Momentum builds for Scotland’s ‘Yes to Independence’ campaign

Just days after Alex Salmond fired the starting gun on the two and a half year “Yes to Independence” campaign, the weekend’s press has been full of talk of tactics on both sides of the debate.

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Just days after Alex Salmond fired the starting gun on the two and a half year “Yes to Independence” campaign, the weekend’s press has been full of talk of tactics on both sides of the debate.

Scotland-Yes-to-Independence-declarationScotland on Sunday political editor Eddie Barnes reported on the YesScotland campaign’s decision to target so called “soft Nat” Labour voters which it feels could be persuaded to support the independence cause.

Having seen former Scottish Labour MP Dennis Canavan, Labour supporter Brian Cox, and former GMB regional secretary for Scotland, Tommy Brennan, placed at the forefront of the campaign alongside Alex Salmond, speaking to Scotland on Sunday, a spokesman for “YesScotland” argued that attracting independence-supporting Labour supporters to the cause would prove “key to the vote.

To underline the effort, Humza Yousaf, SNP MSP for Glasgow and parliamentary aide to Alex Salmond, made an explicit pitch to Labour, concluding in a guest piece for the Guardian on Saturday:

The truth is that the Scottish Labour party within an independent Scotland will be allowed to flourish; no longer constrained by having to walk on eggshells in fear of causing embarrassment to London colleagues or the party leadership by way of contradiction.

“The Labour party was born and founded on the Scottish egalitarian principles of Keir Hardie and Robert Cunninghame Graham and the only way to rediscover their Scottish soul is with independence from London.

“Independence is much bigger than the SNP, than Alex Salmond, David Cameron or Ed Miliband. As uncomfortable as this may be for some, the truth is that an independent Scotland can only benefit from both a Labour party true to its own roots and a strong, progressive SNP.”


See also:

Salmond quits stalling and finally launches independence campaign – as poll says ‘no’ May 25 2012

Galloway to square up to Salmond over independence 14 May 2012

MPs accuse SNP of “biased” independence question 8 May 2012


To compound the effort and to the embarrassment one suspects of many within Scottish Labour, Sunday also saw the Herald carry an advertisement revealing former Labour first minister Jack (now Lord) McConnell’s chief of staff, Jeane Freeman, was supporting the push for independence.

In outlining her long-held support for the notion of an independent Scotland, she told the Sunday Herald:

“I’m certainly not going to say I support independence and sit on my hands. I want Scots to be convinced it’s the right thing for themselves and their kids. I’ll be talking to women in all parties and particularly women in business.”

Responding to the developments, a spokesman for Scottish Labour argued:

“The SNP would be better trying to convince their own voters, since this week’s poll showed only just over half of them back independence.

“Most people in Scotland know we are stronger and better being part of the UK. Social justice and fairness are best achieved by working in partnership, not competition, with our neighbours, which is why most people on the Left in Scotland are quite unconvinced.”

Meanwhile, in talk of a campaign that would “focus on everyday people and their lives”, the Sunday Herald has outlined the likely shape of the campaign to oppose independence, due to be started next month.

In its report, the paper notes that the campaign will:

• Remain focussed on a positive message;

• Be led by the former chancellor, Alistair Darling, alongside a board constituting of former Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie, former UK Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy, the Labour MSPs Richard Baker and Jackie Baillie, Tory MSP David McLetchie, and Scottish Lib Dem convener Craig Harrow;

• Run and managed by Blair McDougall, special adviser to the former work and pensions secretary, James Purnell, someone known to be close to shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy.

In pledging to build the campaign up slowly, a spokesman told the Sunday Herald:

“This is a hell of a long campaign. We’re not convinced the public are engaged or excited by it yet. But politics is all about momentum. We have the momentum and he [Salmond] does not.

“The Yes campaign really needs to be ahead going into this, because usually the numbers tighten, but they’re only supported by a third of people.”

