It’s more than the economy stupid!
As a grumpy individual I find myself shouting at the television / twitter and online blogs more often these days.
This week (like far too many others recently) has been dominated by the referendum process. Sorry THE REFERENDUM process.
It is important. It is like oxygen to the SNP, the single most important issue for them. Less so for others.
For me, however, two more years of this and I’ll lose the ability to watch the news. It is bad enough that the Beeb is (allegedly) pro anyone and newspapers don’t print news but if I have to suffer endless rehashes of this morning’s #marr #murnaghan then I’m going to be entirely unhappy.
Polling about how people will vote if they are £500 a year better off or worse off is pathetic and likely to be as reliable as Michael fish in 1987.
Polling ‘If the Tories were likely to win in 2015’ is equally specious. Democracy in action eh? do we only want democracy if we get our own way?
This filler of time is all Alex Salmond’s fault (slightly kidding here). If he had hurried up and ‘called the date sooner’ then less of this guff would be experienced by us all.
The Economic arguments are important to THE REFERENDUM but a largely uninformed electorate (on economics) will struggle to cut through the misuse and clever language (Eg Relative surplus is a case in point – paid in 53bn got out 63bn. comparisons of marginal differences in deficit is not a relative surplus – it’s a relative deficit of large proportions. In other words we’re up to our necks in debt and they are up to their chin.)
Alex Salmond builds in caveats on almost every issue while trying to sound plain speaking (great trick for a politician) one which I think we have all had enough of (All Tony Blair’s fault – he started it obviously). I am complaining but I can respect his clever use of language to give him wiggle room.
However, wiggle room is not what we need on such a stark national choice. Yes or No, in or out.
In Nato, Keep Queen, Keep Sterling, Get rid of Trident (when safe to do so FFS), In EU but no Euro / Shengin, free care for the elderly, free this that and the other (ish) (and never a whisper about how we will pay for it) and don’t mention Council Tax freeze that is crippling local authorities (nor the now sunk Local Income Tax). A far cry from statements of the past and looking like a ‘don’t scare the horses approach!
Now this wasn’t meant to be a rant about SNP or Alex Salmond but I got distracted.
The Yes Campaign are equally as guilty of obfuscation and this is entirely unnecessary. The choices are stark but need facts and evidence not assertions.
This fuzzy Guff about ‘Britishness or Scottishness’ is built into us all and to varying degrees it will shape our viewpoint. But do we really need a never-ending stream of this? Probably not.
We need facts on the Economy. (Robust data presented in a factually comprehensible way)
We need facts on EU membership and the implications. (Legal advice published before any vote)
We need facts on other institutions that impact on our society. (Legal, political and social)
None of these are being addressed with facts, they are being addressed by assertions and spin.
A post yes vote (or no vote for that matter) needs to have a clear position on these vital elements. Otherwise THE REFERENDUM is a ‘trust me’ poll based on a pastiche of Mibbe’s Aye, Mibbe’s Naw.
How on earth do we expect voters to make an informed decision on a fundamental issue? Let alone the 16 & 17 year olds who will be asked to choose too!
Fair, transparent and legally binding. At this rate it will be based on Braveheart and olympics.
Not good enough.