Death Quad

Identity, personal or national, isn’t merely something you have like a passport. It is also something you rediscover daily, like a strange country. Its core isn’t something like a mountain. It is something molten, like lava.
– Hugh McIlvanney

News that support for independence was resurgent breaks today with a new poll by  TNS-BMRB poll, published today by The Herald, showing those who would vote Yes for independence ahead by 39% to 38%. Hardly earth-shattering you might say, but perhaps a sign that using the ‘Quad’ – a group comprising Mr Cameron, Nick Clegg, Chancellor George Osborne, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and Mr Moore as the team to ‘put the case for the Union’ – may have been a spectacular failure. This is hardly surprising given that the group are embarked in implementing austerity measures  dismantling much of the fabric of the state and the society they speak of whilst lining the pockets of the rich and powerful.

Last week a group of doctors wrote an open letter describing the NHS reforms as: “As current and future healthcare professionals we are concerned that the health service as we know it is soon to be dismantled…the end result is likely to be fragmentation, increased and uncontrolled competition, and a marketised healthcare model.”

While Hamish Meldrum, Chair of the BMA has argued that hospitals will be forced to treat wealthy foreigners to raise cash rather than treat poor patients as they are hit by cuts to the NHS budget and the government’s radical pro-market reforms.

With is backdrop, and the shallow infantile and repetitive utterances of Moore and Alexander – it’s no surprise that support is shifting away from the Unionist proposition.

At least one of Moore’s 6 is answered in the form the poll is given: in each of the 10 polls, TNS-BMRB has asked the same straight agree or disagree question on the premise “that the Scottish Government should negotiate a settlement with the Government of the United Kingdom so that Scotland becomes an independent state”.

The latest sample of 1007 adults in 69 constituencies took place between August 24-31.

Chris Eynon of TNS-BMRB said: “For now, the ball is rolling in favour of the SNP and independence.”

Mr Eynon said: “It does provide a stark measure of how attitudes towards independence per se have moved since the SNP first came to power in 2007.” He added: “The decline in opposition is reflected more in a shift to ‘undecided’ than to ‘support’, which is perhaps not surprising. It would be a major change to move from opposing to supporting independence over a short period.

“What this does suggest is that resistance is being challenged and more people are being encouraged to reconsider their opposition to independence.”

Ipsos Mori, polling last week, had Labour adrift of the SNP at Holyrood by 21 points (49% to 28%) while even for Westminster the SNP led Labour by 42% to 33%.

As civil war continues in the Labour Party (the post-Blair feuds continue to spew forth daily) and is about to break out in the Tory Party (“Any policy which appeases nationalists is damaging to the union by definition.” – Michael Forsyth, who as Sophia Pangloss points out ‘returned hame’ the Stone of Scone.) it’s time for new political ideas and forces to emerge either within or outwith the SNP to galvanise challenge and stimulate change.

Nor is this the obsession of ‘cybernats’ the perennial smear rolled out by anyone too lazy to be paying attention. Writing in the much improved Sunday Herald this weekend, Iain Macwhirter writes in a piece responding to the efforts of ‘the Quad’:

“Westminster sources said this was all part of a “big optimistic case for the UK”, but it didn’t sound very optimistic. It sounded like Gordon Brown’s desperately depressing case against separatism, which we heard loud and clear before the four Scottish parliamentary elections and which has been rejected in the last two. Arguably, this “big optimistic case” prepared the ground for the SNP landslide last May. If you keep telling people they can’t stand on their own two feet, eventually they’ll try to prove you wrong.

If the Unionist parties are to save the UK, they’ll have to do better than this. First, EU membership is not a serious issue. If the European Union can welcome countries like the Czech Republic and Slovakia as well as eastern European states that used to be part of the USSR, there is zero prospect of them blocking an independent Scotland.

The right to national self-determination is the foundation of the European project. If a democratically independent Scotland wished to remain in the community, ways would be found to keep it there. The real question might be whether what’s left of the UK would still deserve to wield its current clout in the European Council.”

The title of his piece? “What’s the Union for…anyone?”

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  1. Don McC says:

    We are now several months down the line and no one, absolutely no one, has been able to come up with a positive, indisputable argument for the Union. Does one exist?

    Alexander and Moore fell back to the old, tired, default position. Scotland’s too poor, too wee, too stupid. Coupled with Moore’s threat to push through the Scotland bill even if it’s rejected at Holyrood, Salmond must be thinking that these cretins’ every utterance is mana from heaven.

    1. Ian Hamilton says:

      I have waited more than seventy years to hear why the Union is good for Scotland and England. With England absorbed into the walled city of London the contracting parties are now totally changed. The Union is causing increasing estrangement where only friendship should be.

      Ian Hamilton

      1. Andrew says:

        Aye agreed Ian, in all of this i find that the thought of Evolution has missed these people, nothing remains the same nor should it, Evolve or face Extinction.

