SNP attack Cameron London speech as ‘cowardly’

David Cameron has been criticised by the SNP for delivering a major speech on Scottish independence in London, rather than Scotland.

As the prime minister prepares to deliver a high profile speech at the Olympic Park in London pleading with Scotland to stay in the United Kingdom, he has faced stinging criticism from the SNP for failing to make the case in Scotland itself.

Declaring it to be a “cowardly speech”, deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon has commented:

“This is a cowardly speech from a prime minister who uses the Olympic Park in London to give high-handed lectures against Scotland’s independence but hasn’t got the guts to come to Scotland or anywhere else to make his case in a head-to-head debate.

“David Cameron, as the Tory prime minister, is the very embodiment of the democratic case for a Yes vote for an independent Scotland – and he knows it.”

She continued:

“Using the Olympic stadium on the day the Winter Olympics begin and seeking to invoke the successes of London 2012 as an argument against Scotland taking its future into its own hands, it betrays the extent of the jitters now running through the No campaign.

“They see the polls closing and they are clearly rattled – but to politicise any sporting occasion is shameful.”

Putting aside the SNP’s refusal to respond to the substance of the speech, Sturgeon’s word’s would probably have more weight if it wasn’t for the fact that the first minister will next month deliver a speech on independence in London himself.

Commenting ahead of the lecture to be delivered on the 4 March and hosted by the New Statesman, Alex Salmond has said:

“Scotland’s referendum is a unique and historic opportunity to deliver a fairer, more socially just and more prosperous society.

“I am looking forward to using this New Statesman lecture to outline how an independent Scotland will be both a progressive beacon and a powerful economic counterweight to the pull of London, which can help rebalance the social and economic structure across these islands which has seen the UK become one of the most unequal societies in the developed world.”

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14 Responses to “SNP attack Cameron London speech as ‘cowardly’”

  1. dougthedug

    Poor Left Foot Forward.

    Not sure to attack Cameron because he’s a Tory or to defend him because he’s a fellow British nationalist..

  2. David Lindsay

    In opposing Scottish separatism, the Prime Minister talks of “something precious”. He is correct.

    The Welfare State, workers’ rights, full employment, a strong Parliament, trade unions, co-operatives, credit unions, mutual guarantee societies, mutual building societies, and nationalised industries.

    Those last, often with the word “British” in their names, were historically successful in creating communities of interest among the several parts of the United Kingdom, thus safeguarding and strengthening the Union.

    Thepublic stakes in the Bank of Scotland and the Royal Bank of Scotland are such permanent, non-negotiable safeguards of the Union. Any profits from those stakes ought therefore to be divided equally among all households in the United Kingdom.

    This is the remedy against the Balkanisation of Britain by means of devolution and the separatism that it was designed to appease, and against their weakening of trade union
    negotiating power.

    This is the remedy against their ruinous effects on the Scottish Highlands, Islands and Borders; on North, Mid and West Wales; and on the North and West of England; all of which accurately predicted by Labour MPs and activists from the 1970s onwards.

    This is the remedy against the Welsh-speaking oligarchy based in English-speaking areas, which uses devolution to dominate Welsh affairs against the interests of Welsh workers South and North, industrial and agricultural, English-speaking and Welsh-speaking.

    And this is the remedy against the fears that are rightly expressed by English, Scottish and Welsh ethnic minorities and Catholics that we no more want to go down the road of who is or is not “really” English, Scottish or Welsh than Ulster Protestants want to go down the road of who is or is not “really” Irish.

  3. David MacGille-Mhuire

    Endemic cognitive dissonance again from the purportedly British Left – whatever these two things as a collocation pretend to mean. Fossilized since the publication of the “British Road to Socialism” in a lackey capitalist and imperialist mindset – Nairn and Hechter’s analyses having wilfully been allowed to pass them by in a hubris of metropolitan indifference (London-centric and de facto Venetian or Singapore-style city state, in this case).

    A hollow, putrefying, navel-gazing apologia for genuine progressive, never mind revolutionary, solidarity with authentic social forces from the bottom of the pile up: Initially treacherous towards Ireland, for example, but jumping on the bandwagon when the writing was on the wall. Silent in the face of British atrocities around the world – lickspittle to the hegemonic, parasitic elites. Always temporising until forced to opportunistically batten onto genuine movements for social change.

    Well, the game is kaput now for you as far as Scotland is concerned. Genuine forces of progressive social change which give hope to the rest of humanity have been at work since times well before John MacLean and many others on the liberationary side of the struggle for human emancipation concretely done and not consigned to some theoretical future as a Fabianesque delaying tactic.

  4. uglyfatbloke

    How about attacking Cameron ‘cos he’s an arse? All the same, the gnats are right on the principle here. If Cameron wants to use government resources to produce campaign material – and if he is so ‘passionate’ about the union – he should be ready and willing to have a proper public debate. He’s the PM for god’s sake. More to the point, how much would we enjoy seeing him getting smacked around a TV studio by Salmond?

