OTS Readers, we're working hard to make this website a permanent fixture in the independence debate.  We're currently running a fundraiser to help cover costs. You can read our full breakdown on our GoFundMe page. If you can't donate, please share this link or contribute to the discussions. Thanks!
Help Keep OTS Going

A Wee Experiment

Abstention provides a possible focal point for unity.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024
2 mins

Winding Them Up?

We did a wee poll asking folk who intend to abstain what slogan, if any, they'll use to 'spoil' their paper.

#EndTheUnion 45.2%

#NotMyParliament 22.8%

#WomenWontWheesht 26.5%

Other (detail below) 5.4%

294 votes (Final results)

2:38 PM · Mar 5, 2024


Off-Topic Scotland on X: "If you intend to 'spoil' your ballot at the next UK GE, will you be writing any of the following on your paper?" / X (twitter.com)

The poll didn't attract as many votes as we would've liked but it's enough to be going on with and there's a clear favourite.

So, we're going with #EndTheUnion for now and will be encouraging its use at every opportunity.

Some folk will stick with one of the other options, or have their own 'message' they want to get across. But we echo Peter Bell's call for unity on this - a united front on this, if nothing else, could draw attention to general discontent and force commentators to pay attention to an issue they would surely prefer to ignore or dismiss as 'voter apathy'.

But perhaps more important than the use of the slogan itself is raising awareness of it in the hope that abstention becomes a talking-point before the general election. It's one thing to hear commentators announcing that x% of papers were spoiled after the event, but it's another to have people openly discussing abstention before the polling stations open. That might encourage some of the abstainers who had intended to stay at home to take a toddle down the station, perhaps make a day of it and meet some like-minded folk.

If enough of a buzz is generated about this - and the simple fact of Yessers agreeing on anything would be newsworthy in itself - then we will surely see the main parties  getting their knickers in a twist. They won't like it. It disrespects the system on which their credibility depends.

An interesting experiment then. The great beauty of it is that we don't have to 'do' anything apart from talk about it, encourage one another to stick to the one catchy hashtag, then ensure that mainstream pundits and psephologists can neither get away with ignoring it as a live issue, nor act surprised when it transpires that #EndTheUnion 'won' all over the country. Because if we know anything from recent turnout trends, it's that such a possibility may not be as unlikely as it sounds.

Aside from anything else, it would wind them up something rotten.

What's not to like!?


Off-Topic Newsletter
No spam. Just the latest releases and tips, interesting articles, and exclusive interviews in your inbox every week.
Read about our privacy policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Download Aesop's Fables!
Download Now!
Get The Off-Topic Scotland Newsletter

Get Off-Topic Scotland in Your Inbox

No spam or ads, just the latest posts and updates from Scotland's newest pro-independence blog.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.