Scotland Isn’t Listening

This slogan on a T Shirt of YES campaigner “Scotland Isn’t Listening”.  He meant that Scotland didn’t need to listen as its collective mind was made up but this blog will offer the explanation that he was publicly not available to rational arguments and reason as his moralised psychology had already informed him the right thing to do.  Now the exact same thing happens on the NO side but perhaps with less frequency; as argued in an earlier post the central error of the NO campaign was to accept the frame of the YES campaign, underpinned as it is with all the emotions and moralised intuitions  that motivate and drive Nationalist politics everywhere.  In accepting the Nationalist frame the NO campaign offered a rational and reasoned debate shorn of the emotion and moralised psychology which underpins their politics.  Now it should be observed that that the NO campaign accepted the Nationalist frame on the grounds that it could be readily beaten and that indeed it was better to beat it in its owns terms as this would have made the YES defeat more comprehensive.

Now on the eve of the poll the opinion polls are showing a narrow lead for NO with the YES position transformed in recent weeks to one of almost parity with NO and the real possibility of outright victory.  Note that if politics isn’t about Moralised Psychology and about reasoned debate then why did two years of debate, billions of words, a tsunami of argument, the publication of the white paper and all the campaigning make no difference in the polls?  Why did the polls move only when possibility of the vote loomed?

Even if the NO campaign had understood political psychology sufficiently to see the danger in its stance it could not have abandoned its frame of rejecting the Nationalist offer through the weight of argument, what was needed was a second campaign group tasked and framed in such away as to push the emotional strings behind the pro Union argument.  Imagine a Campaign to Save the Union directly addressing the moral foundations of our politics in addition to NO campaign’s rationality, noting that the UK is a Nation State and all the emotions and intuitions which support Nationalism also play here:

 

Haidtian Moral Foundation YES Campaign Better Together (Rational argument) Campaign to Save the Union
Harm/Care The priority for a new Scotland would be a radical extension of childcare provision. The institute for Fiscal Studies says an independent Scotland would face a £6 billion black hole in its finances, child care budgets would be undermined by the costs of creating a new state. The welfare state was founded in the UK and the 63 million people are the guarantor of welfare spending.  The UK NHS is a global success.  Pensions, disability benefits and support for poorer workers have risen markedly in recent years.  The struggle to achieve welfare protection was not won in Scotland but UK wide and its continuance is best served on a UK wide scale.

 

 

Haidtian Moral Foundation YES Campaign Better Together (Rational argument) Campaign to Save the Union
Fairness An Independent Scotland would be a fairer Scotland. Any fairness would be undermined by Scotland’s weakened economic position as it has no currency of its own. The UK is a national community with bonds of solidarity and responsibility which cannot beabrogated with justification.    Wealth flowed to Scotland from other parts of the UK for 300 of the 307 years because of a commitment to fairness and equalisation. It is unfair to abandon the flows the minute the high price of oil reverses them. 

Introduce to the debate the people who would suffer injustice as the UK’s  solidarity  flows are weakened due to Scottish secession .

 

Introduce to the debate the people in the EU in Greece who would suffer from the absence of Scotland’s wealth flowing to Greek structural funds

 

 

 

Haidtian Moral Foundation YES Campaign Better Together (Rational argument) Campaign to Save the Union
Loyalty A YES vote is the definition and quintessence of In Group Loyalty No answer A NO vote is the definition and quintessence of In Group Loyalty for the beloved Union

 

 

Haidtian Moral Foundation YES Campaign Better Together (Rational argument) Campaign to Save the Union
Authority Authority plays in two senses, for Authority and against Authority 

 

 

 

 

 

No answer Address moralised anti-authoritarianism on the left by insisting that Workers of the World cannot disunite, there are no exceptions

 

 

Haidtian Moral Foundation YES Campaign Better Together (Rational argument) Campaign to Save the Union
Liberty The campaign is about Scottish freedom No answer The UK is the founder and guarantor of political liberty, “the mother of the free”. The long tradition of freedom in the UK something to be proud of and is threatened by the creation of a new state.
Haidtian Moral Foundation YES Campaign Better Together (Rational argument) Campaign to Save the Union
Sanctity Never be more than 20 cm from a Saltire No answer Never by more then 20 cm from the Saltire and the Union flag, flown simultaneously

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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