By G.A.Ponsonby
UK PM David Cameron’s threat to force a London controlled referendum onto the people of Scotland has led to major splits within the anti-independence camp.
Some senior Scottish Labour figures have openly attacked the Tory PM’s proposal whilst others, such as Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont, have appeared to back Mr Cameron’s threat to force an early referendum.

The splits emerged after David Cameron revealed that the UK government were looking at introducing legislation that would force the Scottish government to hold a referendum earlier than the SNP pledged in their election campaign.

The UK PM also suggested that Westminster would introduce controls over the question posed on the ballot paper in order to ensure it was clear and unambiguous.  The Tory leader insisted that only one question should be asked and that there should be no devo-max option. 

Former Labour First Minister Henry McLeish today called David Cameron’s move to grab control of the referendum “a dangerous tactic” and “cavalier”.

“The Conservatives have forgotten Scotland” he said before adding: “As far as many Scots are concerned Westminster lost the plot on Europe and has never got the plot on Scotland”

Mr McLeish claimed that Mr Cameron’s intervention was ignorant and very dangerous and suggested that it may in fact increase support for independence.

He said: “My main fear is the activities of David Cameron and the Conservative party through ignorance of the issue will actually exacerbate a very anti-coalition stance that already exists in Scotland and may put a number of people closer towards supporting some form of separation from the United Kingdom.”

Mr McLeish, who has previously urged Unionists to embrace devo-max, called for a debate amongst Unionists on an alternative to independence complaining that currently there isn’t one.

Mr McLeish’s comments were backed by former Labour Minister Malcolm Chisholm.  The respected Scottish Labour MSP called the UK coalition’s intervention “mad meddling” which he said will “greatly increase support for independence”.


However new Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont criticised Alex Salmond’s referendum timetable.  Asked about Mr Cameron’s comments Ms Lamont said that if the offer by the Tory leader helped clarify the legal position the she welcomed it.

She said: “I think if that’s what’s been offered that would be helpful .”

The threat by the UK PM has also put him at odds with coalition colleague Michael Moore who was recently reported to have been sidelined by Mr Cameron after claiming that the Union was out of date.

Last year the Lib Dem Scottish Secretary said that any attempt by Westminster to try to dictate the referendum timetable would be unwise and not good use of time.

“I firmly believe the Scottish Parliament, if it so decides, can proceed with a referendum,” Mr Moore said, adding: “There will be the normal electoral rules that have to be followed and it will have to be discussed carefully with the relevant authorities.”

The Scottish secretary said: “We could, I suppose, try to make a constitutional issue about where the powers lie or don’t, but I don't think that would be a sensible use of anybody’s time.

“If the issue of the day is to decide the future of Scotland within the United Kingdom, then that’s more important we have that debate, rather than have a debate about whether or not we can have the debate.”

The SNP have responded today with Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attacking what she claimed was an attack on Scotland’s democracy.

Westminster MP and Referendum Campaign Director Angus Robertson joined his party colleague and said:

“David Cameron’s efforts to dictate the terms of a referendum to the Scottish people will only boost support for independence.  It is a ludicrous, self-defeating and doomed effort from a party with just a single MP in Scotland – there are more pandas in Scotland than Tory MPs.


Mr Robertson accused the Tories of having a history of “blundering their way in Scotland” and added:

“Trying to override the democratic mandate of Scotland’s voters to have a referendum in the second half of this Holyrood parliament is a disastrous start to 2012 for the anti-independence parties –and with George Osborne leading the Tory charge, the Lib Dems and Michael Moore have been well and truly sidelined. 

"Only last May, Michael Moore said ‘I firmly believe’ the Scottish Parliament can proceed with a referendum – that is the democratic reality of the matter."

The SNP MP called on Labour to decide whether they backed or opposed Mr Cameron’s demands, “To side with the Tories against the decision of Scotland’s electorate would mark a new low for Scottish Labour, if such a thing is possible.” he said before adding:

“Malcolm Chisholm is a voice of sanity within the Labour Party – David Cameron’s ‘mad meddling’ will indeed greatly increase support for independence.  Does Johann Lamont agree with Mr Chisholm, or with the Tories at Westminster?

“People across Scotland elected an SNP Government committed to a referendum in the second half of this Parliament, and that is exactly what we will do.

“The only people who are confused are the anti-independence parties in the UK Government and Labour in Scotland, who are in complete disarray.

“Support for independence has grown since the May 2011 election, and the actions of the Tories and Lib Dems will give it a further boost.”


# Wee-Scamp 2012-01-09 19:02
Today on the Daily Telegraph I have asked three or four times for reasons for Scotland to stay in the union. I haven't had any answers.

I've also asked for the names of all these companies who aren't investing in Scotland because of the uncertainty over independence.

Again, no response.
# scottish_skier 2012-01-09 19:02
What great fun today was. Will be cracking open a wee beer later to celebrate.

Complete train crash by DC with Johann hopping on board just before impact. Brilliant!
# govanite 2012-01-09 19:10
# chicmac 2012-01-10 00:40
There is a veritable morass of political ineptitudes, with negative consequences for unionists, in Cameron's ill-advised interjection, even if basing one's assessment purely on the simple criteria of political expediency

However, as is frequently the case, the more entertaining examples tend to be those which are also devoid of any form of logical cohesion.

Such an example is no more clearly illustrated than by two of the following (paraphrased) statements over the last couple of days:

1) Only Westminster can decide whether Scotland gets independence or not.

2) Scottish industry is suffering due to uncertainty over independence and its the SNP's fault.

Clearly, by insisting they have the actual say on the matter, then logically (accepting, for the sake of argument, the premise of their usurpation of the Scot's human right to self-determination), doubt over Scotland's future would consequently remain until they state, whether or not, they will accept Scotland's referendum verdict.

Therefore, for logical cohesion, the onus for removing uncertainty rests entirely on Westminster. To remove it, or at least push it on to the SNP government, they need to state, right now, whether they will accept the Scottish decision OR at the very least, to declare how long after the referendum they will come to their decision. Neither of which they have done.

i.e. Until they do, they cannot logically claim the uncertainty buck stops with them AND blame the SNP for it at the same time.
# GrassyKnollington 2012-01-09 19:39
Complete train crash by DC with Johann hopping on board just before impact.

lol, that sums up the day rather well.
# tartanpigsy 2012-01-09 20:24
Quoting scottish_skier:
What great fun today was. Will be cracking open a wee beer later to celebrate.

Complete train crash by DC with Johann hopping on board just before impact. Brilliant!

Indeed it was, ignorance and stupidity slopping about all the boards.
Strike one returned like a double handed Murray backhand down the line ;)
# clootie 2012-01-09 21:16
# GrassyKnollington 2012-01-09 19:05
It's all very well for Henry McLeish to call for Unionists to embrace Devo Max but I have no idea what the phrase means and I suspect Henry doesn't either.

The "lets stay in the union with some unspecified powers if we can agree what we want and they agree that we can have it " a position as catchy as it was easily understood was always a non starter.
# Electric Hermit 2012-01-09 19:54
Quoting GrassyKnollingt on:
It's all very well for Henry McLeish to call for Unionists to embrace Devo Max but I have no idea what the phrase means and I suspect Henry doesn't either.

It means that independence is inevitable. That's all you need to know.
# the wallace 2012-01-09 19:06
It gladdens the heart to see the enemy squable and fight amongst themselves,it makes a change when they they used to try they tatics on us.What you so you reap,is a phrase that comes to mind.
# Jim Johnston 2012-01-09 20:13
"Fly with the craws and you'll get shot with the craws" fits perfect as well tw.
# govanite 2012-01-09 19:11
At last, some raw meat.
# Big Eye 2012-01-09 19:18
Any doubts about who subsidises who disappeared today as the unionists,despe rate to hold onto cash cow Scotland finally were open about having to try and fiddle the result to have any chance of winning.

