by Colin Campbell
A FRIEND of mine in Dingwall told me this week how he opened the door to a couple of campaigners seeking support for blustering Ian Blackford. They were dressed in garish SNP regalia with their symbols and a proliferation of yellow. He almost wanted to shield his eyes. After introducing themselves – as if they needed introduction – one said: “We have five questions to ask you.”
At this point he shut the door on them.
I told him if he’d had the good fortune to have a couple of these people on his doorstep, that was the wrong thing to do. He’d missed an opportunity.
He should have said: “No, I have five questions to ask you.”
And he should have reeled them off – there are plenty to choose from but these are the ones I’d have gone for.
What currency would an independent Scotland use?
Would there be a passport controlled hard border between Scotland and the rest of the UK?
Why is the SNP now apparently so distressed about us leaving the EU when in 2014 they campaigned for a decision which would have resulted in Scotland doing exactly that?
If they want to bring tens of thousands more EU migrants to an independent Scotland, where are all the houses, schools and medical services to cope with them?
If Ian Blackford really is a “simple ten acres crofter” why is he so paunchy and fat, and after labouring in the soil on Skye where does he get the energy to deliver his permanently grievance-ridden rants.
There are dozens more he could have asked. But the reality is the SNP pair wouldn’t have had a clue about how to answer the first five.
So that was an opportunity gone. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely they’ll come back. For all the SNP talk about having a vast army of activists slogging around trying to “educate” non-believers on the doorsteps, there’s barely any I’ve seen or heard of.
But last week I was speaking to a pensioner who’d had a doorstepping visit from an earnest young SNP campaigner.
He did engage with him, trying to keep his broadly critical feelings under control.
First and foremost he wanted to know, if the nationalists’ vision of a “free Scotland” didn’t work out and we ended up like Venezuela without the sunshine, how safe was his state pension.
The reply he received was that, yes it most certainly was. The UK Government would continue to pay it.
“Would they?” he queried, somewhat mystified and caught off guard.
“Yes of course,” said SNP man. “They pay pensions to people who’ve moved to France and Spain and other countries, so of course they’d keep paying pensions to people in Scotland.”
And it was left at that.
When he told me this I almost jumped down his throat, for what I hope are blindingly obvious reasons.
If the nationalists get their way there won’t be a “UK Government” anymore. Of course UK citizens living abroad just now are paid their pensions. But an independent Scotland – as Sturgeon and her gang want – would effectively become a foreign country. Do you really believe, I asked my friend, that the English are going to send lorryloads of money north through passport controls to keep paying our pensions. Maybe the French, German and Spanish will start paying us pensions as well, then we’ll really be rolling in it.
He belatedly saw my point.
There would no doubt be “room for negotiations” before we “break free” and Queen Nicola and her top acolytes, who assurely won’t have to worry about their pensions or future incomes, would give endless assurances that everyone’s money would be safe and that the horrendously risky bits of independence – like disappearing or disintegrating pensions – are really nothing to worry about.
That’s what the SNP are best at. Spreading grievance and fomenting division, and customarily lying through their teeth.
Afterwards, however, I wondered about that canvasser. Did he really believe what he said about “the UK Government” continuing to pay our pensions in an independent Scotland, when the UK would have ceased to exist? Or was he deliberately trying to confuse and lie to an elderly man.
In other words, was this SNP representative really thick in giving such a deluded answer, or was he too untrustworthy to give a credible one? Thick or untrustworthy. It was one or the other.