Sunday, 6 October 2013

What is there to say

Even by the standards of this seemingly never ending referendum campaign it has been a particularly boring period. Both sides seem to have run out of new things to say. In the middle of September, there was a brief flurry of excitement when it was suggested Eck was going to announce a "new fact" but as it turned out that came to nothing, presumably because it was discovered it wasn't new. With a different politician you might also have to accept the possibility that it wasn't a fact at all but in the First Minister's case that's not a consideration that has concerned him in the past.

Last week, the Scottish Government's Council of Economic Advisers produced another report confirming that Independence would mean tax rises or major public expenditure cuts but nobody on either side got particularly excited as this was hardly something new, being only what they'd said previously. It seems to me the Nats have largely given up on this point, just resorting to bland assertion in the belief that the game is up anyway and what they claim is never going to be put to the practical test. We used to point out that "Divorce is an expensive business" but it's a pity we couldn't organise a wee trial separation.

The most entertaining thing I saw from either side was this video which I initially thought was a BetterTogether spoof but which if you persevere proves to be the genuine view of (some) on the Nationalist side. Stick with it past the pensioners with the "Ban the BBC" placard (and the balloons on sticks) until you get to the man with the toupee. The best efforts of Blythswood Square could not have invented this.

Increasingly we're being told that the White Paper will be a game changer but to be honest I fail to see how or why. We know the prospectus of the SNP and its unlikely to change dramatically before the end of November. Radical ideas such as "Banning the BBC" are unlikely to find themselves making a late bid for inclusion. "Answers" are unlikely to suddenly emerge to the questions on Currency, EU Membership, Pensions etcetera etcetera etcetera which, to the mind of our side have not been answered to date, or which, to the mind of the true believers, have been answered entirely satisfactorily already.

Nor is the sudden emergence of an Eck v David debate going to ride to the rescue. It's patently not going to happen and, having made legitimate capital on that point, at some point the First Minister will eventually work out that he can't spend the entire campaign sulking, like Achilles, in his tent or speaking only to the ready converted.

In other news, Patrick Harvie made a whistling in the dark speech to his conference suggesting that Green and other Radical elements might yet be decisive. Somehow I think that's more appropriately judged by the two by-elections in which the Greens did and will trail in behind UKIP and in which the other Radical elements lacked the courage to face the electorate at all.

In reality, the campaign has already moved on to how effective the Big Parties are at getting their vote out. And that's kind of boring, which is why, I suppose, so is this blog.

But I am exhorted constantly by Blair McDougall to emphasise that THERE IS NO ROOM FOR COMPLACENCY. So, I repeat, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR COMPLACENCY.

But, in an entirely uncomplacent way, feel free to sit back and enjoy the video.

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