Scotland’s referendum polling myths

Andrew Marr pins colours to Better Together mast against BBC rules

Andrew Marr pins his colors to the Better Together mast in defiance of BBC rules

Better Together are rubbing their hand with glee at the prospect of the Scottish independence movement losing the tiniest bit of momentum – according to the latest poll, that is. Counting chickens before they’ve hatched, comrades? You should know better than that.

Peer beneath the headline figures, and there is much for supporters of Scottish independence to feel confident about. Not complacent, naturally. We will leave that to the other side.

What is being presented as a done deal is the intimidation of George Gideon Osborne. There is a massive issue that remains unaddressed by the question posed.  Those polled were not invited to differentiate between how they might vote if they believed, and if they did not believe that Osborne, Danny Alexander and Ed Balls had been bluffing on the shared currency. Would that not make a difference? Of course it would.

Let’s face facts. The Better Together Campaign have all five of the broadcasters in the United Kingdom in their pocket. Every single one of them. That is not to imply that there are no ‘Yes’ voters who work as broadcasters. I know with almost 100% certainty that there are. But they are gagged. They will lose their jobs if they challenge their editors’ lines. That, alas, is not the attitude taken towards Better Together propagandists: Andrew Neil and Andrew Marr, for example.

The BBC is particularly nasty on how it deals with Scotland’s referendum. The Better Together bias drips like poison day in, day out, 24-7. Is it surprising that the majority of the undecideds don’t challenge the lies peddled by their mass media mouth pieces? The undecideds are, by definition, those who are most in need of help to make their minds up, most in need of facts, facts that are being deliberately withheld from them by the megaphones of the rich and powerful in the United Kingdom. First and foremost amongst these megaphones are the broadcasters, in particular the BBC.

Supporters of Scottish independence need to go on the offensive. We need to expose the lack of democratic credentials of these broadcasters. Why should Holyrood not summon those behind the ‘Top Ten Battle Ground’ one hour documentary that the BBC tried to pass off as a legitimate objective analysis? In reality it was nothing less than a one hour long, dreary Party Political Broadcast on behalf of the Better Together Campaign.

Why should those behind this outrageous abuse of our license fee not have to justify what they did, in public, before all the voters, all the license fee payers? Why should Brian Taylor, Glenn Campbell, Gary Robertson – to name but three of the worst offenders – not have to appear before a select committee of MSP to answer questions as to their so-called impartiality? Who elected them to shovel right-wing garbage into our living rooms? Why is public money wasted on them?

The fact remains that, notwithstanding the lies of Andrew Neil and co, the Three Stooges lack the power to disenfranchise the voters of England. Labour, the Tories and their Liberal Democratic fig leaf don’t have it in their gift to take a shared currency off the negotiating table if the English voters insist on putting it back. And there is no doubt that they will do that.

English voters need to be allowed to discuss the bullying by the Toxic Tory Threesome. And Scottish voters need to be allowed to debate why the Three Stooges are bluffing over a shared currency.

The English voters need to be reminded that the BBC buried the story of Danny Alexander being forced to reassure the markets as it became clear that the Scottish people will bear zero responsibility for UK debt if Scotland is denied access to a shared public asset: Sterling.

£25,000 handed to every single Scot in the event of our securing independence on 18th of September 2014? Is that what Better Together wants to tell Scots? Does Johann Lamont really think this won’t boost the vote for independence? Or is she pinning her hopes on the BBC, SKY News and Channel Four News editors being able to keep voters in the dark? Just because she was allowed to scream Scot Night viewers into voting with our remote controls, does she really think the Yes Campaign will be unable to get our message across over next few months? Dream on, Johann.

The lying broadcasters are a very serious problem for the Yes Campaign, but not an insurmountable one. We need to unite to expose them. We need to explain that Better Together’s one-party-state approach to the shared currency is a non-runner. We need to remind all the undecideds in Scotland that what Andrew Neil, Andrew Marr et al are doing is trying to stop Scots realizing what is going on here. Ending the shared currency is a far greater attack on English voters than it is on us Scots. In the event of Better Together losing the referendum, English businesses would not want transaction costs. Nor would the English voters care for inheriting 100% responsibility for Scotland’s share of UK debt.