In its advice meanwhile, the Labour supporting Daily Record, argued on Saturday that the pro-independence campaign still had many questions to answer; its editorial observed:

There are questions here for Labour and the other parties opposed to independence. And those questions revolve around the importance of putting together a positive message about why Scotland is stronger within Britain and not outside it.

“It’s about reclaiming the Saltire and sending out the positive message that it is patriotic and Scottish to stand shoulder to shoulder with our neighbours and cousins south of the Border and across the water in Northern Ireland.

“To coin Robert Burns, Labour and others must shout it out with clarity and conviction… A Man’s a Man for A’ That.

“Yes, we are different nations – but we are cut from the same cloth. And we are stronger together.”


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17 Responses to “Momentum builds for Scotland’s ‘Yes to Independence’ campaign”

  1. Ed Jacobs

    RT @leftfootfwd: Momentum builds for Scotland’s ‘Yes to Independence’ campaign

  2. Political Planet

    Momentum builds for Scotland’s ‘Yes to Independence’ campaign: Just days after Alex Salmond fired the starting g…

  3. leftlinks

    Left Foot Forward – Momentum builds for Scotland’s ‘Yes to Independence’ campaign

  4. Pulp Ark

    Momentum builds for Scotland’s ‘Yes to… #ABritainWeAllCallHome #AlexSalmond #independence #muslim #tcot #sioa

  5. Lord Blagger

    1. 52 left wing MPs removed from Westminster.
    2. Boundary changes to level the playing field

    Doesn’t look good for Labour in England/Wales/NI

    3. Barnet formula share of the debt going to Scotland
    4. RBS and HBOS mess going to Scotland
    5. EU insisting they join the Euro on application to being a member.
    6. Rump of the UK having a Veto over their membership.

    Not too clever.

  6. Anonymous

    No, it doesn’t, given it’s not a “level playing field”, it’s a very narrow partisan attack on Labour, deliberately designed to break up Labour areas using ashistoric boundaries, making it near-impossible to campaign properly in many areas and dividing up Labour areas into minorities.

    Tampering with the electoral commission is a typical Tory plot. More gerrymandering and vote rigging is incoming as well.

    And no, you’re not too clever. You’re very blatant about your desire for a One Party State.

  7. Terry McCarthy

    In 1997, Labour won enough seats in England alone to form an outright majority in the Commons, so the idea that they’re not capable of forming a government without MPs from Scotland is a fallacy. The big three parties don’t operate in NI. Isn’t it about time the six counties of NI were handed back to te rest of Ireland?

  8. D M Gordon

    Momentum builds for Scotland's 'Yes to Independence' campaign …: Days after Alex Salmond l… #News #Scotland #UK

  9. Anonymous

    Darling, Baker, Goldie, McLetchie….that’ll really help. Kennedy is a good choice, but where is McIntosh?

  10. Howard Price

    A Unionist said “The Yes campaign really needs to be ahead going into this, because usually the numbers tighten, but they’re only supported by a third of people.”

    Oh dear:

    2009-12 Averages all other polls (MORI, TNS, Panelbase, VC/Angus Reid, ICM, ICD, SSAS, Comres)
    Yes = 40%
    No = 41%

    Yes = 32%
    No = 55%

  11. Sir Alastair 2Mac

    I shall just take each of the points one at a time in response. Unionist Scare stories…Boo!

    1. According to Hansard Not once has a Majority Labour Government required Scottish MPs to win General Election in over 100 years, they simply increase the majority.
    2. The playing field should be level. It is democracy. Do you want to fix an election by ring fencing areas where you have support, then change it when they move?

    3. Debt accrued while Scotland is part of the Union falls by the fairest measure. Total debt / by total population x scottish population. The per capita calculation means each man & women share the debt equally. None more, none less. (Although Ed Balls should probably pay at least half of it off.)
    4. RBS & HBOS are multinational orgs. They do 5% of business in Scotland but have their HQ there. When the bail out happened USA bailed out the US trading subsiduaries, Dutch the same and the UK bailed out a bank that was trading 95% in England. the part of the RBS group that as bailed out most was NatWest and the US subprime mortgage inc.

