Referendum 2014
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Referendum 2014
The Scottish independence referendum and the debate about Scotland's constitutional future
Curated by Peter A Bell
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Zero tolerance

Zero tolerance | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
So, let's just recap where we've got to. - If you hate Jews, vote with the Holocaust denier. - If you hate gay people, vote with Britannica. - If you hate Catholics, vote with the Orange Order. - I...
Peter A Bell's insight:

There's some nasty characters in the anti-independence campaign.

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Pro-Union campaign warned to keep it positive

Pro-Union campaign warned  to keep it positive | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
PRO-UK campaigners have been warned not to
Peter A Bell's insight:

There is no "pro-union" campaign. There is only an increasingly shrill and splenetic anti-independence campaign.

There is no positive message from the anti-independence campaign. There is only the unremitting, relentless, grinding negativity of lies, smears and ever more ludicrously overblown scare stories.

Nor is there any possibility of a positive message from the anti-independence campaign. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the British nationalists who lead the anti-independence campaign have never questioned the British state or their own unthinking allegiance to it. For them, the structures of power and privilege which define the British state are something pre-ordained. To question the rightness of existing arrangements is a form of heresy.

Having never queried the British state, its institutions and processes, these British nationalist are quite unable to make a positive case for it. To them, it is just obviously and unquestionably ideal. They see it as innately superior and feel no need to defend that which, in their minds, has the status of something ordered by a higher power. To the British nationalist, the imagined nation of Britain is imbued with all the arcane mystique that was vested in primitive notions of divinely ordained monarchs.

The second reason that the No campaign cannot possibly have a positive message is that it is the No campaign. It is essentially negative. It is all about the things that it is against. The only thing it is for is being against these things. The No campaign defines itself by its opposition to Scotland having the status of a nation. It defines itself by opposition to the principle of popular sovereignty. It defines itself by opposition to the idea that the people of Scotland alone have the legitimate authority to determine the powers of their parliament.

There is no way of honestly framing the No campaign's message in a positive way. Their desperate efforts to find a way only result in transparently contrived semantic tricks. They can only avoid using the old "Too wee!" line by resorting to vacuous sloganeering about how "bigger is better".

They can only avoid the "Too poor!" line by substituting, "Not wealthy enough!".

They can only avoid avoid the "Too stupid!" line by asserting that all Scotland's achievements and successes were only possible because we had Nanny Britannia watching over us.

If you doubt what I say, look at what is happening right now. Knowing that they cannot possibly come up with a convincing positive message, the anti-independence campaign and its media wing have mounted a massive propaganda effort to portray the Yes campaign as being just as negative as they are.

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Bring me sunshine

Bring me sunshine | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Remember how the No campaign was definitely going to be much more positive from now on, pushing a feelgood "sunshine strategy" to persuade Scots that the UK was the best of both worlds? Let's see h...
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Lord Robertson is trying to bully Scots into voting no in the referendum

Lord Robertson is trying to bully Scots into voting no in the referendum | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Owen Jones: The former defence secretary and Nato chief's claims that a break from the union will imperil the west are part of an anti-democratic campaign that is backfiring
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Scottish independence: New poll shows Yes shift

Scottish independence: New poll shows Yes shift | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
THE gap between the Yes and No votes in the independence referendum has narrowed, according to an opinion poll that delivers a double blow to those fighting to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom.
Peter A Bell's insight:

I see John Curtice is still hoping for a "more confident and convincing vision" from the anti-independence campaign. I suppose we must applaud the good professor's optimism - even if it is naive and misplaced.

The harsh reality is that there is not the slightest possibility of a positive message from the No campaign. Quite apart from the fact that they have not managed to contrive such a message in two years, it simply isn't possible to imagine what form such a message would take.

Had the British parties seized the opportunity to include a "more powers" option on the referendum ballot things would have been different. But they flatly rejected that offer, choosing instead to try and sell the status quo to the people of Scotland - despite the fact that even back then it was quite obvious that the status quo was totally unacceptable to the vast majority of people in Scotland. Of course, back then the unionists thought a No vote was certain. We've moved a long way since then. But the anti-independence campaign cannot move because it has nowhere to go.

The British parties in Scotland are now obliged to try and deceive the people of Scotland into believing that their rejection of a "more powers" option didn't actually happen. They brazenly lie about a No vote being a vote for more powers.

One of the reasons that they refused to have a "more powers" options on the ballot was that they had no intention of delivering those powers. Another, which is particularly relevant with the publication of Johann Lamont's shambolic devolution proposals, is that every concession offered undermines the argument that the union is a satisfactory arrangement. The British parties face a painful dilemma in that the powers offered must be meaningful to have any hope of persuading people to vote No. But the more meaningful the offer is the more it prompts awkward questions.

If this power, why not that power?

If the union is as effective and beneficial as claimed, why the need to make significant changes?

If devolution is a process, what is the next stage beyond what is being offered now? When do we reach that stage? At what point do the British parties admit the inadequacy of what they are offering now and come up with another offer?

Why should we endure this interminable constitutional tinkering when we can put an end to it right now simply by voting Yes?

