Kick the box!

Michael Fry correctly points out that “there is a crucial margin of sceptical voters, 5 or 10% of the whole electorate, needing to be converted to the cause of independence”. While he doesn’t say as much, the clear implication is that this “crucial margin” is “sceptical” about independence. That may be true of some. But at least as many are, for the very reasons so eloquently set out in the article, likely to be sceptical about the Union. After all, it is the Union which is allowing a disastrous Brexit to be imposed on an unwilling Scotland.

It is, therefore, the Union which is threatening the “personal interest” which Mr Fry seems to suppose is the overriding – if not the only – consideration for voters. So it stands to reason that many who voted No in 2014 because they calculated this would make them richer – or, at least, safeguard their personal wealth – are now busy at their abacuses rerunning those calculations in the light of Brexit.

Of course, in the real world, not everybody is primarily motivated by greed. And vanishingly few are motivated solely by greed. For most people, “personal interest” will be one consideration among many. Michael Fry might be startled to discover that there are even those who will gladly sacrifice some part of their personal interest for what they regard as a more vital cause and/or a more worthy principle.

Not everybody sees politics as merely a matter of economic management. Not everybody is concerned only with having the economy managed for their personal benefit. Those who are not sociopaths are, by definition, burdened with a social conscience. How heavily this weighs is a matter of individual character. As is willingness to bear the discomfort of what can often be an awkward load. But, in general, people will assess public policy and government action on criteria other than the impact on their own bank account.

Such people will see Brexit as more than just the act of economic self-harm it undoubtedly is. They will see it also as an act of social and cultural vandalism. They will see it as an insult to rationality. They will see it as an affront to democracy. And they will tend to address it as such, even at some personal cost.

In terms of the conduct of the independence campaign, however, all of those beginning to be sceptical of the Union can be counted pretty much the same. Whether they are concerned for the welfare of their own bank balance or for the welfare of society as a whole, they are starting to wonder if it is the Union, rather than independence, which represents the greatest threat.

The part of that “5 or 10% of the whole electorate” which is ripe for plucking by the independence campaign is the part which is increasingly dubious about or disgruntled with the Union. It is people who won’t be “converted to the cause of independence” by promises of personal gain, national prosperity and social progress. They won’t be converted by even the most perfectly formed independence ‘message’ for the simple reason that they are not listening to that message. They won’t start to listen until there is a loosening of the Union’s grip on them, and their grip on the Union.

The reason Michael Fry sees “no surge in public opinion likely to carry us past 50% in indyref2” can be summed up in one word – inertia. The “crucial margin” needs a jolt of political action to break that inertia. It needs to be induced to review it’s assumptions about and attachment to the Union. Only when that crucial margin starts to question the efficacy and basis of the Union will it become open to the independence message.

It’s a double, or even a treble win for the independence campaign. Because the jolt of political action may also stir the apathetic, and it will certainly energise the already enthusiastic.

Scotland desperately, urgently requires bold, decisive, assertive action from the First Minister. Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t just need to think outside the box, she needs to step outside it and give it a hefty kick.


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8 thoughts on “Kick the box!

  1. The media are still peddling the myth that the 5% of the yes support gained from disgruntled remain EU voters , were cancelled out by the Yes voters who voted leave EU. In other words we stand as we were pre-Brexit.

    It neatly ignores the fact that most recent polls have shown that the current EU remain vote in Scotland, has jumped from 62% to 70%. Many people including leave voters are seeing the ugly side of Brexit, and are not happy with Scotland’s treatment. I suspect that Yes are actually now ahead in the polls. The protest against the EU by some yes voters is over.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. And also to the fact that nearly all polling companies are owned and run in London by tories and are influenced by big money, most of these polls are absolute shite. I know of several people who do you gov polls as soon as they know that you vote SNP they don’t ask you to participate anymore. They are constantly manipulated to suit who ever is paying for it. I truly believe that support for Independence is far higher than these polls are indicating far higher. This union will do anything to prevent any split and i MEAN ANYTHING. They are lying deceiving, murderous bastards and will stoop to any level, look at Willie MacRea, Dr David Kelly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Michael Fry has missed what happens if there is a tipping point as the more “normal” groups peel off from Union support. As we have seen over the last few months, at its core, Unionism is driven by a very dark heart. One that most union supporters would not want to be associated with.

