By Lesley Riddoch
 
I had a dream last night.
 
The Rev. Martin Luther King first spoke those words in Detroit – two months before he addressed a quarter of a million people at the March for Liberty in Washington, 1963.  What has that famous, soaring speech got to do with the relatively humdrum realities of the Scottish independence campaign? Bear with me.

Back in 1963 King’s adviser tried to discourage him from using the “dream” refrain again, describing it as “hackneyed and trite” and supplying the great evangelist with a new speech entitled “Normalcy – Never Again.”

King was the last speaker to address the crowd in Washington that summer day and as he began speaking, gospel singer Mahalia Jackson called out, “Tell ’em about the dream, Martin.” So he paused and said, “I still have a dream.”

The rest is history.

In keynote speeches as in life — who dares wins.  And half a century later, the most daring thing a politician can still do is dare to dream.  In public.  Before a massive crowd.  Despite mockery, cynicism and loss of comfort zone.  On live TV.  Without soundbites, statistics, or anywhere left to hide.

So with eight weeks left till the independence referendum, the question is obvious.  Can Alex Salmond do it?  Can he focus minds, lift spirits and encourage doubters with an inspiring vision of the future.  I think the Scottish public finally wants to know.
 
As opinion polls flatline, the question on many lips is simple.  What happens next?

Of course, the Yes campaign has not tried to set the heather alight through big special, central events but has rather pursued a canny strategy of local activity, shifting voters one by one, step by step from No to Mebbe and thence to a Yes vote on September 18th.

But will that local momentum alone carry undecided voters across the threshold of doubt on the day?  I hae ma doots.

Something is needed – something is expected.  The bulk of persuasion will happen locally.  But between now and D-Day there will be opportunities aplenty for wider communication as TV and Radio crank up several gears.  Will it be more of the same from our political leaders?

Alex Salmond could yet transform the debate beyond the point-scoring at which he excels into something more powerful, more emotional and more intimate.  That will be tough.  But it’s what “ordinary” campaigners the length and breadth of Scotland have been learning to do over these long transformational months.  And it’s what women and doubters need to hear to judge whether the First Minister in particular is sincere.

Of course there are lots of reasons why the official Yes campaign had opted not to “dream aloud” so far.

Any public show of emotion or feeling these days comes with a political health warning. Neil Kinnock’s premature victory party in 1992 still reverberates like Banquo at the feast – a ghostly warning about the dangers of appearing smug, looking complacent or emoting in public.

It’s taken the SNP years to calm the more voluble fundamentalists in their own party and there is still a tiny fringe committed to angry “patriotic” outbursts on social media.  With Pandora’s Box of emotions more than half closed, the Yes campaign may justifiably feel worried about re-opening it.

Indeed, last week’s non-event at Bannockburn vindicated the decision to leave flag-waving, battle-facing, “Braveheart Independence” behind.   Of course, moving away from the carefully cultivated ground of vital but dry civic engagement may feel dodgy for the First Minister. 

But having a vision for the future need not involve anger, table-banging or potentially divisive sloganising.  A vision is personal.  Intimate.  Engaging.  And more persuasive than a million killer statistics.
 
I assume Alex Salmond has a fairly detailed vision of Scotland’s future?  Can he describe it?

Of course there has been a lot of robust communication from others.  Nicola Sturgeon has fenced and out-foxed two Scots Secretaries, other Ministers have rebutted negativity and writers and campaigners inside the formal Yes movement and beyond have produced blueprints, written books and helped pack town halls across Scotland.

That’s all true.  But the dream thing, the daring to hope, the vision of the future – that hasn’t happened.  At least not from the man at the top.

We need it.  Alex Salmond is leader of the Scottish Government and, without wishing to over-personalise things, his leadership brought the SNP to government and Scots to this referendum. 

He needs to lay out a vision for an independent Scotland beyond a shared Queen, shared currency and slightly Tartan version of the British state.  Otherwise some voters will conclude there is no vision of a very different Scotland and that will fuel the unwarranted but enduring impression that Salmond is a demagogue intent on power for its own sake.

