Sunday, 21 September 2014

A Londoner on Losing the YES Vote

Just when I thought the smug yahs at the Edinburgh student Union bar were as annoying as Scotland losing the referendum was going to get... Smug Hitler saluting Neo-Nazis took to the streets of Glasgow to celebrate of their "victory" over the 18th referendum vote by burning the Scottish Saltire and seemingly, bash a few people up and vandalise the place in the process.

photo of GB flag waving unionists doing nazi salutes with police holding them back

Singing "Rule Britania, Britania Rule the waves. Britain never, ever, ever shall be slaves..." in the middle of George Square Glasgow takes some guts, I tell ya... Picking on young women when you weigh about 95kg: not so much

I think the fact the YES movement did not rise to the bait by confronting these fascist thugs is a testament to the peaceful spirit underlying the YES mentality which took a heavy knock on the morning of the 19th of September and an even heavier one, just hours later when the Tories announced what we all knew, anyway: They are Tories and they are still in charge.

Vote rigging?

At the polling stations they were not asking for ID. In UK elections/refendums you do not usually get asked for ID, but you do normally have to present a polling card which has your name and address written on it and they do not let you take those cards away with you. This is done to prevent voting fraud. I think this is how the first example of vote rigging cited must have come about. People we not obligated to produce a polling card if they did not have one on them in the referendum polling stations and they were allowing people to take their polling cards away with them. Under those circumstances it would have been theoretically possible to impersonate anyone who was registered to vote but who did not attend or to attempt to vote twice, essentially.

Clips showing examples of possible voting fraud have been emerging since the results started coming out thick in the early hours of the morning of September, 19th 2014.

The first clip in the video link was filmed in Dundee, where apparently the fire alarm reportedly went off three times which meant the building would have had to have been evacuated. Dundee took the majority, of course but the referendum was not a "first past the post" count vote system: the winner here was whoever got the total majority vote count across the country, yes or no.

The second clip looks dodgy as hell.

The last clip, I am less sure about because I do not know what count it originated from and the woman in the video has not been identified.

Another video has come out on Facebook showing people opening ballot boxes with neatly stacked ballots inside.

I do not know if the clips are genuine of course, but for now at least, they do raise some questions about the authenticity of the 2 million "no thanks" votes that took the referendum, so they really ought to be being discussed in mainstream media. A few people might agree with me on that front: the petition for an investigation had already reached 50k in under 24 hours and is counting up every time I check. We have also been criticised by Russia for how we ran the vote.

Nazi Saluting "no thanks" banner waving scum

Results by Age

A poll commissioned by Lord Ashcroft of seems to suggest some differences of opinion in the age groups. I would like to see how the actual raw data of the referendum count actually matches up with this. I am a bit confused why and how the 65+ age range of the nation could have been so significantly "no thanks" in the vote and yet NO still took it by 55%.  Did a large portion of the population's over 65-er s "rock up" to vote, "no thanks", as these polls suggest? Really, these are large significant figures we are talking about, here so this poll seems quite imprecise given that 17% of the voting of the total population of Scotland (including those not of voting age) are 65+.

There seems to be a need for publication of raw data on the referendum demographics before we can better appreciate what has gone on but right now we do not really have much choice but to forget that the poll is imprecise for a bit and talk about it anyway, since it is the only data we have to hand.

YES and NO referendum voter breakdown by age

The 18-24 range figures would not surprise me. Given that the "YES" votes came from socially deprived areas as mentioned in the press (e.g. Glasgow, Dundee etc) it follows that higher Education students with voting rights (this included the English and those from Europe who were registered to vote in Scotland), especially those from the Russell Group were always going to be more likely to vote "no".

The 16-17 stumped me at first but then, I remembered that Scottish high school students seeking to go into higher education are set to feel extremely threatened by the fact the Universities are more likely to favour an English or international student's applications because they make more money from the English/International fees under the current set-up.

Yet, the scatter on the 65+ vote is still something I have not been able to fathom, so far. (Did I mention that I want to see data?) If there truly was such a genuinely overwhelming disconnect between the 65+ generation and the youth of the nation as is suggested by the vote outcome statistics then I think that speaks volumes about our [the 64 and under, age bracket] relationship with the elderly of Scotland. To my mind, high 65+ voting figures would certainly reflect badly on us [the 64 and under, age bracket] for not taking more active, concious steps to communicate with the older generation during the build-up to the referendum and I would say that in the grand scheme of things it is possible we have alienated the elderly in Scotland. Perhaps we inadvertently by excluded their concerns from this discussion. There might be some sort of lesson in there somewhere, anyway.

It is practically very hard to quantitatively assess these things without being provided the actual raw data on them, though so generally bit more transparency, would be nice.

The Result

As much as I would like this vote outcome to have been a fix or a bad dream, I can entirely believe that fear got the better of the Scottish majority from the conservative funded, "no thanks" campaign and I can concede they took it "fair and square" if that is what is found to be so. Russell Brand pretty much sums up my feelings on this in episode 150 of The Trews.

That notwithstanding, the simple point there was the opportunity there to fabricate votes raises enough questions about the integrity of the result to see another referendum take place sooner rather than later for the sake of the people of Scotland. So it is with regret I have to say, no thanks, "no thanks" again: We will still be pushing for independence. If anything now, more than ever...