Saturday, 14 April 2007

Scottish Elections 5 - Blair & SNP: Fear or Not Fear

In my post of 11 April I said:

Obviously Labour will be highlighting “FEAR”; fear of the consequences of an SNP win but voters know that there is a long road between this election and independence.

But according to the Times (14 April) Labour has changed its approach from “ratcheting up fear among Scots over the economic and social consequences of independence,” to “emphasis(ing) ….. the benefits and positive case for keeping the union with England.

The Times went on:

Instead of questioning whether Scotland can be independent, Mr Blair and his aides have decided to pose the question to Scots, “Why independence?”, in the hope that the large number of undecided voters will turn away from the SNP.

The move away from promoting fear amongst voters didn’t last long. Only 3 paragraphs later the Times quotes Mr Blair:

The SNP say to Scotland, ‘Go on, there’s nothing to fear [about independence]. Why not?’ The answer is a better question, ‘Why? What is the reason for doing it?’ Of course Scotland can be independent, but at what cost and to what purpose? My emphasis added.

The last sentence (in bold) is designed to create fear. Three paragraphs. That’s how long it took Blair and Labour to raise the issue of fear. Of course, Blair will play the fear card but he will dress it up and say he is actually saying something different. But he isn’t. He is playing on fear.

Smart and clever rhetoric but in whatever way he describes his attacks on the SNP, FEAR is what he hopes to induce.

Smart and clever rhetoric but we all know Blair too well. His words will be read as lies even if he speaks the truth. The truth: long forgotten in the Blair household.

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