It astonishes me how many apparently undecided voters have an issue with Alex Salmond himself.  I was going to say Alex Salmond personally, but very few of those with negative views seem to have met the man.

I’ve met him frequently over the years as a BBC interviewer – a role which could easily have prompted a prickly response from a party that was side-lined in BBC discussions for years.  Instead I found Salmond to be friendly, intelligent, thoughtful and adept at advancing a different, confident, Scots-centric perspective in all kinds of debates – articulating ideas listeners had only half formed and explaining complex ideas with extraordinary simplicity.

Over the piece I can’t remember another politician so likely to contribute genuinely new thinking to most debates – and that’s just about the highest accolade I can give.

Yes there’s always been the wee swagger.  Yes, he’ll never admit he’s wrong.  And yes, with Alex there is no mention of Scotland’s poverty and ill health or any commitment to dismantling top-down governance structures and elitist ownership patterns that leave land out of reach, rivers beyond use, local power increasingly remote and communities working overtime to counteract the disempowerment of all the above.

Those are fairly major minuses for me and I’ve encountered complaints about the SNP’s “centralising agenda” unprompted at every meeting around Scotland.

Nonetheless, his apparent lack of commitment to grassroots democracy is not the main grouse for undecided voters I bump into.  Perhaps the SNP leader has simply become the lightning rod for the storm. Perhaps the oft repeated media idea of his ruthless focus – exposed by Professor John Robertson from the University of the West of Scotland — has become the easiest excuse for folk scared of independence for harder to explain reasons.

Perhaps controversial policy moves like the centralisation of police and fire, the named person for every child and the rapid expansion of wind farms – all seem to be his initiatives.  Perhaps the overall SNP majority won at the last election has slightly worried the public, keen that the winner takes all approach of Westminster doesn’t repeat itself north of the border.

And perhaps – in the light of all this – the confident air now looks like an over cocky swagger.  In which case, more of the same will not work.

Evidently, the SNP must realise some of these dynamics are at work and have propelled the capable and talented Nicola Sturgeon to the fore.  But Alex Salmond is too large a force in Scotland’s public life to be kept in the corner.

And the need for inspiration is currently too great to be ignored.

Despite all the talk about undecided voters wanting information I think its inspiration they’re really after.  Inspiration which acts like an enzyme to help the mind digest otherwise stodgy material, which can combat the relentless negativity of opposition slogans, which cements a bond of trust between political leaders and the Scottish public.

Inspiration which occurs during intimate, personal, simple and genuine moments of communication – and which sits currently untapped by politicians in Scots song, music, literature and humour.
 
Scotland possesses one of the richest seams of cultural wealth in Europe.  And yet, as James Robertson has observed in the Scotsman;

“The cultural arguments for or against independence have barely been heard in the referendum debate.  Only six or seven of the 650 pages of the white paper, Scotland’s Future, touch on cultural matters.  We have heard plenty about the pound, the European Union, Nato, pensions and jobs. We have heard almost nothing about the things that really differentiate one nation or one country from others. 

That may be no bad thing, at one level. Thankfully, in modern Scotland, democracy trumps ethnicity… but perhaps all the white papers in the world, all the predictions of greater this or safer that or weaker the other, are less persuasive than the feelings generated by a song, poem or story.”

This is very true.  Those of us who have actively chosen to make Scotland our home didn’t do it because of guaranteed EU membership, shipbuilding jobs or even the blessed pound.  We are still here – despite everything — because of something larger.  The daily inspiration of Scottish culture.

And yet it’s been singularly missing from the independence campaign.

So it’s time for Alex Salmond to speak our language and talk from the heart instead of succumbing to crowd-pleasing displays of cut and thrust with weaker opponents.

Dreaming or visualising things differently is key to any attempt at transformational change.  If Alex Salmond dare not dream aloud – who else will?

