According to the latest polls there are more Yes voters than ever before in this referendum campaign. To those of you who are just joining those of us already committed to voting Yes, please accept a warm welcome.
This SNP member has watched the Unionist side moan time after time about the insults directed at them by people purportedly supporting the Yes side. I myself have upset people and apologised for doing so, and I make it clear that I have come to deplore the inclement language of the so-called cybernats as well as the Unionist trolls on the internet.
Yet I think it would be instructive to newly-converted Yes voters, and indeed to the undecided and possibly even No voters, to see what the leaders and members of the Unionist side have been saying about Scotland, the Scots and Yes voters. Out of their own mouths – and you can YouTube or Google all of these to check them:
n “I see no point in reviving mediaeval kingdoms” Kenneth Clarke, BBC Question Time, February 2012. This from the former Lord Chancellor who used to sit on a pre-medieval Woolsack and wear a costume that pre-dates the Act of Union. And he repeated the ‘medieval’ remark to the Scottish Tories last year
n “We’re not genetically programmed in Scotland to make political decisions” Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont, Scotland Tonight, February 2014
n “If that were to happen what alternative would England have but to come and bomb the hell out of Glasgow airport and Edinburgh airport” The late Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, former deputy leader of the Tories, quoted in The Herald in March 2012, on what would happen if Scotland were left “undefended”. This despite all sides acknowledging that there will be a Scottish defence force after independence
n “The loudest cheers for the break-up of Britain would be from our adversaries and from our enemies” George Robertson, ex-Labour minister and former secretary-general of Nato, who says Scotland can’t join Nato because we reject Trident
n “It’s too early to be discussing politics – eat your cereal,” and “as if you’ll get any sense out of them – they never have their heads out their phones” The infamous ‘BT Lady’ patronising her husband and children in an OFFICIAL Better Together broadcast. Every woman in Scotland should view it
n “Food banks are Scotland becoming a normal European country” From the Better Together campaign’s official Aberdeenshire Facebook page
n “The credulous SNP crazies who are now on the edge of rage and paranoia will take defeat very badly and someone will no doubt pay the price. It is to be hoped that English people in Scotland or even Scottish people with a trace of an English accent have voted by post. Scotland will not be a safe place for them for a while” Renfrewshire Labour councillor Terry Kelly’s blog
n “Alex Salmond has been thrashed in these debates, but for no reason we are promising the Scots more tax raising powers. There’s no need” Boris Johnson, probably the next Conservative Party leader
n “They want you to refight a battle 700 years ago between two French-speaking kings with Scottish people on both sides” George Galloway, left, MP for Bradford West for the, ahem, Respect party, speaking at The Spectator debate in June 2014.
Get foot down and extend M8
The roads around Edinburgh continue to be a nightmare, as I saw on Sunday evening when the east end of the M8 was closed by an accident just before the Hermiston Gait roundabout.
Chaos ensued, with fire engines having to race up the westbound carriageway to junction 2 and back, while we motorists were diverted round the bypass which in turn become a solid traffic jam.
Yes, it was an accident which caused all the problems, but there are jams every day and night on the bypass simply because it is not fit for purpose.
The M8 must be extended all the way to the A1 which itself should be a dual carriageway as far as the motorway north of Newcastle.
Nursery cash is a real class act
I am perhaps biased as I share my life with a nursery teacher, but I am so very glad that Edinburgh City Council has decided to spend £5.2 million on upgrading local nurseries.
The Scottish Government’s additional cash boost to the city budget has seen the plan come to fruition, and it’s one we should all welcome.
I am delighted the council sees the wisdom of investing in nurseries, not least because children who go through at least some nursery education prove to be better and less disruptive pupils in P1.
Nice one, councillors, for a change.
Pandas worth wait in gold . .
Well, it looks as though the pandas didn’t produce, so it seems we’ll all have to wait another year for the patter of tiny paws.
You have to admit one thing, though – they really have been a boon to the marketing of Edinburgh. Someone should calculate how much all that publicity has been worth – I’m sure it dwarves the amount spent on getting them here.