Culture House Daily

Paul McCartney telling me to vote No makes me want to vote Yes

4 September 2014

5:14 PM

4 September 2014

5:14 PM

‘Scotland, stay with us!’ David Bowie declared back in February. And what Bowie says (or doesn’t, quite – attentive readers will remember that he got Kate Moss to say it for him) others parrot. A few days ago, Sir Paul ‘Macca’ McCartney added his name to an open letter urging the people of Scotland to join the Bowie bandwagon. He was late to the party – the other signatories make up a bizarre (and almost entirely English) cross-section of the British entertainment establishment, from Simon Cowell to David Starkey to Cliff Richard.

An impressive love-in, then. But it begs the question: will it actually swing any votes?

As a young-ish Anglo-Scot living in London, I am completely unqualified to tell you. But if I’d stayed in Scotland and was just that little bit more stupid – enough, say, to care about what a bunch of ageing light entertainers think – the slebs and their open letters might be just the thing to make up my mind for me. I’d dither, and start retching every time I glimpsed Alex Salmond’s Furby-ish mug.

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But I’d do it. Yup. I’d tick ‘Yes’. I’d regret it, probably. But forever more, even as the doomsday scenarios dragged my new country back to the Dark Age, I’d have the satisfaction of knowing that I’d snubbed the likes of Sting and Sarah Lucas. We half-Scots are a prood people.

On a marginally less facetious note, McCartney’s signature alone is obviously not why the gap in the polls has narrowed in the last few days. But as I see it, the open letter is part of a bigger problem, at least in terms of the youth vote. Ever since the Better Together campaign decided to cut the scare tactics and play cuddly, the whole thing has become the sort of don’t-know-where-to-look embarrassment normally reserved for Lib Dem sex scandals. Have you seen the ‘Let’s Stay Together’ video? Words can’t describe the shame. It’s like waking up to find your nose has grown a penis.

As the actor Bill Paterson wrote in the Guardian recently, there’s a good reason why so few Scottish entertainers have come out in favour of the Union. ‘Yes’, after all, is an attractive word. And even if Scotland doesn’t go all Mel Gibson on us, the high-profile independence supporters will be able to play the ‘freedom fighter’ card. ‘For the celebrity yes supporter,’ Paterson wrote, ‘it’s a win-win situation.’

A pro-Union voice, on the other hand, sounds as glum as John Knox at a Jesuit mass and risks the curse of Phil Collins. This is not lost on Scotland’s entertainers. This is why it falls to McCartney, Cowell, Jagger and co to take on team Braveheart. However good the intention, I can’t be alone in thinking that the letter reads less like a heartfelt plea than a patronising memo to a junior partner.

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Show comments
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

    I am an American Citizen and New Scotland needs to come out who they are and what they want…rich people should be quiet, not have the right make open forum of opinions…this is too communists in thinking.

  • NIHILISZT

    Rich and famous ‘philanthropic’ folk like McCartney, Bowie, Jagger – even the otherwise likeable comic Connolly (ashamed o’ yersel BigYin!) – trying to tell everyone how to vote is nauseating and pathetic. Translated, it just means – I’ve been to my accountant, asked how it will affect my financial investments and been told I would lose out. Too ******* bad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

    Mel Gibson is an Australian Rich Actor, he cannot vote for Scotland …he cannot vote yes or vote no.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

    Mel Gibson is An Australian rich actor, he is not Scottish. He cannot vote for Scotland Yes or No.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

    When Paul McCartney written Give Ireland back to the Irish was in 1972…for Bloody Sunday. Bloody Sunday-British soldiers attack a Irish Roman Catholic Peace Rally killed over 50 men who were unarmed…peaceful but one man was a terrorist who had nailbombs. Paul McCartney was not aware of the man with the nailbombs but thought the British soldiers should have been arrested as a murderer and hung………….,,,,,,,,,,,

  • Steav

    “We’ll cripple ourselves….yeah…that will show ya!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

    Old Scotland get together and vote NO…New Scotland does not want FREEDOM to vote it wants to control your vote just like did Sir Paul McCartney. say no to slavery.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

    I am an American I want to know why Sir Paul McCartney is not allowed to tell anyone to vote no in Scotland? New Scott do not like FREEDOM of the Vote? Only the poor can vote? Only the work class can vote?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

    When Paul McCartney written Give Ireland back to the Irish was in 1972…for Bloody Sunday. Bloody Sunday-British soldiers attack a Irish Roman Catholic Peace Rally killed over 50 men who were unarmed…peaceful but one man was a terrorist who had nailbombs. Paul McCartney was not aware of the man with the nailbombs but thought the British soldiers should have been arrested as a murderer and hung…………………………………………………..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

