000 ft to prove your heroic credentials either – the top of the Scott Monument would’ve done just fine. Pity he didn’t try as we’d have found out if he could’ve flown “by the seat of his pants”. I’m being a bit unfair as he “always wanted to show respect to the people of Scotland” and I must’ve just imagined that previous condescending remark.
He went on to gibber the usual nonsense: “We’re better off in the UK, and the UK is better off with Scotland as part of the family. We should keep the family together. We’re safer together.” All the usual stuff with absolutely no substance behind it. All that was missing was “we stand taller on the world’s stage”.
I did agree with this bit though: “It is now up to the people of Scotland to make that historic decision. The very future of Scotland depends on their verdict. It is that important.” Too true. Are we going to use our resources for the benefit of our own people or are we going to continue to let Westminster leech away at us and squander them in their delusional attempts to prove that they’re still a global power? If we do then we deserve everything that will assuredly come our way and it saddens me that many of my fellow Scots appear happy with that. As I’ve asked before – would you give all your wages to your neighbour, accept some pocket money back and then meekly agree when you’re called a parasite as a result?
The whole subsidy junkie nonsense all boils down to this and it should be rammed home by all on the Yes side until an answer is provided: If we are a drain on UK resources then why is there not the slightest encouragement from Westminster to wave us on our merry way? It can all be wrapped up in that simple question. All I’ve ever heard in response is, “Well we stand taller, etc, etczzzz.” This is particularly relevant at this time of global financial crisis. Surely it makes perfect sense to “downsize”, but Westminster don’t appear to agree. Whyever not?
Anyway, I watched the hour-long Distorting Scotland special on the day’s events and I have to say that they were 100% fair on this occasion. Prior to a recent election I remember them interviewing someone in the street wearing a Scotland fitba top who happily told them, “Independence is a bad idea. Scotland should stay part o’ England!” This time they gave equal airtime to yes/no/undecided which was actually quite refreshing. They even had time for a cameo appearance by the blessed Johann, clearly seething in her role as a bit-part player: “Alex Salmond has the right to ask the question and now people have the right to answer it.” Finger on the pulse as always, that’s oor Johann.
Unfortunately they then had to spoil things by letting Gordon Brewer loose on Newsnight later on. “Salmond was told not to look smug by his advisers,” he informed us with that sneering look on his chops before we got to see him give a rough time to a representative from the Yes campaign because the street wasn’t packed with pro-independence supporters. The fact that there weren’t any unionists there either obviously didn’t fit his narrow-minded agenda. Why shouldn’t the First Minister look smug anyway after getting absolutely everything he wanted?
He was ably assisted by Gunner Graham from It Ain’t Half Hot Mum – sorry, Professor John Curtice who was as neutral as ever. He had this gem for us this week: ”At the moment almost as many people think Scotland’s economy would be worse under independence as believe it would be better.” So in other words the majority do actually believe it would be better? Clearly a “the Scottish Government’s glass is always half-empty kind of guy”. I’m not sure how much more of this negative-spinning, do your own country down garbage I can take.
Roll on Question Time from Easterhouse tonight. I can hardly wait.
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