by a Newsnet reporter

The SNP has accused Lib Dem Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore of 'impersonating' the 1960s Tory Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home by promising things will improve if they vote against independence for Scotland.

The SNP comments came after Mr Moore apparently made an unspecific offer of additional powers for the Scottish Parliament if Scots vote 'No' in the 2014 ballot.  However, when pressed, Mr Moore was unable or unwilling to specify what extra powers Westminster would offer.

In an interview with the Times newspaper, the Lib Dem MP restricted himself to a non-binding statement that additional powers for Holyrood could be discussed in the future, but only after a No vote had been returned in the referendum.  

Speaking to the Times, Mr Moore said:  "The central point is to let Scotland decide whether it's part of the part of the United Kingdom or not.  I'm confident it will say 'we are'.

"Then we can work through the detail of what the next stages of devolution will be."

The Scottish Secretary is due to meet with First Minister Alex Salmond on Monday to discuss the independence referendum.  Mr Salmond has requested a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron, a report in yesterday's Daily Mail said that Mr Cameron would visit Scotland on Thursday to meet with the First Minister.

A number of Conservative MPs have called on Mr Cameron not to accede to Mr Salmond's request for a meeting in Scotland, and instead demanded that the Prime Minister summon Mr Salmond to London

Mr Moore's comments are similar to remarks made by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the beginning of February.  Speaking to a meeting of the House of Lords Constitutional Committee, Mr Clegg said:

"I think there should be further steps towards greater autonomy, fiscal and otherwise, for Scotland and that is terrifically important."

However Mr Clegg also stressed that any such discussion could only take place after a no vote had been secured in the independence referendum.

However Mr Clegg and Mr Moore's comments place them at odds with Cameron.  At the end of January Mr Cameron explicitly ruled out additional fiscal powers for Scotland, claiming that a centralised tax and benefits system was the "heart" of a single country.  A spokesman for Mr Cameron's office added that proposals such as devo-max or full fiscal autonomy were "inconsistent" with Scotland remaining a part of the UK.

Reacting to Mr Moore's comments, a spokesperson for the Scottish Government noted that Mr Cameron and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson had ruled out additional powers for the Scottish Parliament, and said:

"While the date for the First Minister to meet the Prime Minister to discuss Scotland's referendum is to be confirmed, we look forward to it taking place in early course, once the first minister has met the secretary of state for Scotland on Monday."

The spokesman added: "It is clear there is growing consensus that the proposed timetable for Scotland's referendum is entirely reasonable, however only this weekend it is obvious there are divergent views within the Westminster coalition on their position in regard to more powers - with the prime minister refusing to offer any further powers and the secretary of state for Scotland saying Scotland could get greater financial powers.

"If that is a genuine offer it should be articulated clearly to the people of Scotland at this stage."

The SNP's Angus Robertson MP pointed out that Mr Moore's remarks were reminiscent of the infamous comment made by the former Tory Prime Minister Douglas-Home at the time of the 1979 devolution referendum.

During campaigning for the 1979 referendum, which offered Scotland a highly limited form of devolution and a Scottish Assembly, the former Conservative Prime Minister urged Scots to vote no.  Sir Alec pledged that a future Conservative government would offer Scotland "something better".

However the "Something better" turned out to be Margaret Thatcher.  Mrs Thatcher's government refused to countenance any form of Scottish self-government, and subjected the country to almost 2 decades of monetarist policies which saw a massive rise in unemployment and the virtual destruction of Scottish industry, combined with unprecedented centralisation of power in Westminster.

SNP Westminster leader and campaign manager Mr Robertson said: "Claiming that if only Scots vote against their own self-determination then they will get something more instead is just what happened in 1979 – and that didn't lead to anything except a 20 year silence.

"Whilst Moore is playing the part of Douglas-Home, David Cameron has cast himself in the role of Margaret Thatcher, by letting it be known that there won't be any further devolution of powers beyond the Scotland Bill – despite polls showing widespread support from the Scottish people for greater devolution

"It is clear that whatever Moore promises that the Tories oppose more powers.  Indeed Ruth Davidson actually fought her Tory leadership campaign on a pledge to fight against more powers for Scotland, calling the inadequate powers in the Scotland Bill 'a line in the sand'.

"Meanwhile the other anti-independence party, Labour, doesn't have the slightest idea what its policy is.  With such incoherence, it is little wonder the anti-independence front is on the retreat : Labour are on the run in Glasgow City Council, the Tories are feuding about plans to wreck the NHS in England and the Liberal Democrats are in the basement of Scottish politics.

