Sunday, 1 September 2013

clockwork yellow

The deja vu today is intense, and intensely dismal.

When a referendum goes 2 to 1 for No in the polls, historically that means the jinx has struck again of uncertain voters running for the emotionally easy option of caution. This is just like 6 weeks before poll for AV in 2011, after the Yes campaign disastrously neglected touse the power they had, to mailshot the country with info against their opponents' claims that played on public uncertainty towards the unfamiliar.

It feels the same spectacle, like clockwork, and historically these moments tend not to get turned round. But yes there is an obvious difference in this case, that there is a whole year left to go. That way there is still time for situational shift and mood shift. But when voters have turned cautious, they are fearful, and they won't be reached by jaunty dreamy optimism, they will need a fear jolt in the other direction, a reason to fear the status quo. Screamworthily even the bedroom tax does not yet seem to be giving them that jolt.

From now until anything changes or until the No win has happened, it's a wake for a chance of great reform thrown away, by the controlling political culture of choosing to filter what they got in from the public and select not to put all the reform issues into public record. They can still revers that choice, but Salmond won't, will he? He would rather be remembered in history as sending his own dreams down the plughole, than have democracy unfiltered and all wrongs necessarily made known and dealt with.

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