There’s been a recent spate of lists. It’s getting out of control now. Bella feels some measure of guilt over this phenomenon with both this and our Alternative Honours kicking off this season now running wildly out of control with Nicola’s Festive Fifty being countered by Big Al’s Surrealist Top Twenty. Of course those pesky cave-dwellers held their end up with this handy BT Gaff List too.
And then there’s The Really Big List.
Of course the problem with these lists isn’t just their lazy editorial short-hand, their gross simplification or their reduction of complex socio-political factors into a pro-forma index. The problem is, of course, they are full of WORDS. As Alistair Carmichael put it yesterday: “…the white paper had “no vision, just 670 pages of words”.
The trouble for the Secretary of State is that words have become (over time) the accepted form of human communication and unless suddenly the Better Together takes an altogether deeper, more radical change of direction in their political outlook – suggesting – out of the blue – a fundamental reappraisal of the nature of humanity, sign-making and the written word, then it’s words we’ll have to use.
But, let’s take Alistair at his word and explore some of the options available. Clearly there’s semaphore (above), which is good clear, consistent, though not widely understood. There’s morse code – perhaps Ruth covered this in the TA? Simple messages of ‘UK: OK’ could be tapped out through the phone lines by activists as a sort of visual mantra entrancing the population into continued allegiance. There’s no need for us to delve into the speculative Bow-wow, Pooh-pooh or Ding-dong theories of historical linguist Max Müller to understand where Carmichaels’s coming from. It’s just the trouble with these damned words.
We could be looking at the possibility that Project Fear is merging with Project NIM in some kind of fiendish hybrid Brit-Chimp black-ops type scenario.
There’s song. We could be looking at George Foulkes leading some kind of Gareth Malone style mass choir to sing us into unity, or they could be working at a sub bass frequency resonating their way into a mass hysteria for austerity. Maybe that’s what Danny Alexanders up to?
Nor should we rule our Ogham. With the Yes vote assured amongst the celtic historians, wiccans and folklore society members, how better for the No campaign to unify Britain at a deep fundamental level than resurrect our common language?