Saturday, 6 September 2014

Not in the News - 6th of September Edition

Welcome to another edition of our weekly series looking back at the stories which the main stream media in Scotland didn't offer much attention to, and comparing them to those that hit the front pages. Our last edition can be found here.
Do you hate your children? You must be a Yes voter!
The No campaign, which had previously claimed that "the key factor (in determining how to vote) is the love of our families", made what is quite possibily the most ridiculous campaign poster since Mayor Quimby's disasterous "he'd vote for you" promise. "We love our kids. We're voting no thanks" (the obvious conclusion being that everyone voting Yes does hate their kids, even the ones who don't have kids!).
#Hamatime, #PatronisingBTLady and now #ilovemyfamily. The No campaign has been nothing but entertaining (really, they have been nothing!). We can confirm that this trend will continue, as we have seen a preview of their next poster campaign:
Taking it to the Max
Max Keiser, star of the internationally renowed Keiser Report and On the Edge, has previously stated his support for Scottish Independence. He confirmed that again with his website adding the following post: "YES! An independent Scotland would have the highest GDP per capita in the world. A 'No' vote is asinine".
No wonder he and his partner Stacy Herbert are considered the most dangerous people to the establishment in the financial media. Well done Max and keep up the great work you do!
Checking your purse before they check your pulse
The UK Government confirmed that the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (also known as TTIP) will affect the NHS. The details can be found in these articles by Unite the union and International Business Times.

Independent EU nations have the right to safeguard their health services if there is an existing state monopoly (i.e. if privatisation is not already taking place). Scotland can only have this protection if we vote Yes on the 18th.
The Pot and the Singing Kettle
Yes supporters in Scotland were buoyed by the latest figures from polling agency YouGov. Whether or not you believe the initial figures isn't very important (or even the notion of polling altogether) the evidence that the movement is towards independence is very encouraging.

And we know this is important because the BBC (that bastian of impartiality [sarcasm]) considered the massive jump in support for Yes as being less news worthy than the music group the singing kettle announcing that they will stop touring in 2015. Maybe they could have squeezed them both in by dropping the 'New Paranormal Festival for Scotland' story...nah [sarcasm, extreme sarcasm].
The reason why this is important is because belief regarding how most other people will be voting is a consideration made by a very large proportion of the electorate at every election. If our fellow Scots believe that Yes can win, then this will translate into more votes. It shouldn't be this way (and with independence we will gain a representative parliament where every vote carries the same value - unlike Westminster) but it is a reality we should recognise.
Heartless Vandals!
Evidence has emerge of terrible acts of vandalism against 'no' campaign signs! First Minister Alex Salmond has had to deny personal involvement! Additional statement which hints at, but doesn't make a specific allegation which would need to be justified or could be subject to scrutiny, the Yes campaign being evil and bad!

Have these cows fully appreciated the choice facing Scotland?
Scotland has value (something the 'no' campaign doesn't appreciate)
We wrote a while ago in our blog 'Nobody wants you so please stay with us' how the primary tactic of those opposed to independence is to portray Scotland as a land which has no intrinsic value. Westminster wouldn't want to treat us as equals because we have no value. The EU won't try to keep us in the club because we have no value. And then NATO would expel us because we have no value. Just follow the links to see why each of these arguments are nonsense.

In each case we have shown that this just isn't true, and today we had more evidence of this as a former UK ambassador to NATO, Mariot Leslie, stated her intention to vote Yes and her confidence in Scotland being warmly welcomed within the military alliance.
And on a little side story which Russia Today mentioned: a country can be a member of the EU and use the currency of another. Luxembourg, which was a founding member of the EU, continued to use Belgian Francs until 2002. Of course, to the 'no' campaign, Luxembourg has value but Scotland does not. There are only obstacles and problems facing us and no-one will do anything to make things easy or fair.
I'm not ready for my closeup, Mr Ponsonby
David Cameron spent Prime Minister's Questions accusing STV of chickening out of hosting a debate between himself and undecided viewers. His exact words were: "On the television programme, I offered them [STV] a date and indeed a format but they seemed to run away themselves which is a great pity."
No questions from a journalist
No representatives from the Yes Campaign (which STV would have agreed to)
And only 'genuine' floating voters, which Downing Street would arrange (ie, Dave's team would pick the audience)
Despite attempts to put pressure on the channel by claiming that this 'debate' would take place on Sky News or the BBC (Mr Cameron has so far taken part in nothing), STV refused to surrender editorial control.
The offer for Mr Cameron to speak to undecided voters on STV is still available, but we suspect he won't be ready for 'genuine' scrutiny any time soon...
Every little hinders
The no campaign used a frankly bizarre claim in their literature recently that the cost of food in supermarkets would increase following a Yes vote. This doesn't make sense for a number of reasons (most of which are explained here and here) but the interesting part is the use of Tesco. The image below was taken from a no campaign leaflet and clearly shows that the supermarket will increase every price by 16%.
"I can confirm that this [16% higher prices] is not true as we've got a great business in Scotland and our job is to create the best offer for customers whatever the outcome of the referendum." Sue Whitaker, Tesco Customer Service
The problem for the no campaign was that someone asked Tesco, and they confirmed that this story was a lie. So, the no campaign have been caught making up nonsense (again) and hiding their scares behind someone else. I guess in their world, every little hinders.
This fake story, which has been introduced whilst votes are being cast, is clearly against election rules. But fear not! Below is a photograph which shows all the work we have seen that the Electoral Commission, who describe their own objective as achieving "well-run elections", is doing to ensure a free and fair contest:
Strategically positioned paperwork jobs
This map below, which was shared by the Wings over Scotland's twitter account, shows where civilian jobs for the UK military are based.

Civilian jobs within the military are very important but they can by and large be located anywhere. Why do these jobs (and remember that a population share of their associated costs are attributed to Scotland despite the obvious shortfall in jobs being based here) have to be concentrated in the south of England? Does this map look fair to you?
It reminds me of this article by Business for Scotland. The maps there don't look very fair either.
Eh...mass canvas?
We at Sign for Scotland do not share links to the Scotsman newspaper (see our blog 'I read it in the paper' for the main reason why), but even they were highlighting how hopelessly unsuccessful Johann Lamont's mass canvassing attempt in Govan was on Friday.

"But despite an army of Labour supporters knocking doors, only three residents engaged in conversation with her - while several even came outside to return the leaflets pushed through their letter boxes." Scotsman Newspaper
Ouch! The reason why senior Labour politicians are finding such a hard response from people in Govan and other predominately working class areas is because they are campaigning to keep a Tory government in Westminster in power over Scotland. The argument that we should 'vote no and then hope people in England vote Labour next year, (just ignore our commitment to matching every Tory public service spending cut)' is not as strong or as reliable as 'vote Yes and the people will always get the government they vote for'.
We can even save a fortune by not paying for what we don't need!
But if you are an undecided Labour voter, then please compare any speech by Johann Lamont to the words of Jeane Freeman and decide which one more accurately reflects the founding principles of the Labour Party. What future would you rather have?
Join us again on Sunday for our final look at what's 'not in the news' before the referendum!
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