'Civic Scotland', the self-styled voice of a nation and drop-in cafe for the natterati launched themselves to widespread apathy and collective 'so whats?' yesterday. Named by the First Minister and directed by his propaganda chief, the launch was short on detail and long on platitude and was notable only for the confusion over what exactly 'civic Scotland' meant and who they imagined they represent. There were many questions they couldn't answer the main one was what are they actually for?
The churches and STUC said they had no intention of coming to any kind of conclusion at the end of this process. The Thatcherite hard right think tank, Reform Scotland, tried to present themselves as reasonable while smirking at the prospect of savage cuts to Scotland's public sector.
The SCVO, however, found themselves in a less emphatic position with their leaders contradicting each other. Alison Elliot claimed that "This is not about making the case for independence, devolution, status quo or anything in between. We do not have a fixed view about the outcome of the referendum." which was news to many after some of her colleagues admitted privately that they had already settled on DevoPlus and have a timetable (around about November) for the announcement agreed with the SNP.
The church groups and trades unions involved should be aware with whom they are dealing: this is a front organisation some of whose members are funded and directed by Bute House.