Every time I sit down at the keyboard, I write the same thing…WE ARE GOING TO WIN. I can’t stop it. It’s like a madness taking hold of my fingers.
It must be madness of a kind because I also think the die is now cast. We keep hearing about the tiniest mistake that could make the difference or the swithering Don’t Knows deciding the outcome. Yet I’m unconvinced.
To me the momentum is sliding iceberg-like towards Yes, inexorable and crushing. We may be fooled by traditional polls which base their methodology on general elections yet this is not an election at all. Some polls are by landline phone, some the internet, some face to face and respondents don’t always tell the truth which I think is true of people who are breaking with a personal habit and moving outside their comfort zone – a feature I think accounts for many Don’t Knows. Look at the total confusion over the weekend as the polls told conflicting stories.
The hundred thousand plus who have registered for the first time are overwhelmingly Yes as there can be no other reason for their sudden desire to vote – you don’t make that decision just to back the status quo.
Then there is the increased turnout. Just look at the two campaigns and ask who has the enthusiasm, the drive and determination to make this happen and who therefore is more likely to make sure they turn out and vote.
There is a very real chance that Yes will punch right thorough the 50 per cent barrier and produce a result that makes even the anti-democrat George Robertson blanche.
I am also saying this because it is surely clear that the No side also knows what is happening and if you put yourself in their position it explains the panic and desperation. It wasn’t just the one poll, it is the movement they detect on the ground that lit the fire under them.
And look at their response. When they needed to inspire Labour voters they had only Gordon Brown, as vainglorious a figure as any in recent history with a threadbare record and a stained character. His analysis of why we are at this point today is devoid of any mention of Labour. Just as he never took responsibility in office, so even now he is still in denial that it was the vacuum created by a failed Labour Party that created the space for the SNP to occupy.
He is promising what is not in his gift to deliver and it is abundantly clear from the reaction in Westminster that the changes, such as they are, need full scrutiny and endorsement, have implications for the rest of Britain and will be buried in the chaos of a fevered General Election.
And as the tide engulfs them, the voices of Unionism become every more bitter and shrill. Some complain of misrepresentation and of enthusiasm covering up for lack of clarity…others that there is a dark side which is spiteful and repressive and berates those who disagree with it. And John Reid – again when Labour folk need inspiration for the Union – tells them they are anti-English racists. This is all the language of losers thrashing around for justification for defeat.
So misplaced and overblown has this rhetoric become that I fear for the atmosphere afterwards if there were to be a No.
But it is now clear that a Yes vote will be achieved against every organ of the British State striving to block it, even illegally as the RBS controversy shows. All the adherents of big power – the military, diplomatic, business, landowners – have been blown away by the will of the people. This is the realisation for England that it can be done – the Establishment can be confronted, resisted and defeated. People can reclaim their country. We are already the beacon for social democratic change the British Left is looking for.
The next trick will be to ensure that we enact the changes we demand in the new Scotland. That means Yes today and Yes tomorrow – the movement will be as important after September 18 as it is now.