"Despite the echoes of 1979 and Alec Douglas-Home, the Scottish people will not be fooled again by offers of jam tomorrow.  If the Tory-led coalition wants to make offers of more powers to Scotland, it should either be in the Scotland Bill or on the ballot paper in the referendum.

"There is no way people in Scotland will be taken in ever again by being told to vote no for a better deal."


# mato21 2012-02-11 23:33
Demanded that the PM summon Mr Salmond

Just who do these people think they are
# manxbhoy 2012-02-11 23:56
Quoting mato21:
Demanded that the PM summon Mr Salmond

Just who do these people think they are

Medieval Overlords
# proudscot 2012-02-12 18:07
Quoting manxbhoy:
Quoting mato21:
Demanded that the PM summon Mr Salmond

Just who do these people think they are

Medieval Overlords

They "know" they are born to rule, whether the beneficiaries of their rule are either natives or johnnie foreigners. If you ever doubt that, just listen to the outpourings of the likes of Cameron or Wee Willie Warmonger Hague.
Or the mentally unhinged ramblings of the likes of Rifkind or Redmond.
# Islegard 2012-02-11 23:53
If they were serious they would stop the Scotland Bill immediately. The Scotland Bill is designed to strip Scotland of powers and responsibilitie s.

Also there is no reason they can't transfer powers today it doesn't require referendums or legislation.

They are liars and trying to distract and postpone Scottish independence.

The Lib Dems have shown themselves to be without any decency or credibility. They are in it for the money and power.
# Jim Johnston 2012-02-12 08:23
I agree with you there Islegard, but it is becoming evident Scotland has no need for Westminster "legal" power to hold the referendum.

Moore, (jam tomorrow), and Alexander, (uncertainty damaging inward investment to Scotland), are the lost sheep of Scottish politics, soon to be black sheep.

Cammeron's coalition are damaging not only Scotland, but many areas of the UK outside London and the south east home counties, but that won't stop them.

Scotlands fate is exactly where it should be, IN SCOTTISH HANDS.

Independence is not only the obvious answer, it is the only answer !!.
# jafurn 2012-02-11 23:55
Sounds like the age old promise...
You'll get pie in the sky when you die!

Don't believe a word of it...if it is not Independence it is more dependence.
# Hing em high 2012-02-12 00:01
The very least that Moore could offer is a promise to get out of Scottish politics altogether. Sweeten what is a ridiculously insulting bribe. Oh I forgot, we can sack him with a Yes vote in the Referendum!
# call me dave 2012-02-12 00:09
Being polite costs nothing. .They hope!

Anyway 'The First Eck' says no date has been agreed for 'call me Dave' to have a chat. Moore will have a bit of a job squaring the circle as Dave has already let it be known that there will be no devo-max question and no more powers apart from what's in that 'pig in a poke' Scotland Bill.

Moore's jam is not a brand that we Scots want to taste either as it does come with a health warning. It also carries no guarantee from the Tories and may have fallen off the back of a Lib/Dum lorry.

'The First Eck' would be wise to stick to butter only with the afternoon tea scones when Moore calls.

I expect Lamont, who will not be invited, will be anxiously peering through the cafe window from the cold pavement outside to see if there are crumbs of comfort for her after it's all over.
# Jim1320 2012-02-12 00:13
It is a Lib Dem promise....Oh, wait
# Legerwood 2012-02-12 00:22
I think the other side just blinked. But there is no point in believeing anything will come of it.

Even if the party leaders of Labour, Tories and LibDems did come up with some form of DevoMax they could not deliver it. None of them have the authority over their respective parties or over the House of Commons and House of Lords that would be necessary to get Westminster to pass the necessary legislation.

Milliband is seen as a weak leader by many in his party and in the country at large. Cameron has some very rebellious back-benchers - Eurosceptics and those who are angry about NHS reforms - so is likely to be keen to keep a firm line against DevoMax in order to try to keep his job. Nick Clegg is a cipher leading a party you would not hire to deliver the papers let alone Devomax.

As far as the Unionist parrties are concerned they have answered the calls for more powers for the Scottish Parliament. Their answer took the form of the Calman Commission and the Scotland Bill, or Calman Lite. By the time that Bill returns from Westminster it is more likely to be Calman Non-existent.