This is not an attack on the First Minister.  He is an excellent communicator in combative situations that would make lesser politicians quail.  On last week’s Good Morning Scotland he skilfully re-orientated a discussion about shipbuilding on the Clyde and concluded that Govan will continue to win orders from England as long as Govan workers continues to be the best.

Of course that ignores two big public fears. 

The first is that an enraged, unreasonable rUK might act against its own self-interests to snub the errant Scots – though pondering that awhile may make more folk wonder if such punitive folk make ideal long term partners. 

The second is that without subsidy, special relationship and special pleading Scots might fail to win anything in the wider world.  This is the most pernicious fear because it arises from and feeds a deep seated lack of confidence about the capacity of the Scottish people.

What can be done to tackle this fear?  Not the repetition of empty slogans and relentlessly upbeat predictions of post-independence riches.  It’s no more productive to tell an unconfident nation to pucker up than it is to tell depressed folk to feel cheery. 

We need leadership.  We need a dream.  And we need to be conducting the yes campaign on a better battleground than the quagmire of endless, nitpicking, meaningless detail.

Of course facts are important.  But masses of detail don’t help most folk grasp important propositions – not on their own.  We have two sides to our brains and they work best in tandem.

So far the independence debate has appealed exclusively to the “left side” classically associated with logic, language and analytical thinking not the “right side” which is best at expressing and reading emotions, understanding music and using intuition.

An oft-quoted example may help to explain.  The easiest way to stop a person from being able to do something with which they are huge, intuitively familiar – like running — is to pelt them with a torrent of detailed questions.  Which foot do you lead off on?  Do you stretch your right as far as your left?  Where is your eyeline when you run?  How high do you bounce with each stride?  Do you breathe from your diaphragm or chest? 

Very soon even the best runner will be unable to move.  It’s a technique lawyers have long used to discredit witnesses.  If someone can’t remember an important fact like the precise date or time of an alleged offence, it’s asserted they can’t confidently identify a defendant.  That of course is often nonsense because it involves different kinds of “knowledge”.

I don’t know if it’s the A85 or A84 that leads from Crianlarich to Mallaig. But I do know that road like the back of my hand having used it for dozens of trips to Eigg over the decades.

Knowledge isn’t just about the correct recall of facts and figures – it is also partly intuitive.
And this is where the current style of independence debate is letting us down.  Constant fighting over details fails to engage with the intuitive part of each voter’s brain.  That kind of understanding is simply shut down by the usual fisticuffs conducted between two angry and mutually accusatory figures in the name of debate.  Intuitive understanding is a shared emotional experience.  That sharing happens most easily through language and humour.

Perhaps that’s why most Independence campaigns across the world are founded on linguistic difference – think of the Catalans with five Catalan language newspapers and a Catalan language TV station or the French speaking Quebecois or the Basques. 

On the face of it Scotland seems to be the exception that proves the rule.  We generally speak the same language as the state from which many wish to depart.  But seventy thousand people speak Gaelic and more than half the population have declared themselves to be Scots speakers in pre-census questions.
 
That’s why badges handed out by Ian Black of the Tartan Army outside Oran Mor at the West End Festival in Glasgow last month were shifting like hot cakes.  His “Aye” and “How No” badges did much more than echo the official Yes message in oor ain tongue.  They provoked an instant chuckle, encouraged a feeling of belonging to a real (not fabricated) national grouping and dipped into a pool of identity without which we simply would not be having a referendum campaign or a Scottish Parliament.

Afterwards I called the Yes campaign headquarters to get some for myself and discovered they don’t make or plan to stock these badges in case the words confuse voters faced with a Yes/No choice on the referendum ballot paper.  Dearie, dearie me.

