So, from left to right; Johann 'MIA' Lamont, Alistair 'let-me-just-say-this' Darling, Ruth 'fan-dabby-dozy' Davidson and Willie 'whit-can-yae-dae' Rennie. ( I make no attempts at fairness, I didn't vote for any of them personally or for the parties they represent - I say parties - but since they're all essentially pushing Tory policy, there's only one.)
What are they to Better Together? Well, not much in an official sense but they do all support it's main policy - keeping the Union together - and are regular mouths-for-hire. Labour did try to pick up their ball because they got 'frit' about being associated so heavily with the Tories, they formed 'United with Labour', headed up by Anas 'my-daddy-got-me-this-job' Sarwar MP, campaign coordinator and alleged deputy to Johann 'what's-that-skippy-Johann-fell-down-a-well?' Lamont.
Next along is Alistair 'don't-leave-me-this-way' Darling who does have an official role, (he's a director of Better Together - henceforth referred to as BT or that 'shower of shites') and given Labour have done a runner probably feels some what abandoned.
Next along is Ruth '88%-of-Scots-households-are-on-the-scrounge' Davidson. She's an MSP bounced in to the Tory Leadership in Scotland by David 'I'm-so-fucking-insufferably-posh-I-hurt-my-back-while-water-skiing' Cameron, she'd only been in Parliament for a few months before being elevated - well I say elevated - to the 'top' job. Ruth made several lines in the sand, but later adjusted her views seemingly with the tides. I'm going to finish this paragraph here, Ruth 'put-yer-dukes-up' Davidson is a Tory so largely - and thankfully - irrelevant in Scotland.
Finally Wee Willie 'is-Scotland-in the North-Atlantic' Rennie, also an MSP, he's the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. Just look at that wee face:
Don't you just want to give his wee chubby cheeks a squeeze? I'd like to say behind those affable smiling eyes lies a rapier wit and epee-esque acumen - but there isn't - at least not when he's on the telly.
We've already mentioned Blair 'Arkan?-who-the-fuck-is-Arkan' MacDougall - Campaign Director for BT - and I think once was enough. Others involved in the governance of BT are Jackie 'issues-with-the-truth' Baillie MSP (Labour) and Richard 'I'm-nearly-twelve-years-old-you-know' Baker - also - a Labour MSP. There are others, David McLetchie Tory MSP, who recently died, chaired the BT group, perhaps the only person with any intellect or wit - and I'm not saying that because he's dead (although I am refraining from adding a silly middle name.)
So what's the point in all this mithering? Well two things really.
Firstly, BT are also know as Project Fear, this was a name coined from within BT itself, its not something invented by Yes Scotland, the Press or by those viciously grasping cyber-nats. From the inception of the No campaign - their mission has been to maintain the status quo - they know from Polling data that the current constitutional set up enjoys the majority of support. They have very little interest in persuading more people to vote no, they're relying on keeping the 'default no voters' true to the cause and ignorant of the truth.
Why do I say that? This essentially. If you don't want to click on the link then fair enough, here's a digest:
- Ayr Flower show, Yes campaigners asked to leave then threatened with Police action for handing out information. No campaign not present.
- Yes Campaign stall cancelled at South Dunfermline Gala. Reason? The No campaign weren't present - there would be an imbalance.
- Yes Campaign 'shop' in Kirriemuir forced to remove a Yes Scotland banner after a complaint from a member of the public. Retrospective planning consent now required for painting the shop front at cost.
- Queen Margaret University, Better Together leaflets left outside a lecture hall. A Yes Scotland rep asked if she might leave some Yes literature/info but was told no - the university didn't do politics. The university when told about the BT literature, feigned ignorance.
- Davidson Mains in Edinburgh. Police called to investigate Yes stalls 'blocking streets', they turn up but no action is required.
- Finally and some-what bizarrely, Yes campaigners turned up to hand leaflets out at The Bruce Festival in Dunfermline but were told to leave by organisers. The director told the Yes reps - Bruce fought for money, not independence. No BT presence there either.
Well, I suppose that's one theory. I dropped history so couldn't possibly comment.
So by not turning up to campaign, Yes Scotland - which doesn't enjoy a default majority (yet) - can't then campaign at these events. Essentially, by doing nothing, Better Together hope to nobble the referendum for the Yes side. As long as they don't lose any of their precious 'default no voters' and Yes Scotland isn't able to gain any of the undecided's or those DNV's - Better Together couldn't give a toss what happens.
Secondly, (and finally) Better Together Glasgow is launching at the end of August. If you do click on the link there (and I fully understand if you don't) you might notice it doesn't say where the meeting is taking place. Its billed as a 'public' meeting in a 'city-centre location' which to me means its open to all, so you'd think anyone could turn up, (if by anyone they mean anyone who's RSVP'd with their email address and post code.) Presumably (if they pass muster) they'll be sent joining details, perhaps delegates - sorry, I meant members of the public - will be picked up in lay-bys around Scotland and conveyed to the meeting in vans with blacked-out windows with burlap sacks over their heads?
Member of the public: "Eh, is all this really necessary?""Shoosh, and keep yer heid doon!" - BT hench-person."This sack is beginning to itch..." - BT delegate.BT operative - "Quit yer moanin', we're here noo oanyhoo.""Good, I was beginning to panic... Say, is that the St Enoch Centre?" - BT attendee."Of course it isnae-""Really?""I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN."
The point is, they're not really interested in getting new supporters on board, since they have no positive case to put forward how could they anyway? They'll no doubt cross-reference details given during the registration process with details of who they know can be relied upon to behave - those DNV's we've already talked about. If you think that's far fetched, when it comes to politics and in this instance the lengths to which Better Together - at the behest of Westminster - will go to maintain the Union, does it really seem so outre?
Whether the BT crowd feel they can rely on people's ennui with politics generally or those who will vote no because the United Kingdom is all they've ever known is something only Better Together know for sure. When it comes to passion and positivity, they haven't even made it to the starting line; arranging the launch meeting for a political campaign in Scotland's largest city but not saying where it will be - and no, they'll not be waiting to confirm the venue at this late stage - is just a wee bit odd.
There have been BT launch meetings where those dastardly nats attended with mischief* in mind. Equally it may be that they're worried no bugger will turn up and the room will look empty.
|BT Campaign: not enough supporters for the word 'better'.|
* Better Together East Lothian was launched in Prestonpans Community Centre, among other things, it was also funded by East Lothian Council to the tune of £2000. So, regardless of how you voted or what your intentions are re. the referendum - if you pay council tax in East Lothian - you've funded Better Together.