If the people of Scotland truly want more powers for the Scottish Parliament then the only sure route is to vote for Independence.
# Islegard 2012-02-12 00:40
Again the problem with any promises are they can be reversed. The only time they can't be reversed is with sovereignty. As long as the English Parliament claims sovereignty over a Scottish Parliament. Every decision can be reversed. We need a sovereign Scottish Parliament to be restored - Independence.
# deepwater 2012-02-12 14:01

You already have one - it's called Holyrood. It put that effectively in place with the affirmation of the claim of right last month.

For now, Holyrood's playing nice, by the percieved Westminster rules.

What do you think will happen after a "yes" vote.

Simple - independence.

After a "no" vote - independence.

There will just be a six to eighteen month time lag.

Both results will be by the consensus of the sovereign will.

Cameron's only hope of holding the establishment (British state) together is the only option he refuses to see used - devo max.

Even that will only work for a little while.
# Robert Louis 2012-02-12 00:49
The 'promise' is of course a Libdem promise. Just like they promised never to agree to tuition fees in England, then promptly went ahead and did so.

As somebody above points out however, and I think it is very significant, Westminster has just blinked.
# Auld Bob 2012-02-12 01:14
"but only after a no vote had been returned in the referendum".


Do they think the Scots heads are zipped up the back?

How about Our First Minister tells their Minister to go sling his hook?

Oh! Wait a minute - is he not supposed to be a Minister FOR Scotland?

# J Wil 2012-02-12 01:18
When are Moore and Clegg going to 'get it', that the Scots do not trust what they say one micrometre. Even if they signed up to something in triplicate they would find some way around it. The people of England had Clegg's promise thrown in their faces over University fees. Their credibility is shot.
# call me dave 2012-02-12 01:20
I suspect you are both right, they have blinked and did not like what they saw.

They realise the SG has all the right chess pieces in place on the board and the little Scottish pawn is only a couple of moves away before it turns into a queen.

FEAR was the only tactic the unionists had at their disposal and shroud waving is not what it was back in the good old days.

Today people are less deferential, they are more savvy about how information is obtained and how they judge that information.

As I said last week Moore and Cameron are caught between a Jock and a hard place and 'The First Eck' will listen politely and say a few encouraging phrases and move on with his own agenda.

Geeks bearing gifts like out of date 1979 Jam tomorrow flavour will be courteously escorted from the premises to think again.

Then we will see if 'call me Dave' still wants to come to Scotland.

He will of course because he must!
# megsmaw 2012-02-13 02:54
The good thing about nowadays is that we have the internet, and all these scaremongering tactics and lies can be easily called out and shared with everyone online within minutes. Not like last time where people had to rely on newspapers and the telly.
# Sleekit 2012-02-12 02:22
Well the simple answer would be that if these "additional powers" would significantly improve our lives then give us them now and we may not vote for independence in 2 1/2 years...

Whats that??? You dont really have anything to offer...

Well I never!
# Jim Johnston 2012-02-12 08:28
Spot on Sleekit.
# dundie 2012-02-12 13:23
Well put.
# GerrySNP 2012-02-12 03:47
You are so right!
And when you compare their words with the amendments which Foulkes and Forsyth are putting down in the Lords, which would effectively emasculate the Scotland Bill totally, we get the point.
Trust! None!
Honesty! None!
Lets vote and settle the matter ourselves.
# Roll_On_2011 2012-02-12 04:11
From what I have read ‘Dave the man without a mandate’ is meeting ‘Alex the man with a mandate’ this coming Thursday in Edinburgh.

“ David Cameron will travel to Scotland this week for crisis talks with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond over plans for Scottish independence.

The Prime Minister will make the journey to the Scottish nationalist leader’s ‘back yard’ despite demands by Tory MPs that he summon Mr Salmond to London instead.

He is set to travel north for the showdown on Thursday, after the First Minister meets Scottish Secretary Michael Moore on Monday. “

So its official then, the unionists are in crisis.
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2012-02-12 08:09
Crisis? What crisis? Oh you mean the crisis that the unionists are in.

The people were taken in by the "jam tomorrow" promise back in 1979 because at that time most believed what they were told by politicians.

Here we are in 2012, and the Scottish public are a wee bit more savvy in that respect. The difference is that we now have our own Parliament and social networking. That will ultimately be the undoing of Westminsters control.

I can imagine that the unionist politicians will run every trick that they tried in 1979 to see if any stick. Expect more and more lies as we march up this road to independence.

It's going to happen, of that I have no doubt. Scotland will be a free nation once again.

