Trying to convince undecided voters about the appalling risks and dangers of independence is like pushing at an open door

by Colin Campbell

AN online petition against another independence referendum is in circulation and hopefully within a few days it will be in mass circulation.

Independence supporters were convincingly defeated in 2014, and if they ever succeed in getting another go, despite all their noise, the same will happen again.

I received it from a friend who had already sent it to everyone he believed would be inclined to sign it and I did the same. If this obvious tactic is followed in a few days it’ll have landed in the inbox of hundreds of thousands of people.

Nothing that emerges from it is going to stop Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP nationalists in their tracks following their pandemic referendum announcement last weekend. But it is at the very least the first clear signal of a backlash against that heartless, selfish and brutally callous proposal.

With the endless noise coming from the nationalists the absence of response from those who oppose them can sometimes be mildly disheartening. We know it was the silent majority that shut them up, at least for a while, in 2014. But too much silence can be dispiriting, and dispiriting at this time is not what’s needed.

The nationalists in their new campaign are aiming to bring undecided voters over to their cause before the May Holyrood elections. With what? Blathering on with the same tired claim that “Boris is a buffoon” and that Nicola Sturgeon is a living saint, or at least a very competent autocue reader with a nice hairdo on her daily BBC TV show? Or that Brexit is an unmitigated disaster and that supermarkets are already running out of basic essentials with swathes of empty shelves, as they predicted? That might be a hard sell. Or that we have more natural affinity with the French, the Germans, and the Italians than we do with the English, Welsh and Northern Irish? Ditto. Or that the Tories want to completely ruin Scotland and drive everyone into abject poverty, even though they haven’t yet succeeded after being in government for the last eight years?

Or simply that independence will bring about a happier, kinder, more caring, sharing Scotland – as long as you follow cult orders and vote for it.

Last week I believe I persuaded four people who were undecided to the point of apathy to turn out in May and vote for anyone but the SNP. When I say believe it’s because there are no absolute certainties in this kind of thing but I’m extremely confident that they will. It’s not difficult and I also believe it can be done without you being too pushy or sounding like a know-all.

Four people isn’t many but there will be others to follow, and if multiplied in efforts across Scotland, as I’m sure it will be, the nationalist advance can be halted, and driven into reverse.

There are so many flaws in their agenda that it’s like dipping into a box of chocolates, every one of them poisonous.

The obvious place to start is that they have no answers as to what currency an independent Scotland would use. Yes, we’d still use the pound for a while but many nats hate the thought of that and want to create a new Scottish currency which would be viewed with all the credibility of monopoly money anywhere outside Scotland. Or if we joined the EU we’d have to change to the euro. All this is true and no one needs to be a Wizard of Wall Street to grasp it.

How would mortgage payments and savings be affected? How would pensions be affected and who would pay them? What about the inevitability of a hard passport controlled border with England if we were in the EU? And do undecideds really feel they have more in common with the Czechs, Estonians and Belgians than they do with folk south of the border. Not the ones I spoke to.

There’s so much else that could have been raised but I found a couple of the points above were sufficient. Trying to warn those who have been too busy with work and family matters, quite rightly, and are not clued up on the independence agenda is akin to pushing at an open door. The nats can call it spreading Project Fear, Project Terror or Project Armageddon. In reality its Project don’t vote yourselves and the country into a helluva mess.

And if any of these points fail to achieve the desired effect I’d fall back on the decision by Sturgeon and co to push for independence at the height of the pandemic, the worst mistake she’s ever made.

But the undecided folk I spoke to didn’t need to be told about that, they already knew all about it. And they were very, very far from impressed.

That may turn out to be have been their biggest blunder of all. It was crass beyond belief and evidence if any more were needed that independence is now being pushed by a hardcore who believe literally “any price is worth paying” for “freedom”.

Very many people are unwilling to accept that any price is worth paying, particularly if it’s them that’ll have to pay it. The nationalists have an awful lot of convincing to do, and in the end, they’ll fail.

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