Friday, 6 June 2014

A doorstep tale

I knocked on a door the other day, with a pile of Better Together leaflets in my hand and a badge on my lapel. It was a sunny morning. A man answered the door. He looked to be in his sixties or seventies, and he was bare-chested. "Sorry for disturbing you" I said, thinking he was in the middle of getting dressed; then I saw the sunglasses perched on his head and realised he'd been sunbathing.

He looked at me, smiled, and said "I've been waiting for one of you lot to come round". Experience suggests that this isn't always the precursor to a friendly chat.

"I'm SNP." Here we go, I thought. "Aye, I've voted for them the last few times. But see this independence? I think that Salmond has overreached. I'm against it. And I'll tell you why."

"When we fought the 1914-1918 war, and when we fought the 1939-1945 war, we didn't do it as Scotland, and we didn't do it as England, or Wales, or Northern Ireland. We did it together, as Britain. And that's how we won. You ask any of the old yins, they'll tell you. And that's what I've been waiting to tell one of you. 'Better Together' is spot on. It's spot on. We are."

"And let me tell you something else. It's wise to stick together. Wise. Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England. You see? W-I-S-E. You can have that, son. Use that."

He smiled again. "So, aye, that's what I wanted to say. And I've said it. Best of luck, son. I'm voting no."

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