So we have our date with destiny. Scotland will march to the polls nine days after the 501st anniversary of the Battle of Flodden. September, 18th 2014. There are fewer than 600 days to go.
And already the spin is starting. Stephen Noon, that smart nationalist strategist, is first out the blocks with a post asking who would stand to benefit from a No vote? His answer should not surprise you. Noon thinks David Cameron’s own re-election campaign will be boosted if Scotland says no to independence:
Labour and Tories may share a platform and campaign together before the vote, but as soon as the votes are counted there would be only one person in the No victory spotlight. Peer into that future and what do you see? It’s David Cameron, UK PM, alone on the winner’s podium. Ed Miliband and Johann Lamont, thank you, your job is done.
I bet the Tories are rubbing their hands in anticipation at the fillip a Scottish No would give them as they enter their pre-election Conference. They would hail the PM as the man who saved their ‘nation’. Success breeds success. And no one does flag waving better than the Tories. If you thought John Major was saved by his soapbox campaign to save the Union in 1992, well you ain’t seen nothing yet.
And so today, while Scottish Labour loyalists congratulate themselves in advance of any victory, the rest of us can see the bigger picture. They will have spent 18 months as the foot soldiers of the No campaign, and every door they knock for No, every leaflet they deliver will help, in the event of a No victory, to deliver David Cameron the keys to Downing Street for a second term. You might call it ironic. Let’s make sure it doesn’t happen.
This is cute.