Socialist Worker

Ruling class panics after Yes campaign takes lead in Scottish independence poll

The No campaign is in trouble with the Scottish independence vote too close to call, writes Raymie Kiernan

Issue No. 2420

Campaigners from Scotland, England and Wales unite for a Yes vote

Campaigners from Scotland, England and Wales unite for a Yes vote (Pic: Duncan Brown)


The results of just one opinion poll last weekend sent the entire British establishment into a panic.

A YouGov poll showed support for independence on 51 percent, putting the Yes vote in the lead for the first time.

The prospect of an independent Scotland became very real. The queen was said to be “horrified”.

The Better Together pro-union campaign went into overdrive.  It is better known as Project Fear. 

Unsurprisingly, scare stories about how an independent Scottish economy would be disastrous returned with a vengeance.

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband argued that border guards may be needed between England and Scotland if there is a Yes vote.

David Cameron claimed that an independent Scotland would be at an increased risk of terrorist attack.

The Sunday Post newspaper even lied that a Yes vote would help Islamic State because it wants to see Scottish independence.

Tory chancellor George Osborne tried to bribe Scots into staying with Britain by promising more powers for the Scottish parliament.

This desperate attempt made the No campaign look weak—and backfired after unionist allies confirmed it was “nothing new”.

Humiliation

David Cameron is under huge pressure to avoid “national humiliation” and go all out to “Save the Union”. 

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson was reduced to saying that it was “not very likely” the Tories would win the next general election.

The implication is that it isn’t necessary to vote Yes to avoid Tories in government.

But the Tories are so toxic that any intervention by them is likely to boost the Yes campaign.

And the presence of the racist Ukip party’s leader Nigel Farage in Scotland later this week is unlikely to help the unionists’ case.

A “British Together” march by the anti-Catholic Orange Order this Saturday underlines the reaction, bigotry and racism that supporters of the union are defending.

The Yes campaign stands in stark contrast. It has captured the imagination of ordinary people and has fused with a yearning to end Tory austerity.

People are coming to see independence more and more as an opportunity for political renewal.

Momentum is with the Yes side. 

The No side faces problems with a business as usual strategy.

According to the YouGov poll only around a third think the No camp has provided a positive case to stay with Britain. But 67 percent believe that to be true of the Yes side’s arguments to leave Britain.

With little over a week to go the vote is too close to call. And Yes campaigners can’t take anything for granted. 

But it is clear that Better Together politicians are not doing well. Plans to send in the cavalry may be too late for the British state.


The odious Jim Murphy—and his trusty Irn Bru

The odious Jim Murphy—and his trusty Irn Bru (Pic: Duncan Brown)


Splits in Labour vote mean a fresh crisis for Ed Miliband

Labour voters in Scotland are a key battleground to win the referendum.

It is the only party in Better Together with any real influence among working class voters.

The Tory elite’s hopes to preserve the British state rest with the Labour leadership.

Ex prime minister Gordon Brown has embarked on a tour to put their case.

Current leader Ed Miliband says the cavalry of 100 Labour MPs will go north to stop the nationalists winning.

The odious MP Jim Murphy continues his 100-town tour with his Irn Bru crate and appeals to trust Labour not the “nats”.

The problem for them all is that their record speaks louder than their words. 

Brown’s attack on the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) corporation tax cut pledge didn’t sit well alongside his boast of doing the same when he was chancellor. 

Miliband’s claims to “care about the poor” don’t fit with his promise to stick to Tory spending plans.

Up to 35 percent of Labour voters in the last Scottish elections now say they are voting Yes. The party in Scotland is split and the emergence of the Labour for Independence campaign is offering a pole of attraction to voters who dislike the SNP.

If there is a Yes vote Miliband and Co will suffer badly in Scotland as new formations may emerge.

If it is a No vote Labour will doubtless be punished for “being in bed with the Tories”.

 


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