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Blockers & Bollocks: A herd of Yes commandos

Blockers & Bollocks: A herd of Yes commandos
August 25
22:23 2014

MICHAEL J BLAIR
Perthshire, Scotland

(MJ Blair has been reporting on Scotland’s campaign for independence: see his early works hereherehere, and here)

A few nights ago I had a very enlightening Twitter discussion with a herd of Yes commandos.

The main thrust of the discussion was about Scotland having nuclear submarines with nuclear weapons berthed at Faslane on the west coast of the country. A pledge of the Yes campaign is to have the nuclear submarines and attendant weapons removed if Scotland becomes independent.

Scotland_Nuclear_Site

Farmhouse? Or nuclear site?

I’ve previously pointed out that this “pledge” is merely a bargaining chip to be used in negotiations with the Westminster government after a Yes vote and not something that could possibly be achievable.

Now I’m no advocate of nuclear weapons and would be glad if no country ever owned another one. But the reasons the Yessers had for not having these weapons of mass destruction here was interesting. The main reason was that other people/countries would like Scotland more if we were nuclear free. This seemed a fairly flimsy argument as Scots are already very popular all over the world.

The other reason was that Scotland would be a target for a nuclear strike from Russia. As I pointed out, even if there were no nuclear weapons on Scottish soil/waters, any strike at a British nuclear weapons site would have equally devastating consequences for Scotland.

They seemed to think that somehow Scotland would be exempt from any collateral damage in the event of such an attack. Hadrian’s Wall might have divided the Scots from the Romans but it’s highly unlikely it would stop a thermonuclear strike by Russia!

I was blocked by several of these charming but hopelessly deluded people for pointing out the bloody obvious!

Meanwhile we have had a television debate between Mr Salmond and Mr Darling. This I missed because I was doing something. I forget what but it must have been riveting. The amazing conclusion to this “I’m right, you’re wrong” borefest was that Mr Darling, one of the most boring men in politics, had beaten Mr Salmond, the most smug politician in history, by quite a wide margin! This means that Mr Salmond is less popular than someone who was a minister in Tony Blair’s government. Astonishing!

Apparently Mr Salmond thinks that if he repeats a particular phrase ad infinitum, he will win any argument. This is not a mature or convincing way of conducting a debate of national importance.

On being asked what currency would be used after a possible yes vote… “It’s Scotland’s pound and we are keeping it”!

On oil….”It’s Scotland’s oil and we are keeping it”!

Etcetera. ..

He repeated this childish device at First Minister’s questions at the Scottish Parliament last week. This time it was about statistics. No matter what he was asked, he trotted out the same statistics. This kind of dogmatic attitude is what lost him the debate with Mr Dull! He had no plan B on any important issue. It all seems a bit ‘fingers-crossed’ and ‘hope for the best’!

There is a growing realisation amongst even some of his own supporters, that he is becoming a liability to the Yes campaign. They were stunned by their leader being booed by the audience at the independence debate. Never before had the great man suffered such humiliation.

I suggested in a previous piece that  the Yes campaign and Mr Salmond should point out to some of their more gullible supporters, that in the event of a vote for independence, Scotland wouldn’t become a land of milk and honey overnight.

I said many times that he should point out that independence would be hard work and there would be tough times ahead for many people.

Well, at last he has come out and said that a Scottish socialist  paradise of equality and fairness just won’t be possible in the short term or, to be honest, at any time!

There is a realisation in the SNP that there isn’t any point in continuing the fantasy of this immediate paradise. They were promising something which they couldn’t possibly deliver. Even in the most socialist of states, equality and fairness are very thin on the ground.

I hope the more rabid of the Yes camp paid attention to what is the truth and stop telling people a yes vote is a passport to nirvana!

I have noticed a change in the Dear Leader’s hair style. He has a definite follicle deficiency and some bright spark has decided that if theSalmond_Scotland sides are combed forward and gelled into place, and the top gelled up in a cock’s comb type of “do”, he will look less like a billiard ball and more like a hirsute hunk. This has resulted in him looking like an egg which has been decorated for Easter by a six year old child!

The sporting side of politics was on the news media this week. Not content with having looked like an idiot for trying to play football in a suit, he took to the bowling green to show he is a true man of the people.

Once again he looked like a fish out of water. Waving his arms in the air and generally looking foolish. These stunts must look good on paper but oh dear, they look so contrived and embarrassing! I haven’t seen anyone on the Better Together side being as daft as this. They may have been but I haven’t come across anything so far. Thank god he was kept well away from the Commonwealth Games, which were a resounding success.

It was great to see competitors from all over the world, smiling while Scotland took them to its heart. If only the opening and closing ceremonies had been omitted, it would have been perfect.

I for one, wasn’t thrilled to see Rod Stewart and his failing voice singing some tuneless dirge about homecoming and Scotland and trying to look as if he was still sixty! Kylie Minogue was prancing around, trying to look young and failing miserably.  As close to mutton dressed as lamb as anything I’ve seen in a long time!

The latest stunt is the ice bucket challenge. Oh dear. No politician can ever turn an opportunity to show that they are “good sports”. This time it was Mr Dull (Darling) to make an arse of himself.

Sitting there looking like a Morningside maiden aunt, he duly got soaked, but failed to look as if it had been his own idea! Immediately after this sad spectacle, the Great Leader announced he too would get wet, cold, and bedraggled in the name of charity (publicity).

Now, I’m no PR man or official advisor but should a “great  statesman” like Mr Salmond, be making himself look like a fairground Aunt Sally? I think he should have politely declined the invitation and said he didn’t need to indulge in such horseplay to be popular, unlike his opponent. Just because some 12 year old PR whizz kid says something will be good for one’s image, it doesn’t mean it’s right!

The referendum is less than a month away and the long long campaign is nearing its conclusion but we sadly have another debate to keep us on the edge of our seats or on the edge of madness, depending on your point of view.

This time it’s on the BBC, which means it will be on every type of media. There will be no escape from the horror of two men insulting our intelligence and themselves. If it has any effect on how people will vote, I will be surprised as it now appears that many households across Scotland, even at this late stage, don’t actually know that a referendum is taking place or what the word referendum means!

A very sad if predictable situation.

I hope there is a high voter turn out, for this is the single most important event in a generation. If people can’t get off their fat arses to get to a polling station, then they can’t complain about who is governing them!

Whether it’s Yes or No, we will all have to live with the result. That is democracy!

ALSO BY MJ BLAIR

Doomed or Idyllic: Scottish independence debate caught between rabid utterings from opposite camps

State spying in the name of terrorism

Surveillance society: one nation under CCTV

Michael J Blair contributes to DDA from time to time, and he can be reached at: michaelblair43@googlemail.com. His Twitter handle is: @mmjblair

[nuclear submarine photo by: CPOA(Phot) Tam MacDonald/MOD; Alex Salmond in brewery photo from John Paul; Scottish farm house photo from Malcolm Carruthers]

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1 Comment

  1. Peg
    Peg August 26, 09:45

    Another BRILLIANT piece by Michael Blair! Points well made and in delicious descriptives! Bravo!!

    Reply to this comment

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