By a Newsnet reporter

The Scottish Lib Dems are to seek a consensus with the Labour party and the Conservatives on more powers for the Scottish Parliament.

The party has signalled its intention to join the other two Unionist parties in a bid to outline what voting No in the independence referendum might mean in terms of further devolution for Scotland.

In a statement, the Lib Dem Scottish leader Willie Rennie said he hoped all three UK parties could agree to put the proposals in their 2015 general election manifestos.

He said: “Once the Home Rule Commission reports in October we will seek to work with other parties to develop a consensus on more powers and also include those proposals in our 2015 General Election manifesto.

“We have a good track record in delivering further powers, from the creation of the Scottish Parliament to the Calman Commission and we will build upon that reputation to secure more powers in line with public opinion.”

The Lib Dems set up the ‘Home Rule Commission’ following the party’s disastrous showing in the 2011 Scottish elections which resulted in only five Lib Dem MSPs being returned.  Headed by Westminster MP and former party leader, Ming Campbell, results of this commission are expected to be announced in October.

Mr Campbell’s commission follows a similar commission in 2006 headed by another former Lib Dem leader Sir David Steel, which argued for significant more powers for the Scottish Parliament and called for the Scotland Office to be abolished.

However, the Steel Commission’s recommendations were largely ignored and then overtaken in 2007, when after the SNP’s narrow election victory, the Unionist parties set up the Calman Commission which led to the modest return of powers contained in the Scotland Bill.

The admission from Mr Rennie that his party are seeking agreement with Labour and the Conservatives on a new constitutional settlement will be seen by some as a ditching of the party’s long standing aim of a federal UK.

The Lib Dems have sought a federal United Kingdom for 100 years.  However the party has refused to argue for anything other than a straight No to independence in 2014.

MEANWHILE, any agreements between the Unionist parties look to be a long way off after further splits emerged within the anti-independence camp.

Cracks widened today after Labour Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls attempted to split the Tory-Lib Dem coalition - an action described by Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie as “crude”.  Mr Balls urged Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable to quit the partnership and enter into a pact with Labour to create a “Plan B for the economy”.

In a separate move, Newsnet Scotland has revealed that a Labour MSP is urging his own party to create its own referendum campaign calling for more powers for the Scottish Parliament.

Writing for the ‘Red Paper Collective’ Labour MSP Neil Findlay said the Better Together campaign was unable to “outline a coherent vision” and that it “cannot simply speak of the virtues of the UK…without recognition that things must change within that union”.

Mr Findlay's stance is in complete contrast with his party’s refusal to set out what further powers it would like to see for the Scottish Parliament.

Commenting, SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson said:

“These are just the two latest examples of the fundamental divisions that are emerging in the anti-independence campaign.

“Neil Findlay’s contribution to the constitutional debate is in stark contrast to his party’s – he has gone against the No campaign’s refusal to set out what further powers they would like to see for the Scottish Parliament.

“Mr Findlay has openly criticised the anti-independence campaign and admitted Scotland needs “something better” rather than the status quo offered by the No campaign of keeping decisions for Scotland at Westminster.

“Then you have Ed Balls trying to split up the Tory-LibDem government.  A ‘crude’ manouvre according to the LibDems’ Willie Rennie.  These politics of alliances and hatred between old Westminster parties is not a positive road forward for Scotland to go down.

“The people of Scotland deserve so much better than the negativity of the anti-independence brigade, claiming to be better together but trying to tear each other apart.

“The question they have yet to answer is why they believe we are better with a Westminster government not directly elected by the people of this country rather than by a Scottish Parliament 100% elected by people in Scotland.”


# Rafiki 2012-09-10 16:06
More and more coalitions against Scotland. They twist and turn, or rather just twist; like their ideological mistress, they are not for turning on Scottish independence.
# 1scot 2012-09-10 16:07
I had to stop reading this my blood pressure wont stand it.
What an absolute clown Rennie is.
# Marga B 2012-09-10 16:08
And just to prove that ignorance exists beyond our shores as well:
# oldnat 2012-09-10 16:57
I suspect that the NYT meant "It's better for all Americans ..." rather than "It's better for all Canadians..."

(Funny how the US abrogates the term "American" to itself, when America consists of lots of sovereign states - a bit like supporters of the UK wanting to keep a geographical description all to their little selves.)
# bringiton 2012-09-10 16:11
Whatever they cook up will exclude any meaningful additional fiscal powers.
The only way to get London's fingers out of the Scottish till is to slam it shut.
In any case no one is going to be fooled again by any vague promises.
If they were serious about this it would have been included in the last Scotland bill.
Just shows how scared they are now about a possible YES vote.
# oldnat 2012-09-10 16:15
If Rennie could persuade the LDs in England to accept whatever the Campbell Report comes up with, that would be an achievement!

The Scots branches of the dependency parties have no power to offer anything - that lies with their UK bosses.
# Training Day 2012-09-10 16:21
You'll include proposals for more powers in your manifesto in 3 years time, will you Willie?

Will they be subject to the same treatment as the manifesto 'pledges' you gave about tuition fees and the post of Scotland Secretary?

