Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Forget the polls - a Labour councillor has met FOUR PEOPLE who oppose independence

I really feel moved this morning to draw attention to a rare sighting of the Great Crested Braveheart (rare in these parts, I mean - one or two other blogs are more fortunate).

"Don't know about the poll, but I have been approached on 4 seperate occassions in the last month by, generally non political, people asking if this "independence thing" was really going to happen and how could it be stopped. Straws in the wind but would seem to indicate that, when people start to think about it, "independence" doesn't float their boat."

For the avoidance of doubt, what appears to be happening here is that Alex Gallagher, the North Ayrshire Labour Councillor (Ward 8 - North Coast and Cumbraes), is telling us that the fact that he has met four people who agree with him about the horrors of independence is of far more interest and significance than the results of a scientifically-conducted opinion poll.

Oh-kaaay. Councillor Gallagher, with all due respect, we already know that there are 'real people' out there who don't much care for the idea of independence. If there weren't, this referendum would be a bit of a doddle, wouldn't it? By a rough extrapolation from the opinion polls, there must be something in the region of a million-and-a-half adults in Scotland who currently oppose independence, so the revelation that at least four of them live in North Coast and Cumbraes is somewhat less than earth-shattering. Indeed, the way they framed the questions "is it really going to happen?" and "how can it be stopped?" leads me to suspect that they're the sort of people who have been opposed to independence for considerably longer than the 'thinking time' of the last few weeks, and have only become actively concerned now because the penny has finally dropped that this referendum is actually going to happen, and could conceivably be won by the Yes side. So not exactly the sort who were ever going to have their "boat floated" by Alex Salmond. I wouldn't faint with amazement to learn that SNP councillors have also been spontaneously approached by members of the public asking "is it really going to happen?", and "how can we make sure it happens?" People with that line of thinking generally aren't going to look to a dyed-in-the-wool unionist councillor as their first port of call for answers.

But I don't want to totally destroy Councillor Gallagher's illusions. I dare say that as long as he encounters at least three voters on his travels who quite like Ed Miliband's haircut, that'll be proof enough that his "bullseye!" sycophancy towards the Great Leader's utterances commands overwhelming public support.

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