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Tirade shows Better Together confusion

Tirade shows Better Together confusion | NO CAMPAIGN | Scoop.it

LIBDEM rural affairs spokesman Tavish Scott has landed himself in the manure after some over-enthusiastic muck spreading about his political opponents.

 

The Shetland MSP accused Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead of “politicising” the Royal Highland show after he unveiled plans to make a major speech on independence at the event.

 

Unfortunately Mr Scott appeared to have forgotten that his LibDem colleague George Lyon MEP, is to launch a “Rural Better Together” pro-UK campaign group at the show.

 

Attacking Mr Lochhead’s independence speech, Mr Scott fumed: “The SNP’s decision to politicise this year’s Highland Show is regrettable. Taxpayers’ money is being used to give a nationalist a political platform to rubbish the UK.

 

“The Highland Show should be a platform for Scotland’s livestock and food, not for constitutional politics.”

 

A spokesman for the proindependence campaign group Yes Scotland said: “Clearly, Tavish Scott hasn’t yet heard that the No campaign is launching Rural Better Together at the Royal Highland Show. Alistair Darling MP, that other wellknown non-politician, will be officiating. To say this drives a combine harvester through Mr Scott’s plea for the event to be politics-free is something of an understatement.”

 

Announcing plans for his “independence seminar” Mr Lochhead said: “I have worked hard to use the powers of devolution to drive forward our ambitions for rural Scotland, f or its communities and its industries. But we will be able to do much more with the powers which independence brings.”

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London Treasury engages in propaganda scare exercise

London Treasury engages in propaganda scare exercise | NO CAMPAIGN | Scoop.it
Scot­land could be­come ‘ an­other Cyprus’ By Paul Bignell The Independent on Sunday 19 May 2013 Scotland risks becoming “another Cyprus” if it becomes independent, the Treasury claims. Treasury officials will tomorrow publish analysis suggesting that Scotland’s banking system is so large relative to its economy that an independent government would be unable to rescue the sector in the event of a crisis. The pro- independence lobby will see this as the latest attempt by Whitehall to sway voters in the referendum on Scottish independence, scheduled for September 2014. The Scottish National Party has previously accused the British government of meddling in the referendum. The report states: “The Scottish banking sector would be extremely large in the event of independence. It currently stands at around 1,254 per cent of Scotland’s GDP. By way of comparison, before the crisis that hit Cyprus in March 2013, its banks had assets equivalent to around 800 per cent of its GDP – a major contributor to the cause and impact of the financial crisis.” John Swinney, the Scottish Finance Secretary, said: “This is a feeble attempt to undermine confidence in Scotland’s ability to be a successful independent country – and it will not work.” Copyright © 2012 NewspaperDirect Inc.
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Charles Patrick O'Brien's comment, May 19, 2013 3:58 AM
Aye well the banks that are in Scotland did not cause the problem only when forced into the "City" (London that is) did the problems begin.
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McCon­nell dragged into Labour strate­gist’s tweet row

McCon­nell dragged into Labour strate­gist’s tweet row | NO CAMPAIGN | Scoop.it
McCon­nell dragged into Labour strate­gist’s tweet row ROB­BIE DIN­WOODIE CHIEF SCOT­TISH PO­LIT­I­CAL COR­RE­SPON­DENT The Herald 7 May 2013 ALEADING Labour strategist has been condemned for tweets referring to “Poles and Pakis” during an online spat over independence which brought former First Minister Jack McConnell to his defence. Ian Smart spoke of an independent Scotland “turning on Poles and Pakis” and later likened the SNP to the Ku Klux Klan. Mr Smart, former president of the Law Society of Scotland, is a prominent blogger on his party’s affairs. He was promoting a blog reflecting on Labour’s failings following the South Shields by-election when he was asked on-line about the view that a No vote in the 2014 independence referendum could usher in a decade of Tory rule. Mr Smart responded: “Better 100 years of the Tories than the turn on the Poles and the Pakis that would follow independence failing to deliver.” There was a flood of tweets objecting to both the use of the phrase “Poles and Pakis” and the suggestion that a postindependence Scotland would be racist. Former Socialist MSP Carolyn Leckie urged him to “stop digging”. Mr Smart responded to Ms Leckie: “Who seriously thinks I’m a racist? Only those for whom the cap fits. What are you doing in their company?” Former Fi r s t Minister Lord McConnell backed long-time ally Mr Smart and suggested his critics may be “feeling guilty”. This brought one response: “You are a former First Minister, don’t get into this ****”. An SNP spokesman said of the exchanges: “It is only a few days since Labour’s Douglas Alexander called for a respectful referendum debate, yet these nasty tweets have been posted by prominent Labour blogger Ian Smart. “The tweets are highly offensive, not just to everyone who supports a Yes vote, but more particularly to Scotland’s Pakistani community.” Mr Smart conceded last night: “I’ve been caught up in a bit of a Twitter storm over the last 24 hours. But he began by blaming critics as “cybernats” and said he should have put the offending reference to “Poles and Pakis” in quotes.
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Just a third of Scots be­lieve union­ists’ prom­ise of more pow­ers

