Looks like word has gone out around the Better Together network to report anything that can be sexed up into a cybernat scandal to feed to the media. Today’s story about a Labour MP having to hide his face in the street and undergoing threatening behaviour in his constituency office looks like a version of this tactic.
It is being conflated by Darling with criticisms of bosses telling their staff how to vote based on dodgy information to construct what the lawyers call a tissue of lies to defame the Yes movement.
It is the clearest sign that they have lost the argument and have nothing to stop the inexorable – we hope – rise in the Yes vote. I thought Cameron’s claim to be more interested in the outcome of the next election than the referendum played into the Yes hands too. It contradicts his earlier statements about fighting with every fibre for the Union, it makes it easier for him to refuse to debate with Salmond and, crucially, may be the first indication that losing the referendum isn’t such a massive deal for him after all – he’s preparing the ground for defeat.
I saw Darling on the Marr programme when he was asked a perfectly fair summing-up question about us all being Scots together when this is over. It is what every constitutional politician should regard as a gift – a chance to be conciliatory and statesmanlike. Darling failed. He struggled to sound reasonable and couldn’t stop himself suggesting that could only happen if everybody was reasonable and the nationalists weren’t. It is was a pitiable performance that sounded like the words of a bad loser.
But I think the question – a great way to rise above the acrimony – threw him because he’s already in the next stage of the BT slander game. They are now using the media to denigrate the reputation of what is one of the most respectable and democratic movements we’ve ever seen with hundreds of thousands of activists from every walk of life and every political hue engaging with their communities in a great national cause. To Darling and his propagandists they are cybernats. This process, of identifying and denigrating will take off big time, I suspect as voting day nears.
The MP didn’t have the guts to stand up to intimidation by naming himself. But given that he has been careful to make sure the rest of the story is publicised, the result is it smacks of smear to me. If someone is shouting at him and his staff and issuing warnings, what is the evidence it is someone connected to the SNP or Yes?
This individual sounds like a nutcase to me, not an activist. (I’m sympathetic to the idea that an MP’s staff must be protected but 1) I can’t see how not naming him helps when the abuser knows where they are and 2) a chat with any MP’s staff will elicit all sorts of stories of weirdoes who turn up. This perpetrator sounds like he will be easily apprehended. Perhaps then we’ll find out if he has a connection to the campaign…and who the MP is who is afraid to walk up the street without covering his face! God help us from the heroes of today’s People’s Party.
Darling hasn’t yet apologised for the pantomime complaints of Ian Murray who tried to whip up anti social feeling about a sticker on his window. Murray’s attempt to claim it as vandalism is another example of what we must watch for. The position appears to be that no Yes person can criticise or condemn anyone from the No side for saying something detrimental to their country’s independence or else they are threatening cybernats.
This may play in a pliant media and with Marr’s English audience but, like the rest of the BT case, it will do nothing but turn Scots off. It simply isn’t true that cybernats run the Yes campaign anyway. The blinding truth is that it is people driven in a way that is beyond the comprehension of No.
I’m away to threaten and abuse the people of Argyll now for a few days in my secret holiday hideout www.garmoransquare.co.uk and I intend to inform the police if I see any of those Yes stickers that are so frightening.