An aborted Better Together campaign video from the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, depicting our physical severance from the United Kingdom, has been unearthed.
Titled ‘The Island’, a young girl watches on as the country is torn in two by industrial machinery while a narrative pours over our being “bound together by 300 years of history.”
The clip ends with its sombre narrator asking the question: “Do we really want to become an even smaller island in this big, rapidly changing world? Do we really want to cut ourselves off from all that we have built together, forever?”
Sources have advised popular entertainment website Buzzfeed that the clip came in at a cost of £50,000, although it was subsequently dropped for being “too negative” amid widespread claims that the Better Together rhetoric had stooped to “scaremongering” at the time.
Maggie Darling, the wife of Better Together campaign leader Alistair Darling, is alleged to have dubbed the video “Nightmare on Sauchiehall Street.”
Analysis from Twitter has been typically swift and damning. One user, Andrew Picken, compared the voice-over to a classic downtrodden Rikki Fulton character and the video itself to an infamously stark AIDS awareness campaign from 1987.
This is excruciatingly long and bad, complete with Reverend I.M.Jolly voice over https://t.co/6d1IjY1Z0w
— Andrew Picken (@andrewpicken1) November 23, 2016
Al Manny commented that the tone was reminiscent of BBC2 documentary series Coast.
Laura Waddell meanwhile suggested that the clip echoed the educational videos used at Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth attraction.
The cancelled Better Together ad looks like something you might be forced to sit through at Our Dynamic Earth before moving to next section. https://t.co/bIMLFE2KDK
— Laura Waddell (@lauraewaddell) November 23, 2016
Although the ‘darkly scary’ advert may have been prescient to the Better Together campaign at the time, Paul Aitken remarked that “Things have changed in Britain” since it was originally intended to be aired.