Just a third of Scots be­lieve union­ists’ prom­ise of more pow­ers | NO CAMPAIGN | Scoop.it
Just a third of Scots be­lieve union­ists’ prom­ise of more pow­ers David Mad­dox WEST­MIN­STER COR­RE­SPON­DENT The Scotsman 6 May 2013 “The West­min­ster agenda is now be­ing driven by Ukip” SNP spokesman “The Scot­tish Govern­ment has hit a wall of hard facts” Michael Moore. PROMISES by the pro-Union parties that they will devolve more power to Holyrood if Scots reject independence have failed to convince voters, a new poll has revealed. According to a YouGov poll, only a third of respondents, 33 per cent, believed the main proUK parties would increase the Scottish Parliament’s powers while almost half, 47 per cent, were not convinced. The findings have been seized on by the SNP, which commissioned the poll, as evidence that a key part of the Better Together campaign strategy against independence is flawed. Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron last year promised that there would be further devolution, while Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson recently gave a speech on extending tax powers. The Liberal Democrats set up a commission chaired by former leader Sir Menzies Campbell which recommended a “Home Rule” option for Scotland. But the findings come shortly after the Scottish Labour conference, which was marked by deep divisions over a proposal to devolve all income tax to Scotland, with Scottish Westminster MPs mostly opposing it. Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont was forced to put the proposal out to consultation and there were suggestions from sources close to UK leader Ed Miliband that he was not happy with the idea. The poll findings led the SNP to conclude that voters did not accept the promises of proUnion parties on extending devolution. An SNP spokesman said: “This is a very important finding, because it demonstrates that just a third of people in Scotland believe the No campaign’s case that more powers would follow a No vote. “And the Westminster agenda is now being driven by Ukip – which is just as hostile to Scottish self-government as it is to Europe. “This poll reinforces that the sure and certain way for Scotland to gain the powers we need to build a fairer society and stronger economy is with a Yes vote in September 2014.” The poll of 1,006 voters also revealed that two-thirds of Scots, 67 per cent, believe that the UK and Scottish governments should open negotiations on independence ahead of the referendum on 18 September next year, a move opposed in Whitehall but being pushed by the Scottish Government. SNP Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This is an extremely encouraging finding and indicates that the reasonable and constructive approach the Scottish Government are taking in the referendum debate is in tune with the vast majority of people in Scotland. “By contrast, Westminster’s refusal to enter into pre-referendum discussions so that they can help inform the debate is out of touch with the people.” Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said the SNP’s concern for more devolved powers after the 2014 referendum was a sign it was losing the argument on independence. He said: “When those who propose independence are worrying about devolution, it means they are losing the argument. We have seen that is the case on the EU, on Nato, on currency and on pensions in recent weeks. “This referendum is about independence, just as the Scottish Government pledged. Those who want Scotland to leave the UK family should have the courage of their convictions in making that case – and sticking to it.” More powers, including a Scottish income tax in 2014, are being devolved to Holyrood through the Scotland Act, passed last year. Mr Moore also said that the two papers published by the UK government so far – on currency and the legal framework – had seen key independence arguments “hit a wall of hard facts”. He promised the next 500 days would see “no let-up in the case for independence being tested by the positive evidence for staying in the UK”. He said: “Scotland is facing a huge decision about its future. But each attempt by the Scottish Government to explain the irreversible change they want has hit a wall of hard facts – the case for independence, based on wishful thinking, is simply not working.” The poll was dismissed by Better Together, the umbrella group chaired by former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling leading the opposition to independence. A spokesman said: “All three parties are exploring further options on powers. These will be presented to the people of Scotland over the next few months.” A Scottish Labour spokesman said: “The only party threatening devolution is the SNP, which wants to break away from our neighbours while still keeping George Osborne in charge of our borrowing and interest rates.”
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‘No’ campaign losing a sense of togetherness