    It is standard to bail out depending on where registered. ps. There is no money owed anymore. I think it is all paid back and now using EU liquidity fund.

    5. EU is not insisting. They have yet to decide on the issue as their is no precident. The wording is clear. New members must apply to join and accept Euro. Neither Scotland or England are members of the EU but the UK is. When split their is no Kingdoms to be United. Just because we leave does not mean you make the rules or vice versa. It will be a negotiated split, if their is an EU to join in 2014. Most likely both will inherit membership but no dicision has been made. The media just keep reporting the issue then quoting rules about new members when that designation is yet to be decided.

    6. London is suddenly going to Veto, get real. We cannot even get Westminister to extradite Terrorists. They are never going to Veto, it would require a border and that will loose Gov the next election.

    Quite simply Independence is the chance to elect a slightly less self serving group of politicos to represent us. Ones we can vote in and out at a ballot box. Ones that must therefore pretend to listen. Currently we have 1 Tory MP & Tory Gov. Not democratic but how do we influence a politician who knows we hate them and will never give them a vote.

    Independence is simply the start of self determination and better management via accountable local government not remote administration from London millionaires who know nothing of our problems and care less about their solutions.

  12. Sir Alastair 2Mac

    I think you will find that historically both Labour & Tories have messed with borders for their own advantage. The current system provides a Labour advantage.

    As for the statement about a one party state. Nothing in Lord Blaggers post suggested a 1 party state. In the last 50 years most of the 1 party states flew a red flag and marched with a left foot forward.

    Their are not Reds under the bed, nor are their Nazis hiding inside everyone who does not agree with you.

    The left need to take a serious look at themselves. Having political muppets like Ed & Ed leading them. It is like telling kids they CAN have sweets for dinner everyday, as you take them back from dentists after feeding them sweets for a decade.

    There must be a realisation that not all good ideas are practical, not all nice concepts work in reality. Not every council needs a diversity coordinator for vegan albino lesbians.

    What our public services need. Is Drs, nurses, police, teachers, carers. Not management consultants, coordinators. I saw the salaries of thousands. Do not believe the lies they are struggling.

  13. Anonymous

    No, I think you’ll find that the Boundary Commission hasn’t been tampered with before since it’s establishment in 1944.

    “Nothing in Lord Blaggers post suggested a 1 party state. ”

    Suggested? I agree, “suggests” is far too mild a word.

    “Their are not Reds under the bed, nor are their Nazis hiding inside everyone who does not agree with you.”

    No, but anti-Semites certainly do exist. Are you naming yourself as one?

    “Not every council needs a diversity coordinator for vegan albino lesbians. ”

    And not every council needs to be charging old ladies full commercial prices for social services. Oh wait, they do now unless they’re a wealthy Tory council.

    You want the “front line” to be doing their job AND the back-end jobs, without of course a penny of extra pay. Moreover, the MYTH that they work short hours is complete nonsense.

    “As a pensions specalist”

    Ah yes, a typical “expert” in calling to abolish them, i.e. a Tory. Keep advocating only scam pensions, which people will never ever see the cash from again, and only exist to enrich you.

  14. Anonymous

    1. And? After the Gerrymandering, which I note you fully support, and the other vote-rigging going on that won’t matter. It’s about your One Party State.

    5. You don’t understand the basics of international law on the succession of states, I see.

  15. Anonymous

    Regardless of what they want, Terry? Are you Irish or Argentinian?

    And yes, it’s a COMPLETE fallacy, given the outright vote rigging going on.

  16. The Left, "Englishness" and voting conservative | Left Foot Forward

    […] Momentum builds for Scotland’s ‘Yes to Independence’ campaign 28 May […]

  17. EvelynsezYES

    RT @leftfootfwd: Momentum builds for Scotland’s ‘Yes to Independence’ campaign #scottishlabour

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