So I bought 100 copies of each badge from the obliging Mr Black and they too have disappeared like “snow off a dyke” as my Caithness-born mother would say.  I took two handfuls to a Waterstone’s Blossom event in Glasgow last week and it’s no exaggeration to say folk were almost fighting to grab one.  I gave the last “Aye” badge from my own jumper to an older woman who smiled and said, “That’s what we’ll do on September 18 – vote aye.”

What’s wrong with “Yes”? Well, it seems o’er pointy to me and it’s not the word I generally use. Actually neither Scots nor Irish Gaelic has words for yes or no.  The Yes Campaign in Gaelic is Bu Choir – you should.  A Scot was actually jailed for contempt in 1993 after using the word “aye” repeatedly in a Stirling court room. 

So that’s the word I use most frequently in ordinary speech.  Why is that not good enough for this campaign?

It matters to conduct a debate about the future of our own country in our own words.
Culture matters. 

This summer with its music and festivals matters.  Piping matters.  Use of language matters.  Fun matters.  All these types of communication establish and reassert a distinct set of values and behaviours.  Scots need to be reminded about that reality and their shared cultures every opportunity from now till September 18th.

I realise that’s a challenge for official types.  After all SNP politicians are also authority figures in Scotland – they run the country.  Don’t rock the boat has been their mantra since day one.  But the most powerful messages are demonstrated not delivered.
So here’s the deal.

It’s time for Alex Salmond to demonstrate his affection for and commitment to this country instead of just speaking cleverly about it.  It’s time to demonstrate an intimate knowledge of Scotland, a willingness to catch the humour and reflect the languages of Scotland, and to reach the non-technical, intuitive side of voters brains about Scotland’s potential and its problems. 

Connecting emotionally doesn’t mean tearful accolades, angry accusations or inveterate flag waving.   Describing a vision doesn’t mean ignoring the difficulties to be encountered along the way.

Intuitive understanding isn’t about joss sticks and scented candles.  It is perhaps a more feminine sort of reasoning. 

Perhaps that’s why women voters haven’t engaged so far with the loud words, hard knocks, claims and counter claims of the independence referendum.  Perhaps that’s why women do respond to folk who can reach beyond dry, factual sound-bites to a wider vision of our lives.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence it took a mighty female gospel-singing legend — Mahalia Jackson – to encourage the equally mighty Martin Luther King that day – the day he dropped the worthy script, dared to dream aloud and delivered one of the most powerful speeches in human history.

So here’s the question.

Alex Salmond must have a dream for Scotland.  Is he brave enough to reach for his feminine side and share it?

Comments  

 
#
pomatiaH1
2014-07-05 14:28

Martin Luther King was speaking to a gathering of 1 million and had news coverage.
The Together parties and the Together establishment of newspapers and BBC don’t want or will try to stop coverage of any speech Alex Salmond gives.
There was no coverage of his speeches in Princeton, or in Brussels, or in the north of England or the NS magazine debate in London.
That is why the grassroots is so important, we can at least by pass the filtration of the establishment.
Ms Riddoch seems to have missed all that.
 
 
#
Astonished
2014-07-05 16:31

An excellent post pomatiaH1. I heartily agree
 

 
#
queen of logic
2014-07-05 14:33

Great piece Lesley, I too am looking forward to Alex Salmond raising the bar over the next few weeks and sharing his passion for independence. Maybe it’s time for us all to move on from dissecting the arguments to sharing our hopes and dreams for an independent Scotland – lets face it, the Better Together campaign have no credible counter argument given the current state of the UK.
 
 
#
The Tree of Liberty
2014-07-05 15:04

Good post, Lesley.
 
 
#
hektorsmum
2014-07-05 15:15

When Alex Salmond spoke to Derek Bateman he came over as a normal man He can and will articulate them, trouble is who will record the words so that those who are not in attendance will hear. We cannot believe for a minute that the BBC will transmit as said. We cannot for a minute believe that word for word will appear in the press. If the YES campaign produce it, it will be biased.
 