‘No’ campaign losing a sense of togetherness | NO CAMPAIGN | Scoop.it
The emergence of a new campaign group against independence exposes faultlines in Better Together

ThE beginning of June saw the first public stirrings of real discontent in the No campaign as United With Labour was presented in the Southside of Glasgow as an actual and tangible campaigning organisation with branded balloons, leaflets, jackets and no less a person than Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont lending her credentials.

 

There is a degree of persuasion in the argument that the creation of United With Labour was born out of absolute necessity. From its more humble and stated purpose of crafting a Labour voice in the independence referendum just a few short weeks ago, it now becomes a direct competitor to Better Together as the organisational face of the No campaign. That it is in competition with Better Together is in no doubt; that is an inevitable consequence of sharing the same, limited numbers of activists who are mainly pooled from the few numbers that the Labour Party can motivate in branches.

 

The Better Together campaign has so far been a roaring success at being negative, static and, organisationally, a bad covers band as compared to the Yes campaign. It is also conducted, from the top down, as a collective of men – with few exceptions – who labour under the misapprehension that sniggering, sneering and sometimes childish and needless personalisation and finger-pointing at political opponents are the behavioural norms of postpubescent grown-ups.

 

This is all “masterminded” from a campaign headquarters which sometimes seems akin to a boys’ club treehouse on the hill.

 

It is inevitable that the campaign for the status quo will lack the momentum and creativity of the campaign for change because they are the default position. The No campaign does not have to motivate voters to make up or change their minds; it needs only strangle the debate to ensure dynamism is ditched. It is showing all the signs of being comfortable to sit back, throw a Beano-inspired stink bomb at the Yes campaign and hope, when the stench clears, people have dived for cover. For logic, you can’t really fault it, even if you can criticise the complete lack of originality or the absence of any attempt to provoke debate about how the status quo can be improved.

 

Given the preponderance of Blairite alumni appointees leading Better Together – whose contemporaries have struggled to produce any original UK Labour policy ideas since 2010 – the vacuum of alternative narrative is hardly surprising. What is more surprising is the vacuum of any original campaign strategy ideas.

 

The Yes campaign launched just over a year ago with great razzamatazz but, since then, has adopted a slow growth approach when it comes to the substantive core of messaging which will shape the real content of the debate. With the referendum still more than 15 months away, this is not necessarily an issue of concern; more an indication that considerable work is going on to provide the electorate with a comprehensive and compelling case for independence. A bold vision deserves more than instantaneous and derivative thinking.

 

More importantly at this stage, behind the scenes, the Yes campaign has been organising locally, anticipating and already driving the on-the-ground campaigning which will be pivotal in changing opinion polls and, far more importantly, shaping public opinion. In order to win, the Yes campaign recognises that it has to find the right method and message to motivate people to move from No or undecided to Yes.

 

Since September last year, local groups in Scotland have launched scores of communitybased campaigns; inviting local people, undecided voters and those already committed to the campaign, to interact with a huge range of speakers and supporters from a variety of backgrounds. These groups have been supported by the establishment of sectoral groups under the Yes Scotland umbrella encompassing older voters, trades unions and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender groups (LGBT) amongst others. This work has been enhanced by associated, but separate and distinct organisations like Labour For Independence, Women for Independence and National Collective.

 

The model for the Yes campaign has been grassroots and organic in development, and evolves continually as the opposition, challenges and opportunities change over time. Large area launches such as Yes Glasgow have broken down to more local campaigns which will devolve still further as the campaign broadens out.

 

The wholesale adoption of the Yes model by the Better Together campaign is clear to see. Perhaps pale facsimile imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Where the Yes campaign leads – in terms of organisation – the No campaign will follow: albeit six to eight months further down the campaign timeline.

 

Whilst the status quo campaign takes succour from the opinion polls, the superior on-the-ground Yes campaign has already begun. Labour Party membership is struggling to recover from serious decline, the SNP and Green Party membership continues to rise and those considerable numbers are boosted by campaigners of other parties and none who are motivated by the opportunity of a Yes vote.

