Random, unstructured, thoughts on the state of play on the last day of the election campaign:

  • First and foremost, I detest the Tories. For what their policies did to my dad years ago, and what they’re doing to the country now and over the last nine years. They seem to be importing more and more behaviours from the Trumpist wing of the GOP (but wrapped up in bumbling Britishisms to mask it), and it’s genuinely terrifying.
  • Boris Johnson is the perfect distillation of everything terrible about the Tory Party.
  • I think that in any other time, this election would barely be a contest. By rights the Tory Party should be facing a massive loss.
  • I have no strong feelings about Corbyn. I’ve largely tuned out the noise around him. I suspect my grandad would’ve loved him.
  • Brexit is a terrible idea, isn’t going to be resolved by this election, and is going to drag on the U.K. for years – if not decades – to come.
  • My short-term goal is left-leaning U.K. government, with ideally no Brexit. Long-term is Scottish Independence.
  • I’d have considered voting Labour, but the Scottish Labour Party have explicitly ruled out giving any ground on the issue of Scottish Independence. Their local campaign has been as tone-deaf as every time since 2014.
  • I’m not overly enthralled by the current SNP offerings, but they are the best chance of getting another independence referendum, and securing a non-Tory government. It feels like they’ve lost a bit of their edge. In my constituency they’re the only left-leaning party with a genuine chance of keeping the Tories out.
  • The Lib Dems are a pointless waste of space in most of Scotland, and they’ve not enamoured themselves to me nationally over the course of the campaign. They’ve come across as very disengenuous. Their loal campaign material basically only highlighted two things: No Brexit, and no to Scottish Independence.
  • The Scottish Greens are finally standing a Westminster candidate in my constituency. I’d love to give them my vote, but it’d be wasted in my constituency – and I dare not let the Tories in “through the backdoor”.
  • If I lived in England I would vote tactically for whoever had the best chance of beating the Tories in that seat, but with a preference for Labour… I think.
  • The level of disinformation happening online is astounding, but also feels oddly obvious and transparent.

📖 Read: Why conservatives are winning the internet (Vox)

“A new book explains why digital activism helps conservatives more than liberals.”

Vox

In terms of the actual ideology itself, I do think there’s something about the nature of conservatism that makes it easier to promote online. Conservatives tend to focus on simple, clear messages around freedom in particular. The left tends to focus on this general idea of fairness.

Conservatives are generally monolithic in their attacks on, say, Obamacare. The left wants a diverse array of voices. The left tends to want to include a lot of different people and a lot of different issues, and the result is a more muddled message that is just harder to communicate.

📖 Read: Robert Mueller Wishes You’d Read His Report (The Atlantic) by Ken White

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller wishes that you’d read his report. He’s not angry; he’s just disappointed.”

Ken White (The Atlantic)

Mueller is a man out of time. This is the age of alternatively factual tweets and sound bites; he’s a by-the-book throwback who expects Americans to read and absorb carefully worded 400-page reports. Has he met us? His high standards sometimes manifest as touching naïveté. “I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak to you in this manner,” Mueller said today, explaining that his report was his testimony and that Congress should not expect him to answer questions with any new information.

Listened: Crying Wolf Over Conservative Censorship

“You’ve heard the uproar — conservatives are being censored on social media! But… are they? The short answer is no. The long answer is this week’s podcast, with Lincoln Network policy head Zach Graves joining us for a discussion about the misinformation, hyperbole and general ridiculousness surrounding supposed social media bias.”

Yes. It’s a tiny word with a lot of power; a word which hopefully will change the course of Scotland’s future come September, when we answer the question “should Scotland be an independent country?”

I will be voting Yes to independence on September 18th. So will many, many others – current opinion polls (a crude indication, but the best we have) have placed the Yes vote as tantalisingly close to winning. With little over a month to go, convincing the remaining “Don’t Know’s” will win the referendum.

But what can we all do to help push Yes over the line? Not all of us can get out and canvass door-to-door, speak at events, or staff the stalls giving out information. We can all still play a part though.

Personally I think the most effective and simple thing we can all do is proudly show our voting intention. If we “normalise” the idea of voting Yes – show that support for Yes is large, it’s everywhere, and it’s not just some small, fringe group (or only SNP supporters) – many of the undecided voters will begin to wonder what it is about Yes they might have missed up to now. The more they look into why they should vote Yes, I believe the more likely they will be to vote Yes on the day.

So wear Yes badges everywhere you can. Put one on your jacket, and put one on your bag. Wear a Yes t-shirt when out and about. Display Yes stickers and posters prominently – on windows, laptops, notepads… anywhere likely to be seen (just don’t go sticking them on someone else’s property!). If we all did this it would surround undecided voters in a sea of Yes support, and show it’s everyday people who are the Yes Movement, not the politicians or media. We would show how much momentum there is behind the idea of a better Scotland.

Badges and posters alone will not sway most people, but increased awareness will prompt many to ask questions, and more importantly, to strike up conversations with Yes supporters to find out why we’re all voting for independence. This is the crucial bit. This is where we will win – so brush up on some of the key points. You don’t have to know everything, but knowing where to point people to more information is just as useful whether it’s an online source, or an event/stall/friend with more knowledge.

As a bonus, not only will proudly showing your support for a Yes vote help engage with the “Don’t Know’s” it will give confidence to other Yes voters who might be keeping their voting intentions to themselves. By letting them know they are not alone you will encourage them to engage publicly with the debate and perhaps convince some more people over to Yes.

(It’s obvious, but worth stating anyway – always be polite, courteous and as accommodating as possible when engaging with anyone in the referendum debate. Many people have legitimate worries about independence which won’t always be assuaged in one conversation. Remember that you’re only one angry tweet away from being the next “nasty CyberNat” story in the Daily Mail.)

Personally speaking I’ve been wearing a small Yes badge on my jacket lapel for a couple of months now, and recently got myself a Green Yes t-shirt. It’s sparked conversations with colleagues, friends of friends, even the barista at Starbucks, all of whom have said what I told them was making them think about their positions. When I placed a Yes window sticker in a street-facing window of my house, there was my house and one car in the street with anything on show. Now there’s 3 houses, 4 cars, and a few more houses just around the corner. I don’t claim credit for the increase at all, but I believe that the more of us show our support, the more others will as well.

We’ve all got a part to play in the referendum, so why not start with something small and simple which could make a big difference?