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SCOTLAND THE BRAVE (OR NOT)! September 9, 2014

Posted by wmmbb in European Politics.

About one in eight voters in the Scottish Referendum on independence from the United Kingdom seems to have changed their mind in the last month or so. The latest YouGov poll has been a shock to the political establishment in London – both the Conservative and Labour Parties.

Craig Murray, former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan was reporting how successful the ground campaign and social media campaign had been working for the Yes campaign. These polls seemed to have confirmed the accuracy of his observations. His take was the polls were dodgy all along:

YouGov stood to have its reputation shattered if it continued to put out polls showing ten point leads for No, when Yes is very obviously headed for a majority.

Those massive YouGov leads for No were all part of the Unionist tactic of making independence appear both uniquely impossible to Scotland, as opposed to any other small nation state you can name, and an unattainable dream. Too poor, too wee, too stupid and politically isolated. YouGov are known in the trade as “You Can Have Any Result You Pay For Gov”. For months, James Kelly on the Scot Goes Pop blog has brilliantly analysed the methodologies they employed to give those large No leads – asking prior leading questions, a large preponderance of Labour voters in their panel, and the “Kellner Correction” – an assumption that lies or faulty memory about how people last voted, would penalise Labour unless corrected for statistically. The result was YouGov polls that were great reading for the No camp, but made no sense whatsoever to anybody who had talked to voters.

My own view is that there has not been an extraordinary 12 point swing in a fortnight, as illustrated by YouGov’s last two polls. What there has been is a continuing stead swing and a realisation in YouGov that, having helped the No campaign for over a year by trying to make a Yes vote seem hopeless, to be over 12% out on this vital vote might damage YouGov’s share price fatally. So they have had to start publishing something close to the truth.

As I have been reporting, the truth has been very obvious to people on the ground for weeks. And the truth is not only that independence is coming, but that the entire political class, BBC and mainstream media has been rejected, and a new form of popular power, based on community democracy and social media, has taken over.

If Craig Murray is correct, then the vote will be extraordinary. The Scottish Autumn would then have a global impact, initially in Europe. Australia would have to recognize an independent Scotland.

It is a surprise to see how anti-independence officials of the EU are being, ahead of the referendum taking place. It is said that Scotland will have to wait five years for admission.

Despite claiming not to be, London seems to be in panic. There are ten days to go. The fear campaign failed, so now federation and financial concessions are in offer. The Labour Party is set to lose 38% of its voting base, wiping it out as a possible alternative government for the foreseeable future, unless it enters into a coalition. Is it now too little, too late?

Paul Krugman writes off an independent Scotland, saying it will be “Spain without the sunshine”. Iceland seems to be managing, and doing quite well. He writes:

I find it mind-boggling that Scotland would consider going down this path after all that has happened in the last few years. If Scottish voters really believe that it’s safe to become a country without a currency, they have been badly misled.

Who these people might be(other than brothers) I don’t know but the opinions expressed as interesting.Could it be that neoliberalism has been the death of the UK:

The outcomes of the referendum, will be as interesting as the vote. (I am forgetting that norms of political behavior are different. Voting is not compulsory.) Obviously, the British did not learn from Australia, and perhaps the the US, that once you have a federation, it is comparatively easy to rig referenda, and never to rely on a simple majority. That is the path of difficulty.



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