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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Sottish independence debate is getting nasty and personal.

Business leaders attack Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling


Vote No.

The "Vote No" campaign propaganda is getting nasty and it is getting personal.
Last nights media coverage with contributions from Danny Alexander, Alastair Darling and the rest, was full of comments and snide remarks aimed directly at Alex Salmond on a personal level. "If Salmond gets his way", "Salmond hasn't got a plan" and "Salmond making empty and angry speeches", were amongst the more moderate comments from some  Westminster politicians and those "business leaders" who each have their own agenda's advocating a "No" vote in the referendum.
In every political campaign associated with elections or even referenda, there comes a point when one side or the other resort to the tactic of "personalising" their speeches in order to generate a "bogeyman" image of some figure on the opposing side of the argument. It normally comes about at the point when the arguments on policy and ideas has been lost, and a diversion is required to "frighten" people into forgetting the issues to concentrate on the personalities. A kind of beauty contest in fact. The Scottish Independence referendum campaign is no exception, except in so far as the "beauty contest" section has arrived earlier than would normally be expected. It is only necessary to read many of the comments to this Guardian article, (18th February 2014) to realise that the "Vote No" propaganda machine has generated the illusion where Salmond has become the issue and the social, economic and political discussions have been sidelined.Ironically, it seems that it is only Salmond seeking to discuss the issues amid a sea of personal attacks and insults.
As an Englishman, I can see advantages to Scottish independence and Scotland remaining part of the United Kingdom and thus have no reason to support either side of the debate. However, I have always detested how political argument frequently degenerates into squalid verbal personalisations.