As their tactical team returned from Moscow and North Korea armed with the future democratic plan Dave and new best pal.Johann led the depleted ranks over the top and into the valley of death and destruction in May's election.

A Labour stalwart commented " we have had a good run and a lot of money out the system but I knew it could never last"
# G.Macp 2012-01-09 19:18
What a great day - I believe the cause for Independence has taken another step forward. I wonder how labour voters feel now that Lamont has jumped on the Tory train? A case of vote labour get Tory, thanks Ms.Lamont - and how do you feel about McLeish and Chisolm talking so differently to you? I can see light at the end of the tunnel and it looks very, very promising!
# mato21 2012-01-09 19:31
The cowards of course waited until the FM was out of the country Maybe they were expecting an easy launch for their attack, obviously, oblivious to the fact the back-up team would be manning the barricades ready to take them down
Nicola is a rerr wee fechter is she no? Handbags at dawn has nothing on her
# alicmurray 2012-01-09 19:31
When you see Cameron, Clegg and Moore on the news taking the cabinet to the olympics to discuss the referendum all you can think is who do these men think they are that they can still dictate to the people how our referendum is set to ensure their victory. 3 nonentities without any mandate in our country setting the scene for the theft of our future. Hope they roast in he'll.
# Serious Black 2012-01-09 19:38
I wouldn't get too cocky just yet. It remains to be seen whether the Scots actually have the balls for independence when it comes down to a real vote.

There are also a lot of clever people behind the scenes in westminster that are surely dreaming up ways to try and de-rail the whole process and I have no doubt that some of them will be underhanded. I believe Spycatcher had some examples.
# Hirta 2012-01-09 20:32
There are many clever people behind the Scottish govt too. Those same people who ran a flawless and quite excellent election campaign.
# govanite 2012-01-09 19:40
Rosa oot her depth oan the 'big' telly, with a heavyweight interviewer who values rigour.
Hosie surefooted & not stretched.
# call me dave 2012-01-09 19:41
What no sunset clause ?
It says in this summary it was never a goer!

When did that get withdrawn it was all over the news this morning
Chisholm and McLeish V Lamont
No contest.

Will they both keep quiet or walk away from Labour.

Well played Nicola Sturgeon.

What a first skirmish!

Saw a few good arguments on our behalf on the BBC blogs - 'Not in BBC Scotland'
# Mac 2012-01-09 21:48
Yes the coalition have now gone silent on a sunset clause. They are now denying it.

Only this morning Cameron was saying to all and sundry he was going to force the issue. This evening the Tories are backtracking so fast they are danger of disappearing up their own backsides.

It all has turned into a fiasco.
# Electric Hermit 2012-01-09 19:42
Is anybody keeping count of the glaring inconsistencies and contradictions in the anti-independence campaign's "argument"? If so, add this.

On the one hand they say there needs to be a "debate". (Although there is precious little sign of them actually engaging in the debate most of us have been immersed in for years.)

One the other hand, they demand that the referendum be held right away.

What's with that?
# stonefaction 2012-01-09 20:11
Just posted something along those lines over on the BBC page after reading your post.
# Wee-Scamp 2012-01-09 19:47
Have to say though that I really wish Stewart Hosie would stop going on about devo-max as an option.

Devo-max won't work. We need full independence to ensure we can run our own economy.
# exel 2012-01-09 22:12
Wee-Scamp 2012-01-09 19:47
“Have to say though that I really wish Stewart Hosie would stop going on about devo-max as an option.
Devo-max won't work. We need full independence to ensure we can run our own economy.”

Sorry to disillusion you WS, independence will not guarantee that the present government CAN run the Scottish economy.

BTW is Stuart Hosie one of those “extremists”?
# BeltaneFire 2012-01-09 23:06
As in life, there are no guarantees on anything, but I'll take my chances with my countrymen running our economy from our capital city, rather than our economy being mis-managed by Brit Nat politicians in a foreign capital city.

No government in the world can guarantee perpetual success, yet it doesn't invalidate other countries ability to govern themselves. Using this as a measure would seriously call into question the UK's viability, don't you think?

Self-determination, right or wrong!
# Alx1 2012-01-09 19:53
To all the people who are viewing this website and have not signed up yet, we need you to join up to newsnetscotl and and become a member.
Together we can give Scotland a stronger and more powerful Independence voice within this sea of media misinformation.
So far we have seen just a small sample of the not so impartial news reporting in Scotland.
With your help we can counter some of this biased reporting.
So why not join newsnetscotland now and help move Scotland forward.
Together we are stronger.
# PerryThePlatypus 2012-01-09 20:08
Just joined! After many highly entertaining months following the debates here, I was finally prompted by the car-crash that was Johann on C4 tonight. When I finally stopped laughing, I signed up. Well done, Mr Hosie, and well done Newsnet Scotland - currently one of the few sources of REAL (and informed)debate :)
# scottish_skier 2012-01-09 20:47
A very warm welcome. Great to have you on board.


# rhymer 2012-01-11 12:03
was that a "duck billed platitude" ?
# mato21 2012-01-09 20:52
Welcome Like the name any Aussie connections?
# PerryThePlatypus 2012-01-09 21:16
'Fraid not.......... PTP is the "sleeping" secret Agent from the "Phineas and Ferb" cartoon series :)

Thanks for the welcome, all ... somehow just feels like the right place to be! :)
# Alx1 2012-01-09 20:54
Welcome PTP,

Make yourself at home and feel free to join in.
# ScottyC1314 2012-01-09 21:17
What a day in Scottish politics!! Such is the magnitude of the own goal scored today by 'Comedy Dave' it reminded me of a humorous banner the Aberdeen fans unfurled at Ibrox a few years back about Alex McLeish. Today the banner would read........"Agent Cameron mission complete, return to base"
# MacSenex 2012-01-09 19:54
While Cameron goes on about unspecified potential business being lost to Scotland because of uncertainty over the Referendum date the First Minister is abroad signing a ground breaking deal.

Why didn't the EBC broadcast this?
# TonyD 2012-01-09 19:55
I also saw the scottish labour leader on ch4 news and she was a disaster. Keep up the good work agent Lamont.
# farrochie 2012-01-09 20:12
I posted on the C4:News debate over on

Desperate Cameron makes bid fo...
Channel 4 News "A smouldering fuse north...
# hiorta 2012-01-09 19:57
The Unionists phoney 'laid-back' stance is in shreds. Feel their fear.
# mountaincadre 2012-01-09 19:59
I believe wee-scamp that he keeps bringing it up because that is what most would settle for"not me of course", this as you know can only be given by west minister and would lead to the end of the UK as it is presently set up,something they will never do as it would lead to the same thing as Indy, i.e. the end of there power, in all he's being a very naughty boy, but i like it.
# Alx1 2012-01-09 20:07
IMO Hosie wants Labour to start discussing FFA/Devo max because he knows that the Labour party is split on Devo max.
Also he knows that over 3/4 in opinion polls want FFA/Devo max as a minimum(?) and if JL says no then she will lose a lot of votes.
Let Labour squabble over FFA/Devo max. There's a lot of votes to be had in that fight!
Remember JL and the Labour mob have no clear policy for Scotland only the status quo.
# Wee-Scamp 2012-01-09 20:10
Hmm.... that could well be it. But we need to be careful what we wish for and so on and so forth....
# Jim Johnston 2012-01-09 20:10
Cameron needs to grow up...quickly.

Irrespective of the dross coming out of the BBC, all the SNP have done is offer the anti-independence crowd the option of defining a devomax question,(whate ver that is), if they, not the SNP, want to include it in the referendum.

What the SNP have done is to give the Unionists enough rope to hang themselves. It's a great pity they don't just "get on with it".
# Welsh Sion 2012-01-09 20:21
Good to be back amongst friends - even if this post may be a little off topic. Indeed, it something similar has already been posted elsewhere, my apologies in advance.

Have you noticed the new British Unionist website, British future,

" [BF is] a new independent, non-partisan organisation/charity seeking to involve people in an open conversation, which addresses people’s hopes and fears about identity and integration, migration and opportunity, so that we feel confident about Britain’s Future...

