So the Yes Campaign has been launched for the Independence Referendum.
Before the question has been agreed. What if it ends up being “Do you want to be a part of the United Kingdom?” Mr Salmond will look a bit daft then.
But, jokes aside, I actually felt a bit disappointed. I’m never going to support this lot, but I wanted them to come up with something I could feel jealous of. Instead loads of blokes spoke in a dingy cinema. For a campaign supposedly offering something liberating, fresh and new, this was just more of the same male, pale and stale politics we’re used to. I know they don’t want to scare the horses, trying to say that life in an independent Scotland would be much the same with the same money and the same Queen, but they had an opportunity to do something different and flunked it.
The keynote speakers were Alex Salmond, Patrick Harvie actors Brian Cox and Alan Cumming, Blair Jenkins, Tommy Brennan and Denis Canavan. and Liz Lochhead. There were songs from Dougie McLean and Lou Hickey. Sean Connery, a rich man who doesn’t live here, sent a video message and Elaine C Smith, who does, sent another video telling everyone to sign the Declaration (of Fountainbridge)?
Regular readers will know how steamed up I get about predominantly male tv show discussion panels. I was surprised to see such a male dominated line up. That is one very unhealthy vibe. It gives a signal that men have all the power in that organisation. If there’s one thing I am determined to do over the next couple of years it’s to ensure that women’s voices and views are hardwired into this debate and on my side. The SNP know fine, though, that their message tends to persuade more men than women, so are they deliberately seeking to firm up male support?
I’ve had a wee look round their website which is pretty basic given the amount of time they have had to prepare. And I wonder if they are trying to annexe us to the USA, given that they’re asking for State and Cell (Phone) numbers.
The consultation on the rules and question for the referendum has now finished and the results will be published later this year. The Scottish Government will introduce the Referendum Bill into the Scottish Parliament at the beginning of 2013 and it will become law by the end of that year.
Note question, singular. Does this mean that they have conceded that there will be only one question?
I had a bit of a giggle to myself when I realised that they were launching their campaign on Towel Day
. This annual event to honour the memory of Douglas Adams encourages fans to carry a towel around all day. Apparently, according to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, it’s the most practical thing in the universe if you’re planning a crazy, unpredictable intergalactic voyage.
Timing is everything. I don’t get the desire to smash up a successful monetary and political union at a time when working together intra- and inter-nationally has never been more important, as we face the worst economic circumstances of our lifetimes. The union as it is is far from perfect, but if I have something that doesn’t work as I want it to, I try to fix it. I don’t break it up into pieces.
Nothing I have seen from anyone in the SNP has come close to persuading me that there is any need for independence other than they want it. As a highlander, I have as much of an issue about being told what to do by Edinburgh as I do London.
When we’re seeing Greece fall apart, Italy ruled by technocrats, Spain’s banks in a mess, all of which is going to have a huge knock on effect on the European economy, is it the right moment to cut loose? What will we be able to do as a new independent country? Are we not better to weather the storm as one nation while balancing the relationship between its member states? That sounds like the best of both worlds to me.
It’s a very risky environment out there – and, frankly, a newly independent country, trying to find its feet in the world, would need more than a towel to cope with the economic storms which nobody expects to subside for a good while yet.
Advocates of independence would say that’s “talking Scotland down”. It’s not talking me down to suggest that I can’t climb Everest. I wouldn’t even try. I wouldn’t want to. Just because something isn’t a good idea for you, that doesn’t mean that you are in any way deficient. I don’t want to stay in the UK because I need Westminster to look after me – I just think that the partnership makes sense for both.
Anyway, we have at least 27 months to have that debate – today, though, was a disappointment. I had expected better.