    British soldiers have not attack Scotland…this is the reason Sir Paul McCartney is not for new Scotland. This means for the handicap people who cannot read…Paul McCartney wanted the British soldiers to be arrested for murdering Irish men who were unarmed….this means the same if British Soldiers attack Scottish men who are on unarmed….he would want the British soldiers to be arrested for murdering Scottish men who were unarmed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

      When Paul McCartney written Give Ireland back to the Irish was in 1972…for Bloody Sunday. Bloody Sunday-British soldiers attack a Irish Roman Catholic Peace Rally killed over 50 men who were unarmed…peaceful but one man was a terrorist who had nailbombs. Paul McCartney was not aware of the man with the nailbombs but thought the British soldiers should have been arrested as a murderer and hung……………………………………………………………..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

    When Paul McCartney written Give Ireland back to the Irish was in 1972…for Bloody Sunday. Bloody Sunday-British soldiers attack a Irish Roman Catholic Peace Rally killed over 50 men who were unarmed…peaceful but one man was a terrorist who had nailbombs. Paul McCartney was not aware of the man with the nailbombs but thought the British soldiers should have been arrested as a murderer and hung……………………………………………..

    • oldoddjobs

      I don’t think this comment has been posted enough.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

        Sir Paul McCartney written Give Ireland back to the Irish because of Bloody Sunday 1972….he thought the British Soldiers were evil and they needed to be arrested for shooting unarmed young college men…one man had nail bombs who they were looking for.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

        When Paul McCartney written Give Ireland back to the Irish was in 1972…for Bloody Sunday. Bloody Sunday-British soldiers attack a Irish Roman Catholic Peace Rally killed over 50 men who were unarmed…peaceful but one man was a terrorist who had nailbombs. Paul McCartney was not aware of the man with the nailbombs but thought the British soldiers should have been arrested as a murderer and hung,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

    When Paul McCartney written Give Ireland back to the Irish was in 1972…for Bloody Sunday. Bloody Sunday-British soldiers attack a Irish Roman Catholic Peace Rally killed over 50 men who were unarmed…peaceful but one man was a terrorist who had nailbombs. Paul McCartney was not aware of the man with the nailbombs but thought the British soldiers should have been arrested as a murderer and hung…………

  • Damon

    If McCartney supporting Better Together can make you a quasi-Nationalist, then surely Billy Bragg and something called ‘Morrissey’ supporting the Yes campaign will persuade you to stay with the Union?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

      McCartney has the right to get Scotland vote No.. or no one has the right to courage votes in new Scotland?

      • Damon

        Don’t get me wrong, Carol. I’m 100 per cent with McCartney on this one.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

          why are you 100 per cent with Paul McCartney? I am glad are on his side. If a rich man cannot say a word in his own country…then who does..to US in United States we see the UK as one unit….not separate countries that happens to be ally.

  • Malcolm McCandless

    Lets Stay Together would be more convincing if they had not attracted celeb signatories who have in past said some pretty unkind things about Scotland. It implies a campaign based on a love-hate relationship.

    • The_greyhound

      Scotland is home to the SNP. You can’t say anything unkinder about a place than that.

  • Whyshouldihavetoregister

    “As a young-ish Anglo-Scot living in London, I am completely unqualified to tell you.” Why, yes; yes, you are.

  • Lubumbashi

    Perhaps the English should be given a yes/no option: do they want to keep Scotland?

    • kefp

      Amen to that

  • http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/books/review/Brubach-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 Shenandoah

    You mean: as a young Anglo-Scot living the high-enough life in London with the help of other people’s money and family connections. Let’s be real, Digby. The dames won’t have it any other way. Incidentally, they called me Humphrey because that was my mother’s maiden name, but how in h-ll did you get ‘Digby’? Sounds like a rally car.

    • Kitty MLB

      The same with Sean Connery and Big Yin, yet none of them
      live in Scotland.I had a Budgie called Humphrey as a child
      I thought him sweet, unfortunately so did the cat.

      A car rally, Bugsy Malone or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, maybe.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    “Give Ireland back to the Irish
    Don’t make them have to take it away …”

  • asalord

    “Give Ireland back to the Irish” Paul McCartney.

    • Lyle Argot

      Is it really that hard to understand that McCartney thought it was unfair to split off a small piece of an island (N. Ireland) from the rest of that island (Ireland), just as he thinks it’s better for Scotland not to be split off from the rest of the island it shares with England and Wales?