"...[Who] want to ensure that we engage those who are anxious about cultural identity and economic opportunity in Britain today, as well as those who already feel confident about our society, so that we can together identify workable solutions to make Britain the country we want to live in."

You can tell there's a Royal Jubilee and some mega sports event due this year in the Kingdom...

Now, perhaps someone else can confirm for me, that despite the alleged national conversations taking place within the Kingdom that this will herald (the first one from my country, is stereotypically , with "someone from the South Wales valleys" - so things look decidedly unpromising from the very outset -) not one of the people who are trustees of this body nor any one to be found under the tab of "who we are" are Scottish or Welsh. Indeed, a large percentage of them are inevitably, London based.

I would be very keen to hear your comments on Alex Massie's (who he?) ponderings on Scottishness and Britishness.

I am already surprised by his comments that:

"The “best” parts of Britishness can survive a putative (if still distant) independent Scotland. Scots will still watch the BBC, still share a head of state with England and much else besides.

Looking across the Irish Sea shows us how it can be done."

Yeah, right, in Dublin, I can just see them arguing who's going to be responsible for lighting the beacon to mark Brenda's 60 years as their Head of State...

And as for those in the north of that island, I don't think that all traditions in that part of the world acknowledge her position as "ruling over them"...

Funny thing, history; it comes along sometimes and bites you on the arse, rather demolishing theories which have been cherished as facts by some deluded, self-centered Londonder for much too long.

And further:

"Britishness will exist even if the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland does not. It might not always be acknowledged but it will be there nonetheless, just as Ireland remains, in many ways, a very “British” kind of country. So will Scotland, whatever happens in the political arena."

Ireland ... a very "British" kind of country...

What planet is this man on?

My message to the Bloody Fools of BF:

You can stick your Britishness and its lying mouthpiece, the BBC, where the sun don't shine.

To my Scottish cousins,

I remain, yours, aye,

Welsh Sion
# Jim Johnston 2012-01-09 20:32
I don't know what planet he's on, but he's obviously on something WS.

Thanks for the link, it gives us all something to laugh at.

# Angus 2012-01-10 13:01
hehe... enjoyed reading your comments Sion and I have left a few of my own with this brit nat site.
# Fourfolksache 2012-01-09 21:15
Sion, you are a gem! You must have some ~I was going to say you must have some Scottish blood but then again we were once part of the same tribe!
I looked at the complete boll*cks in British Future and I came to the conclusion that I was mistaken in believing it was the Yanks who had no sense of irony. The English are just unbelievable!
# Welsh Sion 2012-01-09 21:44
Where's the "looks embarrassed" emoticon? LOL.

However, I would be grateful if you could email me off-site Fourfolksache, as you may not realise, that there is a strong possibility that I do have Scottish blood way back when - and that from part of the defeated army at Culloden.

My email is .uk

Incidentally, Newsnet, I'd like to submit this piece to you too as a feature in the not too distant future if I may.

Thanks to all in advance - and, I repeat, I feel very welcome amongst you here.
# Welsh Sion 2012-01-09 22:27
Sorry to pursue this BF saga - no doubt there'll be a more appropriate thread soon, but I've just seen the new home page of this organisation's site and was astounded not only to see that the Irish Republic figures on the map, but that it's also clearly labelled IRISH FREE STATE.

Ye gods and little fishes - does Victoria know that "we" have lost India?
# Electric Hermit 2012-01-09 21:24
Where's the "like" button?
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2012-01-09 23:22
Gawn yersel' Welsh Sion what a rallying cry;-

"You can stick your Britishness and its lying mouthpiece, the BBC, where the sun don't shine."
# call me dave 2012-01-09 20:24
Question: Devo Max:

I don't know what the 'SNP brains are thinking'about how many questions there should/will be but I can see the reason for a 'Devo Max' option because its a step in the right direction according to some.

(I'm also aware that's it's not a given and it's unspecified and needs to be negotiated) but it is a fall back position.

The trick is how to get the unionist lobby to ask for it to be put on the ballot paper. Will any of them take the bait.

So far the coalition says one question
Labour one question.

Will the SNP put 'Devo Max' on the ballot paper if the rest dont?

I'm only asking!!!
# GrassyKnollington 2012-01-09 20:29
Will the SNP put 'Devo Max' on the ballot paper if the rest dont?

thay can't cmd. It's not theirs to offer and there is no guarantee that Westminster would deliver such a thing anyway.
# Legerwood 2012-01-09 20:55
Mr Salmond made it very clear after the election that if there is to be a question on 'devo max' on the referendum paper then the Unionist parties must come up with the question AND campaign for it because the SNP will be campaigning for independence.

Call me Dave said:

""The trick is how to get the unionist lobby to ask for it[Devo Max] to be put on the ballot paper. Will any of them take the bait.""

No, the trick was to get the unionist parties to refuse to allow it on the question paper. And the unionists have duly obliged. What you want is a clear cut question and a clear cut answer and that is what is likely to happen.

If I have remembered correctly the suggestion of a two-or multi- question referendum was put forward during the last parliament by the SG, then a minority government, in an attempt to get the unionists to agree to support the Referendum Bill, I do not believe Mr Salmond and the SNP really wanted it and will now be quite glad that it is unlikely to happen.

I personally see no point in including a question on devomax in the referendum becaue the UK Government could enact devomax without a referendum but show no sign of ever doing so and a referendum result supporting devomax would not place any onus on them to deliver it.
# scottish_skier 2012-01-09 21:33
Legerwood... Out of interest, would that be the legerwood not far from Blainslie, the closest hamlet to my middle of nowhere location?

If so, hello neighbour!
# Legerwood 2012-01-09 22:09
It is indeed the parish of Legerwood but any connection between me and Legerwood dates back about 350 years!
# rhymer 2012-01-11 12:06
Quoting Legerwood:
It is indeed the parish of Legerwood but any connection between me and Legerwood dates back about 350 years!

Geez legerwood, didn't realise
you were that old.
# Fourfolksache 2012-01-09 21:20
Don't quite agree with your analysis GK.
If Calman was the 'so called' (accepted) will of the majority in the last parliament then a more robust ,voted for in a referendum by the people, will of the majority can't simply be ignored. Whilst Alex is pushing to the Unionists to support he could surely use a vote for it (assuming we miss the majority for independence)to obtain what eg the IOM/Channel Isles have. And if as you suggest Westminster rejected it then I think he could back to the people and win an Independence vote?
# GrassyKnollington 2012-01-09 22:12
If Alex puts an undefined Devo Max question on the ballot paper the unionist parties are under absolutely no obligation to either implement some or indeed any of it.

The real cruncher is this:

If Scotland doesn't want independence, what are Scots going to do when Westminster says no to Devo max?

There won't be another independence ballot, our chance will be gone.
# exel 2012-01-09 22:23
GrassyKnollingt on 2012-01-09 22:12
Seems to me that Scotland may be hoisted on a petard of the SNP making.
# GrassyKnollington 2012-01-09 22:29
why? we're not going to put Devo Max in and if we do we'd be absolutely stupid.
# exel 2012-01-09 22:59
GrassyKnollingt on 2012-01-09 22:29
“why? we're not going to put Devo Max in and if we do we'd be absolutely stupid.”

What you mean is you cannot put it in.

In fact the stupidity has already been committed. As I said the SNP tacticians manufactured the bomb, let face facts the other parties are about to set it off.
# GrassyKnollington 2012-01-09 23:12
What you mean is you cannot put it in.

of course we can't put it in, that's the whole point.

Only Westminster can put it in. You do understand that because Salmond did?
# Electric Hermit 2012-01-09 21:38
Quoting call me dave:
(I'm also aware that's it's not a given and it's unspecified...

