Building a winning case

On Saturday, a full 48 hours before the publication of the Scottish government’s paper setting out the economic case for independence and its plans for the currency and the border with England, Blair Mcdougall, the former chief of Better Together was tweeting the imminent release of a video which he claimed was going to comprehensively debunk the paper. Since the paper had yet to be published and Blair cannot possibly have seen it, much less digested and considered its contents, that leaves only two possibilities.

The first possibility is that the video he mentioned must have been produced with the assistance of Blair’s time machine, although you might think that he really ought to have have loaned it to his Better Together buddies in the Tory party and then they would have seen just how much of a disaster Liz Truss was going to be for the claim that Scotland needs the economic stability of the UK. Mind you, he could also have used it to see the abject failure of the Better Together parties to ‘kill nationalism stone dead’, so he might have had a wee word in their ear about the need to ensure that all the fine promises that they made in 2014 actually got kept, and then in 2022 he wouldn’t be desperately tweeting that he had already debunked an economic paper that hadn’t yet been published.

The only other alternative is that Blair is a dyed in the wool British nationalist who would still argue against Scottish independence even if presented with unarguable evidence that in an independent Scotland every sheep would shit solid gold turds. But no, that can’t be right, because Blair is a Labour man and that means his British nationalism can’t possibly be nationalist.

I would not be remotely surprised if this debunking video features the stylings of man who happens to share a name with a fast food burger clown, who is very much the go-to guy for warnings that whatever economic policies are adopted by an independent Scotland, we will be without a fixed abode, sitting in the dark, and unable to put food on the table of the home we have just been evicted from. Oh, wait, that’s the UK.

Meanwhile the heid bummer, with the accent on bummer, of anti-independence graph manufacturers These Islands tweeted in reply to an independence supporter who wanted to know if his anti-independence think tank had anything to say about the political and economic crisis engulfing the UK other than to suggest that all will be well with a General election and to tell Scotland that things will always be worse in an independent Scotland

“Think of it this way. Scottish nationalism is a virus. I’m in the vaccine business. And you’re a vaccine sceptic: demanding to know why the vaccine doesn’t cure every known disease.”

We can take that as a no then.

Presumably British nationalism is an even more virulent and debilitating virus, because one of its prime symptoms is deluding those infected by it into believing it doesn’t exist and to deny that there are any structural or systemic issues with the British state that cannot be solved with a change of governing parties after a General Election. This delusion then leads them to do mad things like voting Tory or setting up patronising ‘think tanks’ with the likes of Neil Oliver, British nationalism’s Propagandalf.

Just about every mainstream commentator is wondering whether the current self inflicted Anglo- British nationalist malaise of the British state is worse than Suez or not, we have had four chancellors in as many months and a Prime Minister who has only been in office for just over a month might not survive in post beyond next week. The pound is tanking, interest rates are soaring, and even the Telegraph has been forced to concede that Brexit has been an unmitigated disaster. Yet the response from These Islands is Nothing to see here, look over there, Scottish independence would be infinitely worse because it’s nationalist, and that’s bad.

Unlike Blair, I’m not going to pass much comment on a paper which I’ve not read. However I do want to talk about the fascinating opinion poll published on Sunday in The National, you know, because you can actually meaningfully discuss things which have already been published. (Wee hint for you there Blair.)

The poll gives a baseline support for independence of 50% when the standard question is asked, however the really interesting finding is that support for independence soars to 61% when respondents were asked about an independent Scotland in which the happiness and well-being of citizens and respect for the environment are prioritised and where state pensions are boosted from £141.85 to £225 per week.

You might think, “Oh big deal, offer a land of milk and honey and people will vote for it.” However the real point here is that this poll tells us that the 50% who say that they’d vote No to independence are not in fact all hard core British nationalists, sorry ‘anti-nationalist unionists’, à la Blair McDougall and his pal Ronald, many of them are open to persuasion if the independence movement makes an attractive and plausible case to them. The magic figure of a 60% yes vote is attainable if the independence movement makes the right case and fights an effective campaign.

This is all the more reason to stop obsessing about process, we won’t win independence by arguing amongst ourselves. Instead we need to concentrate on making that positive case for independence which can build overwhelming support for independence amongst the wider public in Scotland. This poll tells us that unarguable majority support really is possible, ad that is what has got Blair an These Islands Mr Patronising so rattled.

Hopefully tomorrow with the publication of the Scottish Government’s paper we will have a firm basis upon which to build that case. It comes as pressure mounts within the Conservative party to ditch Liz Truss in a last ditch effort to minimise the scale of the defeat which the Tories are staring at.

It looks like we are going to be in for a news-packed week, unfortunately I might not be able to blog every day as my other half is going to the USA to visit his family, the first time he has seen them since the pandemic and since his sister passed away from covid. I will be staying at home as I am not really fit enough for a transatlantic trip. It’s the first time sine the stroke that he has gone away, some friends are coming to stay to help me as I’d struggle to manage by myself. I will blog when I can.


albarevisedMy Gaelic maps of Scotland are still available, a perfect gift for any Gaelic learner or just for anyone who likes maps. The maps cost £15 each plus £7 P&P within the UK. You can order by sending a PayPal payment of £22 to [email protected] (Please remember to include the postal address where you want the map sent to).

I am now writing the daily newsletter for The National, published every day from Monday to Friday in the late afternoon.  So if you’d like a daily dose of dug you can subscribe to The National, Scotland’s only pro-independence newspaper, here: Subscriptions from The National

This is your reminder that the purpose of this blog is to promote Scottish independence. If the comment you want to make will not assist with that goal then don’t post it. If you want to mouth off about how much you dislike the SNP leadership there are other forums where you can do that. You’re not welcome to do it here.

You can help to support this blog with a PayPal donation. Please log into and send a payment to the email address [email protected]. Or alternatively click the donate button below. If you don’t have a PayPal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.

Donate Button