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  By a Newsnet reporter
 
Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has said that the UK Government's priority in the event of a No vote would be to strengthen its presence in Scotland.
 
Speaking to the Herald newspaper, the Lib Dem MP said that Scots would need to be reminded that they were governed by Westminster and not just Holyrood.

In a statement which included a reference to the London Olympics, he said: "Part of the reason we are where we are today is we have allowed the Nationalists to hollow out the role of the United Kingdom Government in Scotland for the last seven years and in the same way the Olympics were about reminding people they had a British identity, the Scotland Office or the UK Government has to be there, reminding people they have two governments."

Mr Carmichael said a No vote on September 18, should not be seen as "job done" and that Westminster could not afford ever again turn its attention away from Scotland.

"Once the vote is over we have to learn the lessons of how we came to be here," said the Secretary of State.

"Part of that process has involved the UK Government not being sufficiently visible in Scotland and we can't allow ourselves to go back to that in the future."

The report also quotes a source close to Nick Clegg saying that the UK Government's voice in Scotland needed to be "enhanced rather than diminished" if there was a No.

Carmichael's statement has been seized on by pro-independence group Yes Scotland with the campaign saying it 'undermines' claims that the Scottish Parliament would have its powers strengthened after a No vote.
 
Yes Scotland Advisory Board member and Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said:
 
"Alistair Carmichael has let the cat out of the bag about Westminster's attitude if there was a No vote - and undermines No campaign claims about more powers for Scotland. Rather than enhanced devolution, there would be a reassertion of Westminster's authority. 

"It is not possible to have both, and thanks to Mr Carmichael the UK Government's attitude has now been laid bare.
 
"Alistair Carmichael used to say that the post of Scottish Secretary at Westminster was redundant and 'indefensible", but now the UK Government's role is to be actually strengthened - and there is a real danger that the Tories could be re-elected next year, which is a risk Scotland cannot afford to take.

"That is a big reason why we need a Yes vote in September, so that Scotland will have the certainty of knowing we will get the governments we vote for every time - not Tory governments which we overwhelmingly reject.
 
"Given that the Tories govern Scotland with just a single MP here, it is the Westminster system which has hollowed out proper representative democracy in Scotland. The latest poll puts Yes support at 46 per cent - within touching distance of a majority - and we intend to win in September."

Yes Scotland Chief Executive Blair Jenkins said Mr Carmichael had actually made a "compelling case" for a Yes vote.

He added: "The truth is that Westminster isn't working for Scotland and a No vote would not change that.  Only with the full powers of independence can we ensure that Scotland's enormous wealth, talent and resources are used to create a more prosperous, fairer country."

Comments  

 
# Johnston 2014-07-28 17:40
For a party that believes in federalism and the devolving of powers. WOW! Another step closer to the tory party.
 
 
# christiedrc 2014-07-28 17:46
S there it is. The truth is coming out at last! Add that to what Priti Patel has said about cutting the money "coming to Scotland" (although it's Scotland's own money) and hints by numerous other unionist politicians, we can see that a no vote would be a tragedy for Scotland.

A yes vote is absolutely essential!
 
 
# Breeks 2014-07-28 17:48
"We" have allowed the Nationalists? Who is "we"?

The Scottish government has an outright majority in a PR electoral system. They do what they do with a mandate from the electorate. The Lib Dems sold their soul and integrity to out-Tory the Tories, and think that entitles their pressure group to dictate what happens in Scotland. What breathtaking arrogance from a man promoted well beyond his abilities.
 
 
# Legerwood 2014-07-28 17:59
General Wade rides again!
 
 
# neoloon 2014-07-28 18:05
The taking away of my breath by such arrogant comments is only outdone by my continuing disbelief that such a nugatory person holds an office of government.
 
 
# fiferblue 2014-07-30 11:52
That's a great word "nugatory" and so apt.
 
 
# Teri 2014-07-28 18:40
Carmichael speaks as if he is someone with authority. He has none. 2015 General Election will see the demise of the LibDems and the Tories will likely go into coalition with the DUP and UKiP if they do not get an outright majority. All the more reason to vote YES.
 
