Tag Archives: scottish independence

Jo Swinson launches “Scotland should stay!” petition

st Andrews flag saltire scotland Some rights reserved by Fulla TJo Swinson, Lib Dem MP for East Dunbartonshire, is inviting those who “think Scotland should be stay part of the United Kingdom” to sign a petition saying so ahead of the independence referendum on 18th September. Here’s the text of the email circulated to party members last night:

In just over a month my fellow Scots and I will cast the most important vote of our lives.

I’m hoping there’s a resounding vote for Scotland to stay as part of the

Posted in News and Scotland | Also tagged , and | 7 Comments

Who’s afraid of Scottish independence?

Saltire - St Andrews Flag - Scotland - Some rights reserved by byronv2The last month has seen the ‘Yes Scotland’ independence campaign take a battering.

First, Mark Carney raised doubts about Alex Salmond’s plans for a post-independence currency union between Scotland and the remainder of the UK.

This warning was echoed when, with more naked partisanship, George Osborne, Danny Alexander and Ed Balls teamed up to state they would each refuse to form such a currency union.

And then last Sunday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso hammered in

Posted in Op-eds and Scotland | Also tagged , , , , , and | 33 Comments

Michael Moore writes… Hullabaloo Tuesday

Heard much about the referendum lately?

I only ask because there is a curious phenomenon at play in Scotland at present.

Never mind “Will you be voting ‘Yes’ or No’ next year?”: the real divide in Scotland seems to be between those who think they have heard too much from politicians already and those who think they have heard nothing at all.

To campaigners on both sides of the ‘great debate’ this latter camp is intensely frustrating.

At my last count (I am in recovery now), the UK government had published over 600 pages of analysis and argument. The slackers at …

Posted in Op-eds | 11 Comments

LibLink: Caron Lindsay – Why home rule would be better for Scotland than independence

Our very own Caron Lindsay has been moonlighting over at The Herald, with an excellent piece on the relative merits of independence and home rule.

Here’s a sample:

First and foremost I’m a mum. I want my daughter and her children beyond her to live in a prosperous, inclusive, progressive, liberal, Scotland.

That word liberal is a bit of a giveaway, however. I’ve been active in Liberal Democrat politics for 30 years, since joining as a curious 15 year-old during the 1983 election. I’m a federalist and my views on how Scotland’s governance should work were very neatly summed up by

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 8 Comments

Pensions, the triple lock and Scottish independence

Steve Webb has come under a bit of fire for comments that his triple lock, which guarantees a state pension rise by the higher of earnings, inflation or 2.5% can’t be guaranteed after the election. Let’s look at what he actually said to the Financial Times.

My view is it should be triple lock; to be absolutely clear, I would want to see that continue. But we, as a party, will have to thrash that one out.

He made clear that this would be something that all parties would have go deal with.

This is pretty much a statement of the obvious. …

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LibLink: Michael Moore – Scotland is stronger within the United Kingdom

michael-moore-mp-secretary-of-state-for-scotlandMichael Moore has been sharing his thoughts on the referendum on the US version of Huffington Post.  He writes:

Scotland is facing an historic decision in 2014: whether to remain as part of the United Kingdom or to leave and go it alone. Scotland’s nationalist First Minister Alex Salmond is in America this week and will seek to persuade Americans that Scots want independence, that it is our destiny and that U.S. relations with Scotland will only improve should it happen. On all counts, I believe that this analysis is flawed.

With

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Electoral Commission advises SNP to change Independence Referendum question

The Electoral Commission has published its advice on both the question for next year’s referendum on whether Scotland should leave the UK and spending limits. Both sides of the debate have been quick to accept the recommendations, which means that most of the issues on process should now be resolved.

This means that Scots will be asked next Autumn to answer:

Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes/No

This is different from the SNP Government’s proposed question:

Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?

And also from the rather cumbersome question drawn up by a panel set up by the parties who …

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Scottish Independence: one brief letter, one big problem for the Yes campaign?

