Coffee House

Time is running out for Alex Salmond and the Nationalists

3 August 2014

10:38 AM

3 August 2014

10:38 AM

Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP deputy leader, is busy claiming that post the Glasgow games the momentum will be with the Yes side in the referendum. But this claim is contradicted by the Survation poll in today’s Mail on Sunday which shows support for Yes marginally down on last month.

The Yes campaign’s last best chance to gain the ‘big mo’ that it needs comes in Tuesday night’s debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling. Alex has written about why he doesn’t think this debate will be a game changer, but with a million Scots expected to tune in, Salmond isn’t going to have a better opportunity to try and turn things round.

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But the dilemma for Salmond is how to approach this debate. As I say in the Mail on Sunday, Salmond is the best debater in the Scottish parliament. But the tactics he uses there will come across badly on TV. As one of his opponents puts it, ‘If shouty Salmond turns up, he’ll turn off women.’

For Darling, it is very different. He just needs to get through the two hour debate. But knowing that you just need not to make a mistake creates its own pressure. But if Darling can stop Salmond from landing any blows, then the Union will look more secure than it has at any point since the referendum was called.

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Show comments
  • kenneth mackinnon

    wIll the Scots vote to continue to remain England’s vassal State, a submerged Nation? We were once an Independent Nation? England controls Scotland’s vast OIL wealth, Whisky revenues, and 93% of our taxes, the Union is England 92%, Scotland 7%, Ni !%….on a YES vote , we take back control, will we?

  • Alan40

    Let’s count the number of times Salmond mentions “the Westminster establishment”. See if it’s as many times as Farage said it in his 2 hours with Clegg.

  • Torybushhug

    Grasp this moment to embrace your independent destiny Scotland and prosper as many proud independent nations do. Come the day the bean counter arguments will be but whispers down a well.

    • HJ777

      The problem the “Yes” campaign has is that they know that only a small minority of Scots feel this way.

      Hence they are attempting to buy votes by making promises of riches and extra spending. The reality, of course, is that in the short-to-medium term a seceded Scotland would suffer an appreciable drop in GDP and cuts in spending.

  • rolandfleming

    Salmond will trounce Darling; there will be some movement in the polls (think Farage vs. Clegg); possibly just enough to make the vote really indecisive. Anything between 45% and 55% for either Yes or No would be quite problematic for Scotland.

    • HJ777

      I doubt it.

      Salmond tends to be arrogant and dismissive of views he doesn’t like and that would not come across well in debate.

      What is unclear is how successful Darling will be in pointing out the incoherence and arrogance of Salmond’s assertion when it comes to things like currency (i.e. we’ll have whatever we want – regardless of what he want to be a separate country thinks – and if we don’t get it we’ll pay no debt). Can Darling get straight to the crux of the matter or is he too concerned with appearing ‘reasonable’ to point out Salmond’s blatant falsehoods?

    • Alan40

      Your point is very relevant. A close result would merely continue and entrench the uncertainty.

    • Leslie Dellow

      Typing this, as I am, on 11 August, I wonder whwther rolandfleming might want to revise his opinion?

      • rolandfleming

        I was wrong. I overestimated Salmond.

  • Jupiter

    I can’t wait to see Salmond’s fat greetin face when he loses the referendum.

    • CraigStrachan

      I actually think Salmond’s done a pretty good job getting the weight off and keeping it off. Maybe after he quits as First Minister, as he certainly should after the big braw Naw, he can reinvent himself as a diet guru?

      • Holly

        Or a duet guru with that other fish.

    • Alan40

      And calls for a recount, and for “one last heave”.

  • asalord
    • Inverted Meniscus

      It must be really pis***g you off to see Scots cheering English athletes at the Commonwealth Games.

      • Holly

        You forgot the word, ‘trounced’.

  • Hysteria

    What will the rabid “yes” voters do when they don’t get the answer they want? My worry is a close “no” vote – I think the whole thing is a divisive and dangerous mess.

    • Craig Millar

      agree with that too – ive posted before that in a close yes vote, the no’s would get on with it. In a close No vote, i doubt everyone will get on with it, cue more years of sabre rattling and westminster bashing

  • The_greyhound

    Time ran out for salmond months ago. The SNP’s irrelevant vanity project was dealt a death blow by George Osborne when he ruled out currency union.

    The piss-poor results for the rancid little SNP in May (just ten percent of the electorate turned up to vote for the Weirs’ sockpuppet) underline the unpopularity of this marginal bunch of weirdos.

    Perhaps Hamas will offer the unemployed cybernats a contract.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Unlikely those cybernat nutters are far too extreme.