 
#
Dundonian West
2014-07-05 15:49

Link to the Derek Bateman piece with Alex Salmond—hektorsmum.
batemanbroadcasting.com/…/
 

 
#
Abulhaq
2014-07-05 15:22

Brilliant! Leave the dour, buttoned-up, Scotch lawyer shtick to the dreary noes. We need to trim the gravitas and inject some fire into the Yes Campaign. Let it rip!
 
 
#
Rabbie
2014-07-05 15:23

Gaun yersel Lesley! The biggest herm the Union haes duin tae us wis daurin us fae aboot 1850 on fae yaisin oor ain Scots an Gaelic leids in aw oor scuils. Oo war aw lairned that English wis the only proper wey tae speak an Scots wis juist a common street slang. Oo war aw brainwashed intae juidgin the intelegence o fowk oo first met bi hou weel they spake English. This is whit gars MSPs tae juist yaise the odd Scots wird or twa instead o speikin Scots richt for fear o daein skaith tae their professional reputations. A’ll henner ony yin tae mak a hale speech in the Pairliment aw in Scots instead o juist the odd word or twa. Gie us oor ain language an culture back alang wi oor ain kintry.
 
 
#
smallwhitebear
2014-07-06 13:11

I speak Doric not Scots.
“Gaun yersel” is not what I would say if I was speaking Doric for instance, so introducing Scots to the parliament is not something I could support really, sorry.
 

 
#
Tridentitycrisis
2014-07-05 15:37

I believe it’s a No campaign ploy to send the undecided to sleep, to bore them and turn them away from engagement. Every abstention is effectively a vote for the status quo.
Two of the most inspiring speakers the Yes campaign possesses are Elaine C. Smith and Patrick Harvie, judging from audience reaction at events such as the Calton Hill rally and panel discussions. During a recent BBC debate Patrick disarmed and silenced the irritatingly voluble Anas Sarwar, and at a debate in the Borders he produced by far the greatest applause and approval among an otherwise sceptical audience, by his passionate advocacy of fairness and equality. Elaine captures people’s attention by unselfconscious  ly delivering her message (also one of fairness and justice) in working people’s everyday speech. I agree with Lesley – it’s time to play to the heart. And it makes me proud and happy that the hearts of so many Scots respond well to visions of fairness, equality and justice.
 
 
#
RTP
2014-07-05 16:07

Great article and the Bateman interview a very good listen.
A bit O/T but the wife a tennis fan was listening on the TV when I heard a loud laugh from her,asking what was funny she said John McEnroe was having a chat with some others about Andy Murray losing and he had come out with a good one,wait,wait he said when Andy wins he is British but when he loses he becomes Scottish again,now I wonder where JM had heard about this,surely not the BBC commenters of the tennis.Good on him to say this just shows other people besides us know these things.
 
 
#
lochside
2014-07-05 16:33

Well written and erudite as ever, but misses the point yet again.

Alex Salmond could easily give a Luther King style speech to Scottish voters. He certainly has the commitment, the passion and the intelligence to communicate on a heart-felt level.

But where is this speech to be made and who will transmit it?

Do you really not understand Lesley that the British State is suffocating all means of communication to our people?

AS’s chat with Derek Bateman reveals a lot of what you demand..but how is it being disseminated?

I chap the doors of the ordinary folk in schemes and get the ‘I hate Alex Salmond’ mantra. Why?..they can’t articulate the actual reasons, but these significant few exhibit the brainwashed hatred implanted by a concerted campaign of personality smearing by the msm in Scotland.

If you don’t believe me..ask your chums at the BBC to host this speech and see how far you get.
 
 
#
balbeggie
2014-07-05 16:54

There are some good inspirational speakers that the Yes side can use apart from AS , PH and NS. Robin McAlpine, Michelle Thompson, Dr Phillipa Whitford, Gordon McIntyre-Kemp, Tommy Sheridan to name a few.
 
 
#
BRL
2014-07-05 17:42

Balbeggie that’s a fact, but sadly it’s the case, of any of it going unheard and unreported.