      And doesn’t this referendum in fact given Scotland back to the Scots to decide how they want to proceed? None of the people who signed this petition in favor of staying together were opposed to the referendum or to Scots making their own decision. At no point did McCartney or Bowie say the Scots shouldn’t have the right to vote on this.

      Finally, this post by Digby W-A strikes me as a bit hypocritical. So it’s bad for celebrities to use their fame to get attention to their views on Scotland but it’s OK for Digby to use McCartney’s name and fame as clickbait to get attention to this post.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

        Only way Sir Paul McCartney is for New Scotland cause..is allow him to have opinion and allow him to vote anyway he chooses…such vote No stay with England..if not ISIS the Terrorists group could attack New Scotland who have no help from British citizens.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

        When Paul McCartney written Give Ireland back to the Irish was in 1972…for Bloody Sunday. Bloody Sunday-British soldiers attack a Irish Roman Catholic Peace Rally killed over 50 men who were unarmed…peaceful but one man was a terrorist who had nailbombs. Paul McCartney was not aware of the man with the nailbombs but thought the British soldiers should have been arrested as a murderer and hung………

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

      When Paul McCartney written Give Ireland back to the Irish was in 1972…for Bloody Sunday. Bloody Sunday-British soldiers attack a Irish Roman Catholic Peace Rally killed over 50 men who were unarmed…peaceful but one man was a terrorist who had nailbombs. Paul McCartney was not aware of the man with the nailbombs but thought the British soldiers should have been arrested as a murderer and hung.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

      When Paul McCartney written Give Ireland back to the Irish was in 1972…for Bloody Sunday. Bloody Sunday-British soldiers attack a Irish Roman Catholic Peace Rally killed over 50 men who were unarmed…peaceful but one man was a terrorist who had nailbombs. Paul McCartney was not aware of the man with the nailbombs but thought the British soldiers should have been arrested as a murderer and hung…………..

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

      When Paul McCartney written Give Ireland back to the Irish was in 1972…for Bloody Sunday. Bloody Sunday-British soldiers attack a Irish Roman Catholic Peace Rally killed over 50 men who were unarmed…peaceful but one man was a terrorist who had nailbombs. Paul McCartney was not aware of the man with the nailbombs but thought the British soldiers should have been arrested as a murderer and hung………..///////////////

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

    I am an American..I do not see is a civil war for Scotland…New vs Old…I hope England will figure out how prevent a civil war. Maybe the American will prevent a civil war. I can understand why the Brits are interested what is going Scotland. Why? They do not want to see a civil war in their own country…be for us in American… Canada going civil war..the Americans be concern. I like know what so changes do the New Scots hope to gain independence…how extreme is it? Is the government be American Friendly? Is the government going to be high taxes if you are celebrity such as David Bowie, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Mick Jagger for wanting to vote NO? Will have New independent Scotland have freedom of religion, freedom to be rich, freedom to be English, freedom to be Irish, freedom to be Welsh? I think a lot of new Scotland Independent is very racial in their own country in United Kingdom.

    • you_kid

      Classic! Hats off to the poster for speaking her mind.

    • Craig Millar

      what?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

        I do not want to see a civil war in Scotland New vs OLD.

        • Angus McLellan

          Then for goodness sake don’t start one.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

            I am not in Scotland. I am in Tulsa.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

            How can I do not live in Scotland.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

        What I see is NO one is allow to vote NO

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

        If Sir Paul McCartney and other rich celebrities is condemn for voting no then no one is allow to vote who is poor and average income.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

        If the vote is 50/50 equal where New Independence Scotland become violent over those who want the old Scotland with England and the UK?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

        This means that Sir Paul McCartney at the time believe the British Soldiers should be hang as murderers and British soldiers or the Irish soldiers could have handle it nice humane manner…metal detector for nail bombs, the men could have been simply check for nail bombs and their pockets check etc instead they were gun down in savage manner this is why it is call bloody sunday….Scotland need bloody sunday for Sir Paul McCartney believe Scots to have Scotland. I do not know Sir Paul McCartney personally…I know why he had written the song and why he was banned. September

  • ExiledOnMainStreet

    Might have to reword the old Beatles tune: “You say yes, I say no, you say stop and I say go,go go….”

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

      Sir Paul McCartney You say I say no I say go, go go, is a Beatles song you are correct but it has nothing to do with voting….has to do with sexual relationship male and female.

