As everyone gets ready to rumble for the debate between Stephen Paton, Shona Craven and David Spokesperson tonight (7pm), let us first turn our attention to the fabulous Dan Snow and Tom Holland double-act. If Scotland in Union are UK Unity’s well-heeled grandparent, and These Islands their dotty Aunt Jessie, this footage of a recent fund-raiser in London is classic. Amidst some rambling about “the Loch Ness Monster” (Tom Holland) and being “denied a vote” and just “feeling completely disempowered” (Dan Snow) after which we were tempted to open the worlds smallest violin case, two things are clear:
First there’s a sort of plaintive bemused childlike idiocy to it all. The speeches are filled with a sense of entitlement and ownership (in Snow’s case this is actual rather than figurative – his father-in- law owns 96,000 acres of land in Scotland, his heiress wife Lady Edwina Grosvenor as daughter of Britain’s richest landowner, the Duke of Westminster, stands to inherit some of his £8.5billion fortune).
At one point Tom Holland blurts: “I just didn’t want to stop feeling British” as a pre-school age child might be deprived of his favourite teddy.
This is essentially an emotional appeal. These are people who can’t make a distinction between their own personal feelings and a democracy of six million people.
Second, they admit and are confused by the Project Fear propaganda that won. But they don’t seem to know why this is or what to do about it. It’s just what happened and they feel uncomfortable about it. They laugh nervously about the Yes campaign that they hope to replicate saying at one point: “We can be joyous we can be civic”. Maybe they could pay their ghillies to run an Astro-Turf campaign next time?
This is – as Suzanne Moore said at the time – like “being bathed in some dodgy supra-nationalism of Britishness that is clearly omnishambolic.”
Here it is.
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