Lesley is totally ignoring the very point which permeates almost every blog written by Scots pro-ists; the untarnished and in yer face suppression and spin of the UK establishment’s almost total anti- independence media, which simply will not put out pro-ist material.

Can she suggest a new way forward to get both what she wants and what AS, or any of the above speakers can readily deliver, including her good self? Any attempts so far have been as successful as whistling in the wind.
 

 
#
denmylne
2014-07-05 17:48

He needs to lay out a vision for an independent Scotland beyond a shared Queen, shared currency and slightly Tartan version of the British state.
Dreaming or visualising things differently is key to any attempt at transformationa  l change. If Alex Salmond dare not dream aloud – who else will?

We need a dream. And we need to be conducting the yes campaign on a better battleground than the quagmire of endless, nitpicking, meaningless detail.
An oft-quoted example may help to explain. The easiest way to stop a person from being able to do something with which they are huge, intuitively familiar – like running — is to pelt them with a torrent of detailed questions.

You mean like this Lesley?
www.youtube.com/…/
 
 
#
Marian
2014-07-05 17:54

If you’ve ever heard him you will know that Alex Salmond is a brilliant orator that can do all the things and more that Lesley asks for in a pro-independence speech which is why the unionists and their BBC and newsprint MSM lackeys are so terrified that the people of Scotland might see and hear him doing so, that they have tried to demonise and silence him.
 
 
#
ramstam
2014-07-05 20:06

Oh Lesley I gey near gret whan ye hit on the idea o using everyday Scots in the YES campaign. This is the “secret weapon” that gits tae the hert o every working cless Scot. If the official YES lot took on this idea I’m sure Scotland’s chance of a YES majority would increase. The reason they are reticent is they fear losing votes to the snootier element amang the electorate. They ignore the deep affection that Scots is held in amang non-speakers. Scots Tung would like to produce a leaflet at least partly in Scots. The RIC campaign could benefit and help target this on the maist appropriate pairts o the country. Such literature would not be binned without a glance as much of the usual leaflets are.
NAE MAIR London rule NAE MAIR Governments Scotland DIDNAE vote for. GIE IT LALDY!
VOTE YES.
 
 
#
govanite
2014-07-05 20:31

Great article, to me one of the great successes of the unionists over many years has been to avoid the constitutional debate & to make it mundane where possible. We need to throw some fuel on the fire – people need to take a good hard look at on which side they stand & who stands with them.
I’m sure Yes is aware of this, the passion will be unleashed at the appropriate time. The foot-soldiers expect it.
 
 
#
Breeks
2014-07-05 20:35

My tuppenceworth is to have faith. It would be marvelous to have an army of YES believers, and we already do. The point is they don’t have to be fanatical disciples, just be persuaded enough to see YES as the better option than NO.

For victory, NO has to mobilise its support the same way YES does. It’s a sad indictment of the campaign that the referendum will be whether hopeful aspiration can motivate more voters than the fears and agitations of Better Together. We have the momentum, but they, we are told, have a huge head start.
The irony is, I think Better Together’s constant whining about uncertainty could backfire. Since the future is uncertain, YES or NO, it then becomes a wilful decision to doom Scotland to a NO vote, or take a chance on something better.
 
 
#
Marga B
2014-07-05 20:41

Great article, thanks for the thoughts. Fully agree with what commentators above say, would just add that if Alex had come out with the “emotion” earlier he’d have been shot down as a raving Braveheart by the Nos.

Just a small quibble – “Perhaps that’s why most Independence campaigns across the world are founded on linguistic difference” – citing Catalonia as one. That’s by no means the foundation of the Catalan struggle, though one factor – the real foundation for the Catalan movement like the Scottish one is the lack of a functioning democracy in the current Spanish (or UK) state.
 
