Silly season is drawing to a close and while the weans are back at the school, the politicians need a longer break from making all our lives miserable. It’s been a particularly “slow news week” but that obviously hasn’t stopped our pals over at Better Together pulling some particularly silly bunnies out of their magic Union Jack hats.
So here, in no particular order, are the Top 5 Independence related “scandals” from the past week or so (which literally no-one in the real world gives even the tiniest fuck about.)
1. Worst. Corruption. EVER.
It appears hackers (who are not associated with Better Together in ANY way) managed to get into a Yes Scotland email account. They found evidence that the Yes Campaign had paid an academic £100 to write a piece about the importance of having a written constitution which appeared in The Herald. The author, a known advocate of independence, made clear that he had not received any editorial guidance, either from the Yes campaign or his own organisation, the Constitutional Commission and that the article was written in a personal capacity. This all happened back in July. The author of the piece was mysteriously contacted this week after Yes Scotland revealed their account had been hacked, before his name was in any way associated with the story. Somehow, a national newspaper was already aware of the connection. The attention given to the story by the No camp (who we again emphasise, definitely didn’t hack Yes Scotland’s emails) is laughable. Better Together’s Head Honcho, Blair McDougall demanded to know “Who else received payment?” We dunno Blair, we didn’t see the emails. But it’s fair to assume that if the Yes Scotland inbox contained gushing praise for Robert Mugabe or invoices from the IRA, then Better Together probably wouldn’t be going bananas over a hundred quid. Of course, the fact that the entire Yes Scotland HQ has been shut down on advice from security experts and is subject to a cyber attack wasn’t considered news compared to this massive “scandal.”
There may be a serious point about patronage in here somewhere but we really won’t be patronised by fans of Britain. How many people who write “opinion” pieces in the papers have had a pretty decent jolly on the British state? How many lords and ladies of the realm or ex-ministers will be taking up column inches in the coming months with their “opinions” about how amazing Britain is? (For them.) So, while it’s undoubtedly a bit of a riddy for the Yes campaign to be paying measly amounts to folk for well positioned pieces in the papers, it’s hardly like accepting £500,000 from Ian Taylor is it? The biggest lesson from all this is that an independent Scotland would be much shitter at corruption than Britain currently is.
2. The “sham” that keeps on shaming
You would think that the Unionists wouldn’t want anything to destroy their incredible
million dollar hundred pound scandal. Instead, their own Facebook page covered the story by including the line, “Coming so soon after their involvement in the Labour for Indy sham, serious questions have to be asked of Alex Salmond’s independence campaign.” The Labour for Indy “sham,” began when someone on the internet attempted to turn a photo into a scandal. The photo was initially shared on the Facebook pages of both Labour for Independence and Yes East Ayrshire. Both clearly indicated that it was a photo of Yes campaigners AND members of Labour for Independence. You would think the no campaign would understand the idea of people working together. However, this photo was used as proof that Labour for Independence was in fact all the SNP’s idea and just a front for Alex Salmond. Countless more photos have been doing the rounds since, proving that SNP members occasionally stand near banners and get their photos taken whilst out campaigning. Labour for Independence have been clear about the need to build links during the referendum and although their executive is comprised solely of Labour Party members, they can’t really stop people going out leafletting with them or talking photos with their banner if they want to. Every instance of co-operation is presented like an actual news story due to the media’s failure to understand that support for independence and the SNP are still not the same thing. This all remains not news.
We would like to let you in on a little secret though, Better Together isn’t in fact a non-party political campaign to defend the union state. It’s just a front for…A Thousand Flowers. Here is a photo of some people who may or may not be us and/or other miscreants standing next to Better Together, just in case you needed any more definitive proof:
Ok, so we’ve already demolished this but it deserves a menshie. Andrew Marr appears in Edinburgh and reveals he thinks the SNP all just really hate the English. There was no real context, no evidence, no criticism of anything the SNP have ever said or done. But it was still doing the rounds like anyone should be surprised that some London media hack doesn’t like Scotland very much, since he has chosen not to live here anymore. He stands in contrast to the thousands of Scots not just from England but places much further afield who think their country deserves to be a country. But they never make the papers do they?
4. Commonwealth Claims
As scare stories go, this is a belter. Not content with how tedious all the, “what about the EU?” chat was getting (from Tories intent on removing Engurland from the physical proximity of Europe and floating it off into the Atlantic), we’re now being treated to the insider knowledge that Scotland being a member of the Commonwealth would have to involve discussions. The Heads of Commonwealth States would have to “take a view” apparently. Are you shiting yourself yet? This begs a few questions, why wouldn’t the other states want Scotland to be a member of their decreasing relevant gang? Are powerful international players like Kiribati or Narau going to be jostling to prevent Scotland’s ascent to the heady heights of Commonwealth status? And more importantly, why would any new nation want to tie itself to an organisation which exists to keep the colonies in check? We think there’s a serious debate to be had about EU membership and I can personally see arguments for both sides but if all the Commonwealth offers is royalty, reverence to authority and the DREADED GAMES, we’ll pass ta.
5. Blair McDougall: Master of the Seasons?
We know he’s a man of many talents but this particularly bizarre tweet for Blair McDougall (him again) seems to be suggesting that a minor website update represents some sort of attempt to meddle with the forces of time itself . At the school I went to, “Autumn” referred to the months of September, October & November. Maybe the Government’s proposals for independence will be ready sooner and why not? Silly season has to end sometime.
There’s a suggestion it already has and this tweet betrays a darker message. It’s been implied that “someone” knows why the date may have been brought forward. The Scottish Government may be taking the decision to publish before it ends up being passed around social media, given the hacking of the Yes Scotland HQ. Maybe “someone” shouldn’t be such a triumphalist troll about all this on Twitter, if they’re totally against the hacking and all that. Regardless it’s clear “someone” is presiding over a campaign which is slowly turning into little more than an obsessive online anti-SNP witch hunt, devoid of political content.
Better Together can’t really outline their plans for Scotland because they don’t want us to know. Further decades of austerity, inequality and misery at the behest of all the pro-union parties aren’t really a vote winner. So all that’s left is attempting to convince us that Alex Salmond is just a really, really bad man and independence is somehow more scary than the being stuck with the Tories & their chums in a failed state for all eternity. This can only last for so long; like silly season, Britain has to end sometime.
Soon the politicians return from their holidays on the Riviera and the media get back to reporting on them destroying the economy and the welfare state like they always do. This gives an opportunity for the rest of us to get on with arguing for a better economic, social and political system where we can start to deal with the inequalities imposed on us by Westminster. If you’re looking for a Top 5 from this week that’s actually of some use – we recommend this guide to indy campaigning from National Collective.
Better Together may be losing the referendum all by themselves but we need to get out there and win it.
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