There are two ubiquitous pieces of political rhetoric that I utterly detest. (Come to think of it, I'm sure there are hundreds - but, as of this evening, two in particular spring to mind.) The first is the endless appeal to the hearts and minds of "decent, hard-working families". It's a particular fixation of Labour's, of course, but it has to be conceded that the idiotic phrase has occasionally been known to pass Nationalist lips. The obvious implication of it is that the words "decent" and "hard-working" are synonymous - but they're not. I gather Hitler had quite a punishing schedule most days. Actually, if anyone ever starts a political party specifically for the decent-but-a-bit-lazy people in this country, I'd fancy it to do rather well.
The other one is "let's get on with more important issues, no-one talks about this down at the Dog and Duck". Anyone who says that might just as well wear a T-shirt that reads "I haven't really got a valid argument against this reform, but could we please, please, please not do it anyway?". The latest depressing example is Neil O'Brien's article in the Telegraph suggesting - rather unconvincingly - that the Scottish Parliament has all the powers it could ever possibly need to address the country's problems (you'd think we were practically a sovereign nation the way he talks) and that we should get on with doing so instead of "blethering" about the constitution. The trouble is, it's not too hard to imagine O'Brien in the pre-devolution days arguing that Scotland already had all the powers it could ever need back then - after all, who needed the pointless upheaval the Scottish Constitutional Convention were proposing when we had our great champion Michael Forsyth fighting our corner every step of the way at the Scottish Office? (Don't snigger, the Tories actually used to say that sort of thing.) But, there again, if O'Brien had been around circa 1885, he'd probably have been telling us that the establishment of the post of Scottish Secretary was an unnecessary distraction from the real business of governing, with the Home Office and the Lord Advocate doing such a cracking job on our behalf.
I suppose what I'm saying is that, if you want to argue the case against Scottish self-government, that's fine - but do so honestly, give your real reasons, and let people make up their minds on that basis. If you're so scared your case wouldn't stand up to that kind of scrutiny, it's more than possible you were on the wrong side of the argument in the first place.