9 Sep 2014

No camp throw the kitchen sink at it

The no camp hope flying saltires over English town halls and the like might just enthuse some of the ground troops. They really need re-enthusing.

Long gone is the complacent “it’ll be 70:30” that you heard at the start of this campaign around Downing Street. Gone is the more recent “I think it could be 60:40 plus” you heard as recently as two weeks ago.

In July I found that when I pressed don’t knows about how they’d vote right now if they had to vote immediately, I found the numbers broke about 2 to 1 in favour of no. There was definitely a shy no vote phenomenon and people muttered the word looking embarrassed at  the floor in some cases.

In the last two weeks, I find the don’t knows that I press for an answer break more like 60:40 to no. One of the big questions of the campaign is how many don’t knows are there out there? Is it the higher number,  around 18 per cent or 400,000, identified by some pollsters, or the much smaller 8 per cent identified by others?

There are many unknowns. And still some days to go. But I find some long-standing devolution supporters who, after month and month of staring at the binary choice on offer, have grown used to the risks, or “bumps” as Alex Salmond calls them, of independence. They’ve dug into their new position. Some of them didn’t seem to be tuning into the fast-track devolution timetable offer.

Better Together strategists hope the Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, might reignite currency fears by re-stating his earlier suggestion that Alex Salmond’s currency union won’t work – though this time in less delphic language.

There’s talk of dark, negative posters that never made it on to billboards. Might that tone be resurrected? The hope for the no camp is that the message of economic risk can be driven home and linked to public services, where the yes camp has made real headway over the summer.

The hope for the yes camp is that the grassroots advocacy can carry on its work and maybe even eat into the last age cohort standing by the union, the over-60s.

One Better Together source said they were “throwing the kitchen sink at it”. Kitchen sinks aren’t famously precision weapons.

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3 reader comments

  1. Lisi Reisz says:

    I would actually like to email you, but you lot no longer accept email. So this isn’t specifically a comment on your blog, but a comment I’d like to make to you.

    I am going to start with a question. Have you heard of England?

    One wouldn’t think so. Scotland gets mentioned. Oh, how Scotland gets mentioned. I have come away from the news because I can stand no more. Wales and Ireland get the odd wave. You did once mention the English regions. But what about the nation? Gordon Brown talked of federalism. How can the UK be federal when its most populous nation is simply ignored? You can’t let Scotland see David Cameron, but you can shove Gordon Brown at the English.

    Please, we exist. Acknowledge us at least. Give us just a passing wave. Roll on a yes vote. I am tired of the tail waving the dog.


  2. CWH says:

    There is very little difference between what ‘new’ powers that are on offer and what is already in the Scotland Act 2012 and some of its provisions have still to come into effect eg varying tax levels, borrowing powers. Therefore in the event of a NO vote it is entirely possible that the 3 amigos and their little helper will turn round and say that we should try the powers in the Scotland Act 2012 and then see how things go. I think their calculation is that we have forgotten the Scotland Act and most journalists/reporters especially from the south do not know about it so wont challenge them on it.

    In which case the kitchen sink goes straight into the long grass.

  3. Radio Jammor says:

    After being so arrogant and negative with their “no” campaign, I hope the kitchen sink rebounds back and smacks them in the face.

    And it really might.

    Bringing in the party leaders – none of whom are popular – at this point, when postal votes are already being made, not only smacks of desperation but shows how arrogant and incompetent the Westminster parties have been over their campaign and tactics.

    The bluff and bluster campaign has already been seen through. These people are at least as likely to alienate more Scots as they are to scare the more gullible and reticent into voting no.

    Come on, Scotland, you know that the UK elite is running scared and the reason is that you have what it needs – oil and gas – and you have it in sufficient abundance to make independence work.

    And by the way, this currency debate is also over-stated. Scotland can use the £ regardless of sovereignty, and even then, Scotland has other options. But any which way Scotland’s independent currency works, it WILL work, because it is in EVERYONE’S interests that it does.

    A reminder of the last section of the Edinburgh Agreement about the Independence Referendum:


    30. The United Kingdom and Scottish Governments are committed, through the Memorandum of Understanding between them and others, to working together on matters of mutual interest and to the principles of good communication and mutual respect. The two governments have reached this agreement in that spirit. They look forward to a referendum that is legal and fair producing a decisive and respected outcome. The two governments are committed to continue to work together constructively in the light of the outcome, whatever it is, in the best interests of the people of Scotland and of the rest of the United Kingdom.

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