 
#
Richard Scott
2014-07-05 20:51

Lesley is right – we do need AS and others to inspire the nation. My working assumption is that he is waiting for the right moment – an inspirational speech would be wasted if it was made too soon.
But those who point out that, even if such a speech were to be made, it would probably not be reported are also right. This is the big problem for the Yes campaign. It is all very well existing Yes voters reading Newsnet and Wings, but unless we can get the message out to a wider audience, we are just preaching to the converted. The town hall meetings around the country are one way to do it, and canvassing door to door is great. But I am not convinced it is enough. We could lose this referendum because of the biased media. These things don’t just happen to people in far away, dubious democracies. It’s happening here and now. There is a real risk that the referendum will be stolen from us and between us we need to find a way to deal with this before it is too late.
 
 
#
Massan_Gow
2014-07-05 20:57

I was under the impression the ‘non-event’ at Bannockburn last week was a sell-out.
 
 
#
chicmac
2014-07-05 23:50

With the greatest respect, and I do have a huge amount of respect for Alex Salmond, it is not about him. Even if after a yes vote, and the SNP win the first true Scottish general election with Alex Salmond becoming Scotland’s first Prime Minister, he will attain normal retirement age within that first term.

And somehow, I do not see him being the kind to want to ‘go on and on’ like some Westminster conditioned power obsessive.
 
 
#
BRL
2014-07-06 00:45

Hear, hear Chicmac!

The reason AS and NS are being vilified by the UK state media is precisely because they present such a talented force and like you, I am sure Alex will more than deserve a well earned rest to enjoy the plaudits coming his way from a very grateful Scotland for doing what he has done for us.

Thanks Alex, keep it up and don’t take your eye from the UK’s game that’s shamefully going on. We deserve so much better and we know you’re there for us.
 

 
#
Dougthedug
2014-07-06 09:57

This article has actually made me angry.

The only reason that there is an independence referendum is because of the decades of thankless work that ordinary SNP members have put into their dream of an independent Scotland.

Where was Lesley through all the long years of work we put in? All of a sudden she’s here offering advice on how to win a referendum she never campaigned for.

“non-event” in Bannockburn
“voluble fundamentalists 
“Braveheart independence”
“The wee swagger”

It’s like a litany of unionist media memes.

She’s “astonished” at the dislike of Alex Salmond. Hasn’t she read the press for the last twenty years and seen the words like, “arrogant” , “slippery”, “bumptious”, “liar” or “devious” used as adjectives alongside his name in every news report?

If Lesley had been in at the start I might listen to her but she’s jumped onto the bandwagon late and now she wants to drive it.
 
 
#
Breeks
2014-07-06 10:50

I hear you Dougthedug, but she is bringing in more YES voters, and so close to the date, that’s what matters.
Supposing they only support YES for a day, let’s work to make that day the 18th Sept. Just as we wouldn’t be here without the SNP, we also wouldn’t be here without the fresh new blood of YES converts and undecideds.
 

 
#
Leswil
2014-07-06 12:23

Dougthedug

I was going to write almost what you have now done, and better than I could. You are very right. Lesley is sometimes confusing, and does have a habit of being negative.

We would all like to hear a rousing speech from Alex Salmond, but who will give it the National coverage it would deserve. Who in the BBC et al, “Scottish ( not ) press will not find ways to make it negative. Where is the answer to that.

As Dougie points out, Salmond has been demonized by ALL the media, by all the Unionist press, and by the all Unionist
cabal. They go on the age old theory that throw enough mud and some will stick, and that is why you hear these nonsensical comments about him.

Susceptible people are brainwashed by a state that make a profession out of it. It is easy to see if you look, and listen.So once more, and while generally liking Lesley’s articles there is much I disagree with, as is the case here.
 
 
#
MikeVickers
2014-07-06 22:36

If Alex Salmond is to deliver a ‘dream speech’ he could do a lot worst that quote from the Declaration of Arbroath. It has the right ingredients of an independent kingdom, rather than being a feudal land controlled by England, and that government is contractual and that kings can be chosen by the community rather than by God alone
 

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