Here at Liberal Democrat Voice, I have occasionally drawn the attention of readers towards the Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs and its inquiry into the economic implications for the United Kingdom of Scottish independence. And this week, the Committee appears to have obtained an answer to a question which has hung heavy over the debate until now, i.e. would an independent Scotland automatically become part of the European Union.

In response to an invitation from the acting Chair of the Committee, Lord Tugendhat (a former two-term European Commissioner), Jose Manuel Barroso wrote;

Whilst refraining from comment on possible future scenarios,

Posted in Europe / International, News and Scotland | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

George Lyon MEP writes: Scots need guarantees on EU membership before independence referendum

As a Vice President of the European Budget Committee I am busy debating how the EU budget, or what those who stalk the corridors of Brussels call the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF), will be distributed in coming years.

As an MEP for Scotland, I am also focussed on getting the best possible deal for my constituents.

With all the constraints that the current economic climate have placed on the budgets of Member States that task is hard enough.

But Scots must also consider that the next MFF, that runs from 2014-2020, will be decided in the shadow of the independence referendum. The consequences …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 22 Comments

Opinion: Scottish reshuffle and the independence referendum

In amongst the fall-out from the reshuffle last week at Number 10, another reshuffle was somewhat lost in the news. In Scotland, Alex Salmond decided it was time to change things around a bit in Bute House – though unlike David Cameron, it was more a case of rearranging the deckchairs than bringing in new furniture.

The only departure of note was Bruce Cameron, along with two junior ministers, and in all those cases it was for genuine personal reasons. However, the big change was the move of Nicola

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 30 Comments

Michael Moore’s Westminster Notes

Every week, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland writes a column for newspapers in his Borders constituency. Here’s this week’s edition.

Energy prices

Rising energy continue to be a huge for concern for Borderers and I was pleased to meet with the Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey last week to discuss the Government’s plans to help people reduce their energy bills through the Green Deal, the most ambitious home insulation programme the UK has ever seen.

With the Green Deal, Borderers will be able to pay for some or all of the insulation work done with the savings they make on …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

Better Together, the pro UK campaign launches in Edinburgh

The campaign to keep Scotland within the UK launched on Monday in Edinburgh. Led by former Chancellor, Alistair Darling, it aims to “promote the view that Scotland is a better and stronger country as part of the United Kingdom”. The name of the campaign, Better Together, is positive and deliberately does not include the word “no”.

There were keynote speeches from Darling and a finale by Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, but the stage was mainly given over to a selection of ordinary people who took to the stage to explain why they wanted Scotland to stay in the Union. Some of them are in this video, the Best of Both Worlds, also available here on You Tube.

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In other news… Richard Kemp for Liverpool, Kennedy on the UK, defection in Cambridge, Hughes at Leveson

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past week…

Richard Kemp to represent Liberal Democrats in Liverpool mayor election in May (Liverpool Echo)

‘He said: “I am standing because I believe that only the Liberal Democrats have the long term strategies which will place this city in a leading position able to create the jobs and investment which this city so badly needs. Liverpool needs an encompassing vision and direction that everyone in the city, residents, business and friends can buy into and support.”

You can read Richard’s own account of …

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Opinion: What happens if Salmond loses the independence referendum?

There are clear signs that support for independence in Scotland is volatile and that the current debate is weakening it. Issues, such as defence, uncertainties over any financial settlement – not least because RBS is as Scottish as a glass of Glenmorangie – plus the normal fear of voters faced with a big step into the unknown, will all conspire between now and 2014 to make victory less and less likely.

So the residents of Scotland (including many who would describe themselves as English) may well say no. What then? Does the issue fade away?

In Scotland there would have to be …

Posted in Op-eds | 18 Comments

Opinion: Firm Friend and Equal Partner – Alex Salmond’s Lecture at the Scott Trust

I attended Alex Salmond’s lecture at the Scott Trust this Tuesday. It will come as no surprise to most of you that it was a terrifyingly brilliant performance by Scotland’s First Minister. However, it is important to note that the man is an enviable position at the moment and is well aware of that fact.

