Do you find it slightly odd, as I do, that with just 35 days to go until the Scottish independence vote public and political interest seems muted at best and disinterested at worst? As most have readily identified, a Yes vote would suit the Conservatives politically but as the Conservative and Unionist party, responsible individuals would be forever dammed if it were proved that avoiding engagement in the argument hoping for a Yes vote was their actual strategy.
Moreover, too much engagement would probably have the opposite effect to that intended. I think many Scots have been somewhat taken aback by the tide of bemused detachment of most south of the border which has pretty much thrown Salmond and his cohort of permanently angry nationalists off balance; after all, it’s all about rolling up the sleeves and having a good set to with the English, isn’t it?
Having been denied the soapbox bun fight that so suits his rhetoric, Salmond’s arguments have had to stand on their own merits but have been found wanting by his own constituency. I’ve always felt that at the line Scots will prove to be pragmatic rather than emotional and a recent trip north kind of confirms that in my own mind. From the people I talked to most will be voting from their own perspective of what’s good for themselves, their families and their local communities which is pretty much what voters do the world over. We’ll see what happens on the 18th but just to drive my searing and incisive analysis just a little further, this is what I think will be the scene in Salmond’s battle bunker on the morning of the 19th as last of the 32 local results roll in……
In the smoke filled Nationalist battle bunker just off the Royal Mile, an exhausted and pensive Alex Salmond slumps in his seat and gazes over the table. Friends and advisors quietly sip a Red Bull or coffee, everyone in his own zone, mentally rewinding and playing back their part in the campaign. The vote is close, too close to call. The knock on the door will come soon, then perhaps……. a wee dram to celebrate the historic day then down to see the press with Alex, maybe squeeze into tomorrow’s front page photographs… the door bursts open,
“Alex, Alex man. We’ve done it, oh bloody hell we’ve bloody gone and done it. Grampian are about to announce and its gone our way , thank God. Congratulations man, you’ve done it for Scotland.”
Salmond slowly rises to his feet, lifts his head and after a moment, breaks into a deep grin. He hugs his messenger and with moistening eyes works his way around the room to thank his staff.
“Bugger boys, that was close……. I don’t ever want to go through that again. We’ve made it though and we’re in the driving seat now. Those idjats in the No camp almost screwed it up and let us win, that would have buggered things up for ever. Now, they win, we get the extra cash and it’s Devo Max all round and the Tories are still stuck with 31 Scottish Labour MP’s at Westminster. Magic! Oh you good thing… Tam! let’s have a dram, where’s the Aberlour?”
Life actually, will be wholly more agreeable when things get back to whatever passes for normal these days.