  5. Charles Addison

    Except David, Mr Cameron doesn’t believe in any of the things on your list!

  6. David Lindsay

    But he won’t be in office after May 2015.

  7. Charles Addison

    That may well depend on you convincing scots to vote No in 2014!

  8. David Lindsay

    Not in the least.

    The simplest examination of General Election results at least since 1945 gives the lie to the lazy fantasy that an independent England would have had, and therefore might have in the future, a permanent or semi-permanent Conservative Government rather than, as was and would be the case, a Labour Government almost exactly as often as happened within the United Kingdom, including with comfortable or landslide majorities on every occasion when that was the case under the current arrangements.

    Those who would counter that that was and would be seats, not votes, are almost always strong supporters of First Past The Post, and must face the fact that England would never return a single-party government under any other electoral system. Great swathes of England scarcely elect Conservative MPs at all.

    The notion that the Conservative Party has a unique right to speak for England is as fallacious and offensive as the notion that the Conservative Party has a unique right to speak for the countryside. But of that, another time.

  9. Charles Addison

    No such fantasy being indulged. You cant build a better society to keep Scots in the union in 2015 if they’ve already voted Yes in 2014.
    I suspect Labour will win in 2015 then fail to deliver any of the items on your list either.

  10. David Lindsay

    The practical certainty of Scotland’s impending rejection of
    secession, a new Act of Union.

    Establishing the Crown as the guarantor of the Welfare State, workers’ rights, full employment, a strong Parliament, trade unions, co-operatives, credit unions, mutual guarantee societies, mutual
    building societies, and nationalised industries.

    There is no West Lothian Question, since the Parliament of the United Kingdom reserves the right to legislate supremely in any policy area for any part of the country, and the devolution legislation presupposes that it will do so as a matter of course.

    It never, ever need do so and the point would still stand, since what matters is purely that it has that power in principle, which no one disputes that it has, or else there would be no perceived need,
    either of the SNP, or of a referendum on independence. Anyone who does not like that ought to have voted No to devolution. I bet that they did not.

    But the grievance of England, and especially of Northern and Western England, concerns, not some “West Lothian Question”, but cold, hard cash.

    Each of the present or, where they have been abolished in the rush to unitary local government, the previous city, borough and district council areas in each of the nine regions must be twinned with a demographically comparable one (though not defined in terms of comparable affluence) in Scotland, in Wales, in Northern Ireland, and in each of the other English regions.

    We probably have to talk about the English regions, even if we would prefer to talk about the historic counties from before an unprotesting Thatcher was in the Cabinet.

    Across each of the key indicators – health, education, housing, transport, and so on – both expenditure and outcomes in each English area, responsibility for such matters being devolved elsewhere, would have to equal or exceed those in each of its twins. Or else the relevant Ministers’ salaries would be docked by the percentage in question. By definition that would always include the Prime Minister.

    In any policy area devolved to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, no legislation must apply in any of the English regions unless supported at Third Reading by the majority of MPs from that region.

    Since such legislative chaos would rightly be unconscionable, any Bill would in practice require such a consensus before being permitted to proceed at a much earlier stage of its parliamentary

    No one would lose under any of this: there would be no more politicians than at present, and both expenditure and outcomes would have to be maintained in, most obviously, Scotland and the South East for the twinning system to work.

    Is it conceivable that Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish voters would not also insist on full incorporation into it, with their own areas thus also guaranteed expenditure and outcomes equal to or exceeding those in each of those areas’ respective twins?

    Or else the relevant Holyrood, Cardiff Bay or Stormont Ministers’ salaries would be docked by the percentage in question. By definition that would always include the First Minister, and in Northern Ireland also the Deputy First Minister.

    By all means, let these be the terms of a new Act of Union.

  11. Charles Addison

    Laudable but no one bar you is offering it. Labour in scotland cant agree a policy without fighting. See the threats of non attendance at the party conference.

    Ok, its late night David

  12. David Lindsay

    Who mentioned “Labour in Scotland”, if that is what it is now calling itself? The Labour MPs for Scottish seats are not even going to bother to attend its impending Conference, and who can blame them? No, no, Ed should just announce of this, and let that be that.

  13. John

    I’m sure you were every-so-pleased to finally get to type what reads distinctly like a prepared speech, but perhaps you could refer to the subject matter of this piece?

    If this is a shatterpoint of social forces reaching back to before John MacLean, perhaps you can supply supporting evidence (or at least supporting arguments) rather than sweeping statements?

  14. John

    Why not both? Never mind the fact he’s a Tory; his policies have done bad things to good people, and good things to bad people. Kinda the opposite of what should be occuring.

    As for the British National, I would feel better about him claiming that (or others using it to defend him) if he acted in Britains best intersts; so far all I’ve seen from his oppurtunism a (somewhat laudable in principle) dogged determination to maintain power and a ideological attack on Britains current social and economic set-up.

    An heir to Blair indeed!

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