The purpose of Ed Balls rejection of the shared currency is to do what the latest poll suggests it has done: intimidate the undecideds into the No camp. Sullen and resentful converts, yes. But Johann Lamont doesn’t care how she stops Scots voting against freedom. Any port in a storm, eh, Johann?

The leader of the Better Together Campaign at Holyrood, Johann Lamont, says everyone stands behind her position. But it is just not true. Her list of those allegedly insulted by Alex Salmond comprise Tories and their Lib Dem fig-leaf. They are very right-wing, and very rich individuals or institutions. They are employers organizations. What she reads out is a roll call of anti-trade union organizations. With one obvious exception.

Johann Lamont spices her gruel of Better Together cheerleaders with the Scottish TUC. Is this a slip of the tongue? Is the STUC on board Johann’s vision of the future? Absolutely not. The STUC has consulted no members. The only vote within the trade union movement on how to cast their vote on Scottish independence found many supporters of independence, and not a single vote in favor of the Better Together Campaign. Why is that, Johann? Why are you losing by a margin of infinity percent in the trade union movement?

Trade unionists are split on the referendum. They won’t all vote the same way this year. Regardless of what the STUC, the PCS or anyone else held out as an official position, after a democratic consultation of their members, each individual trade unionist would nevertheless cast their vote in the polling booth according to what they think, as individuals. Nevertheless, it seems clear to me, and to every objective commentator, that Scottish society is progressively polarizing along class lines. That is a fact. It is a fact to be embraced by the independence movement. And the significance of it has to be analyzed in order for Scottish independence supporters to make the best use of it. Assuming we actually want to win, that is.

In the poorest areas, independence supporters have already crossed the majority threshold. Only marginally. But the reason we are not running away with it is because we still have a great deal of work to do to explode the myths and downright lies of the BBC, SKY News, Channel Four News. This would worry Johann Lamont if she appreciated its meaning for all Labour MPs, MSPs and councilors. Others inside the Labour Party will wake up and smell the hemorrhaging of voters and activists, in Scotland in particular, but not only up here.

In the working class communities, there is a grassroots movement to which Better Together are invited. Alas, it is a grassroots movement Johann Lamont’s friends are actively boycotting. They are terrified of having their ideas unpicked before a live studio audience, people capable of posing the searching questions Brian Taylor refuses to put to Better Together campaigners unless forced to do that by a live studio audience. His so called commentary is nothing of the kind. It is propaganda. It is lies on behalf of the rich and powerful all across the United Kingdom.

The undecided need to ask why the rich are so overwhelmingly lining up against independence. The more they turn their focus on that question, the sooner they will realize what this is all about.

The haves are scared of the have-nots. We Scots need a radical redistribution of wealth. Labour’s core vote know that. Scots intend to use our genuinely democratic system to determine what is and what is not fair. Those who have plundered public assets on both sides of the border are scared witless of what that means for their assets, their right to move capital across borders, to disinvest, to push up unemployment to punish any democratic people who dare to vote against the ‘right’ of the rich to be unaccountable greedy, corrupt parasites.

The rich and powerful all cross the United Kingdom are terrified of Scots. They are terrified of our securing the power of tax and spend, the power to shift resources to welfare from warfare, securing these powers in combination with an electoral system that allows us to vote for the candidates we actually want, rather than against those we most want to stop getting in by the back door.

The rich all across the United Kingdom are terrified of Scots using such powers to radically shift the economic priorities in Scotland. They fear our sending a tsunami of expectations across the border. And they are right to be worried about this.

The United Kingdom ruling class have reduced England to a one-party-state on the shared currency. All broadcasters without exception are peddling Better Together lies. They do this not only because they are worried about North Sea Oil falling out of the greedy mitts, not of the British people per se, but into public and democratic control. The rich and powerful are terrified that if Scots vote for freedom, then deploy genuine democracy to draw up a very different set of priorities to those advanced by the overpaid glove puppets at the BBC, SKY News and Channel Four News, there will be a contagion of radical resistance south of the border.

The ninety nine percent in England will also rise up and tell Chris Patten and Rupert Murdoch that they too want a piece of the action. And the people of a free and independent Scotland will extend the hand of friendship to our English and Welsh brothers and sisters, welcoming them all into the twenty first century.

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