It is not "unspecified". In fact, it is a concept almost as straightforward as independence. To put it very simply, "devo max" involves turning the current situation with regard to taxation on its head. Instead of revenues raised in Scotland being paid to the UK exchequer with an "allowance" sent back, those revenues would accrue to a Scottish exchequer with the Scottish Parliament voting a grant to London in respect of "shared services".

The big complication for unionists is that this system runs counter to that overarching tenet of the British faith, the sovereignty of the British Parliament.

I do not subscribe to that faith. So I don't have a problem with devo max. Especially as it can only ever be a forerunner to full independence.

This troubles me not at all. But I'm hardly your typical Brit!

No problem for Scotland. Big problem for the rump UK (RUK) as it is left trying to hold its status in the world with the very basis of its authority lying in tatters.
# exel 2012-01-09 22:29
Electric Hermit 2012-01-09 21:38
Quoting call me dave:
(I'm also aware that's it's not a given and it's unspecified...
“It is not "unspecified". In fact, it is a concept almost as straightforward as independence. To put it very simply, "devo max" involves turning the current situation with regard to taxation on its head. Instead of revenues raised in Scotland being paid to the UK exchequer with an "allowance" sent back, those revenues would accrue to a Scottish exchequer with the Scottish Parliament voting a grant to London in respect of "shared services".

Wasn’t that the main conclusion of the “Steele Report” what was it called again? ah yes “Fiscal Federalism”
# scotsnavy 2012-01-09 20:28
Still looking forward to becoming part of the ScotsNavy after a referendum on independence in the second half of the parliamentary term.
# scottish_skier 2012-01-09 21:18
And I for one will be very proud to see you guys in the forces being the pride of Scotland, helping out others in the world when the UN calls upon us to do our bit.

Scotland has more victoria crosses per head of population than any country in the world. Scotland the Brave certainly.
# Alx1 2012-01-09 22:27

You could be the admiral ;-)

# Saltire Groppenslosh 2012-01-09 23:30
You wont have a nuclear Sub to play with scotsnavy!

But I'm sure that you'll still have the best of kit to defend our borders.

Why have a nuclear sub anyway. If anyone does a pre-emptive strike on us then all I want is to be able to stick the head on the bloody thing before it goes off and I certainly wouldn't want us to launch a pre-emptive strike against anyone else.

Nukes are pointless. We don't want them.
# cardrossian 2012-01-10 07:00
Then scotsnavy, come aboard. Help plan the future by contributing to the SDA thoughts on defence. Put your points to info@scottishde mocraticallianc
# Hirta 2012-01-09 20:34
Polling expert John Curtice says support for independence is somewhere between 32 and 38% - actually down from where it was at the start of the SNP's last term in office as a minority government.

# scottish_skier 2012-01-09 21:22
I have it at 45-50% conservatively, with against just below 40% at best.

And I have results for every poll/survey going back to 1997....

62.5% Yes. My prediction still stands.

Look what happened ahead of the devolution referendum....

Always a last minute surge in these things as the heart rules over the head for the unsure:
# Fortitudine 2012-01-09 21:48
Curtice is probably working off the same calendar as Jackie Baillie :D
# hiorta 2012-01-09 21:55
The Guardian is currently running a Yes/ No 'poll' on Scottish Independence.

Apparently, ream upon reams of 'Yes' votes are somehow failing to register!
# ButeHouse 2012-01-09 20:36
TORY/LIB/LABOUR COALITION against Independence is a recipe for disaster. Neither of these parties has a strong leader and neither party has worked out a strategy.

Labour is already coming apart with sensible voices like McLeish and Chisholm trying to distance the party from Tory/Lib Government interference in the timing and wording of the referendum.

# Hirta 2012-01-09 20:39
How do people in Scotland feel about a referendum?

In 1:45min the BBC tell us by asking 3 people based in Edinburgh.

Yep, representative as ever. Jokers.
# rolfh 2012-01-09 20:39
Disturbing paragraph near end of Guardian piece. Don't they realise that it will be a UK court blocking the will of the Scottish electorate, not just challenging Salmond. Why do MSM act like the only Scot who wants this is Salmond? They'll spend all day waxing lyrical about democracy and the Arab Spring and then run with this kind of nonsense, suggesting that a UK court could stop Scots voting on independence.

There is an implied threat at the heart of this offer: if Salmond refuses it, then he faces legal challenges from pro-UK lawyers and pressure groups which will prevent the referendum being held for several years.
# Welsh Sion 2012-01-09 20:45
If we are going to have a Celtic Spring (I want to avoid using the loathed and charged,term, British), then I'm with you guys.
# mato21 2012-01-09 20:54
And when your turn comes WS as it surely will we shall be with you and yours
# Welsh Sion 2012-01-09 21:54
Quoting Electric Hermit to me:

Where's the "like" button? :-)


Welsh Sion
# Alx1 2012-01-09 20:51

They are trying to make the SNP jump when they say, it's called brinkmanship.
I think they chose the wrong party and wrong leader of a party AS to play that game.

Heard on BBC 24 around 4 o'clockish a political commentator saying, outside of the HoP, that AS was not only the most capable politician within the UK but probably within the EU at this very moment.
I don't think Cameron has got the bottle to face him because he knows that too.
Noticable in the evening news reports that there was a more conciliatory tone in Cameron's voice saying he wanted to work with the Scottish Government blah, blah, blah.
I think he was told that he probably made the biggest mistake so far in trying to dictate to Scotland.
Back-tracking springs to mind.
# govanite 2012-01-09 21:35
I'm not worrying about a UK court.
To even try and get to court, unionists need to see the SNP proposal before they can even attempt to dispute it.
When the proposal comes, you can be sure the World will be invited to watch. The fiction of Westminster's alleged superior sovereignty is going to be stripped away very publically indeed. Unionists should be very wary or it won't just be Scotland they lose a grip of.
# Exile 2012-01-09 22:21
And who, I wonder, would enforce the prevention of the referendum, given that justice and policing in Scotland come under the Scottish Government? And why on earth would an action raised in an (presumably) English court have any relevance in Scotland? Just wondering.
# Alba4Eva 2012-01-09 23:59
Bang on the button exile... I feel that the same issue exists over broadcasting.

Why the heck are we asking for permission to set up a Scottish digital TV channel? The majority SNP Scottish government should just gather the investors and do it!

Westminster are powerless to stop us.
# takhisis1 2012-01-09 20:44
just caught the +1 showing of C4 News, when are we going to get Ms Lamont's vision of Scotland. It won't change my view but at lease we can see if she is her own person or a puppet from london.

I know most people on here want independence or nothing but while I want independence, I am pragmatic enough to know that fear of the unknown will scare a lot of voters off so give those voters the safety cushion of devo max.

Finally I cannot get over the gall of the eton toff, sorry mr 'Respect Agenda' dictating to a country with whom he has no mandate
# Legerwood 2012-01-09 20:51
On Channel 4 New web site Gary Gibbon their political correspondent, has a blog on the independence referendum so head over and put them right

Also an interesting 'Fact Check' article "Who loses if Scotland becomes independent' - on the same site which contains some interesting quotes from Prof Ashcroft.
# Begbie 2012-01-09 20:54
The independence referendum is certainly causing companies to rethink investing, investing in England that is. BAE anyone?
# Bandages For Konjic 2012-01-09 21:06
Re-posting from another thread. Apologies for the duplication.

Let none of this distract from the real job at hand - making the case for independence to the people of Scotland. Making it online, making it in person, making it in letters to the newspapers. Cameron can haver and flap his gums all he likes - the only opinion that matters is the Scottish people's. 

For my part, I am working on a 'Top Ten' list of arguments in favour of a Yes vote. The first five are below, I would be very grateful for comments and additions. 

