Look up complacency in the dictionary and the chances are you will find a picture of a Scottish unionist next to it. For months – no, make that years – politicians at the sharp end of the fight against Scottish Nationalism have been warning about the dangers of complacency. But they might as well have been mumbling platitudes about the weather for all the effect it has had.
The unionist side has been complacent, there is no doubt about that. Many in the anti-independence camp seem to have forgotten what this cause means to Alex Salmond and the SNP. They seem to have forgotten that this is all the Nats care about. It is what they have working for all their lives. They are believers, more than that they are evangelists.
Now, boosted by a deep campaign war chest and motivated by a referendum in just six months’ time, they are throwing everything at this campaign.
I have mentioned before how effective the Nationalists have become at the ground campaign. ‘Something is happening in the grassroots,’ was how one senior Nationalist put it to me earlier this year and he was right and that is translating its way, slowly and surely, towards an increase in the Yes vote.
The unionist complacency was understandable for the first few months of the campaign when the No camp’s lead appeared virtually impregnable. But now, when the Yes camp has clearly closed the gap and is continuing to do so, such complacency is ridiculously out of place.
Oddly enough, this momentum shift towards the Yes camp could be exactly the wake-up call the unionists need. They need something shocking and worrying to get those idle unionist supporters and to sit up and realise how close the cliff edge actually is. And,