Look around. What do you see?
For a while what I was seeing confused me. I saw windae after windae with ‘Yes’ signs, and they’re only increasing in frequency, yet I saw no ‘Better Together’ or ‘No Thanks’ signs, until this week. For clarification the first No Thanks sign I spotted belongs to a windae on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow, just across from the tennis courts in Kelvingrove Park, just in case you want to check it out for yourself. They are, after all, a rarity.
As they’re a rarity I imagined my first sighting would be a similar experience to that of Captain John Hunter when he discovered the Duck Billed Platypus. It would induce a jowl slacking disbelief of repulsed elation, but there was nothing of the sort. However, not all was lost, as I was completely unprepared for the accompanying sanctimonious pageantry. In the aftermath it made sense, due to their scarcity it’s become a necessary act of sheer overcompensation and delusion. Employing saltires to insinuate that it’s patriotic to vote No, and deny a country its independence, is not only a myopic pastiche, but indicative of the pure unbridled fuckwittery that constitutes the majority of the No campaign’s base of blasé groupthink. Mind you, I always look to accentuate the positive. Regurgitating the whole episode made me ponder how I’d react to seeing a Platypus sauntering down Sauchiehall Street.
In more practical terms the existence of a No voter who feels strongly enough to put a No Thanks sign in their window finally created a ratio of Yes to No windaes. I’ve got it at roughly 200/3 in favour of Yes so far. ‘Roughly’ describes the number of Yes windaes only, as I was able to accurately count the number of No Thanks windaes with ease. This ratio, while not definitively indicating the popularity of both campaigns, does emphasise the chasm in the verve and ingenuity that characterises each.
Even if you account for the desperate change of tack in the branding of the No campaign, from Better Together to No Thanks, which could affect the number of signs likely to appear in windaes, the abundance of Yes signs and lack of No Thanks windaes contravenes the months of mainstream media outlets, sourcing polling data, insisting that the No campaign was and is in the lead. You’ll notice that recently, if you can bear to watch the news, there has been a nuanced change in the reporting, with the inclusion of a prefix that the No campaign is ‘still’ ahead. Make of that what you will.
The media’s reporting of the state of play, as is, allows Yes campaigners to accuse it of it being contrarian to, or unrepresentative of, the culture of which it is a part. The polls, their choice of polls, suggest that the Yes campaign’s visual popularity and supremacy is an outlier, or at worst an inconsequential anecdote. Are we to believe that the people voting Yes, who are going to all that trouble to procure and then place a sticker or sign in their car or front window(s), are the loud minority? While the majority of those not bothering to do anything are No voters, and that they are the silent majority?
Look, as anything is possible, so this could be possible: that every blank window can be counted as a No voter, or a likely one. This notion as a likelihood starts to unravel a bit when you consider the windae ratio placed alongside another piece of persuasive circumstantial evidence – the canvassing results obtained by Yes folk (who do more/most of it) in virtually every enclave of the country, urban or rural. Nearly all are in favour of Yes, some overwhelmingly so.
Personally I believe that the true state of where Scotland stands won’t be revealed until the 19th of September. What I’ve suggested above are, at the moment, just clues. Any pre-existing bias will interpret them accordingly, but remember that selectivity offers nothing insightful except the views it’s attempting to permeate. Like this piece is.
Which brings us the crux of the matter, winning. My suspicion is that secretly the Yes campaign will happily continue to defer to the referendum’s current tenor, where they surreptitiously, without repudiation from anywhere or anyone, have moved from underdog and unlikely victor, to slight underdog and possible victor.
Part of this has meant putting up with Better Together’s lies, steadily increasing in frequency and syndicated throughout various forms of media by their sycophantic sympathisers of self-preservation. These lies are assertions designed to appeal to what is arrogantly assumed to be a thoroughly ingrained, endemic, Scottish inferiority complex. As such to the enlightened they range from laughably daft, to occasionally bizarre and increasingly desperate as the 18th of September gets closer (here’s a salubrious link that brilliantly refutes all of the best of the worst in one neat package).
Take the recent comments by Tony Abbott, who, somehow, worryingly, for humanity’s sake, is the Prime Minister of Australia. I shouldn’t be surprised, as David Cameron is well, yeah, you know…anyway Abbott felt compelled to weigh in on Scottish Independence, and why not? Birds of a feather must stick together. Abbott, like Cameron, no doubt sees himself as the self appointed guardian of maintaining the privilege and self-interest of his plutocratic kin. He’s an altruistically impaired gimp who belongs to the first generation of socio-ideological neocons, their aspirational cuntishness proliferated so successfully by that ghastly Thatcher Reagan Murdoch triumvirate of used car salesmen.
A long time ago, to me anyway, some Canadian academic bloke rightly prophesized that the medium is the message, and when the message comes from a clown like medium in Abbott, it only helps to expose the message’s rancid heart. His musing offered nothing but an insight into the irony of ignorance, mainly at his own country’s recent history. Even better it came from someone whose phenotype you can easily associate with a Catholic priest that has a noncing addiction, and who manages to creep you the fuck out with his scaly leathery skin, which somehow often manages to look slicker and oilier than a Iguana that’s just surfaced out of your toilet bowl after you’ve planted a sloppy one on its head. Bottom line, this bloke is fucked, as he’s surely now on David Icke’s radar.
It certainly doesn’t hurt to have muppets like Abbott around, as part of the Yes campaign’s current exuberance is fuelled by the feeling that they’re the side that needs to change the consensus, most visibly represented among the higher echelons of society, such as the political classes. Refuting the litany of moronic Better Together talking heads, has, in part, given it its current momentum. They’re absolutely nothing wrong in continuing to inculcate this belief, even if the evidence increasingly suggests otherwise. The copious handing out of leaflets, the bombardment of Yes signs, personally procured, or spread by the campaign itself, the billboard adverts, the legions of Yes ‘cybernats’ on Twitter, Facebook and all the pro-indy bloggers are also likely to combine to induce a convenient consequence – a higher the voter turnout. If we get a higher turnout for the referendum than the last general election, then it’s likely folk will have been engaged to vote by the most visible and progressive campaign, the Yes campaign.
This is a crucial point, seeing an abundance of Yes signs in windaes conveys the confidence and self-belief of the campaign and those who support it. Its message being change is nothing to be feared. This positivity will eventually be absorbed by the doubters. And part of that doubt is the relative apathy of the No Thanks campaign by comparison. Its patronising message being we expect you to capitulate to tradition.
There are those who are of a constitution to resist all overtures of the alternative argument, but thankfully most of us are open to reason and therefore our opinions malleable. And that’s what makes the windaes a crucial part of the campaign. They’re effective because they don’t badger anyone to vote Yes. They’re an unobtrusive reminder of what’s a stake. It means that the next time you go out for a walk, ride the bus/train/bike or take the car for a spin, whether in town, in the suburbs or through the countryside, you’ll look around, you’ll see the windaes. You’ll see many Yes signs. You’ll see their allegiance first, but eventually and inevitably you’ll consider another message they carry, that this referendum has finally made people feel positive about politics for once, that their vote, our votes, can actually mean something, and could continue to.
They make you consider the essence of this referendum on bipartisan terms – now that you have this, why would you vote to renounce it?