  • saffrin

    The SNP’s days are over. Their credibility = none.

  • Wessex Man

    Well I’ll watch it avidly on the telly then make up my mind, oh wait can’t, not allowed a vote, only a tiny part of the total population of the UK will be allowed to vote. Can only hope they do the right thing and vote for independence!

    • Colonel Mustard

      It must be frustrating for Scots outside Scotland not to be able to watch the debate. A very odd decision of censorship.

      We are in bad times.

      • monty61

        It is indeed. Would have been the easiest thing to enable – notarised passport copy, forms online to be sent off – but Salmond knows the way the vast majority of us would vote.

        Thankfully the nutters and dreamers are in the minority.

      • Wessex Man

        I’m not Scottish.

  • swatnan

    I think Salmonds timed it quite nicely. With the euphoria of the Games and The Fringe still ringing in their ears, Scots will be gleefully be marching off to Independence.
    It’ll be John Bull’s body that’ll be mouldering in the grave…. hurrah, hurrah …

    • Colonel Mustard

      John Bull was mouldering in his grave a long time ago.

    • HookesLaw

      The Fringe?

      • swatnan

        … not Surrey, but Edinburgh. Lulu and Kylie were great.

        • Wessex Man

          er Kylie is an Australian.

          • swatnan

            Petite Kylie spends more time in Britain than Oz; anyway, next CW Games, on the beaches of Oz .

            • Wessex Man

              surely not on the beaches, can’t see any records being beaten on the sand.

              • swatnan

                Women’s Volleyball; my favourite. Could be a record attendance at any sporting event.

              • swatnan

                Womens Volleyball; record attendances and viewing figures; a dead cert.

  • starfish

    It is interesting how SNP has manipulated the timings (anniversaries, year of honecoming, commonwealth games etc) to promote the idea of scots identity as a separate nation but this appeal at the most basic level has foundered against practical reality

    It seens to me that voters dont really have anything to vote for except for some braveheartesque scots romantic freedom , everythi g else is apparently going to be sorted out in 18 months with a UK govt that will have an eye on a general election and will be keen no t to give you things away

    Also the one big stick the SNP has wielded is ‘ if you dont do what we want we will seek independence’ having done that what do they have?

    The biggest worry to me is if there is a no vote there could be a huge reservoir of resentment among the 30-40% of the population that voted yes. Is salmond a big enough statesman to accept the vote and avtively support the union to mutual benefit?

    • starfish

      Plus to return to the OP, alastair needs to keep to facts and implications of independence. Salmond can fulminate about the idea of scottishness but will struggle on practicalities as have his team in past weeks.

      The SNPs line has been it will be okay because everyone else will do what we believe is in Scotland s interest forgetting that the reality of independence is that one side will no longer have scotlands best interests at heart-they will be duty bound to serve their side’s best interest

    • Temple Melville

      The answer to your question is – in my view -no. He will be a bad loser

      • Erictheowl

        My feelings exactly. This is splitting families in my experience, and there is such a lot of bad feeling that come 19 September, there are going to be serious grudges on both sides, no matter what the outcome.

        This could all turn out very badly indeed, as some of those who are most engaged on the Nat side seem to be the least informed, just brainwashed canon-fodder who have been told a load of lies and now believe them absolutely, partly at least because they want to believe them.

        The First Haggis is really not above manipulating these people for his own ends, indeed, is already doing so, and they and he may well react badly if the vote doesn’t go their way. If it does, they will be even more insufferable than they are now, if that is possible.

        • telemachus

          It being Sunday we need to set out our beliefs
          *
          .telemachus believes passionately that right prevails
          *
          So what is the right and just solution here?
          *
          Of course it is a No vote
          Thus Westminster keeps the 41 Labour MP’s and delivers a majority government of the forces of reason
          Thus also the SNP are discredited and Hollyrood is again controlled by the forces of reason

          • whs1954

            The sole reason you want a no vote is to keep 41 Labour MPs at Westminster; a sufficiently selfish reason to provoke a yes vote I think.

          • Holly

            There will indeed be a No vote, not because of any politician, but because they are weak without us, and they know it.

            • Craig Millar

              dont talk utter garbage holly. Im voting no in the referendum, but your comment is the type of inflammatory garbage that fuels the yes vote.

              Scotland has benefited massively from the Union, without doubt, but as has England. The UK would not be the global power it was and (kinda) still is without the combination of all UK countries

              • Holly

                So you agree with me then.
                Scotland has benefited massively from the Union.
                Forever to be controlled by Westminster.

