Sunday, 12 April 2015

Fear and smear

The election campaign has kicked up a gear this week, with the Unionist parties turning in earnest on  Nicola Sturgeon.  Following the Frenchgate smear of last weekend, which essentially boiled down to 'we all *know* that Nicola Sturgeon really wants another Tory government no matter what she says', this week the sights were again aimed at Ms Sturgeon but switching the emphasis from smear to fear.

There was the booing heard during one of the Scottish leaders debates, when Ms Sturgeon answered a question on whether there would be another referendum by saying that it was essentially dependent on whether the Scottish electorate voted for a party that contained such a proposal in their manifesto in the Scottish elections next year.  There was an attack on Ms Sturgeon's plans for Full Fiscal Autonomy for Scotland within the UK, resulting in Messrs Miliband, Balls and Murphy resurrecting fears that pensioners would lose their pensions and Scottish society would be wrecked by swingeing austerity cuts.  The phrase 'pooling and sharing' was resurrected, the best indication yet that Project Fear Mk 2 was underway.

Elsewhere there have been various stories about tactical voting, especially in the Gordon constituency, where Alex Salmond is standing as the SNP Westminster candidate.  The LibDem candidate, Christine Jardine, is Mr Salmond's closest rival, and has been vocal about telling people to vote for her 'in order to keep Alex Salmond out'.  She makes noises about wanting to be the candidate who will support local issues, but her major strategy is simply telling people who not to vote for.

Yesterday there have been various reports of Tory and Labour offices in Aberdeen which have been vandalised.  The Tory office had a swastika and the word 'scum' spray-painted on their window, along with a letter 'Q' on the door, while the Labour office not far away also had the letter 'Q' spray-painted on it.  This has immediately been trumpeted as evidence of 'the ugly face of nationalism', despite the lack of any evidence that this is the case.  Now it could well be that the idiot(s) in question believe in Scottish independence, and they would be rightly condemned by most independence supporters if that was the case.  However, the type of graffiti does lend an element of doubt.  Usually independence supporters are the ones compared with the Nazis, which makes it slightly odd that this was painted on the Tory office.  Also the assumption that the letter 'Q' stands for 'quisling' sounds a bit off to me too - it's not exactly an everyday word after all.  Why would they not have used the more common 'traitor' instead?

All this reveals one main thrust however - the Unionists are beginning to show real fear of the SNP.  The polls are not shifting in their favour and time is running out.  Expect the fearmongering to continue.

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