Ed Miliband was due to go on a walkabout at the St James shopping centre today, but as with everything else that the No campaign does these days, it turned into a balls up.
I was in the area quite by chance when I saw a large group of people gathering on the esplanade that leads into the mall. I asked a bloke what was going on and he told me that Miliband was due, so I decided to hang around and watch the sport.
The women pictured above formed the main part of Ed's greeting team. Yes, that's the bulk of them, hard though it may be to believe. Just outside the entrance to the mall was an equally small group of No people, who were faced by a much larger group of Yes campaigners. Standing in front of the entrance was the press pack, along with two pretty No girls:
The plan was obviously for Miliband to walk up the main steps from the street and then across the esplanade and into the mall, but the problem was that he was late arriving. That meant that more and more people like me who were just passing by came to see what was going on so an an impromptu demonstration for Yes was created just by virtue of Miliband's lateness.
Then Miliband arrived, and was taken into the mall by a side entrance, which led the press to go into blue arsed fly mode as they charged into the centre, knocking hapless customers out of the way as they tried to get to their man.
So what was planned as a chance for Miliband to talk to ordinary people turned into a scrum of hacks and TV cameramen who surrounded the Labour leader, with a gaggle of what few supporters he had managed to drag along surrounding the scrum, and a much larger gang of Yes people surrounding all of them.
No wonder Miliband took refuge in a shop, but unfortunately for him it was a hairdressing salon called Supercuts, and that name alone provided many laughs for the crowd.
The No campaign is going from bad to worse, but its chief woe is that it has to ship demonstrators in to provide the illusion of a grass-roots activist base. The Yes team can just rely on members of the public launching ad-hoc protests whenever they find themselves in the company of the carefully stage managed No events.
After a short while, Miliband left the St James Centre, his people were loaded into vans to be driven off to the next event, and the rest of us just got on with our day having done our bit for the Yes cause.