 
# Brian Doonthetoon 2014-07-28 18:50
So, AC utters,

"Part of that process has involved the UK Government not being sufficiently visible in Scotland and WE can't allow ourselves to go back to that in the future."

Which makes it plain the Carmichael sees himself as, primarily, a cog in the Westminster trough, rather than as an elected representative of his Scottish constituents.

As Teri types above, the Lib-Dems, after doing some sterling work over the past few years to raise their public profile, have totally killed off any chance the could have had in the foreseeable future, to retain a modicum of influence in both the UK and, especially, in Scotland.

I have no doubt that they will be wiped out in the 2015 election AND in the iScotland 2016 election - unless they have some rabbits, or squirrels, remaining in their hat/bunnet.
 
 
# bringiton 2014-07-28 19:27
Westminster's governor general has spoken and is making clear to Scots that we either decide to take matters into our own hands or they will do it for us.
There will be no status quo after the referendum and for those who currently blame Alex Salmond for this situation,we are where we are and they have a choice.
Scots will have no choice should we vote No.
 
 
# Macart 2014-07-28 20:02
How we got here is because the electorate became empowered and educated. This is an ongoing process even today. I'd like to thank Mr Carmichael in educating us further into the mindset of the Westminster oriented politician.

Just wow.
 
 
# gopher3 2014-07-28 20:18
So if there's a NO vote, westminster will come down hard on their colony in the north and remind them they're in charge. Also I believe that they will take back some, or all of the devolved powers that we currently have.
 
 
# iain2013 2014-07-28 20:33
Is this Carmichael man a Liberal?
 
 
# ramstam 2014-07-28 20:59
Aye, the redcoats are coming. Rebellious Scots tae crush. Is this really the man who would switch to Scotland's side if we vote YES?. His arrogance grates. The Lib Dems will suffer a wipe-out next time. His title of Scottish secretary is an embarrassment to the whole nation. His brass neck can take it though. SIR Alasdair anyone? or has that one been allocated already!
 
 
# Marian 2014-07-28 22:13
You don't have to speculate very much to work out what Carmichael is threatening to do.

After a NO vote Westminster will simply pass legislation that requires Holyrood to pass every single decision they want to make to Westminster for prior approval on the pretext that if it involves spending (and everything does) the Treasury must have the final say.

Westminster's job of neutralising Holyrood is thus achieved very easily.
 
 
# hiorta 2014-07-28 22:16
'What's in a NO vote for Scotland'? - No answer.
Following the absence of any dialogue from NO we now get threats.
It's time to say 'Goodbye' - indeed its long past the time to dump these clowns.
 
 
# Strak17 2014-07-28 22:17
How many votes would they get it there were billboards with his picture and the words You are ruled by Westminster, Do you need to be reminded printed next to him?
 
 
# Jacque De Molay 2014-07-28 22:21
As many have said this is your one and only chance for Independence - He is making that quite clear.
 
 
# Gordon Murray 2014-07-28 22:40
And they said Neil Kinnock wrote the longest suicide note in history?
]gaun yersel Ali, more power to your elbow.
I reckon every word must add another few thousand No voters onto the Yes side.
 
 
# Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh 2014-07-29 00:29
Rosemarkie beach on the Black Isle is a pleasant walk. But across the narrow entrance to the Moray Firth hunkers the strategic bastion of Fort George. Its origin is worth pondering:

"Fort George in Ardersier near Inverness was built in the aftermath of the 1745 rebellion. It was the mightiest artillery fortification in the whole of Great Britain, if not of Europe. It was intended to be an impregnable base – a clear statement that such an uprising could never happen again. It cost, in today’s terms, almost £1 billion. But when it was completed in 1769, the Highlands of Scotland had been well and truly pacified." (Caledonian Mercury)

Let it be noted that in the end it mattered not which side the Highlanders had actually fought on. Retribution was indiscriminate. The winner, as always, was Westminster. And imperial genius was soon harvesting myriad Gaels for much wider wars, inculcating at least four key English words: "Over the top, Jock!"
 