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Referendum: Charles Kennedy says No campaign must be 'more positive'

Referendum: Charles Kennedy says No campaign must be 'more positive' | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Former Liberal Democrat leader wants 'a more coherent blueprint' in the event of a No vote.
Peter A Bell's insight:

If the No campaign had anything positive to say they would have said it by now.

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Love-bombed then dive-bombed, Salmond says of UK

Love-bombed then dive-bombed, Salmond says of UK | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE: Alex Salmond will accuse the UK government of pursuing a “Dambusters strategy” to oppose independence, as the SNP leader uses a speech in London to dismiss a series of interventions by Westminster politicians in the referendum.
Peter A Bell's insight:

It is worth noting, because there is no way that The Scotsman will be so open and informative, that it was not Alex Salmond who coined the term "Dambusters strategy" to describe the clumsy interventions which have shown the "love-bombing" to be an exercise in the most sickening hypocritical duplicity. The term was originally attributed to a "Coalition source" by The Herald. Perhaps the same source who revealed that Better Together calls itself "Project Fear".

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Project Fear boasts of 'Dambusters Strategy' | Scottish National Party

Project Fear boasts of 'Dambusters Strategy' | Scottish National Party | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Peter A Bell's insight:

The No campaign has faced criticism today after senior Westminster figures publicly boasted of running a ‘Dambusters strategy’ to undermine business confidence in Scotland.

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Falling Over

Falling Over | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The biggest obstacle to a Yes victory is a credible alternative. Dave's faltering pledges of love and miscued utterances won't cut it. Not on the day when the climate change denying E...

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The gift-horse dentist

The gift-horse dentist | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
We don't entirely understand why the Times has this story as front page news, because it was covered in some detail in the Sunday Post a fortnight ago: But we couldn't help thinking of the last tim...
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With friends like these the Union has no need for enemies - Spectator Blogs

With friends like these the Union has no need for enemies - Spectator Blogs | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Whitehall numpties and Labour dolts: the Union's defenders do more harm than good.
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50 Questions The No Camp Must Answer

50 Questions The No Camp Must Answer | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
They're an evasive mob when quizzed about what will happen in the event of a No vote.  No seems to stand for No Alt White Paper, No Straight Answers, No Much Of A Clue. This slipperiness will come ...
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Blinded by the Light

Blinded by the Light | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
I fear there is an atmosphere being created in the media bubble which could have unforeseen consequences. The calculated smearing of Wings for example has developed into a witch-hunt, an idea given...
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Picking up a buzz

Picking up a buzz | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Yesterday, we discovered a rather curious anti-independence "listicle" on the popular viral-meme website Buzzfeed. Entitled "Scotland. The UK. 10 Myths. 10 Facts.", it describes itself as "myth bus...
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D.J. MacLennan: We Can Be Far More Together With The Rest Of The World As An Independent Nation | National Collective

D.J. MacLennan: We Can Be Far More Together With The Rest Of The World As An Independent Nation | National Collective | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
To a fearful child, the sight of that hulking black mass out in the Sound was paralyzing. Why do they
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Not a legend, an epitaph

The Labour party, after the currency union veto which left its credibility as sound as the Zimbabwean dollar, and the devobuggerall which not even their own leadership understands, has now announce...
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Scottish independence: positive No campaign call

Scottish independence: positive No campaign call | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The pro-Union campaign must be more positive as the independence debate enters its last six months or risk turning voters off, according to former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy.
Peter A Bell's insight:

I suspect this is just political posturing from Charles Kennedy. He must surely realise the anti-independence campaign does not have anything positive to say. Indeed, it cannot have anything positive to say. It's message is ineluctably negative:

Scotland can't!

Scotland shouldn't!

Scotland mustn't!

Even if this grinding negativity were not already obvious, Mr Kennedy might have paused wonder why, if the No campaign does indeed have some positive message, they have not come out with it before now. After all, his is not the first such pointless complaint about the truly dire effort to deny the sovereignty of Scotland's people.

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How to Lose a Referendum

How to Lose a Referendum | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

How very unfortunate that the quiet little plan David Cameron was reportedly hatching for the G8 conference has been foiled by Vladimir Putin's outburst of aggression on the Crimean ...

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Kissinger's "First Virgin" and the Excluded Middle

Kissinger's "First Virgin" and the Excluded Middle | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Alan Trench, writing on his "Devolution Matters" blog, this week put a name to the UK Government's newly robust referendum strategy: the "excluded middle".[1] In a nutshell, that ...

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Wrong number

Wrong number | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
To cut a long story short, Wings readers, it turns out that by a freakish coincidence I have a fax number only one digit different to that of Alistair Darling's constituency office. Attached below ...
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Foreign Office caught asking Spanish press to undermine Scottish independence

Foreign Office caught asking Spanish press to undermine Scottish independence | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
THE Foreign & Commonwealth Office has again been accused of meddling in the referendum, after it emerged that the British Embassy in Madrid has been urging newspapers in Spain to publish criticisms of Scottish independence.
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Tactics vs strategy

Most modern politicians are great tacticians but lousy strategists. They spend huge efforts on planning the run-up to the next election, but they don't often t
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