1. Economic - Scotland contributes 11.5% of UK GDP,  with 8.5% of the population and WITHOUT taking North Sea oil revenue into account. More than enough of an economic base to go it alone.
2. Political - England votes Tory, Scotland doesn't - hence there are more pandas in Scotland than there are Scottish Tory MPs
3. Moral - it is only right and fair that the key decisions affecting a country should be made in that country by the democratically elected representatives of the people of that country. 
4. Administrative - Westminster is wasteful, expensive and has been proven to be corrupt. Government closer to home is more efficient and accountable.
5. Poetic - a proud Scot has many songs to sing in celebration of his country. There are no songs left to celebrate the Union (God Save the Queen doesn't count and Rule Britannia is a joke).
# rhymer 2012-01-09 21:30
[quote name="Bandages For Konjic"]

Reason: No more House of Lords.
# Serious Black 2012-01-09 21:37
Do they still have the bit about 'crushing rebelious Scots' in the Anthem? I remember being in the cubs in Muirhouse and they tried to get us to sing that one........

I live in Norway now...followed my heart....won't be coming back except by the high road. From the outside looking in I think independence is inevitable and Westminster also realises this. I see the end game playing out for the union and at present London looks to be asset striping where it can. Good luck, I'll do my small part by educating the Nordmenn that their nearest neighbours are called Scotsmen, not Englishmenn.
# Alx1 2012-01-09 22:29

Where did you get the figures for point 1?
# govanite 2012-01-09 23:33
One of my favourite pro-Independence arguments is that we need it because - The future is not written in stone. We need the flexibility to form multiple alliances and not lash ourselves to one single association. We need the power to change as circumstances dictate.
# Blanco 2012-01-10 17:28
*No Illegal wars
*No Nukes
*Opportunity to run a genuine social democracy (or whatever system floats your boat)

I suggest you also have a list of ready rebuttals to the top ten anti-independence lies. e.g.

Independence is for fascists
*Scottish independence is civic, not ethnic, nationalism, and is for anyone who wants to build a better country. Independence will create a more healthy relationship between England and Scotland, one without resentment or patronising attitudes on either side

Government figures show Scotland to be living on handouts
*GERS figures do not take oil or other exports like whisky into account on the black side. This is assigned as 'extra-regio' income. On the red side, Scotland gets much less than her pro-rata share of 'unidentified' expenditure, which is mainly spent in London and the South East. When these hidden incomes and costs are taken into account, Scotland in fact subsidises the union.

Scotland can't afford the bank debts
*The banks are UK based and regulated, and although Scotland is due to take a share of debts, along with assets, the majority of the debt is guaranteed in the City of London, not Edinburgh, and will stay there come independence

I won't be able to visit my granny in Leeds without a passport
*You can travel across any land border in the EU without a passport, Scotland and England will be no different

I won't be able to watch Eastenders
*British TV is easily available in Ireland to anyone who want to subscribe to it

Scotland is too small to be successful
*The happiest countries in the world have been shown, in survey after survey, to be small northern European ones.

You'll probably want to get the figures and actual survey results for all this info before hitting the doorsteps.
# Hamish100 2012-01-09 21:07
I was brought up in Pollok -represented by J Lamont as MSP and Davidson (tory in labour clothing) at Westminster --no wonder I moved out !!
It's hard to credit that Lamont, Davisdon, Lord's (ha ha) Foulkes, Forsyth and Wallace are all on the same side. Just print their picture in an advert and the SNP will gain votes!!!
# Alx1 2012-01-09 23:56

You forgot Dr Death John Reid.

No shots will be fired......
# rhymer 2012-01-09 21:15
I bet Cameron would love a deputy like Nicola.

"We won't sit at the same table as the tories" (but we will both order from the same menu ?)
# Hamish100 2012-01-09 21:20
think we should ask in 2012

Do you wish Scotland to remain part of the European Union? Y/N

Based on the above in 2014

Do you wish Scotland to be independent under the auspices of the United Nations Y/N
# Barbazenzero 2012-01-09 21:33
Quoting call me dave:
The trick is how to get the unionist lobby to ask for it {FFA} to be put on the ballot paper. Will any of them take the bait.

Quite so, but it's encouraging that Chisholm & McLeish seem to have been smart enough to realise that it would be a way of allowing Lab to distance itself from the ConDem NO campaign. La Mont doesn't seem that bright.

Of course, the problem for Chisholm & McLeish is that even if they can sell it to their colleagues, how can they guarantee its implementation if chosen, even if blessed by Miliband minor?
# oldnat 2012-01-09 21:51
Nice to see you back!
# Barbazenzero 2012-01-09 22:03

Officially, I've been in the 'retired' bit of my semi-retirement since mid-December, but family illness has left me bereft of free time so far.
# zedeeyen 2012-01-09 21:48
A thought occurs:

On Monday Cameron demands a single question referendum RIGHT NOW, a move that seems totally absurd and counter-productive from a unionist PoV.

So, what do we reckon on Clegg announcing later in the week that Westinster will offer a (LibDem) DevoMax™ option to be included on the ballot?

# peter,aberdeenshire 2012-01-09 21:49
Just listen to the language used by Cameron and co, allow Scotland, give Scotland etc. The unionists claim we are equal partners in this union, why then does Westminster try to claim they can dictate if and when we become independent.
Butt out of our affairs Cameron, but good to see how Labour and the Lib Dems stand on this matter, not a spine between the lot of them.
# Islegard 2012-01-09 21:54
The latest apparently on Moores address to Westminster that they will try to sabotage the referendum. I will be interested in the SNP response to this.
# Exile 2012-01-09 22:32

Thanks for the link. I just read the article. It seems Moore is going to 'demand' a simple Yes/No vote, but without any stipulation as to when the vote is held. So the SNP have managed to manipulate the Unionists into 'demanding' what the SNP actually want to do. And all that by keeping quiet, getting on with the job of governing Scotland, and just biding their time. Strategic brilliance in action.
# GrassyKnollington 2012-01-09 22:50
Indeed Exile. It's very impressive. Now hopefully the Scottish electorate might wake up to the fact that the only party offering them change is the SNP.
# Mac 2012-01-09 21:57
Cameron, Clegg, etc are now in full retreat. Their bluff has been called.
# mealer 2012-01-09 21:59
Lamont and Eton boy are shoulder to shoulder on this one.A united front against Scotland.
# Auld Bob 2012-01-09 22:03
Anyone else see the Glasgow Uni Prof who claimed, "Soverenty rests with Westminster"?
So just what is this tumshie teaching Scottish students?
Correct me if I am wrong but are not the people of Scotland sovereign ever since the Pope accepted the Declaraion of Arbroath? So,if the not so learned prof is correct,just when did the people of Scotland lose their sovereignty? Were not there only two sovereign nations signatories to the, "Treaty of Union"? Is the Prof claiming that by signing the Treaty of Union England gained our sovereignty? Perhaps he thinks it went with the Scottish, "Act of Union"?

This legal statement from Oily Dave should be quite a laugh.
# Legerwood 2012-01-09 22:04
Douglas Alexander has an article in the Telegraph: "Why Alec Salmond Fears the verdict of the Scottish people"

Read it here - and yes you can comment!

It is really amazing how many places today are open for comments on the issue of independence for Scotland - with one glaring exception! Thank you Mr Cameron for giving all of us interested in independence the chance to spread the message over so many news sites. Bet that was not your intention of course but we will not complain.

Again on Channel 4 News web site, Gary Gibbon, as well as his blog on the referendum, now has an article on what happens if Scotland becomes independent. It includes video clip of the Lamont interview
# handclapping 2012-01-09 22:15
How much knickers in a twist does it take for the Torygraph to start printing Labour propaganda?
# rhymer 2012-01-09 22:20
[quote name="Legerwood"]Douglas Alexander has an article in the Telegraph: "Why Alec Salmond Fears the verdict of the Scottish people" quote]

Jeez! It is scary how many ignorant and ill-informed people read the telegrapg.
D. Alexander is in good company.
(P.S. His sister got the political brains - and she was fired)
# Alx1 2012-01-09 22:36

Cameron must be rueing the day that he opened his mouth about scotland.
Today he and his Government were having a cabinet meeting in a games hall at the Olympics.
Obviously to promote the London Olympics.
Didn't hear much about that on the news today.
That spectacularly back-fired didn't it.
# Legerwood 2012-01-10 00:17

Mr Cameron is not a very good politician. Who else could fashion a 'no-score' draw when up against the most incompetent government in living memory?

