Published On: Tue, Apr 2nd, 2013

Better Together?


I’m here today to talk to you about the evils of joint campaigning. No, I’m not talking about the harmless pro-cannabis movement we all know and love, this is something much more sinister. I’m talking about the Scottish Labour Party, the Scottish Conservative Party and the Scottish Liberal Democrats joining forces in a disturbing and unsavoury threesome. Even though policy-wise it’s getting more and more difficult to tell the difference between these parties something about this just doesn’t sit right. It’s a bit like watching cousins french-kissing.


The result is an amorphous socially awkward movement devoid of any real message, other than that Britain is fundamentally okay and we shouldn’t vote for any sort of change. The group was launched by Alistair Darling, who I didn’t even know is Scottish. I had to google that! If you go for a drink with the Better Together campaign, it’ll stare at you but won’t make eye contact. When the Better Together campaign doesn’t hear what you’ve just said, it smiles and nods. If you get left alone with the Better Together campaign, you’ll both sit there staring at your phones in collective discomfort until someone else shows up to break the ice.


The Yes Scotland campaign is more like your pal. Yes Scotland is funny, passionate and intelligent. Yes posts clever jokes on Facebook that not everybody will get. Yes will chum you outside for a cigarette and even give you one if you’ve not got any. You want to like the Yes Scotland campaign, there’s a roguish charm there. A twinkle in the eye. Only I get the impression that if you let the Yes Scotland campaign convince you to stay out for another couple of pints, you’ll suddenly find yourself three days later, in the ruins of somewhere that was once a house party, babysitting a girl quietly weeping because she can’t handle her first ketamine trip.


Joking aside, I have actually found that the Yes movement are putting forward a better argument, generally providing compassionate, left-of-centre reasons for independence sprinkled lightly with patriotism. The Better Together campaign is a constant source of negativity, a propaganda machine that only serves to support the nationalist myth that all unionist parties pursue the same sleazy agenda.


As someone who has campaigned for the Labour Party in a previous life, I find the Better Together campaign sickening. Keir Hardie is spinning in his grave so hard that he’s in serious danger of drilling to the centre of the earth and causing some sort of cosmic catastrophe. The Labour Party are losing people in Scotland, and jumping into bed with the Tories to campaign isn’t going to win anyone back. The Better Together campaign has nothing for the left. What happened to the principle that class unites us more than what country we were born in? There’s nothing about worker’s solidarity, or that the oppressed majority in all countries should stick together against the dominant force of global capitalism. Just a lot of gawky politicians telling you not to think for yourself.


I’ve often heard that the nationalist argument isn’t logical enough, that it’s too emotional. Personally, I’d like to see more emotion from the pro-union left. The Labour Party should renounce all ties with this embarrassing sham of a campaign, or they face the prospect of becoming completely unrecognisable.


On independence, I remain undecided, but it’s clear to me that Yes Scotland are putting up the better fight at the moment.

by Mick Clocherty