    There are those who are open to persuasion or had not seen the truth of what lay behind the union. If more of those can move towards yes, the more the union darkness becomes visible to the remaining supporters…potentially reaching a tipping point where those who never signed up to be die in the wool unionist realise that they are not supporters of that type of Union.

    YES needs to be careful in its approach. In reality the issue is not brexit …its what brexit reveals about Westminster – Both in how it treats Scotland; and the brutal future Westminster is planning and willing to unleash upon the population.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well, I hope to the nth degree that you are all right because a second NO vote will either cripple the independence movement for a very long time or unleash a new, far less accommodating force in Scottish politics. What Brexit, if it happens, will do to England, can no longer be our immediate concern – that must be Scotland and saving ourselves, much as that tears me apart, having much-loved relatives and friends down there.

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    1. @Lorna Campbell

      I agree, There are so many factors (not just media) that YES need to overcomeI that am fearful that it will come to naught.

      My comment was only about when things switch (not that they will). Michael Fry’s comments are about normal…and we are way past normal. When/If change in public sentiment occurs, it is like a wave. All of a sudden, Governments that were listened to – the public just stops paying them any attention. It doesn’t matter what they say it is ignored and they become objects of derision.

      YES needs to make that tipping point happen as the government will go to all and any lengths to stop it. Moreover, YES needs to not bank on Brexit giving it to them on a platter…Brexit is dangerous as it only makes Westminster more vigilant and their reactions to win more extreme.

      P.S. Don’t think Westminster is distracted…they may not have planned ports, food or medicine – but they have planned emergency powers, military on the streets, and arming local police.

      Westminster has well planned how to control Scotland…it needs your “magic money tree”

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      1. P.S.

        Westminster have even planned to relocate Scottish police to NI…so there won’t be any chance of Scottish police having sympathies with locals. You will be getting military on Scotland’s streets.

        May has gone one step better than Churchill locking Scottish military to Maryhill barracks when he called the tanks onto Glasgow streets. She has removed them from the country all together.

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  5. You know, I think the strategy, or thinking, of this indyref being the ‘be all and all’ is not the right approach – it would be a massive disappointment if independence was not achieved – but, really, say we passed a law that the Scottish people had to be asked if they wanted independence every five years, a mundane repetitive thing then, but normalising referendums and the choice, then we would not feel the panic. A NO vote would not be the end of the world, you lay low for a couple of years and start it up again. Yes it’ll be shit, but it always has been, with Westminster in charge.

    With devolution, as long as we get to keep that part – if we don’t, I was thinking of a mass protest of not paying any taxes to the uk, it wouldn’t be very massive with just me doing it and no clue how to do it, so if anyone knows any good lawyers and accountants and has an interest please feel free to steal the idea – I don’t suggest not paying any taxes, but say we all go self employed, and put the equivalent taxes away for a future independent Scotland – effectively a treasury in waiting, so that without our devolved government, the only way that money goes anywhere is if Scotland becomes independent, we could use one or two of those handy tax havens Westminster has so many of. Ah, I digress. Yes, if the devolved government continues to put in place laws on land ownership, progresses to broadcasting, chips away at the BritNat structures, we will get independence in the future – it is what every normal country wants after all. Yes, tedious, long winded, and more opportunity for the BritNat establishment to grind us down – but it will happen.

    How to change the opinion of people still stuck in British empire glory? What is it that stops them seeing reason, and listening to it? I suppose it takes all sorts to make up the world, but it is disappointing that we have so many people that can’t seem to allow themselves to be open minded – why do they delude themselves and somehow believe the unique incapability of Scotland to be a whole nation again? I think only the scaremongering tactics similar to that were used against us in 2014 would have any impact there. We need an asteroid impact in the event of NO,,,

    And I wholly agree, time for the pro-independence politicians and leadership to grow a backbone, the time should be about now, for decisive action.

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