We are not governed by polls.
Polls are shifted by campaigns. Currently, there is no Yes campaign. But the Better Together/Project Fear campaign has been unrelenting. The significant thing about the polls is, not that they haven’t moved towards Yes in the absence of any campaigning, but that they haven’t shifted towards No despite a massive propaganda effort by the British state.
There shall be a referendum. It will take place before the British government’s Brexit fiasco is finalised – probably in September 2018. And it will be a very different campaign from the last time.
Alison Rowat baldly asserts that “it is on cold, hard, cash grounds that any second referendum, like the first one, will be decided”. She casually – not to say arrogantly – assumes that the British establishment, including the British media, will dictate the agenda as before. She takes it for granted that the campaign to preserve the union at any cost will easily take the debate onto the ground of economics where it is a simple matter to find ‘experts’ prepared to peddle endless tales of doom and disaster. Or ‘independent reports’, as the media invariably calls them.
I am not a professional political journalist. But I am an activist. I attend meetings and conferences, not lunches and shmooze-fests. I don’t have movers and shakers on speed-dial, I talk with the people who will be doing the actual campaigning when #indyref2 is called. It’s pretty safe to assume that I have a better idea of what is actually going on within the independence movement than any scribbler peering at Scottish politics through the distorting lens of Westminster-centric prejudice. I am not constrained by the ‘cosy consensus’ that exists among British commentators who think it their duty to define reality rather than describe it.
I can tell you that Ms Rowat’s off-hand dismissal of “warnings about the dangers of sticking with a right-wing Tory government in England” is woefully misplaced. She seems to imagine that people have learned nothing from the first independence referendum and its aftermath. She appears to suppose that we’ve forgotten the British state’s unprincipled propaganda campaign and the despicable behaviour of Better Together/Project Fear. She assumes that the people of Scotland may once again be duped into accepting ‘Britain’ as the the standard against which all alternatives must be measured and the ideal which must never be questioned.
I’m happy to say that she is very, very wrong.
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