Last year, the claim was 5,000 when it was obvious to any observer that the real number was in excess of twice that.
On Saturday, the “estimation” was even more ludicrous. According to the police, there were approximately 8,000 people on the march. The truth, in my opinion, was closer to 30,000.
If the police are as drastically inaccurate where numbers are concerned in other situations –speeding, for example – how can we have any faith in them?
The stirring words, the gathering of the faithful, the zealous foot soldiers, it was all there on Saturday in Edinburgh – and I do not mean at Easter Road, where I could hear the Yes rally as I wound my way down Albert Street to watch what I considered a far more important occasion on the football field.
But in the same way as the league table shows the truth of any team’s situation, so do the opinion polls in a political setting. And so Alex Salmond may talk for evermore and his fawning acolytes may cheer, but the truth is the numbers attending the rally were a minuscule percentage of the population of this country. Every authoritative poll to date has shown those who would prefer the UK to remain intact not only maintaining a strong lead but, in some, also increasing it.
It is not his faithful Mr Salmond needs to convince, that is easy money, it is the close to 75 per cent of Scots who are not and never will be convinced.
New Cut Rigg