Some food for thought in this article which is in a slightly different format from the usual. Medical emergencies and hospital visits have taken their toll on time and creativity this week unfortunately. On that subject can anyone volunteer a reason why these wonderful people who rush around doing their utmost to keep us healthy, or even alive, are paid a pittance compared to folk on the telly that are pretending to do it? Mixed-up priorities somewhere.
Anyway, last week’s somewhat depressing post brought in a couple of emails that were too good to be hidden away in amongst the comments as well as saving me from having to write something. First up, Morag Kerr:
“I’ve worried that the SNP were dropping the ball in the past, but not so much recently. Recently, any time I thought they were sitting back and missing open goals, I realised as events developed that I had simply underestimated the long game that was being played.
I knew when the party was elected in 2007 that there would be head-banging moments when the press were all against the government, because that’s what the press does. In fact there have been fewer instances of that than I anticipated – I don’t count lies and smears, of course. I realised when the date of the referendum was announced that we had a long haul ahead, and there would be moments when it would all seem hopeless. So this isn’t surprising. Hang in there.
On the subject of getting the debate away from Salmond and the SNP, I had a slightly depressing experience yesterday. I went to the inaugural meeting of Yes Scotland in the Borders. It was generally very positive, but I began to get really spooked by the number of people who would stand up and preface their remarks by saying which SNP branch they were from and how long they had been a member.
Near the end, I prefaced my remarks by saying I’d been a member for over 20 years, I’ve got friends in the SNP going way back, but I thought now was time for some of us to step back a bit. I suggested that ordinary members (as opposed to elected representatives and committee members) should think about taking off their SNP badges and being “Yes Scotland” people in public from now on.
You’d think I’d suggested keeping Trident or modernising Hunterston.
Even the Yes Scotland people threw up their hands and refused to comment. My own branch convener didn’t sound like he was at all happy with little me. Dammit, I wasn’t suggesting I was going to resign from the SNP or anything, I was only talking about badges and public perceptions.
I’ve been an SNP member for 20 years for one reason only, and that’s to get to this point. For me, it’s not about the SNP any more, really. I still trust the SNP to lead the charge and keep it steady as she goes, but I know the campaign needs more than that. If I’d never been an SNP member I would be rabid Yes Scotland at the moment. So why not?
One man said, “I’m wearing both badges together, that’s the way to go.” I said, well, some people will want to do that of course, I’m just suggesting that as many people as feel they can, should simply wear the Yes Scotland badge. For goodness sake, how often do we hear, we don’t want Fat Eck to win “his” referendum. He only wants his place in history, he sees himself as the new Wallace and wants statues. And so on. The idea that an independent Scotland IS the SNP.
I spoke to an independence-supporting friend whose husband is a party member later that evening. (They had missed the meeting because of a birthday party in Aberdeen.) She agreed with me. I had said I would leave my SNP badge on my car, where it has been since 1992 (OK, not the same car!). However, I think I’ll take it off and put a second Yes Scotland badge there in its place. That car gets parked in a lot of places, people walk past….
On a lighter note, one very cheery thing that happened was that a Polish building worker showed up to the meeting and expressed an interest in getting involved. He had kept quiet until one of the SNP people started to ask about getting Yes Scotland literature translated into Polish and other useful languages, then he outed himself in broken but comprehensible English.
I hope there are more where he came from.”
Don’t we all, Morag. If I can quote Braveheart – “The trouble with Scotland is it’s full of Scots.” I wish it was full of people who had the gumption to be what they could be.
And from Lesley-Anne McLelland:
“Here’s a thought.
Perhaps by NOT retaliating in any agressive manner they are actually highlighting the full negativity of the NO campaign. In doing so they might be thinking along the lines of letting the NO camp get on with all their negativity knowing that in time people will get so fed up with the negativity that they will actually switch to the YES camp because of the MORE positive message they bring to the debate. In other words by not being so forceful with their message the YES team are actually letting the NO camp do their (the YES camp) work for them.
In fact I believe this is beginning to happen. I read a tweet from Angus MacNeil yesterday where he has had a, now ex, Labour supporter say on his FB page that he is fed up with all the acrimoniuous negativity from Labour and it appears that this person may now be thinking about joining the SNP. So, in my view, the trail AWAY from Labour looks like to have already started.
In time the YES team will, I’m sure, start firing their guns but there’s no need to do so just now, after all we still have 2 years to go.”
All good points and maybe I just need a cooler heid, but it’s hard when the likes of Ed Contraband are up here lecturing us like this week. So people no longer trust the First Minister? That’ll be why he still continues to enjoy record approval ratings then. In contrast, if the bold Ed’s approval rating was the outside temperature we’d all be freezing our knackers off.
Speaking of hot and cold things… okay we weren’t really but even if it’s just a tenuous link it does allow me to sign off with a tribute to His Lordship Mike Watson. You know the guy:
“Hoi you! WTF are ye daein’ wi’ these curtains?”
“Och I’m just arson around…”
Labour must be losing so many members that they’re desperate for subs if they’ve let this character back in. Enjoy:
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