Friday, 3 October 2014

Bar the shouting

Yes, it's all over. The quiet No voters came out and sank the most brilliant and successful campaign ever. How could that have happened? The Yes campaign was streets ahead, wasn't it? It was inclusive and positive! It was, wasn't it? The National Collective! Women for Independence! Common Weal! The No campaign couldn't hold a candle to them.
Or are we maybe evaluating things wrongly? Is it possible that self-centred groups of shouty people with flags was actually counter-productive? And that they actually caused the defeat of Yes?
It's somewhat ironic that the losing camp are now taking pride in calling themselves the '45'. We all know of the original '45' - the crushing and final defeat of the Jacobites which directly led to the destruction of so much of the culture of the Highlands and Islands.
A Proper Charlie
However, if we were to evaluate the 1745 Campaign according to the criteria of Yes Scotland, it was actually a stunning victory. What style! What panache! Can anyone remember any Hanoverian songs? Absolutely not. The songs of the Jacobites still raise the roof. And the battles! Prestonpans! Johnny Cope - how we still laugh and sneer at him, fleeing awa in the morning. And Charlie and his men made it all the way to Derby. A tremendous achievement.   

I was reminded of this whilst watching Scotland Tonight of 30 September - supposedly a discussion on why Scotland didn't vote Yes with some key activists. Let's leave the last word to Stephen Gethins, in reply to a point made by Carol Fox about the 'bottom up' nature of the campaign, he stated  "that was key to the success of Yes".

Pass me the smelling salts!

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