                • Wessex Man

                  Keep it up Holly, according to Craig Miller your comment is the “type of inflammatory garbage that fuels the yes vote.”

                  If we can keep going, we may yet get them to vote yes!

                • Holly

                  Here’s hoping eh.

                • Craig Millar

                  haha, good luck with that 🙂

          • saffrin

            You are not even funny anymore.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      No he will press ahead with asking the same question until the public gives the ‘right’ answer a la EU referenda in France, Ireland etc.

      • In2minds

        Alex Salmond was a big noise in the SNP when the slogan was ‘free by 93’. If shouty Salmond, like many of the Nats, can’t see they are part of the problem and not the solution then they go to their graves with the Union intact.

  • Colonel Mustard

    The Commonwealth Games seemed to be more a celebration of joining together than nationalism. I think it will have had the opposite effect to what the nationalists hoped.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      That will not stop the cybernat nutters from claiming the precise opposite.

    • goatmince

      At least we are now aware there is a national anthem of England.
      That’s good progress.

      • Wessex Man

        It’s not , It should be, it should be played before all England Matches at International level.

      • arnoldo87

        They used to play “Pomp & Circumstance #1” after an English gold medal. Now it’s “Jerusalem”.
        Both fine anthems, but why did they change it?

    • Craig Millar

      agree, there was a bit of a home nations love in up here

      • Holly

        With England being on top.
        Who’d a thunk it.

        • Wessex Man

          naughty but nice!

          • Holly

            Don’t forget….True.

        • Craig Millar

          well you have to have to some fun after taking it from behind from america for so long……

  • MirthaTidville

    I think that no matter how the debate ends, the majority of people in Scotland will vote to maintain the Union. To do otherwise would be a leap into a very large unknown, with no plan B. Such a train of thought has its supporters but they are not and never will be the majority.

    • goatmince

      The path of devolution has been taken – it’s a one way street, not a cul-de-sac and there certainly is no hammer head. To be frank, it is largely unknown to the Slovaks, Danes and the people of Cyprus why the Scots are so obsessed with not wanting their own nation state. Perhaps they have all read Václav Havel?

      Kosovo and the End of the Nation-State.
      http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1999/jun/10/kosovo-and-the-end-of-the-nation-state/

      • Colonel Mustard

        Real bogus and manipulative tripe. Nation states at war = bad, Human rights for identity groups causing war = good.

        You lefties are so twisted you can’t see the goat for the mince.

        • goatmince

          I am genuinely trying to get to the bottom of how your ‘response’ would in even the remotest way constitute that.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Well ask one of your other sock puppets lad like dado, Dalai, barking at tree Huggers, shoe on head etc etc

            • goatmince

              ok, the trolls have arrived, again.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Yes you trolls are here in force lad. EU sponsored and spouting gibberish. Which of your sock puppets is next up? Dado or Dalai Guevara?

                • goatmince

                  I believe it is safe to say you asked that question more than 50 times. As my late and dear member of the design team Lord McA once stated: (it is) extremely bad for you to be angry (all the time).

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Well it is so hard to keep up with all of your sockpuppets laddie. They all spout the same indecipherable gibberish.

              • Wessex Man

                I thought you were done here?

          • Colonel Mustard

            Don’t lie. You are just trying to think up a smug and clever put down to demonstrate your intellectual superiority.

            Take it as read.

            • goatmince

              Ok, telling the truth now: it is “largely unknown” to the Slovaks, Danes and the people of Cyprus why the Scots are so obsessed with not wanting their own nation state. Perhaps they have all read Václav Havel?

              • Colonel Mustard

                Yes, you wrote that the first time but on second reading it is still tripe. Maybe you should try another “clever” fabrication, eh?

                • goatmince

                  The man of detail misses the nuances. I refuse to dumb it down further and am done here.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …it is a metaphysical impossibility to dumb down your blather, lad. It is dumbness defined. It is an absolute-value of dumb. It is a Sistine Chapel painted ceiling of dumb. It is a level of dumb that dwarfs all other dumbness and inexorably draws it into your dumbness orbit like a great black hole of dumb. You have perfected dumb. Your dumb cannot be magnified or increased. You are the high priest of dumb. The dumb angels will arrive to lift you into dumb heaven any minute now. All the world’s dumb will now have their prophet, Dumb Be Upon You.

                • Holly

                  Bye.

      • The_greyhound

        Devolution is so popular in Scotland that half the electorate stayed away from the vote in 2011 – the only reason that this bunch of fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists got into office.

    • The Masked Marvel

      Don’t underestimate the power of emotion and pride, though.

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