Debating points

Just three weeks ago The Scotsman reported that the No campaign on Scottish independence was only nine points ahead (24 November).

This was received by media commentators on television and such with some excitement, “open race, all to play for” etc. You have now just reported what sounds initially even better news for the Yes camp, with three points up in support (9 December). But this poll actually put the No camp 23 per cent ahead and there is another yesterday with it as 19 per cent ahead (11 December). In any other political debate I know of this would indicate that one side was dead in the water.

I wonder what all this shows other than the desire of the media to gee up a bit of interest, while politicians will carry on with the fantasy that their every utterance will change fundamental beliefs.

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We have known for a long time that while most people are very pleased to be Scottish, they do not see this as a reason for setting up a new country. The propaganda of both sides reinforces this. The Yes camp bases its arguments on the grounds that Scotland is strong within the existing arrangements, so it is not clear what problem is being addressed. On the other hand the No camp say setting up a new country is likely to result in dislocation, so fixing a pump that isn’t broken is likely to break it.

Inasmuch as people listen to such arguments at all, not much is likely to change other than over the next ten months, the media and politicians will generate enough hot air for an independent energy policy.

(Prof) Greg Philo

Glasgow University Media Group, Glasgow