 

The No campaign narrative rests on creating uncertainty, but it is clear that the counter Yes campaign message about the real uncertainty of a No vote is slowly beginning to resonate, especially with Labour voters who reject the coalition at Westminster, and those affected by their pernicious welfare changes. This creates problems for the Labour Party in Scotland as it eyes not just the referendum, but the 2015 General Election from within the Better Together clubhouse.

 

Waltzing hand in hand with the Conservatives in Better Together is affecting Labour credibility with Labour voters, members and, crucially, the Cooperative Party and the Through DNA analysis, our scientists can map the history of our diverse nation by discovering where your ancient ancestors originated and tracing their footsteps across the globe on their epic journey to reach Scotland. Are your ancestors the ancient peoples shrouded in the mysteries of Scotland’s history? These mysteries are becoming clearer as we have now found a new Pictish lineage, shining light on a heritage long believed to be lost.

 

Are you a descendant of the Picts? Or are you from one of the other groups that make up the fascinating story of the Scots? trades unions, who are the lifeblood of Labour Party funding. The independence debate is problematic for the Labour Party for – as the former party of home rule – it is not avowedly “unionist” and there is indication that a growing minority of members in the Labour Party will vote yes, and a potentially larger number who are considering it.


Campaigning as United With Labour in Aberdeen Donside and bringing the referendum to a local by-election may be just another indication of linear, not lateral thinking. Time will tell.

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Brown the unelectable PM wheeled out to prop up Labour NO campaign

Brown the unelectable PM wheeled out to prop up Labour NO campaign | NO CAMPAIGN | Scoop.it
SCOTTISH Labour to­day launches its own cam­paign to keep Scot­land in the United King­dom, in­sist­ing its dis­tinc­tive voice will be used to ar­gue there is a bet­ter fu­ture if Bri­tain’s tal­ents and re­sources are shared to unite be­hind com­mon causes. Gor­don Brown, the for­mer prime min­is­ter, who has largely kept out of the pub­lic eye since leav­ing Down­ing Street in 2010, will join Scot­tish Labour leader Jo­hann La­mont and her deputy Anas Sar­war to launch United with Labour. Speak­ing ahead of to­day’s event in Glas­gow, Mr Sar­war said: “In the de­bate over the com­ing months there will be a num­ber of voices all mak­ing the case for Scot­land work­ing to­gether as part of the United King­dom. But one voice that must be heard is the Labour voice and I am de­ter­mined that in this cam­paign it will be heard.” The Glas­gow MP in­sisted Scot­land was now at a cross­roads with “two fu­tures” be­fore it. “One in which we choose to share our tal­ents and pool our re­sources with oth­ers. A fu­ture where we unite be­hind com­mon causes. A fu­ture where we work ev­ery day to dis­man­tle bar­ri­ers to op­por­tu­nity and suc­cess. A fu­ture where in the coun­try we are proud to call home, we stand by and work for a set of val­ues. A fu­ture where we achieve more to­gether than we ever could alone.” He said Labour’s cam­paign would com­ple­ment the Bet­ter To­gether’s pro­vid­ing a “dis­tinct Labour voice”. He added: “Just as we recog­nise Bet­ter To­gether has a job to do, we also recog­nise its job comes to an end af­ter polling day; Labour’s job goes on.” The deputy leader also re­vealed the party would hold a se­ries of anti-in­de­pen­dence road­shows across Scot­land with the first tonight in Fife, at­tended by Mr Brown and 400 peo­ple. He made clear Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, would at­tend at least one of these road­shows, which will con­tinue up to polling day in Septem­ber 2014. While Mr Brown was un­avail­able for com­ment yes­ter­day, it was sug­gested in his con­tri­bu­tion at to­day’s launch he will ar­gue a vote to leave the UK would re­sult in aban­don­ing Labour col­leagues in Eng­land to years of Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ments. Con­se­quently, a vote against Scot­tish in­de­pen­dence would help keep the Tories out of power at West­min­ster, which would in turn ben­e­fit Scot­land. This ar­gu­ment was last night seized upon by Alex Sal­mond, who branded it “po­lit­i­cal, arith­meti­cal and in­tel­lec­tual non­sense”. Speak­ing at a Yes cam­paign event in Glas­gow, the First Min­is­ter said: “Mr Brown used to ar­gue against in­de­pen­dence be­cause of the so­cial union with the rest of the UK, but the so­cial union stays with in­de­pen­dence. “He is now ar­gu­ing against in­de­pen­dence on the ba­sis of the po­lit­i­cal union, but it is this po­lit­i­cal union that has clearly failed Scot­land on any mea­sure and needs to be re­placed with a new re­la­tion­ship of equal­ity be­tween the na­tions of these is­lands.” Mr Sal­mond sug­gested the line at­trib­uted to the for­mer pre­mier was po­lit­i­cal non­sense be­cause Labour could not cred­i­bly call on Scot­land to save Eng­land from the Tories while be­ing in the same anti-in­de­pen­dence cam­paign as them. It was arith­meti­cal non­sense be­cause Scot­land had had 30 years of Tory gov­ern­ments “be­ing im­posed on Scot­land by West­min­ster” and for only 26 months dur­ing this pe­riod had Scot­tish MPs made any dif­fer­ence in terms of elect­ing Labour; ev­ery other Labour gov­ern­ment would have been elected south of the Border any­way, he said. It was in­tel­lec­tual non­sense be­cause na­tions were en­ti­tled to choose their own gov­ern­ments. “What Scot­land can do with the pow­ers of in­de­pen­dence is be a bea­con for pro­gres­sive poli­cies to de­liver a fairer so­ci­ety and stronger econ­omy,” the First Min­is­ter added.
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Supporters of every party support per-referendum talks

