Monday, 5 December 2011

decide your statehood from an unpredictable economic forecast

Opinion poll says the country's vote could be swayed entirely by whether folks believe that on average they will be just £500 per year better or worse off in income?

How can such figures possibly be calculated? We live in an era when everyone should have seen that economic forecasts are no more convincing than astrology. Fractional income advantage whould be a shockingly momentary item to decide a country's future on: this vote won't be just like an election that will come round again shortly. But it is natural, and quite Yes Minister, when an opinion pollster asks you in the light of those income figures which way you would vote, that you say the way that sounds better. 61% vote Yes if told the figures are better with independence, but only 21% if told the figures are better off with the union.

It shows the decision is not deeply rooted in national sentiment, either way, and at least the people have got that right. In a time of distrust for political systems, national feeling about homeland should not be converted into feeling for a political state. This should worry the SNP though, there is not much around of the type of deep rooted naive patriotism they want and would make their task easiest. If they respond to that fact by just more of the same message, patriotically trust us, then they deserve the defeat they will risk. If they respond in the way they never yet have, by actually taking on issues about ordinary returners to Scotland from the diaspora, and exposing state dirty tricks like the police lying to returners that their newly bought houses are in a rough area, only then will they show that voters should take any interest in more than just speculative unprovable economic figures.

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