I also noticed that when they visited the swimming pool they were walking around without overshoes on - not very cleanliness conscious either.
# roboftheburnawn 2012-01-09 22:38
Loved the end of one of the comments - " Has Mickey Mouse got a Douglas Alexander watch?. "
# GrassyKnollington 2012-01-09 22:57
# Merelyapatriot 2012-01-10 09:32
My word Lamont is bad in that interview if I supported slab I'd want the Gray man back! Seriously Howsie and Snow were gutting themselfs at her!
# Mitch 2012-01-09 22:31
"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."(Mahatma Gandhi)
# ScottyC1314 2012-01-09 22:35
Wow! Not only did 'Comedy' Dave score an own goal, he did it at 0-0 in the last minute of the world cup final. To continue with the fitba analogy, it reminds me of a humorous banner Aberdeen fans unfurled at Ibrox a few years back about Alex McLeish's tenure as Rangers manager. Today that banner would read......."Agent Cameron, mission accomplished, return to base"
# pa_broon74 2012-01-09 22:41
Alistair Darling commenting on newsnight, he said people would be uncomfortable letting Alex Salmond dictate the date of the referendum.

Ummm, a majority of people voted for his party knowing full well the date suggested, so that's a load of mince.
# pa_broon74 2012-01-09 22:50
David Mundell.

"David Cameron is the Prime Minister of Scotland." (Newsnight)

That'll go down well...
# mato21 2012-01-09 22:59
He also said Scotland separating from Britain? (twice at least)

We'll be needing the navy lad as we sail off into the sunset
# Alba4Eva 2012-01-10 00:25
David 'Moses' Mundell !!!
# Robabody 2012-01-09 23:17
Aye - I was grating my teeth at that one.
# mountaincadre 2012-01-09 22:51
Just watched Nicola Sturgeon on newsnicht,she's a stoater"and i mean that in the best possble way", and am watching David Mundane making an erse of himself,truely an embaressment.
# pa_broon74 2012-01-09 22:55
Mundell. Has the charisma of an old table leg.

It seems as if this has back-fired spectacularly, I wonder though how its playing down south, more fuel for the Daily Mail Set I think.
# Wee-Scamp 2012-01-09 22:55
I'm astonished that one of the "conditions" rumoured to be applied to the "loan" of the power to have a legal referendum is that youngsters will not be allowed to vote.

Frankly, given the subject of this referendum I think they have more of a right to vote than those over say 65. The future is more theirs than anybody's.
# Robabody 2012-01-09 23:18
Indeed WS
# jafurn 2012-01-09 22:55
Just watched Nicola Sturgeon being surrounded by the unionists on tv and it strikes me that the SNP should just step back and allow these 3 parties to fight it out among themselves and just stick to what was said (and voted for) before the election last year. Let them carry on and tie each other in knots over who is best equipped to carry the fight to the SNP. I actually found it quite amusing watching them.
# Fourfolksache 2012-01-10 00:14
Agree totally. Interesting that Sarwar fronted for Liebour. Have to say he was much more competent than Rosa!
# govanite 2012-01-09 22:57
Yes, full plaudits to wee Nic - she has had a very very good day.
# govanite 2012-01-09 22:59
We are frontpage news Boys n Girls.
By tomorrow the only person backing Cameron's position will be Scottish Labour's Johann Lamont. Train wreck doesn't even begin to describe it.
# pa_broon74 2012-01-09 23:00
It was irritating to hear Mundell whinge about Salmond's 'will he, won't he' on calling the referendum.

Its been crystal clear to everyone else, so why not to him. There is no 'will he, won't' about it. I'm not even going to repeat when its going to be its been said so often.

At least they got the point correct about what question the SNP favour and that including a devo-max option is purely (ok, a wee bit cynical too) a reaction to what some people in Scotland might prefer. Sky News got that totally wrong earlier.
# pa_broon74 2012-01-09 23:07
Oh my.

Johann Lamont! I'm overcome, the charisma, the gravitas and logic it's all but irresistable...

Hold on. No it isn't. It's quite easy.

Wait a minute though, has any one seen Johann Lamont and David Mundell in the same room together?
# KillieBoab 2012-01-09 23:12
For my first post I would like to say how proud I am of our very own Ayrshire heroine. Three cheers Nicola! You are head and shoulders above them all.
# roboftheburnawn 2012-01-09 23:33
Welcome KB
# Fortitudine 2012-01-09 23:38
Welcome to NNS Killie, you'll be made very welcome here indeed :)
# govanite 2012-01-09 23:46
She is indeed. Welcome Boab.
# Wave Machine 2012-01-09 23:13
Cameron is all posturing and manouver.
Perhaps taking a leaf from the Canadian example with Quebec, he's dipped his toe in the water and watched the ripples.

I'm still of the opinion that the referendum will not play out as we think it may. I think Cameron is quite astute and rather unlike the submarine he won't be running aground on a Scottish shoal.
I can see a series of discussions taking place between Cameron and the SNP. Cameron has to take a lead, not so much because he is PM, but because the Labour Party is not up to the task.
Cameron would rather use Labour in Scotland as proxies and this might have worked 20 years ago but with Labour a dead duck he has to step into the role.
Cameron is presented with a chance, one of many that will now play out, to ask the SNP what they want. I know that sounds obvious and that the obvious answer is "Independence" but give it a thought for a moment.
One hand that Cameron can play and probably quite justifiably, is the economic card. It will be difficult to disentangle the national debt, the oil revenues and the EU factor. If Cameron told Salmond, "Look, we have a problem. RUK will be left in a mess if you go for full Independence, it will result in Scotland having a very weak market partner to the south and probably her main market. Do you want that? It's not in Scotland's best interests to have a weakened England with little buying power."
The SNP will recognise that. And forget about a new Hanseatic league; England will be a huge market and one that we need healthy and strong.
So Cameron will let Salmond see his hand. This weekend's rhetoric is an opening gambit in a long discussion.
And Cameron has the space to do this. The Labour Party is in disarray; there will be a new leader at Westminster in due course with the enfeebled Miliband replaced. Labour will take about 24 months to find their feet. Cameron doesn't have 24 months to wait for them to catch up so he has to do this alone.

So he'll ask a question, then he'll ask some more. I'll put money on Cameron presenting himself as a master statesman, trying to remould the relationship between Scotland and England in a positive fashion. If he can steer a course, a pragmatic course that takes the relationship between Scotland and RUK to a mutually acceptable place for both parties, ensures economic health, keeps within the various accords (e.g. Helsinki) and at a basic level, shows some moral courage and backbone in handling what is, after all, a difficult subject, then he will be respected and his star wiill be in the ascendent. Remember that Cameron knows that others are watching. I think he'll do a "Vaclav Havel". The end result may be viewed as Independence by Scots; Cameron will frame it in another guise.
# pa_broon74 2012-01-09 23:23
Interesting thoughts for sure.

It would make sense, especially when you hear the mitherings from the other parties.

It may be the only way for Cameron.

I still can't believe westminster willl act honestly and honourably. I know its oft mentioned, but the value of offshore oil and gas is still a huge bargaining chip, they'll not let that go easily Not to mention Scotland accounts for near on 10% of the UK's GDP. No country can easily absorb a decimation in GDP.

Mmm, we'll see.
# roboftheburnawn 2012-01-09 23:31
Sorry WM - I think you give him far too much credit. Going by current press, they are back peddling very quickly. You don't go on the main political show on these Islands and state what you will and won't allow the Country to the North of you to do, when you have no mandate whatsoever, PM or not PM.

Sometimes I think some of us forget certain aspects of what's happening. Our Country, in the next few years, will be given a vote on Independence and the whole wide World, with very few exceptions, will be watching. This is'nt Kuwait, Libya, Somalia this is ( for the moment ) GB and dare they try to bend the rules, in any manner, they will be brought to heel.