Supporters of every party support per-referendum talks | NO CAMPAIGN | Scoop.it
PROMISES by the pro-Union parties that they will devolve more power to Holyrood if Scots reject independence have failed to convince voters, a new poll has revealed. According to a YouGov poll, only a third of respondents, 33 per cent, believed the main proUK parties would increase the Scottish Parliament’s powers while almost half, 47 per cent, were not convinced. The findings have been seized on by the SNP, which commissioned the poll, as evidence that a key part of the Better Together campaign strategy against independence is flawed. Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron last year promised that there would be further devolution, while Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson recently gave a speech on extending tax powers. The Liberal Democrats set up a commission chaired by former leader Sir Menzies Campbell which recommended a “Home Rule” option for Scotland. But the findings come shortly after the Scottish Labour conference, which was marked by deep divisions over a proposal to devolve all income tax to Scotland, with Scottish Westminster MPs mostly opposing it. Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont was forced to put the proposal out to consultation and there were suggestions from sources close to UK leader Ed Miliband that he was not happy with the idea. The poll findings led the SNP to conclude that voters did not accept the promises of proUnion parties on extending devolution. An SNP spokesman said: “This is a very important finding, because it demonstrates that just a third of people in Scotland believe the No campaign’s case that more powers would follow a No vote. “And the Westminster agenda is now being driven by Ukip – which is just as hostile to Scottish self-government as it is to Europe. “This poll reinforces that the sure and certain way for Scotland to gain the powers we need to build a fairer society and stronger economy is with a Yes vote in September 2014.” The poll of 1,006 voters also revealed that two-thirds of Scots, 67 per cent, believe that the UK and Scottish governments should open negotiations on independence ahead of the referendum on 18 September next year, a move opposed in Whitehall but being pushed by the Scottish Government. SNP Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This is an extremely encouraging finding and indicates that the reasonable and constructive approach the Scottish Government are taking in the referendum debate is in tune with the vast majority of people in Scotland. “By contrast, Westminster’s refusal to enter into pre-referendum discussions so that they can help inform the debate is out of touch with the people.” Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said the SNP’s concern for more devolved powers after the 2014 referendum was a sign it was losing the argument on independence. He said: “When those who propose independence are worrying about devolution, it means they are losing the argument. We have seen that is the case on the EU, on Nato, on currency and on pensions in to Holyrood through the Scotland Act, passed last year. The poll was dismissed by Better Together, the umbrella group chaired by former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling leading the opposition to independence. A spokesman said: “All three parties are exploring further options on powers. These will be presented to the people of Scotland over the next few months.”
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Susan Calman: Death threats for independence satire

Susan Calman: Death threats for independence satire | NO CAMPAIGN | Scoop.it
COMIC Susan Calman has called for the end of “name-calling, swearing and death threats” marring the independence debate after her satirical contribution to a radio show triggered an onslaught of online abuse.
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Mccuaig William's comment, May 18, 2013 9:40 PM
she is chronic