The contempt for the electorate of Rennie and his spineless party is truly breathtaking.
# Jiggsbro 2012-09-10 16:29
Quoting Training Day:
The contempt for the electorate of Rennie and his spineless party is truly breathtaking.

Matched only be the contempt of the electorate for Rennie and his party.
# J Wil 2012-09-10 16:37
Don't they need Clegg, Cameron and Miliband to sign up to this too as they have no powers to deliver what they are proposing? Only to hoodwink the population.
# Arraniki 2012-09-10 16:42
Cracking picture of Alfred E. Neuman!
# Mad Jock McMad 2012-09-10 17:08
I have lost the will to live, that man Rennie just sucks all the oxygen out of a room ... I just hope he does not start spouting poetry as I believe it will cause any sane person's duodenum to travel up into their throat and strangle themselves. Willie Rennie; the Vogon's Vogon (with apologies to D Adam)
# ButeHouse 2012-09-10 17:12
Willie Rennie. He's not exactly a NOW man is he? 37 years after Oil lands on Scotland's shores they are handing out FOOD PARCELS to Scotland's growing army of poor and oor Wullie wants to tackle the problem by campaigning for more - as yet unnamed powers - in TWENTY FIFTEEN (2015).

That's almost THREE years away. I'm sure the poor are doing jigs in the streets at the 'speed' with which Wullie sees things happening.

REALITY CHECK: We've been conned by London too many times re a Scottish Parliament and their broken promises, we're not going to be fooled again by JAM tomorrow.

Do it NOW if you are going to do it. Show us NOW what you want the new powers to be not promise them later if we vote NO.

We need real powers NOW not in 2015 you lunatic - that timetable might suit you and your high salary and expenses but it does NOT suit the poor of Scotland.

# Mad Jock McMad 2012-09-10 18:01
Touched a bit of a raw nerve then, Bute?
# pmcrek 2012-09-10 17:21
Remember folks, vote Jam Tommorrow party and after 2014 they'll give all the Jam to the banks and triple tuition fees instead, amirite?

The Lib Dem manifesto belongs in the fiction section of the library next to the elephant joke books.
# gus1940 2012-09-10 17:36
I think that the use of the expression 'The Jam Tomorrow Parties' could prove to be an effective campaigning tool.

Or perhaps 'The Jam Tomorrow Popular Front'
# pmcrek 2012-09-10 19:07
Hehe, I took the liberty of knocking together a better together jam campaign poster:

And one for the reciprocal campaign:
# UpSpake 2012-09-10 17:32
So the potential output from the Home Rule Commission is unlikely to be robust enough in itself to be a stand alone manifesto. Needs to be handed over to others to either cherry pick or ignore altogether. What a humiliation for the Lib-Dems if it were the latter.
Westminster based politicians/parties can bluster all they like they are setting themselves up for a very big fall if not even falling foul of the UN.
For those who think this is a purely internal matter and not being actively watched by the international community ask yourself why Cameron has backed away almost entirely from his pervious beligerent stance on Scotland's legitimate desire for self-determination.
Diplomats will never tell you what they are doing behind the scenes but believe me, wheels are turning.
Now if only the Scots government would lodge a complaint with the OSCE on the activities of the BBC, we might see rapid progress in attitudes and mis-information.
# oldnat 2012-09-10 17:43
" but believe me"

Maybes Aye, maybes Naw.
# Marga B 2012-09-10 18:25
I hope that they've got over the idea of using Spain as a model - look what happened to that.

Am slightly disappointed that it's been left to Plaid Cymru to present a motion in Westminster expressing parliament's concern that the Spanish constitution does not permit either independence or even a referendum of any of its territory and congratulating Catalonia on the peaceful and democratic measures it is taking to achieve independence, issued to coincide with the Catalan national day tomorrow.
# Leswil 2012-09-10 19:00
This is simply a guise to make them more acceptably Scottish, and that they can offer something else.

It is cynical and manipulative in order to try and slit votes.

Let us be realistic, absolutely NOTHING has changed, absolutely NOTHING will change. It is simply a con on Scottish voters.

Of course it will be sheer coincidence that all the Unionist parties are talking along these lines, an absolute con.

Promises if and when will not convince voters despite their cynical and desperate measures. Deceitful indeed.

We can expect much more than this from this desperate bunch.
To take a contrarian view of anything the unholy alliance says has worked well for me. So no matter what they say, take the opposite as the truth.

With this lot, it is the way to go!
# Koenig 2012-09-10 19:27
Well lets clear one thing up "The party’s long standing aim of a federal UK." is a lie. This party has consistantly fought tooth and nail against any further devolution for Scotland. They aren't federalists.

Next one Calman. Lets not forget Calman was taking back more powers than it was giving until the SNP blocked the transfer of powers back to Westminster.

To summarise the Lib Dems abandoned federalism and have been bloccking further devolution of power in fact the have been trying to return powers. The were given their chance in power at Holyrood they did nothing to gain more powers. Their in power now in Westminster the Westminster government can sign an order tomorrow to transfer powers to the Scottish Parliament. Also how many commissions do the Lib Dems need to have on transfering power then ignoring the outcome.