We have in charge, one of the best oiled Government machines most Countries in the World would envy.

I think AS has prepared most of his working life for these events, Cameron and his stooges are still in their nappies.

Saor Alba
# Alba4Eva 2012-01-10 00:37
Good post... but I just don't see it.

That scenario requires Cameron to willingly commit suicide in front of the London elite. Cameron only needs to give the slightest hint of showing weakness for his time as the figurehead of the London-centric party to end.
# Legerwood 2012-01-09 23:16
Nicola Sturgeon just gave Glen Campbell a going over on Newsnight. But I think they really have to get Mr Hosie 'on message' he seems to have caused utter confusion earlier today in what Nicola set out quite clearly just now on Newsnight. The Unionists have seized on the difference re one or two questions.

Ruth Davidson has just made the interesting observation that ALL the parties support a ione question referendum and it is the media that are pushing the devomax thing - and she does not know what it means.

Now on the subject of the timing of the referendum she has pointed out that it was not in the manifesto - just the promise to have one - and that by the timne Mr Salmond gave a time a lot of people had voted via the postal voting system. By this quirk of logic she seems to thing she has neutered the SNP's mandate to decide the timing becaue people had already voted but did not know the time. Like that would have changed their mind if they had known the time of the referendum!!!
# govanite 2012-01-09 23:23
No, I don't agree. Hosie was clear in my view. The unionists are just trying to create confusion again, to make it all seem too complex.
# dogbite 2012-01-09 23:36
Mr Hosie just ripped Johann Lamont on channel 4. I honestly felt embarrassed for her as she struggled with the question 'would she stand on a platform with David Caneron'.I really feel Labour will have to get a better,more able and competent leader because the more I see of Johann the more I worry for her.
# Jimbo 2012-01-10 00:11
I hear that her Labour colleagues in Westminster are already discussing who her successor might be.
# Legerwood 2012-01-09 23:46
I watched the interview and I do not think he was given time to be clear and so gave a hostage to fortune in his response. In part he was not given more time to set out the SG position because Mr Snow clearly scented blood where Ms Lamont was concerned and really would not let her off the hook. I do not think Mr Snow liked her constantly interrupting in the background when Mr Hosie was replying either. Not the way grown-ups behave on serious news programmes.
# Merelyapatriot 2012-01-10 11:09
I to thought Hosie was Excellent though Lamont making such a fool of herslf made it a bit of an open goal for him.
# pa_broon74 2012-01-09 23:27
Typical conservative sophistry.

Nothing to see here.

# govanite 2012-01-09 23:53
You are correct though about wee Davidson. Since there was no specific timing in the manifesto, Eck was asked to clarify in a debate and he did just that. Lack of a specific time in the manifesto cannot be taken to mean 'immediately'.
# J Wil 2012-01-10 00:30
Some time ago the SNP offered the opposition parties a chance to pose a devomax question but they have refused to accept what they think is a poison chalice, but, as Nicola reiterated several times during interviews, there is a groundswell of opinion in Scotland for devomax. It seems that they are being ignored.
# patrickotic 2012-01-09 23:31
Just watched the Lamont / Hosie interview on channel 4.
Lamont was terrible and I don't just mean her stuttering etc.
She doesn't seem to have any clear idea what she stands for and simply repeats herself parrot like, speaking in a strange robot voice when she feels under pressure.
It's clear she has memorized her 'Scrypt' and just repeats it shouting over the interviewer waffling along until the interviewer runs out of time.
What an embarrassing for the labour party that this woman has been voted their leader by the unions.
# dogbite 2012-01-09 23:57
well said Patrick old boy as I metioned before i feel she is lamb to the slaughter.
# Jacko 2012-01-09 23:34
Can't believe I'm saying this but kudos to whoever managed/directed Newsnight Scotland tonight!

Nichola Sturgeon set apart to make her responses without any great disruption.

Then we have the 'pièce de résistance' - senior Scottish Labour and Tory personnel effectively as a unified opposition setting out restrictions on the will of the Scottish electorate.

And this on the very day when the leader of Scottish Labour set out in a very public defense of a Tory PMs aims to pervert democracy in Scotland.
# J Wil 2012-01-10 00:24
"...Senior Scottish Labour and Tory personnel..."

Sarwar and Davidson, still out of breath from sprinting from STV to the BBC studio.
# Jacko 2012-01-10 00:27
Hey .... I can only work with the material I'm given ;)
# ButeHouse 2012-01-09 23:39

I'm proposing fellows Nats that we begin to hammer this one home.It will be a major embarrassment to decent Labour members and supporters to be linked in with the Tories but that is the reality.

The more we push this the more 'soft' Labour will ease away from the shame of being associated with Tories fighting to limit the powers of their own Parliament.
# Jimbo 2012-01-10 00:26
Aye, BH.

I remember back in 1979 Labour created the outright lie that the SNP put the Tories (Thatcher) into power. They labeled us the tartan Tories. It took a long time to put the lie to rest.

This is our opportunity to hit them with a ball of their own sh**e, but we don't need to lie. Labour have now been seen to put themselves squarely in the Tory camp in order to stop Scotland moving on to a better, more prosperous future.
# ButeHouse 2012-01-10 01:27
We don't need to lie???? Could you explain that Jimbo?

You're surely not saying that it's untrue to speak of a TORY/LIB/LABOUR COALITION against independence?

That's not a lie it's a reality. I helped to create and push the 'British Nationalist' concept of ALL 3 unionist parties to good effect during the months, if not years leading up to the 2011 election.

I constantly referred to the Labour & Unionist Party throughout and Labour hated being referred to as unionists.

I'm now suggesting we highlight the fact that Labour is coalescing with the Tories and Lib Dems in an anti Independence movement/campaign. Think about it.

# Jimbo 2012-01-10 13:22
We don't need to lie???? Could you explain that Jimbo?

Aye BH,

It's simple, unlike the unionists, we don't need to make up lies for the electorate in order to show the unionists up for two faced, lying hypocrites that they are.
# stonefaction 2012-01-09 23:43
Just posted this on the Conservatives facebook page...

"I see Mr Cameron has been talking today about the matter of the Scottish Independence referendum. I've heard numerous mentions over the past few years of a "positive case for Scotland being part of the Union", but I have yet to hear what this might be. Can anyone shed any light on this for me please?"

Might ask the other two parties tomorrow.
# stonefaction 2012-01-10 00:00
They deleted it. So I've asked if this means that there is no positive case for the union. I expect it will also be deleted. Off to try the Scottish Conservatives.....
# smerral 2012-01-09 23:45
Aye, it's been a good day right enough! Will tak a wee dram before I go to bed!:D
# Wave Machine 2012-01-09 23:47
Re roboftheburnawn

I don't disagree with you, but what I am trying to say is that Cameron would agree with you as well. He's testing opinion. This is early days.
Cameron knows and recognises that in Mr A Salmond he, Cameron, is up against it.
Cameron also knows that Salmond can view and think on many different levels and has probably mapped out every possible gambit and course of action.
What I think is behind Cameron's actions is a desire to show that he is, among other things;
a) interested in the subject
b) letting Salmond know that he is taking the subject very seriously indeed
c)sidelining Labour
d)sending a message that he, Cameron, from the Westminster position, is taking the lead and is the one to talk with

Cameron is no lightweight; he may not be in Salmond's class, but he has been schooled from an early age to be in the position in which he finds himself.

There is a subtext to Cameron's posturing. Salmond will have recognised it, indeed, he will probably have expected it.
I think the subtext says, "let's talk!"
# govanite 2012-01-10 00:01
There may be some possibility in that, but let us not forget how & why we find ourselves at this point.
It is because we keep pushing and we must never stop.
# roboftheburnawn 2012-01-10 00:06
WM - I can see the angle your coming from but, again, if what you think may be his posturing then in reply to your views then
a) At the present time he has no option as he has done nothing relevant to date.
b) As a) above
c) They've managed to do that themselves
d) Think that was his initial intentions but is backfiring badly.