I'm Scottish not British
# Lupus Incomitatus 2012-02-12 12:02
He will be lost.

It is not the grouse season although Salmond is going to shoot some vermin.
# Matrix 2012-02-12 14:17
Could start with two particular ermin vermin.
# Siôn Jones 2012-02-13 18:09
Surely, if there is any summoning to be done, it is Cameron who should be summoned - and he should be made to wait outside the head-master's (first Minister's) door until the Head is ready to deal with him. And this time, having his fag (moore) take his thrashing for him will not be an option.
# mato21 2012-02-13 18:26
Hi Sion

Today when it was put to the FM that call me Dave would pay a courtesy visit on Thurs he laughed and said that's what happens with heads of state (not implying that he was head of state but making the point of the terminology being used) I missed what he said next about independence but I am sure it would be remark aimed at call me Dave

That clip has not been shown again on BBC Now that is a surprise
# Dorain 2012-02-12 08:54
If you watch Diomhair (part 1 - 6), what they're doing just now is re-cycling the same rubbish again.
# Electric Hermit 2012-02-12 09:21
A number of Conservative MPs have called on Mr Cameron not to accede to Mr Salmond's request for a meeting in Scotland, and instead demanded that the Prime Minister summon Mr Salmond to London.

Arrogant buffoons!

Suppose Salmond declines to come running? What does Cameron do then? Have him seized and thrown in the tower?
# UpSpake 2012-02-12 09:46
Salmond is in an extraordinarily powerful position. Quite apart from being the First Minister boasting a substantial majority at the ballot box but he holds all the 'constitutional' cards. Cameron has nothing, absolutely nothing.
Now that the referendum has been taken out of the picture by the appeals to the Council of Europe and the OSCE, the whole creation of the Scots Parliament in 1998 now comes into focus.
The CofE were duped by Blair and this has to be brought to their attention. Scotland was supposed to have been given back its Parliament as Winnie Ewing so adriotly pointed out. It was not supposed to have been given a neutered Parish Council as Blair boasted, more than once.
The Scots Parliament must show its hand and expose all this 'Devolved' nonsense and throw it at the feet of the CofE.
Once the international community come down in favor of Scotland, Cameron can go homeward and think again !.
# Zef 2012-02-12 10:05
"JAM TOMORROW?" We got burned by this deception before! Never again! How many times can they get away with the same tricks? Should we carelessly cast away a one-in-a-generation chance on a promise that has been broken so many times before and from a group that have done nothing to prove they can be trusted?

"JAM TOMORROW" is what they've been telling the Scots for generations. Scotland has been starving trying to live on these promises.
# clootie 2012-02-12 10:08
You are all being too harsh.

They are going to put the promise on a big poster and all the LibDems are going to sign it - no wait - you won't fall for that again!

The LibDems will implement it when the come to power - shit that won't work either.

Have I ever lied to you -- oh God this is going to be harder than I thought.
# Arraniki 2012-02-12 10:53
Pace Jim Johnston

Moore, (jam tomorrow), and Alexander, (uncertainty damaging inward investment to Scotland), are the lost sheep of Scottish politics, soon to be black sheep.

I do like that description, Jim. Very good.
# Jenny2603 2012-02-12 12:03
I had a feeling a thawing on the devo max
poilicy would take place. Not that we'll get it if the country is daft enough to fall for it.

# deepwater 2012-02-12 14:06

It is Cameron's only hope. Either a straight "yes" or "no" vote dooms the Union.
# Matrix 2012-02-12 13:38
Sorry if this is a wee bit off topic but somebody in the mail of all places suggested a debate between Salmond and Scameron. I think this would be a great idea to kick off a mass debate in Westminster between our FM and Westminsters master debater.
# call me dave 2012-02-12 14:11
The other 'call me Dave Mundell' just been on the politics show. Spluttering and flustering when challenged about his party's policy on referendum.
They don't have one. . er at the moment because we need to get the referendum over first.

Isobel Fraser shot his goose when she pointed out that Ruthless had stated in the FMQ's that the 'question was fair'.

I knew that would come back to haunt her!

The Tories have nothing to offer Scotland
but Mundells looking to 2015 when there may be more Jam up for sale but he cant specify the variety. Ruthless will be gone by then anyway.

