For the last couple of days The
Krankies SNP and the Yes Campaign have come in for a bit of hiding from me – mostly because I think their fundamental idea is wrong. But there are two sides to this debate and you’d think i was fully in support of the “Better Together” Campaign to keep Scotland as part of the UK (Probably the Devo Max flavour). Well I am and I’m not.
The idea of the Union is my preferred outcome in next year’s referendum because I haven’t heard the argument that convinces me that the current set up will be improved by separating from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the associated islands. But it has to be acknowledged that the Alistairs, Darling and Carmichael, are making a pig’s ear of the job in putting forward the positives of the Union and how Scotland benefits.
And it’s not as if they haven’t got the ammunition to take down the Yes campaign as there are so many academics, business leaders and finance experts who are helpfully explaining the issues with all the SNP plans. But when you have the man who bailed out the banks having sat at the side of Gordon Brown fronting the campaign it doesn’t fill the electorate with anything but dread. He’s not a strong enough characters to take on Sturgeon or Salmond.
We need to give both the SNP’s big hitters their due they talk a great game, have a very well organised media strategy and are able to challenge any counter arguments made – but they aren’t infallible and there are massive holes in their plans. The No campaign is automatically on the back foot as the ideas will all naturally come from the group advocating change, so they need to start setting the agenda rather than responding to it. Promote what we do well and how that is improved by being part of the UK. Use the same platforms that the Yes campaign do, but with a heavy weight frontman or woman.
I don’t want to be sitting here in an Independent Scotland run by people who have ruined Education with CfE in its current form and the atrocities of the College merger programme which has been rolled out across the country to save money but damage education. They are great at the headline grabbing things like free prescriptions and bridge crossings but when it really matters they haven’t done anything apart from the free care for the elderly which I applaud. They are all talk and that is where they need to be attacked and challenged.
So “Better Together” stop reacting to things and lead – how can people buy into the idea if you are seen to be dragging your heels behind the Yes campaign every time? With current polls showing the Union the preferred option at a ratio of 3 to 1 votes you need to drive the message home to ensure that doesn’t move in the next ten months. They can’t win at the moment, but there’s a chance you could lose votes.