We can all agree that during their 8 year tenure in Government at Holyrood SLAB got one thing right,The Smoking in the Workplace Bill .
What isn’t as well known is that Stewart Maxwell SNP had produced a virtually similar proposal earlier than SLAB,in true ‘Willie Bain Principle’ they rejected it,renamed it and took the credit for the proposal.
It seems long before Monica Lennon and Richard Leonard made it an art form,SLAB were stealing SNP Policies way back then too.
However credit,where credit is due it has been a good thing for the health of our nation.
I am a reformed smoker myself,I began smoking aged 12,in those days most people smoked and cigarettes were fairly inexpensive,it was almost a right of passage to begin the filthy habit.
It is one of the regrets I have in life that I ever took that first ciggie and the subsequent thousands and thousands thereafter.
I finally quit a few years back after many ,many aborted attempts.
I tried patches,chewing gum,hypnosis,every and all new techniques to quit the filthy weed,I experimented with them all and failed every time.
I realise now why I failed,because although I said to everyone,myself included “I would like to quit!” I actually didn’t want to quit, the day I truly wanted to stop it was easy peasy to stop smoking and I didn’t need gum,pills or any other aid.
You see once your mind is in tune nothing will dissuade or deflect you from that decision
However it is a decision you as an individual must make for yourself,no amount of badgering or bullying however well intentioned will ever convince a smoker to stop,it has to happen from within.
All the warnings on the sides of packets all my loved ones and health professionals telling me how bad it was for my well being were as big a waste of time as the pictures of blackened lungs displayed in shock billboard adverts.
All that these public displays of ‘Smoking Bad ‘ do is appease the anti smoking lobby,it makes them feel good and soothes their sometimes evangelical hatred of smoking and smokers.
Smokers are not all stupid or lacking in IQ,it is an addiction,a filthy habit and until such times as the addict ‘hits the gutter’ nothing will dissuade them from that addiction, be it tobacco,alcohol,drugs,gambling or Voting Unionist.
Yes,I believe voting Unionist is a habit for some,an addiction for others if you like and voting Unionist is a bad habit for Scotland.
We can put out our leaflets,tell them how wrong they are,how bad it is for them to vote unionist,put up shock horror billboards of kids living in poverty however until such times as they take the decision for themselves they will continue to vote unionist.
Those of you that are converts to the movement ask yourself what was it that made you realise voting Unionist was the wrong way to go?
Was it someone on your doorstep ‘telling’ you you were wrong,was it someone on the tv saying how silly you were being,was it a leaflet,a rally,an illegal war ?
More than likely a collection of circumstances made you decide that Yes was the way to go for you,and you made that decision for yourself.
Was it a constant drip drip of things that made you question the value of the Union for Scotland?
My contention is that people will make up their own minds no matter how persuasive our arguments may be.
I managed to quit smoking cold turkey,not everyone can,some need the aids and so it is with voting, once we have a convert we need to reinforce it with leaflets,billboards,PPB, whatever it takes.
Those leaflets and billboards in themselves will not win the upcoming referendum.
My decision to quit was multi layered I took the decision after I began to question the stupidity of smoking.
Nobody convinced me except myself, all the noise around smoking helped for sure,I suggest that the same must be true of Independence.
I truly believe the more we can get Unionists to question the Union the more of them will realise it is not best for them,their families or their communities.
This week some of you on Twitter will have seen my interactions with Scotland In Union and Edinburgh Councillor Scott Arthur.
I had a similar exchange with Tory MSP Miles Briggs, I asked them both “Can you name 3 things that can only be achieved in the British Union that cannot be achieved in an Independent Scotland?”
Mr Briggs just ignored the question and hid from it, given a chance to extol the virtues and uniqueness of the British Union he defends every day. Miles Briggs took stage fright and ran away,like a thief in the night.
Councillor Arthur on the other hand had plenty to say,the most laughable being that even although he is a member of SIU and one of their letter writers a man that is constantly on social media bleating SNP Bad he assured us all he was in fact not a unionist.
He could not however think of a single thing that he could offer up to validate his blind obedience and subservience to the UK.
The man kept tying himself up in knots trying to avoid admitting there is not a single thing,good,bad or indifferent that is achievable in the British Union that cannot be achieved by an Independent Scotland.
Therein I believe lies the key to our success, people like Briggs and Arthur are slaves to the union and will never give up their filthy habit.
However between them they have over 7,000 social media followers,not all of them will be die hard Britnats,some are bound to be soft No’s.
We can only hope they saw the dodging and diving of these Unionist elected politicians and wondered why they could not articulate just 3 good things about this British Union they do profess is the best option for Scotland’s governance.
You have to hope it starts more than a few on the road to enlightenment.
Ask yourself this,if we heard of any one of our elected representatives being asked.
“Name 3 things that can only be achieved by an Independent Scotland and not in the Union?”
I personally would be horrified and amazed if those representatives of Independence could not proffer at least a dozen things immediately,let alone just 3.
I have 20 I hope happen immediately ,and many more in the short term post Indy.
Try it yourself name 3 things only available in the Union then see how many things you can come up with as an independent country without Westminster throttling our ambition.
Therefore my message to you all is start to ask Unionists to justify the Union,make them question their support,that is the key to success.