For a start, he has the luxury of being both in government and opposition at the same time (government in Scotland while being able to dump on everyone in Westminster, including Labour). He proudly declared on Tuesday night that not only are the three main party …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

Opinion: UK break-up – we’d all be losers

On the 6th May 2011 the Scottish National Party secured a historic majority for the next five year term at the Scottish Parliament. Their manifesto promised to freeze council tax, oppose tuition fees and set a renewable energy target of 100% by 2020. However, more crucially, one of the SNP’s most important pledges was to hold a referendum on independence.

The SNP is keen to emphasize its view that independence would make Scotland more successful; economically and socially. The SNP state that independence is the best choice for the future of Scotland and the issue should be decided by …

Posted in Op-eds | 15 Comments

Anti-English or Anti-Scottish? A guide to the independence referendum

At last, Westminster and the UK media have woken up to the reality that Scotland is sleepwalking towards independence. The phoney war is over and finally we may get some serious debate rather than evasion, insults and accusations of ‘talking Scotland down’.

When the Scottish Liberal Democrats refused to form a coalition with the SNP after the 2007 Scottish Parliament elections, it was not just personal antipathy to Alex Salmond’s unbearably smug persona. Our then leader, Nicol Stephen, warned that the SNP would spend the whole time in government blaming Westminster for everything, rather than concentrating on actually making …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 48 Comments

Opinion: Speaking up for Scots – a referendum on independence needs democratic legitimacy

All sorts of scare-stories surround a future Scottish referendum – from practical questions about the debt rating of an independent nation to more emotive fears of a new wave of Highland clearances.

Yet amidst all the manoeuvering by both the pro and anti-unionists seeking to define the framework under which the question will be answered (in particular whether it should be a straight in-out decision) the respective leaders at Westminster and Holyrood retain one glaring blindspot.

Scotsman columnist Bill Jamieson is entirely correct when identifying an “effective disenfranchisement which could undermine the referendum vote as envisaged,” but perhaps not …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 19 Comments

Liberal Unionism in 2012

There’s no escaping history in our party, and current debates of nationalism, unionism and secession should prompt Liberal Democrats to delve back into the Gladstonian past.

The Liberal Party split over the Union. Gladstone favoured Home Rule for Ireland, Liberal Unionists didn’t, and ultimately joined the Conservative Party. This cemented the Conservative Party as the party of the Union, and it is a position the Conservative Party still holds.

The purpose of this article is, however, to challenge the Conservative Party’s stranglehold over being British.

The existing Conservative argument goes that a Conservative Britain is a Britainthat stands proud and takes no nonsense …

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Haggis, Neeps and Liberalism #12

Yesterday was St Andrew’s Day, a special day of celebration in Scotland. If Iain Smith, Liberal Democrat MSP for NE Fife which includes the town of St Andrews had his way, it would have been a full public holiday, not just the half day that civil servants can take if they want that the SNP have delivered in Government.

There’s a lot going on in Scottish politics at the moment. Here are just a few snippets:

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Daily View 2×2: 30 November 2009

Welcome to a new week, and the anniversary of the end of the invasion of Iraq … first time round, that is – Operation Desert Storm officially finished in 1995. And happy birthday to David Mamet, Billy Idol, Lorraine Kelly and Gary Lineker and Gael García Bernal. On with the day …

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here’s are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

Richmond Park: Lib Dem Hold (Jonathan Calder)

… some will ask how extraordinary personal wealth can be squared with [his’ talk in an

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Scottish Lib Dem conference: your LDV reader

On Saturday, LDV reported the news that the Scottish Lib Dems were uniting behind leader Tavish Scott’s opposition to the SNP referendum on independence, ahead of a special private conference for party members. And so it came to pass, as the BBC reports:

Tavish Scott has consistently opposed a referendum, but some divisions within the party have emerged and the issue was debated in a closed session at the party’s autumn conference in Dunfermline, Fife, on Saturday.