      2. The Chair of the CBI rather blew the Westminster too poor, too wee, too stupid Scotland line away when he spoke at the same conference as ‘Beaker’ Alexander’s ‘Dooomed, independent Scotland is doomed, I tell ye’ speech.

        It appears Scotland is third in the world for new active patents per GDP, we are acknowledged world leaders in oil production techniques, off shore wind farms and tidal power development. Tourism and our exports of electricity, whiskey (31 bottles a minute are being exported) and other manufactured goods is helping lead the UK out of recession.

        I wonder Mr Hamilton if in accordance with Scots Law and constitutional practice whether there are grounds for indicting Mr Moore and Mr Alexander of the Liberal Democrats for treason on the grounds they are ‘Scottish Leaders’ who are selling us to ‘English’ domination. 😀

  2. Scottish republic says:

    Independent we will be a prosperous country, not just financially but socially. A new sense of ourselves and others.

    We’ll leave the doom-laden xenophobia for the Brit nats to spread while we contribute to the world stage from a country that has a heart.

  3. bellacaledonia says:

    One swallow doesn’t make a Scottish Spring. But I suspect this is not a rogue poll but part of a slow, cautious inexorable move away from the idea of Union in the minds of many who haven’t yet jumped with both feet into the camp of Independence. Another two years of Tory misrule and it could be like trying to stop a juggernaut. What’s needed now are calm heads, clarity of purpose as well nerves of steel when it comes to dealing with London.

    Plus grassroots organisation. The Scottish Independence Convention is our best bet for a unified civic campaign to prepare the ground for a Yes vote. (Consider joining it if not already a member).

    Last week Cameron and Co. were insisting it should be a straightforward Yes or No vote on Independence. Fine. Lets hold them to that when the time comes.

    KW

    1. Scottish republic says:

      Well said Kenneth.

  4. Funnily enough, the British nationalists’ case looks depressing and defensive from all sides of the border. Here in England, it comes across as an attack on English national identity, as something dangerous which needs to be forcibly held under if the union is to survive. This is an increasingly unsustainable position, particularly as the austerity gap between Scotland and England continues to widen. It’s always fascinated me that support for Scottish independence is historically higher in England than in Scotland. Who wants the union, any more? Just the political classes at Westminster, it seems. We’ll see how long that lasts, especially if the global economy implodes, which it looks likely to do over the next few months. Then it will all be up in the air.

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Thanks Paul.

      Of course the ‘austerity gap’ is a bit more complex than that isn’t it? It depends on whether your in Shettleston or St Andrews,
      Brixton or Belgravia.

      I’ve always felt that support for Scottish independence in England is always laced with a tint of either irony, hatred or joviality (not necessarily in that order). It would be good to have a breakdown of reasons for support. is it because ‘they’re sweaty socks’ or is it in a spirit of solidarity for the international right of self determination? Either way of course it’s an interesting concept but presumably an irrelevant one (in terms of coming referendum?)

      You arr right o ask ‘Who wants the union, any more?’ though. Just like as in N. Ireland, the political classes won’t be swayed by custom or culture but by hard cash. So the economic realities of revenues may be the thing that keeps the Union in place, that and geopolitical forces around Trident.

  5. What I find fascinating is the 23% “undecided”. One has to consider in this context what undecided means, which is that they are at least open to the idea of voting Yes on independence. This large a percentage of “possibly yes” voters is a huge change in the possible success of a referendum, as much as the gradual edging upwards of the percentage of “definite yes” voters.

    Interesting days.

  6. mackenzie says:

    Nice mahogany table

    1. It’s a pity about the four wooden figures sitting around it though!

  7. Scottish republic says:

    On my winding way around the net, I get the impression that the DON’T KNOWS are soft unionists or soft nationalists (same difference at the end of the day) and they are open to a solid convincing economic argument to join the YES vote.

    It’s up to us to furnish that solid argument and excite them with the possibilities.

  8. M GRAHAM says:

    I was thinking about this though and mean no offence. Although my Mum is 74 (and wants Scotland to be independent) she does not use a computer.When I was out delivering leaflets in the run up to the election some of the (and this is where I mean no offence ) older people I spoke to, would not even entertain the notion of independence.Now ,much as I welcome this poll,my concern is a)what age group were polled and b) older people do tend to vote .
    With some I spoke with, there was almost an allegiance to a different era and there was a fear expressed of the unknown-tricky to counter .

  9. Yuven Tkg says:

    Public on the current situation in Enaro and Madi – Paniai – Papua; community all had to flee again in the forests, villages, schools are also no teaching and learning (all caps), cities Enaro – Madi met with Army / Police and BIN. They precaution and wait for orders to attack to go after them eduda who have guns seized in Komopa. For that led army / police in Paniai, Government (Regent) and local church leaders held a meeting. From eduda own party would not return the gun, still on the commitment that after the authorities also return the money weapon ever taken by the authorities at some time ago, then they (the eduda) will also be back ……. while according to Yuli Doo info from Enarotadi.

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