Elizabeth-Anne Callaghan, a Yes voter in 2014, says the SNP’s attempt to push Scots into a second vote by polarising our politics is letting down Scots who need bold, reforming government today.
So we now enter into some kind of Indyref: the sequel charm offensive period. I’ve been an observant by-stander of this in its first days. Social media is always a good place to observe, and it has been active.
As a Yes voter, some of the many debates I had with friends, family and work colleagues were around the practicalities of independence – currency, the economy, pensions and border control with England (most are not keen on this). Therefore I naively thought this was the tone the charm offensive would take. It hasn’t. It’s been more just predictably offensive.
I thought there would be a grown-up discussion regarding the Scottish Government’s recent Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures, and maybe a debate about the thorn in the side of Indy – currency. GERS does attract an annual battle depending on interpretation but one thing is for certain if you are serious about convincing cautious No voters, you cannot ignore or rubbish the figures.
But no, ignore and rubbish seems to be the preferred route of most who seem to be charged with wooing No voters. What could possibly go wrong ?
What has alarmed me most was the tweet of an SNP MP, whose somewhat typical contribution to the debate was:
Scotland's political front line is now SNP/Indy vs Tory/Unionism. SLab has to think very carefully about which side it deploys itself from.
— Pete Wishart (@PeteWishart) September 3, 2016
I can only speak for myself but I won’t be picking either side. Neither appeals at all. The tweet is of course an irresponsible attempt to see a battle of British Nationalists v Scottish Nationalists. Pains me to say it but IF there is another Indyref vote with this as my choice, then I won’t be voting either way, meaning Yes will lose a vote.
This MP is of course right about Scotland’s frontline politics, it is dominated by nationalism (Brit/Scot). Nationalism, a joy to behold for Scotland’s public services with both supporters taking the moral high-ground that their nationalism is the best, for the good, and will sort Scotland public services. But it won’t. Only party polices and proper investment will do that, and Scotland’s current two nationalist parties (the Tories and the SNP) are both failing miserably in this area. I now see them as two cheeks of the same backside.
Nicola Sturgeon is no more Scottish than Ruth Davidson and Ruth Davidson is no more British than Nicola Sturgeon, and they are both no more Scottish or British than me. Same with Yes or No voters, you are no more Scottish/British than the next Yes/No voter. You can cram your social media profile photo with as many twibbons and flags as you can possibly fit in, it changes nothing. A profile picture and a referendum vote do not make you a better person.
As a common saying goes around these parts – we’re a’ Jock Tamson’s bairns.
Glasgow and the West of Scotland is no stranger to tribalism, and history shows both Scottish and British nationalists don’t have a good record, particularly when it came to welcoming starving people from Ireland. John Wheatley is the side I would have been on then, and that’s the side I will remain on. He wasn’t perfect (who is?) but Wheatley will be best remembered as someone who built council houses in Glasgow and introduced the Housing Act, not someone who hammered Glasgow with millions of pounds worth of cuts whilst waving a flag.
Don’t dare limit my choice to SNP or Tory and keep out modern day John Wheatleys, who do exist contrary to what nationalist parties and their supporters preach.