  • BellBino

    You know what’s equally annoying? Reading a post like this that is just the kind of smug, insulting post that is now standard these days — attacking celebrities for being celebrities, or for, god forbid, having an opinion about something. People sit back and attack all the vapid 1 Direction, X Factor, Beckham type celebrities for standing for nothing but their own self-promotion, and then you attack those celebrities who actually want to do some good.

    How insecure about your own views do you have to be to be threatened by a group of celebrities (Bowie, Macca, et al) who basically say (1) This vote is entirely up to the Scots, we know that; and (2) We want you to know we love Scotland and hope you stay with us.

    They’re not challenging the right of Scottish voters to vote their hearts/consciences in any way they please. They’re merely expressing their own view. What is there to find “patronizing” or insulting about that. In an increasingly vapid world, I’d rather these artists speak up and SAY SOMETHING than just stand still and look pretty.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

      When Paul McCartney written Give Ireland back to the Irish was in 1972…for Bloody Sunday. Bloody Sunday-British soldiers attack a Irish Roman Catholic Peace Rally killed over 50 men who were unarmed…peaceful but one man was a terrorist who had nailbombs. Paul McCartney was not aware of the man with the nailbombs but thought the British soldiers should have been arrested as a murderer and hung………….

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

      If you had your way Celebrities are not allow to vote or notice the countries that are around them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

      What does New Scotland want? New Prime Minister or bully Celebrities? Tell Paul and David that they are not allow to have an opinion or courage others to vote that is the best for Scotland?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

      What if New Scotland and Old Scotland entered themselves in Civil War…ISIS terrorists watch take over the country. ISIS is British Muslim Extremist Group, their leaders likes using Beatles’ name, John, Paul, George, Ringo…..set fire on Edinburgh…the reason ISIS would attack Scotland…so they can attack England the complete UK…British Pounds is worth more than other currency in the world…bets American Dollar.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

      David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger are only merely rock singers, they should not have an opinion in New Scotland…they have every right to state their opinion and rally anyone to assembly to get the audience to vote their way…this is very common in the United States…so these rock singers has no right to vote or state their opinion…no FREEDOM of EXPRESSION. Old Scotland believes in FREEDOM….New Scotland believes in nothing or only the poor can vote and have assembly.

  • fundamentallyflawed

    The better together campaign has been a nightmare combination of bully boy tactics and limp horrible celebrity endorsement.

    Anybody would think that they really WANT Scotland to become independent

    • http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/books/review/Brubach-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 Shenandoah

      I’d like to see it try.

    • HJ777

      “bully boy tactics”?

      Give me an example.

      As far as I can tell, they are the preserve of Salmond and his ilk who seem to think that the UK will have to do whatever he wants if he succeeds in his aim – and he’s prepared to make threats such as debt default if he doesn’t get his way.

    • The_greyhound

      Does “bully boy tactics” mean, “point out the unforeseen and malign consequences of the SNP’s irrational and uncosted promises”?

      The independence campaign has been a nightmare of cheap anti-English propaganda, bald lies (“the EU has promised automatic readmission to an independent Scotland”), utter dishonesty (the acres of front organizations spewing SNP propaganda, all claiming to be something they clearly aren’t), and the endless scumbag attempts to browbeat and bully anyone who stands up for the majority opinion.

      Little wonder decent people view nationalists and their entirely negative campaign with such contempt.

      • fundamentallyflawed

        Yes – bully boy tactics was possibly the wrong term but the “better together” campaign has basically been a list of what could/will go wrong with scottish independence. The more negative the campaign the more patriotic and hopeful the Yes arguments have been

        • oldoddjobs

          Funny that!

          It’s almost as if people with one opinion believe a bunch of stuff and people with the opposite opinion also believe a bunch of stuff.

        • Damon

          “The more negative the campaign the more patriotic and hopeful the Yes arguments have been.”

          Since when does patriotism imply a Yes vote? I’m fervently supporting Better Together, and for one reason – patriotism.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

        Most Americans are afraid of civil war in Scotland. Are you prepared? No vs Yes….what does Yes Independence mean anyway? New Prime Minister or King for Scotland…yet be military independent? or will Scotland still beg and plead with England?

  • global city

    Ooh, Digby, you’re such a contrary bugger!

  • MichtyMe

    Listened to Miliband on the radio this morning, vote NO, I am the SAVIOUR, next May RAPTURE, the ascent into PARADISE. Heard mair convincing Jehovah’s at ma doorstep.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Price/506333006 Carol Price

      If you are the SAVIOR can you predict the results how many vote no and how many vote yes.

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