Cameron has played into the SNP’s hands

In creating a team to try and secure a Tory victory in 2015, David Cameron may have tipped the balance in the debate on Scotland’s future - and not in the way he wants.

In creating a team to try and secure a Tory victory in 2015, David Cameron may have tipped the balance in the debate on Scotland’s future – and not in a good way

Has David Cameron just provided a shot in the arm of the Yes to Scottish independence campaign?

That’s certainly one way of looking at yesterday’s reshuffle.

As Tory women strolled up Downing Street in an effort to somehow gloss over this government’s abysmal record when it comes to women’s issues, the country now has a government and a cabinet that is more sceptical about the UK’s place in Europe.

As the new defence secretary Michael Fallon declared on the Today programme this morning, “it’s certainly a Eurosceptic cabinet”.

Responding to the reshuffle, especially the promotion of the arch Eurosceptic Philip Hammond to foreign secretary, Alex Salmond warned that “the clear risk for Scotland now is that we are dragged out of Europe against our wishes, with hugely damaging consequences for jobs and investment, if we do not take our future into our own hands”.

Unsurprisingly, he went on to conclude that “only a Yes vote in September can secure Scotland’s place in Europe”.

Putting aside the ambiguity around how long it may or may not take for an independent Scotland to take its place in the EU (if it is allowed that is), the reality is that the first minister’s words have more than a ring of truth to it.

Recent polling by ICM for the Scotsman has shown that if faced in September with the prospect of the UK being “very likely” to leave the European Union, support for independence increased by 3 per cent.

Commenting on the reshuffle in its editorial this morning, the Daily Record has warned that “this is a lurch to the right and a reshuffle that threw the future of the UK right back into the cement mixer”:

“Just when the Better Together side appear to have steadied their ship” the paper has commented, “Cameron’s short-sighted re-arrangement of his deck chairs puts the Union back into dangerous waters.”

In creating what he sees as a team to secure a Conservative victory in 2015, David Cameron might just have tipped the balance in the debate on Scotland’s future in a direction he might not have considered or indeed wants.

15 Responses to “Cameron has played into the SNP’s hands”

  1. George

    Good.

  2. Leon Wolfeson

    I’m not sure how leaving the EU first quite accomplishes that, but hey.

    And why do you assume Cameron is pro-Union in reality? It’s not in his strategic interests.

  3. Kryten2k35

    Why would this do anything? The Tories can’t hold a referendum unless they win in 2015, and I’m going to put money on that not happening.

  4. John Mitchell

    This is perhaps reading too much into yesterday’s reshuffle. It is exaggerated by the SNP and others that Scotland does not contain a degree of euroscepticism. The SNP’s European Election campaign was fairly negative and consisted of vote SNP to prevent UKIP winning a MEP in Scotland. That didn’t work out too well for them, although admittedly on a low turnout as was the case across the UK.

    The question for the First Minister should be do the people of Scotland want to be in Europe without reforms? At least the UK Government (or Conservatives) will back a referendum on EU membership. That’s not something that the SNP Scottish Government seems willing to offer.

    The main issue of the referendum surrounds the economy. The economy is potentially connected to the EU, that is true. However, EU membership is not the main issue to voters and I do believe it’s rather more mixed in the view on Europe within Scotland than the First Minister may realise.

  5. Ian McIntyre

    I think the elephant in the room is ignored by unionists. More Scots want to continue EU membership than voters in the rest of the UK do. The unionist stance on this situation is that we should vote no and accept what a larger majority decides is best for us. The Yes campaign are firmly behind continued EU membership, the Conservatives appear to be heading for a showdown and withdrawal, Labour might have a referendum and the Limp dems will agree with anybody when power beckons. A vote for Yes is a vote for EU membership, a vote for no brings a mixed message with the outcome decided by our neighbours.

  6. Stupid Socialists

    Left Foot Forward’s anti-Scottish Independence agenda is almost shocking.

    But alas I am not shocked because it is entirely natural for Socialists to want big, centralised, statist regimes. That is the only way to force their arrogant and lethal philosophy on everyone else. Consequently small countries and self determination are anathema to the phony socialist utopia.

    After all how outrageous it would be for people to make their own decisions in their lives, rather than be dominated by you lot! You lot of course know better than me how I should live my life!

  7. johnproblem

    I don’t think he even gave it a thought – only a few can be accommodated at one time.

    “Dave?”
    “Yes, Lynton.”
    “Here’s my list for your new
    Cabinet.”
    “Thanks awfully, Lynton.”
    “No worries, mite. She’ll be
    apples.”
    “No Old Etonians to go, I trust.”
    “Course not, mite. Ya think I’m
    stewpid?”
    “Good Heavens, no, Lynton.”
    “Right.”
    “Oh dear. Both Michaels and
    William to go?”
    “Trust me, mite, they’re a
    bleedin’ liability. You need Sheilas instead.”
    “What’s that?”
    “Women, Dave. Women.”
    “I do?”
    “Votes.”
    “Ah. Good show. Um. Who’s going to
    tell the chaps who are kicked out?”
    “I will, if you want. No prob.”
    “Oh, thanks awfully.”

  8. Derick Tulloch

    All the voting projections I have seen put the UK GE too close to call at present.
    Consider this scenario.
    There is a No vote in the referendum in Scotland.
    Cameron portrays himself as the man who saved the Union
    As a result the Tories romp home in 2015

    Vote Yes to save England!

  9. eireanne

    that’s an interesting point of view Leon – .
    Would you care to explain why the break-up of the UK is in Mr Cameron’s strategic interest?

  10. Leon Wolfeson

    Apart from getting rid of a generally more leftist population, and removing some thorny barriers to his long-term plans like Scots law?

  11. Kryten2k35

    No. The last council elections were a nice indicator of how people will be voting, and Labour may have well walked in, said their name and dropped the mic.

  12. eireanne

    well yes, those are obvious enough. They hardly seem reason enough to go down in history as the man who broke up the UK. So what else makes you think he wants to be that man?

  13. Leon Wolfeson

    Cameron’s entire problem is lack of strategic focus. I believe those are more than sufficient for him.

  14. Arthur

    The SNP’s European Election campaign didn’t work out too well for them. Apart from winning in Scotland of course. Which is better than Labour did in the UK. Or the Tories, or the Lib Dems…

  15. John Mitchell

    True, but as I posted previously the SNP’s main goal was to shut out UKIP and win 3 MEPs to bolster their narrative of difference. On that they failed and I also believe that their vote share was down, albeit marginally.

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