Isabel Hardman Isabel Hardman

Sportsmen and sleights of hand: Indyref enters the final frenzy

Just a few days now until it’s all over, and those against Scottish independence are trying every option. David Beckham has written of the ‘common bond’ between English and Scottish sportsmen, the Queen has offered as much of an intervention as is possible when she is remaining officially neutral, while David Cameron is going from emotional heart-thumping to severe, reminding Scots that, in the words of the Sky remix, we are never, ever, ever, getting back together if they vote to leave.

Will this work with the half million undecideds that everyone’s pitching for? An appeal to a shared culture and a threat? Or will the SNP persuade more with their emotive vision of what Scotland could be like. One of the most persuasive, misleading and difficult to rebut lines in this campaign has been the repeated references by ‘Yes’ campaigners to the number of food banks in Scotland. One ‘yes’ man mentioned these charities again on Radio 4 this morning, emphasising his disgust that Scots needed to turn to emergency food aid.

It is indeed terrible that Brits need food parcels. But the SNP has managed a sleight of hand that leads voters, illogically, from disgust at food banks to a suggestion that somehow an independent Scotland wouldn’t need them, even though they have been growing in Britain since 2000, through prosperous years as well as recession.

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Isabel Hardman
Written by
Isabel Hardman
Isabel Hardman is assistant editor of The Spectator and author of Why We Get the Wrong Politicians. She also presents Radio 4’s Week in Westminster.

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