 
# Diabloandco 2014-07-29 09:06
I have just visited the article in the Guardian by Billy Patterson - I would be really pleased if you could post this there too.
A powerful comment .
 
 
# Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh 2014-07-29 09:38
Thanks, Diabloandco. If you (or any other pro-independence readers) think the comment is worth it, please feel free to copy and paste it on. F.
 
 
# Muscleguy 2014-07-29 10:18
Quote:
Let it be noted that in the end it mattered not which side the Highlanders had actually fought on. Retribution was indiscriminate.


It was the same in New Zealand. After various of the Maori wars land was confiscated from Maori iwi who had fought against the crown, who had been neutral AND even some who had fought on the crown's side.

It took 150 years to get all that sorted out and justice done. The Maori and the crown signed a treaty right back at the start and this formed the basis of litigation and legislation. The Aborigines in Australia got no such protection, terra nullius if you recall.

The British crown has always operated thus.

In modern times the blameless Chagossians got turfed off their islands so Britain could lease Diego Garcia to the Americans without pesky locals to get in the way.
 
 
# gus1940 2014-07-29 06:03
So that's it then - if we are stupid enough to vote No on 18/9 instead of the jam tomorrow promised increased powers Westminster will wreak terrible retribution on Scotland for having the nerve to hold an Indpendence Referendum with mesures up to and including repeal of all Devolution legislation and the total abolition of our Scottish Parliament.

In the unlikely event of this latest announcement by Help Me Rhona Carmichael being accurately reported in the MSM it should drive many of the Undecideds in the direction of voting YES.

Another glorious own goal for the incfreasingly desperate Project Fear and Smear.
 
 
# UpSpake 2014-07-29 06:43
It is somewhat of a false fear of those who preceive a No vote in September will unleash retribution from Westminster and the re-patriation of powers from Holyrood.
We have our own parliament now through the good offices of the Council of Europe, not and never because the Labour party brought it to us.
I suspect they lied to the CofE as to the legislative extent of that devolution but that is by the by.
Any attempt by Westminster to claw back powers should result in immidiate appeal to that body who in turn will come down hard on Westminster.
Perhaps too, the real reason Scotland got its parliament back will become known at last.
 
 
# bipod 2014-07-29 09:20
What ever happened to more powers for Scotland in the event of a no vote?
 
 
# WRH2 2014-07-29 09:55
Bipod asks what happened to more powers for a No vote. I'd suggest that Carmichael has just been able to decipher the scribbles on the back of the fag packet and it actually reads, " Should Scotland be daft enough to vote no, Westminster will strip Holyrood and Scotland of power". Unfortunately for the BTUKOKNT camp he wasn't supposed to let that particular cat out of the bag.
 
 
# Angus 2014-07-29 09:45
Carmichael is not very bright, or even realistic. He is either in denial or believing his own propaganda?
 
 
# martin morrison 2014-07-29 11:00
Carmichael hit the nail on the head, but the hammer slipped and hit his thumb. Scotland does indeed have two governments. Most countries get by with just one of the accursed things - we are bankrolling two for no good reason, and at a cost to both. We'd like one less, and Westminster seems an obvious choice for chop to me. They would save by not having a pointless Scottish Office.

Anyway, if Mr Carmichael is correct - a long shot, given recent form admittedly - then I look forward to seeing just how this increased presence of Westminster might work and await the backlash with gleeful anticipation.
 
 
# CharlieObrien 2014-07-29 12:23
I left comments on this article elsewhere,cant remember what I wrote exactly,but it was something akin to "This is not just a threat but a promise that Wade is on the rise" If we allow a no vote then we will be suppressed and "forbidden" (in a democracy)to ever hold another referendum.We are in this position because a few aristocrats 300 odd years ago made a promise that we have to keep,I find it appalling that I must keep a promise,obtaine d by bribery,that I did not make.We have people in the UK,mainly the south,complaini ng that they never got to vote on the EU/EEC,and that they should have a vote.This means that they wish not to be held to a promise made by others that they must keep,similar with us Scots we should have this vote for every generation its only fair is it not?
 