Senior Lib Dem MSP Ross Finnie, who has been asked to lead a consultation with members about the party’s stance,

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Times: Tavish Scott expected to see off Lib Dem rebellion on opposition to referendum

A week ago, LDV asked the question, Is it time for the Scottish Lib Dems to back an independence referendum?, amid suggestions in The Sunday Times that there was “a growing rebellion within the party’s ranks over its opposition to Alex Salmond’s Referendum Bill.” Today’s Times reports that Scottish Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott will win overwhelming backing for the leadership line:

Senior Lib Dems were increasingly confident that a minority of “referendum rebels” would not succeed in forcing Mr Scott into a U-turn that could pose serious question marks over his continued leadership.

The issue of the Scottish government’s

Posted in Scotland | Also tagged , , and | 12 Comments

Scottish Lib Dems win anti-independence vote, call for new Holyrood powers

As anticipated on Lib Dem Voice here, the Scottish Lib Dems’ call for a referendum on Scottish independence to be postponed until at least 2011 – the date of the next Holyrood elections – received a substantial majority last night. The FT reports:

Labour and the Conservatives backed a Liberal Democrat call for the SNP to ditch its plans for an independence referendum, and the amendment was carried by 72 votes to 47. …

Mike Rumbles, the Liberal Democrats’ chief whip, said Thursday’s vote was a “reality check” for the SNP. “They need to ditch the referendum and ditch it

Posted in News and Scotland | Also tagged , , , and | 1 Comment

Scottish Lib Dems call for end to “chatter about the constitution”

Lib Dem Voice reported last week that Scottish Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott had made clear his opposition to a referendum on Scottish independence:

Liberal Democrats do not support independence and we will not support a referendum that could let independence in through the backdoor.”

Today the Scottish party will go one stage further and move an amendment in the Holyrood Parliament calling for any idea of a referendum to be dumped until after the next elections in 2011. It is thought likely that Labour and the Tories will rally behind the Lib Dem amendment, which would ensure the SNP was …

Posted in News and Scotland | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Tavish vetoes SNP independence referendum hopes

Despite Lord (Paddy) Ashdown’s public declaration last week that the Lib Dems should support a referendum on Scottish independence, Tavis Scott has made it clear he won’t budge – here’s today’s Daily Telegraph:

Tavish Scott, the Scottish Lib Dem leader told the Daily Telegraph he would rebuff any offers made by the First Minister because he did not want to be drawn into a constitutional “trap” that could threaten the Union. … The rejection leaves Mr Salmond with an almost impossible task to win the parliamentary majority he requires at Holyrood to get his Referendum Bill passed. Without the

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Paddy: Scottish Lib Dems wrong to veto independence referendum

The Scotsman reports on the intervention of former Lib Dem leader, Lord (Paddy) Ashdown:

THE Unionist parties in Scotland should back a referendum on independence to finish off the SNP as a political force once and for all, former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown has claimed. Lord Ashdown told The Scotsman that he believes his own party has got its tactics wrong in Scotland in dealing with the Nationalists. And he said that Wendy Alexander was on the right lines when she challenged First Minister Alex Salmond to “bring it on” and hold a referendum on independence. …

The former Liberal

Posted in News and Scotland | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJohnTilley 23rd Oct - 2:23am
    Caron wrote ---"Anyway, back to Donnachadh. There will be many figures from the establishment in the Ashdown and Kennedy Eras who will have felt the...
  • User AvatarGeorge Potter 23rd Oct - 1:42am
    @Mark Valladares I really don't see what is possibly ad hominem about pointing out the fact that Tony Greaves has both said "This idea is...
  • User AvatarMark Argent 23rd Oct - 1:33am
    Perhaps unelected peers are no more scandalous than shoeing candidates into safe seats in the Commons — the fact that (for example) Boris Johnson is...
  • User AvatarDonnachadh McCarthy 23rd Oct - 1:07am
    Thanks Caron. Yes I agree using nearly 30 police in military formation to arrest someone for the "crime" of having a folded tarpaulin under my...
  • User AvatarRichard S 23rd Oct - 12:50am
    Wasn't part of the constitutional crisis that the Governor-General can dismiss the Prime Minister, but the Prime Minister can also replace the Governor General, so...
  • User AvatarMark Valladares 23rd Oct - 12:25am
    @ Tony Dawson, The Brightlingsea Division doesn't fall wholly within the Clacton constituency, only about half of it does.