Basically the Lib Liars are a deceitful little party that has no intention of giving Scotland more powers.
# J Wil 2012-09-10 20:27
"...the Westminster government can sign an order tomorrow to transfer
powers to the Scottish Parliament..."

and the Libdems in Scotland could be lobbying their colleagues in Westminster to get these powers transferred right now, but their devious and diabolical hidden agenda won't allow it.

Even the 'Scottish' representatives in the Lords were doing all they could to sabotage the Scotland Bill, to disadvantage Scotland.

Shouldn't it be obvious to the unionists that the one way to burst the independence bubble, would be to give, even now, more powers to Scotland. The fact that they want to wait for the result of the referendum says it all. They do not want to pass more powers to Scotland.
# Davy 2012-09-10 20:31
Another episode of Jackanory from the clown prince of the lib-dems, they will never learn that Scotland knows they lie as soon Rennie opens his gob.

I would not trust them to save my life.
# Marga B 2012-09-10 20:43
OT, but Kosovo is now a sovereign state, following the end of its international guardianship

The Kosovar authorities consider that this Monday marks the formal start of their independence: the international group, formed by 23 EU countries, the United States and Turkey, which has up to now overseen the whole process, has ended its mission.

(Reported in ARA, Catalan press)
# Marga B 2012-09-10 21:00
OT - where is Scottish Skier when you need him?

On the eve of a massive independence march in Catalonia, the local socialist newspaper, true to form, has cooked the results of a survey to give them a negative headline - what is it about socialism?:

"Catalans divided half in half in the face of independence"

Someone comments:

"It's impossible to say that 51.8% would vote YES to independence and 32% against, and then attribute everyone else to the NO camp. Also if there is 51.8% going directly for a YES vote, this will never go down. So with the results given by this newspaper, YES would get 61% of the vote and No 39%, with a participation of 84.3%"

Not bad news, really.
# oldnat 2012-09-10 21:37
I don't think you needed Scottish Skier. You demolished the falsity of that report quite well enough yourself.
# fynesider 2012-09-10 21:48
The last gasp of a dying empire....
# CathkinBraes 2012-09-10 22:25
It won't happen. They won't agree on anything. Even if they do, it won't amount to much. Even if it does amount to anything, Westminster won't pass it. Donald Dewar, of all people, recognised what was really happening: a process, not an event. He even said he didn't know where devolution would lead. We know now. A process of gradually restoring our nation to its place in the world after the defeat in the trade war leading up to 1707, when secret agents of the English state came with suitcases of money to our ruling class to buy our independence off us. And then as the centuries and the decades passed, eventually there came concessions: at first a trickle, a Scottish Office in 1885, then a Secretary of State, then in 1978 we got offered an Assembly, then with our resistance to Thatcher and the Poll Tax the dam started to break and we got Devolution, then when we started to tire of waiting for "Scottish" "Labour" to deliver, we got the Calman Commission, and now independence is in sight. And as our self-confidence as a nation increases, this is a one way process; there's no looking back. As Bob Dylan said: "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows".
# rgweir 2012-09-10 22:56
Cameron today said today the games will be remembered in the way we remember 1966.
The man cant help himself.
# Dougthedug 2012-09-11 07:16
The Scottish Lib Dems are to seek a consensus with the Labour party and the Conservatives on more powers for the Scottish Parliament.

Well they can't do it any other way as the only way that Scotland can get more powers is if a bill giving more powers to Scotland makes it through Westminster.

The Lib-Dems simply don't have enough MP's to do that on their own.

What that means is that like Calman the Lib-Dems will be an irrelevance and it will be a Labour bill as the Tories certainly don't want any more powers to go to Scotland.

The Lib-Dems gave up being a party which wants a federal UK decades ago. Search on their web site for a policy which mentions a federal UK and you won't find one. You'll get plenty of hits about how federal a party they are (English Lib-Dem website anyone?) but nothing on federalism as a policy for the UK.
# J Wil 2012-09-11 07:42
Achieve success by working with Westminster by Ruth Davidson

I should have guessed what this article from the Herald was all about. Viz. Ruth Davidson claiming all the credit for the Westminster Government for any success that Scotland is having.
# mutterings 2012-09-11 14:38
The LibDems are ditching their aim of a federal UK? There must be a misunderstandin g here: only 3 weeks agop, Charles Kennedy was still working for a fedral UK:
# proudscot 2012-09-11 16:14
Well, J Wil, she has to try to claim credit for her Westminster Tory masters, as she knows full well how irrelevant her wee group of right wing weirdos are in Scotland. They're almost as irrelevant as the sole UK Tory MP up here, Paddington Mundell.
# Angry_Weegie 2012-09-11 23:39
Quoting wee Wullie (I could have said Oor Wullie, but that sounds as if someone wants him)

The party has signalled its intention to join the other two Unionist parties in a bid to outline what voting No in the independence referendum MIGHT mean in terms of further devolution for Scotland.

Aye, might, as in Scotland might win the World Cup in Rio in 2014. (especially after tonight)

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