 
# Ourchoice 2014-07-29 13:33
Perhaps the recipient of this message is not the voting public of Scotland but for the London establishment? Otherwise it would seem to me to be a very counterproducti ve comment for the bitter together camp.Many more Scots will vote YES if they hear about this in the media.
 
 
# Cwiffer 2014-07-29 13:49
Lord, grant that Alistair, May like a mighty bear, Victory bring.
May he sedition hush and like a torrent rush, Rebellious Scots to crush.
God save the Queen...

Thankfully no-one's listening to him any more!
 
 
# proudscot 2014-07-29 16:10
So according to Carmichael we rebellious Scots who want to run our own affairs, are to be reminded that Westminster and his Tory/Labour masters are in charge. It is Carmichael himself who needs to be reminded he is supposed to Scotland's representative in Westminster, and not the Secretary of State for Portsmouth!

His statement is in keeping with the rest of his Lib/Dumb colleagues, as continual statements from the likes of Campbell and Alexander prove. And don't forget the similar anti-indy Scotland sentiments expressed by the likes of Murphy, Curran, Davidson and Hood, to name but a few, on the Labour benches.

Let's vote YES on 18th September to rid ourselves of this shower of Westminster troughers and parasites.
 
 
# andy-cap 2014-07-29 17:46
So I hope now that people realise that if they vote no, Holyroods powers WILL be reduced, a Westminster presents will be set up in Scotland to mute any Scottish dissidence and it will be game over for a hell of a long time.

Also Andy Burnham Labour has admitted that the NHS in England WILL be privatised a bit a time, but it will be nontheless private eventually. Mr Burnham also added he wants all NHS boards across the UK in private hands, a no vote will see the demise of NHS Scotland god help us if we vote no.
 
 
# Nautilus 2014-07-29 18:19
"Peter Arnott shows some prescience in his article in Bellacaledonia entitled: 'Dinner with NO Voters, or "What I wanted to say before The Pudding hit the Fan". He intimates loss of all devolved powers.
 
 
# Jacque De Molay 2014-07-29 20:11
"We have catcht hold of Scotland and will hold her fast."
(Sir William Bromley, Speaker of the House of Commons, responding to one of the Scottish MPs endeavouring to have the anglo-union dissolved; quoted in The Lockhart Papers: Containing Memoirs and Commentaries upon the Affairs of Scotland from 1702 to 1715 by George Lockhart, Esq. of Carnwath, Vol. 1, ed. Anthony Aufrere, 1817)
 
 
# jimnarlene 2014-07-29 21:12
Cameron nuclear deal behind parliaments back
theguardian.com/world/defence-and-security-blog/2014/jul/29/nuclear-weapons-us-uk-cooperation
 
 
# Auld Rock 2014-07-29 22:26
Thank you Alistair for making such a compelling case for Scottish Independence, which could also explain why the ‘no’ campaign are so reluctant to debate the issues, starting with Cameron himself.

Auld Rock
 
 
# WeThePeople 2014-07-30 10:26
Quote:
"Once the vote is over we have to learn the lessons of how we came to be here." said the Secretary of State.


'If the Scottish people expressed a desire for independence the stage would be set for a direct clash between what is the English doctrine of sovereignty and the Scottish doctrine of the sovereignty of the people.'

SOURCE: 'The Operation of Multi-Layer Democracy', Scottish Affairs Committee Second Report of Session 1997-1998, HC 460-I, 2 December 1998.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2014-07-31 12:00
London needs an extra £1.3 Trillion to maintain it's position!
London Evening Standard:--
"The figure was today set out in an unprecedented “wake-up call” report laying out what transport, technology, energy and other infrastructure will be needed by 2050.
An expert who helped write the report warned that the sky-high cost, akin to funding a London Olympics every three months for the next 35 years, will have to be borne in part by the taxpayer."

standard.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# Breeks 2014-07-31 19:07
And that same effort wouldn't clear their debt supposing the committed every penny.
 

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