Scottish independence No campaign plotted

Scots actor Gerard Butler, star of the blockbuster movie 300, is the latest celebrity to back the
Scottish independence Yes campaign

Scottish independence: Scottish independence No campaign plotted

by Jamie Mann

The Alastair Darling-led campaign to confine Scotland inside Great Britain will be launched in the latter-half of this month.  The former Labour Chancellor, who was ‘at the wheel’ when the economic crisis took grip, will be joined by former Conservative leader Annabel Goldie and former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy. 

Organisers of the Unionist campaign are seeking to raise £1m to help promote their message, with initial donations coming from individual supporters.

The promotion is planned to launch shortly after the First Minister Alex Salmond presents evidence at the Leveson Inquiry later this month relating to the SNP leader’s meetings with Rupert Murdoch has held on at least five different occasions.

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Commenting as David Cameron was forced to defend his Government’s budget U-turns, SNP MSP for South Scotland, Paul Wheelhouse said:

“The number of u-turns by the coalition government in one week has smashed all records and now they have been joined in their indecision by Alastair dream-team.jpgDarling’s No campaign which has hit reverse gear before it has got off the grid.

“Changing their name from No to Yes, won’t hide the campaign’s fundamental negativity from the people of Scotland.

“This is a huge blunder by the anti-independence parties - if two campaigns are urging people in Scotland to vote Yes, then they will vote for the real Yes campaign, not the phoney negative one.”

The yes campaign has initially seen greater financial backing compared to that of the Unionists, with the Nationalists sitting on millions, following a £1m donation from Ayrshire lottery winners Colin and Chris Weir as well as a slightly smaller amount by the late Scots makar Edwin Morgan.

Though the anti-independence group will strive for the Scottish electorate to vote No in the 2014 independence referendum, campaign managers have insisted that a ‘No’ slogan will not be used.

‘Yes’, has been a prominent slogan for the pro-independence campaign launched last month in Edinburgh.  The event was hosted by the First Minister, who was joined by Green co-convenor, Patrick Harvie, Scottish Socialist leader Colin Fox and a collection of Scottish celebrities including Brian Cox and Alan Cumming.

Backing has also come from Sean Connery whose words of support were narrated at the launch of the Yes Campaign whilst Scots comic Frankie Boyle and Scots actor Gerard Butler have  expressed their approval.

Despite a mutual support for independence, the Greens and the SNP have been split on the issue of currency. Retaining sterling is becoming a key area of division, with the Greens keen to consider an independence Scottish currency.  Green co-convenor Patrick Harvie has stressed that currency and other matters must be determined before voters make their decision.

Similarly, Scottish Lib Dem Leader Willie Rennie has invited the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King to the Scottish Parliament to provide answers to questions surrounding monetary policy in an independent Scotland

The Greens have additionally called for a timeline for a ‘crowdsourced’ constitution in next year’s white paper which would allow Scots to decide exactly what would be included in a new constitution, should they opt for independence.

Crowdsourcing has been somewhat revolutionary in Iceland, where thousands of people took part in shaping and amending a new constitution following its financial crash.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“I think it's very clear that as a modern independent state, Scotland will need a written constitution but I want to see it genuinely written by the people, rather than by haggling between Scottish and UK Ministers. It's my hope that we can lay out a clear timeline before the referendum that will show Scots how they will have the chance to design the new rules we’ll need for a transformed country."

The most important decision in modern Scottish history is being currently overshadowed by tribal party politics. What should be a balanced debate is instead being dwarfed by bitter rivalries.

Paul Wheelhouse MSP continued:

"If the anti-independence parties can't even bring themselves to admit that theirs is a No campaign, it shows just how defensive and negative they are. This is completely inept.  The No side is the campaign that dare not speak its name - and is fated to be mired in confusion."

“And if reports that they are losing financial support on a daily basis are true then it seems there are many others unconvinced by this topsy turvey strategy.”



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Showing 4 reactions

commented 2012-06-05 11:47:42 +0100 · Flag
I take Dr. Reynolds’s point about the undesirable diversity of opinion within the Yes side on key aspects of post-independence policy, but with two years to go till the referendum there is every chance of a crystallisation of ideas taking place by then.

The Scottish Democratic Alliance (SDA) is well out in front as regards planning for the post-independence situation because, although a registered political party with future electoral ambitions, it has thrown its weight behind the SNP until the independence decision has been made.

For the meantime, as a think tank, it is concentrating on researching and formulating post-independence policy. That task is very far from being completed, but even at the present stage the SDA has clear ideas on key fundamental issues like the Constitution, the Currency, Economy and Taxation, Security and Defence, and others.

It is the only Scottish political institution that is approaching the post-independence situation from a global standpoint, in the light of the vast changes that have taken place during the past twenty years in the international framework within which Scotland will have to promote and protect its interests in the future.

It has already sketched out its ideas on Scotland’s future international status in Scotland in the World and Scotland in Europe, both of which can be read on the SDA website, and is currently working on the relationship between independent Scotland and the other nations of the so-called British Isles. See:

There is such a dearth of relevant international know-how in Scotland that, to someone like myself with personal experience at government level of how an independent state of Scotland’s size is actually run, much of the discussion seems so distant from reality as to defy a comprehensible reply. There are light years of a difference between running a devolved administration and governing an independent state, and the Scots will have to re-learn the art and science of it.

The UK, and even Europe, are completely outdated as frameworks for the future governance of Scotland. Our political framework is now the world, and its name is Interdependence, resting on a foundation of around 200 independent states members of the United Nations. It is going to take a long time to establish the level of statesmanship that independent Scotland will need to cope with this new situation, but if we don’t begin planning for it now we are going to find ourselves in trouble when the day arrives.
commented 2012-06-05 06:42:07 +0100 · Flag
I agree with Tamas Marcus.However,my concern is about how to coordinate strategy among many different groups of Yes supporters from the entire political spectrum (SNP.Labour,Conservative,Liberal,Green,Socialist etc) ,Civic Scotland,and groups such as the SDA? They are all unified by an agreement that decisions made about Scotland are best made by those who live there,but not agreed on the currency issue.There is a need to move closer together on that one because the No campaign will say exploit divisions for their own purpose.

If this was an election for an independent Scottish Parliament,there is no problem.People can vote for the strategy that they find most convincing.However,the referndum is not about party political politics.It is a broad based movement that offers a diverse range of solutions about the currency.This diversity is both a strength and a weakness.It is a strength in the sense that there are a number of options to be considered at a later date,when we know the economic situation in Europe.However,it is weak because,most people do not understand the arguments and they are likely to panic,rather than be reassured by what they see as uncertainty.I am not certain that the SDa website will solve the problem of a public image of uncertainty caused by different messages coming from various sections of the Yes campaign.

I raised my concern on another thread and was advised to read the SDA website.I will get around to that,although that is not the answer to my question.My question is:

‘’Can all of the elements,that comprise the Yes Campaign,agree on a strategy for the currency that can reassure the public,and take the sting out of the unionist attacks’?’’
commented 2012-06-05 01:46:46 +0100 · Flag
Its an interesting point about which decisions need to be made before independence and which after. The NATO question I still think should be after, currency probably before. Maintaining the use of Sterling for a period after then dropping it for a new currency when it suits Scottish national interests. But I would definitely like to see a written constitution and strong bill of rights in black and white soon. Just grab a red pen and a copy of the American one if necessary. Lets see a determination to be citizens not subjects.
published this page in News 2012-06-04 17:24:03 +0100