Lets put our cross in the box asap for independence and make our own jam!
# mato21 2012-02-12 14:44
Did you see how he tried to make out she had said something different but Izzy (may I call you Izzy I notice your beeb friends do) read out Ruffies statement which those of us watching that day heard In my case in amazement for she has always some inane remark to make
# Marga B 2012-02-12 14:25
Thoroughly off topic, but interesting:

"Four current employees and one former employee of the Edinburgh-based bank were arrested at their homes across London and the home counties on Wednesday, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said."

Edinburgh-based bank?
# balbeggie 2012-02-12 14:55
Registered Office - name plate on the door in Edinburgh - business done in the City of London.
# Jiggsbro 2012-02-12 16:52
The BBC website has this as 'Scottish' news, despite the arrests being unconnected to bank business and the people involved being in the South East of England.
# HomeRuleforEngland 2012-02-12 16:06
"Mr Moore apparently made an unspecific offer of additional powers for the Scottish Parliament if Scots vote 'No' in the 2014 ballot"

Oh yeh! Like the UK government promised to sort out the West lothian Question but are still pissing about. I wouldn't believe a word of it!!
As for promising more powers, that, unlike Scottish Independence, is a reserved matter and the rest of the UK will need to be consulted by general election and the Tories and Lib dums will need to put it in their manifestos!
# Siôn Jones 2012-02-13 19:28
They could include the extra powers in the Scotland Bill, pre-empting the referendum, and making them the default 'status quo'. Of course, they cannot do this due to the dinosaurs like forsyth & his ilk.
# admiral 2012-02-12 17:11
And the Tories promised a referendum on EU membership before the last GE, ISTR.
# proudscot 2012-02-12 18:22
On Politics Scotland today Isabel Fraser was her usual excellent self, and she nailed Paddington Mundell on the subject of the "jam tomorrow" offer of Moore. He tried to splutter his way out of it by claiming the Scotland Bill was going to offer "substantial powers" to the Scottish Parliament, like, erm, control of airgun legislation!!!

What was more illuminating however, were the several questions put to him by Isabel that he FAILED to answer, or ignored. One of which was did he agree with Ruth Davidson's assertion that the question of further powers being devolved to the Scottish Parliament was, "Thus far and no further!" Blank look, no answer ... surprise!
# Purr 2012-02-12 18:39
I Think we are meant to be grateful to Mr. Moore and give our forelocks a tug, better not tug too hard or some of the grass might come out.
Does he think anyone believes him, what a clown !
# Leswil 2012-02-12 19:05
In the Sunday Mail," Russian hopefuls running against Vadimir Putin are being hampered by Kremlin pressure and censored media."
Sounds very familiar to me!
# Talorcan 2012-02-12 20:56
Hey everybody, you've got it wrong. It was all just a 'typo'. He didn't say we would get more powers: he said MOORE powers.
# Jiggsbro 2012-02-12 21:04
No, we're going to get more powers. They're going to extend the airgun provisions to include spud guns.
# mato21 2012-02-12 21:08
That was a cracker from wee Mundy was it not
# southernsue 2012-02-12 22:55
I have been lurking here for a couple of months now but this is my first post. What an enlightening and truly eye-opening site this is!

I have the misfortune of being "represented" (cough cough!) by David Mundell at Westminster and can honestly say I was not surprised by his performance today.

Every time the man opens his mouth I am embarrassed that so many of my fellow constituents chose to vote him in (I didn't!) but I spent a very enjoyable 10 minutes watching him squirm under Ms Fraser's excellent questioning.

His ramblings about all the wonderful powers the Scotland Bill was going to deliver were especially entertaining as was his inability/unwillingness to answer any question posed by Ms Fraser.

You know, he really should be given more airtime as I'm sure he would help boost the pro-independence vote greatly!

# oldnat 2012-02-12 23:15
Welcome to the site.
# call me dave 2012-02-13 00:33
Welcome Southernsue

Another Monday another tirade from the usual suspects on what is laughingly known as Scottish newspapers.

We are doomed and not able to build anything unless we rely on our connections within the union.

Moore will inform 'The First Eck' today and no doubt negotiate surrender terms.

Darkened room tonight got my own key now!
# KingEckI 2012-02-13 12:33
Ok so let me see if I understand this correctly. He's saying, don't vote for autonomy and the guaranteed powers that come with independence, and some day, if we feel like it, we'll maybe think about allowing you to have a wee bit more than you have at the minute, but not enough that you might end up hurting yourselves. Wow, where do I sign up?
# Willie46 2012-02-14 10:56
I came across this when i was browsing. I think it is very relevant and the people of Scotland should know before completing the consultation.

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