I don't think AS will take him as a fool, as he has the backing of the wealth of intellect that Westminister can muster, but again he is up against one of the most formidable politicians of these times .

Saor Alba
# Jacko 2012-01-10 00:15
Here's another possible sub text WM.

How much does it favour the Tories to have a Lib Dem party at deaths door in Scotland proclaiming 'demands' for restrictions to a Scottish plebicite? How much less liberal or democratic can the Lib Dems show themselves to be before a fatal, suicidal blow is struck?

This strategic gain being further enhanced by a Labour Party on a rapid decline in Scotland declaring themselves very publicly to be supporters of a Tory PM seeking to pervert the democratic rights of the Scotish electorate.

What chance of the next UK government being a Coalition or Labour government without the usual tranche of Scottish Labour & Lib Dem MPs?
# Jacko 2012-01-09 23:53
The other great irony of today of course .....

Long have the unionist parties played on the claim that the SNP talk constitution at the expense of the Scottish economy.

Why haven't we seen or heard the First Minister today?
# roboftheburnawn 2012-01-10 00:13
Jacko - He was too busy bringing forward investment from abroad to our Country, despite the unionists claim of companies willing to invest.
Is it luck, wisdom, fate that AS seems to surefoot them everytime
# Jacko 2012-01-10 00:24
And can you imagine the Campbellyone's face if Nichola had stated to him,

"BTW Glenn, the First Minister would have been happy to be here and be involved in these constitutional discussions but he is currently making final preparations for a major middle eastern investment to the Scottish economy"
# Auld Bob 2012-01-09 23:55
The Text running below the pictures on BBC News24 says Moore to give the legal position on the legal status of the referendum in commons tomorrow. No doubt he will quote the status under English/UK law. It should be fun shooting holes all over it. Wee Nicola is playing a blinder, way to go hen!
# Early Ball 2012-01-09 23:58
I was so lucky having for today being the last day of my holidays.

I listened to a lot of Radio 5 today. They were pretty fair by the Beeb's standards.

Richard Bacon asked Simon Hoggart and a Tory MP from Cumbria who should lead the NO campaign. At this point Hoggart mentioned Salmond and Hitler in the same answer! (Recently Cochrane mentioned Stallinist and the SNP in the same answer so which despot next?!)
I think one of them mentioned a "big hitter" like John Reid.

Young Mr Sarwar has been on a lot with all the buzz words. He did well at what he did but was hardly challenged so I am not sure how good he actually is.

Mundell has been dreadful all day.

I notice the London parties are all saying that the timing of the referendum was not in the manifesto. Big deal. It was said publicly on a TV debate.

There was a guy called David Watt on as well. He was something to do with the institute of directors in Scotland. I expected negativity but he said lets see what both sides say. Very sensible.

Nicola excellent all day on a UK stage which is important.

A few random observations from a brilliant day!
# Jimbo 2012-01-10 00:02
The Sarwars - You'd think they'd understand our reasons for wanting self determination. They celebrated Pakistan's independence day, yet, strangely enough, they want to keep Scotland under the same Westminster regime that Mohammad Sarwar's countrymen threw out of Pakistan on 14 August, 1947.

While celebrating Pakistan's independence day, did Anas Sarwar, London Labour's deputy leader in Scotland, secretly wish that Pakistan was still being run from Westminster?
# jjmac 2012-01-10 00:07
Nice one Jimbo.
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2012-01-10 00:09
What a great day for Scotland. I believe that independence is now a dead cert.

For David Cameron to bluster in the way he did, ranting about sunset clauses and lawyers coming out of every door and window in whitehall and then at the end of the day there's no sunset clause in sight and the lawyers haven't appeared makes me glad I'm living in Scotland right now.

And the timing! "David Cameron peeks around the curtains at number 10 to see if wee Eck has left the country" hahaha

Nicola deserves a medal for her stalwart approach to the sheer deluge of media attention. She never moved an inch...not one. Brilliant, simply brilliant.

This is turning into a one horse race. I hate racing analogies but hey, it fits.
# J Wil 2012-01-10 00:10
That didn't last long! It just demonstrates that the Tories don't consult with their coalition partners before going off at half-cock. Have we ever witnessed a more hapless bunch?

And Lamont left like a mindless dummy whilst some principled people stand up to Cameron.

Tomorrow will be interesting when the Coalition brings forward its proposals. They will be working overtime tonight to rewrite them!

Cameron is U-turn man.
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2012-01-10 00:13
Oh and there can't be a DevoMax/Plus/ FFA because the unionist parties in Scotland dont have the authority to offer one and Westminster wouldn't agree to it anyway, so we're left with what the SNP started with which is a straight independence vote yes or no.
# J Wil 2012-01-10 00:20
The STV programme tonight was a haranging match with Sarwar, Davidson and the LibDem from London talking over Nicola Sturgeon each time she opened her mouth and a seemingly impotent presenter unable to do anything to control the situation.

Anyway, Nicola came out of it looking the more competent and unflustered.
# roboftheburnawn 2012-01-10 00:26
Shit - Don't you just love our Country.

Going to sleep in a happy mood.

Saor Alba
# Hirta 2012-01-10 00:31

Michael Moore to state referendum options

So funny. If it wasn't so annoyingly sad.
# J Wil 2012-01-10 00:36
On the question of legal challenges to the referendum, Davidson seemed to be saying that there could still be legal challenges even to the results of Cameron's legal referendum.

So where does that leave Scotland?
# Early Ball 2012-01-10 01:26
OT Great day for Scotland completed by Martin Laird finishing second in the US tournament of champions in Hawaii. Magnificent effort
# 0din 2012-01-10 03:44
They claim it will be challenged in the courts but never mention which courts. I can't see Scotland once it has voted yes in an independence referendum then allowing the English or UK Supreme Court to dictate that it isn't valid.
# J Wil 2012-01-10 10:12
I think its just more chaff spat out by the Tories to frighten the population and Davison trying to avoid compromising anything Cameron might want to do in the future.
# ammacj 2012-01-10 05:35
BBC allowing comments on an 'interesting' independence economics piece
# Mei 2012-01-10 10:59
She spouts fraudulent figures as if they were true!
# rhymer 2012-01-12 12:39
[quote name="ammacj"]BBC allowing comments on an 'interesting' independence economics piece quote]
Bad article -lots of disinformation.
I'm amazedat the ignorance of some of the replies.
# dundie 2012-01-10 06:48
Given that several international agreements allow for Scotland to go its own way should it so desire, just which court will such a decision be challenged in?
# Ken500 2012-01-10 19:34
Just gies back oor Oil money and call it quits

£13.5Billion this year. Plus the cut for the illegal wars based on a lie. The £Billion for useless Trident. RBS - Scotland borrowed £1Billion. £19Billion borrowed in the south, twice as much.

Increased spending in London S/E. £10Bilion for the Olympics. £34Billion for a new train line. etc etc.

Nick Robinson claimed in a recent BBC programme on the economy, the total tax take for the UK was nearly £70Billion. Why are there such wide variations by BBC correspondents.
# Ken500 2012-01-10 19:51
What is really disgusting is watching the 'Little Englanders' trying to belittle the SNP members in Westminster. Enough to make folk vote for Independence.

Plus the LibDems, who increased the Tax on the Oil sector by 11% (to 61%) costing 150,000 jobs in Scotland, claiming to be worried about the Scottish economy. Hypocrites.
# schawaldowris 2012-01-12 19:50
On Skynews today I heard Mr Clegg Britain's deputy Prime Minister say:-

"We need to ask Alex Salmond what does he mean by independence?"

It may be of interest to Mr Clegg that basic question was settled in Scotland before he was born! The arguments have moved on considerably since that time.

Perhaps if we asked Mr Clegg what was his definition of UK independence,do you think the penny would drop?

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