The Best Of The Dish Today

The Final Day Of Campaigning For The Scottish Referendum Ahead Of Tomorrow's Historic Vote

There’s a kind of hush all over Britain tonight, as Herman’s Hermits once had it. That bitter old lion, Gordon Brown, delivered a barn-burner for the union:

Tell them this is our Scotland. Tell them that Scotland does not belong to the Scottish Nationalist Party. Scotland does not belong to the Yes campaign. Scotland does not belong to any politician – Mr Salmond, Mr Swinney, me or any other politician. Scotland belongs to all of us. This is not their flag, their country, their culture, their streets. This is everyone’s flag, everyone’s country, everyone’s culture and everyone’s streets. Let us tell the people of Scotland that we who vote No love Scotland and love our Scotland.

It was arguably the strongest speech in the campaign – and even revived calls for Brown to get back into politics. Watch it all here. And isn’t it marvelous the way this referendum has really brought out a huge outpouring of democracy, of debate in every venue, and a staggering 97 percent registration rate? At a time when politics seems increasingly distant from most voters’ lives, in which political elites become as despised as economic elites, the simple ballot and the simple question have brought real democracy back to life. The Guardian introduced a new point:

A decision of such gravity – to break away from a 300-year-old union – should be the settled will of a nation. The very fact that Scottish opinion is so closely divided is itself a weakness in the case for independence. Moves of such import should command enduring and overwhelming support, as the creation of the Holyrood parliament did in 1997.

But what if the vote isn’t as close as it now seems to be? The referendum has achieved a 97 percent registration rate, as Tim Stanley has noted. You think all those new voters want to keep the status quo? But, as usual, the Onion FTW:

A tragedy is unfolding in Scotland. One glance at this week’s headlines reveals that the region’s fractious political situation is intensifying, with separatist activists gaining more and more support every day. Barring something drastic, Scotland seems bound inexorably for a cataclysm. Can the United States stand idly by as Scotland descends into civil war? …

How many Scots need to die before Obama says “Enough is enough” and steps in? The United States has a moral imperative to intervene, starting immediately with air raids to break the militant separatists before they gain a stranglehold on power. But that will not be enough. We need boots on the ground as soon and in as great numbers as possible.

Where is John McCain when you need him?

Full Dish coverage of Scotland in one place here. Elsewhere on the blog today, I tried to add some historical perspective to the growing hysteria over Russia and Iraq and Syria. Readers revealed their own personal eggcorns – after my epic embarrassment. We noted that Obama has not just given ISIS the mother of all propaganda coups, but has actually brought Al Qaeda and the Caliphate into an alliance. Pretty great start, no? Instead of letting these fanatics fight each other, we’ve gone and made them all want to fight us. I hope Lindsey Graham is satisfied.

As for the midterms, the Democrats seem to be holding weirdly steady. Could it be a function of general loathing of the GOP?

Many of today’s posts were updated with your emails – read them all here.  You can always leave your unfiltered comments at our Facebook page and @sullydish. 20 more readers became subscribers today. You can join them here – and get access to all the readons and Deep Dish – for a little as $1.99 month. Gift subscriptions are available here if you’d like to introduce the Dish to others. A reader gets what we’re trying to do here:

[Dish editor] Chris, thank you so much for posting [my email on husband beaters]. You have no idea how much it brightened my day/week/month and probably my year. It’s also interesting to me which part you cut out of my email. I don’t know if it was just to keep it snappy or not to attract the pure shitstorm that comes with even mentioning men’s rights activists? Either way I wouldn’t blame you.

I’ve been reading Andrew since this 2006 article on the rise of fundamentalism. At the time I was wrestling with a lot of questions about faith and his words in this felt like a revelation to me. I’ve been reading ever since. When I have strong opinions about politics or other things that go on in the world, I usually talk with friends and family, but I can never be sure I’m not just in an echo chamber. I can look for conversation online, but, well … you know how bad the comments section can be. It’s full of people yelling half-formed opinions into an abyss of pure noise and never really listening to what others have to say.

But even getting a passing mention on the Dish is special to me. It’s actually having a seat in a full conversation. I’m sure some readers will disagree with what I say, and I welcome that, but even being one voice on the Dish tells me at least I’m asking the right questions.

See you when the conversation resumes in the morning.

(Photo: Unionist supporters gather near George Square, where Yes activists had been holding a pre-referendum event in Glasgow, Scotland on September 17, 2014. By Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)