GLASGOW, United Kingdom – With less than 24 hours before Scotland goes to the polls in the historic independence referendum, the ‘Yes’ campaign has published a list of “most ridiculous independence scare stories”.
The document has been distributed as fears grow that the BetterTogether campaign – known widely in Scotland for the infamous “Project Fear” initiative – has gone too far.
The idea of Project Fear was to frighten Scottish voters with what would happen post-independence. Whilst some of the claims, such as the need to use passports to get to the rest of the UK, have some credibility, others appea less likely and have therefore been subject to ridicule by Alex Salmond’s team.
The leaflet includes the claim that the Faslane nuclear base on the Clyde may be annexed in the same way the Russians kept the Black Sea base in Crimea after the Soviet Union broke up. The list also includes a claim by Labour peer Lord Robertson that independence would be “cataclysmic” for Western security and would be celebrated by the “forces of darkness” – perhaps more likely than many Scots think.
Earlier this year the Guardian ran a genuine story as an April Fool because it was so silly; from Labour Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham, who claimed an independent Scotland would be forced to drive on the right hand side of the road. At the moment Scots drive on the left like the rest of the UK. Any change would cost a fortune in road signs and new vehicles. There would be no obvious benefit to the proposal.
Perhaps most bizarrely one civil servant claimed that it was unclear how independence would affect Scottish zoo’s pandas. The unnamed Westminster official was quoted as saying: “No one has fully understood the ramifications for the pandas of any bid for Scottish independence.”
One explanation for the rather odd claim is that most pandas around the world are on loan from the Chinese government. However, it does seem highly unlikely that Beijing cares enough about Scottish independence to recall their pandas to China.
Increasing numbers of ‘No’ campaigners have expressed concerns that the frivolous scare stories may have drowned out legitimate worries. Surveys have shown that despite every Westminster party, and a majority of the UK being against monetary union, most Scots believe they are bluffing. Speaking to people in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Breitbart London learned that most Yes campaigners genuinely believe they would be able to use the pound without any significant problems.
This has made it much harder for the ‘No’ campaign to present genuine risks without being accused of lying. Also many Scots have reacted badly to the scare stories, believing they are either having their intelligence insulted or worse, are being bullied by Westminster.
The leaflets are being handed out to undecided voters in town and city centres across Scotland, just hours ahead of people making their final decisions.