Better Together lets some of Willie’s “sunshine strategy” burst through

Better Together, the cross-party campaign for retaining the United Kingdom, must have been listening to LDV’s co-editor, Caron Lindsay (always a sensible precaution, we find…). Just a few weeks ago she cautioned against the deluge of negativity that seemed to be the No campaign’s main message:

Charles Kennedy was bang on last week when he said that the pro-UK campaign needed to be more positive. He could do with being a bit more explicit about what he thinks they should be saying. And then he needs to sit Alistairs Darling and Carmichael, Danny, Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader and Nick down and tell them. For the sake of the UK, they need to listen. Better Together is in desperate need of an injection of wit and warmth and not much time to do it in.

Here, then, is the new Better Together advert. Maybe not much wit, but a whole lot more warmth:

better together ad

As The Scotsman highlights:

Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has been among those advocating a more positive approach from the No campaign and even called at the party’s spring conference earlier this month for a “sunshine strategy” to be adopted.

Here’s a quick reminder of Willie’s “sunshine” pitch:

The Liberal Democrat way means that people in Scotland can be Scottish, with more power here whilst retaining the great backstop and insurance of the United Kingdom.

We can keep the currency, trade and renewable energy that we share between Scotland and our neighbours in the rest of the UK. We have an absolute determination as Scottish Liberal Democrats that Scottish people should be enabled to be the best they can be as individuals. We are sincere when we say that will best be achieved across the United Kingdom with all the opportunities that opens up to us all.

I have set out that pragmatic, sunshine case for Scotland in Britain. Britain in Europe. Of course Britain is not perfect but it is a partnership that has provided stability and security for three hundred years through thick and thin.

As a liberal I believe in the power and the innate ability of the individual to do great things. I don’t want to hold them back. The United Kingdom is a great platform from which they can fly. It’s why I am for Scotland in Britain and Britain in Europe. I want people in Scotland to be all they can be.

That is the positive case. That is the sunshine case. That is the case I want to make to Scotland.

And that’s the case Better Together seems now to be wanting to make.

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This entry was posted in Scotland.


  • Vague aspirations are fine for a poster, but any detail on that guarentee before I decide how to vote?

  • This is much better than the usual “No” campaign.

    But _guaranteed_ extra powers for Scotland? When numerous Labour politicans have already said they won’t guarantee anything.

    And, in fact, still aren’t:

  • Matt (Bristol) 17th Apr '14 - 4:01pm

    Hmm, maybe we could learn from this, start a separatist movement for SouthWest England and threaten to secede from the UK, we too will get the devolution and ‘more powers guaranteed’ that the locals actually want…

  • daft ha'p'orth 17th Apr '14 - 5:54pm

    @Matt (Bristol)
    You have my support.
    Everyone from Brizzle to Land’s End is invited to the 2015 edition of the Pitchfork Rebellion 🙂

  • Thomas Robinson 17th Apr '14 - 7:22pm

    A thoroughly fraudulent poster. Nothing is “guaranteed” by a No vote except perhaps a complete ignoring of Scottish issues for the foreseeable future.

    The renowned unionist and political commentator, Andrew Neil summed up the truth of the matter when he said

    ““Devolution, the Calman Commission, the Scotland Bill, the Edinburgh Agreement, all of this and more you have, is because Westminster parties are scared of the SNP. If you vote NO you massively change the balance of power and they will not only give you nothing, but will probably take powers away from the Scottish Parliament”.

  • So please tell us Scottish people what further powers are guaranteed? Those in the Scotland Act? And beyond that?

  • A very attractive poster which should help the “No” campaign, far better than some of the bullying they have been engaged in. I’m not really sure who’s leading the “No” campaign, but if they really want to win they should keep any current ministers away, Tory governments – or Tory led coalitions – don’t go down well in Scotland. Get Charles Kennedy and Alistair Darling – who are both very popular north of the border – taking on Salmon at every opportunity.

  • “More job opportunities & More Powers for Scotland” – that must be a poster for the YES campaign, right?

    After all, a YES vote will result in even more powers for Scotland than a NO vote and those extra powers could be used to create even “more job opportunities”….

  • @Malc. Totally agree with you – great poster and get Charles Kennedy and Alistair Darling out there more. I really hope that Scotland votes to stay with the rest of us and build a UK fit-for-purpose for the 21st century and beyond.

    @Thomas Robinson. We as a party are committed to devolution to all 4 nations (and even within England) as well as other major constitutional reforms as a result of approving the “Power to the People” policy in York this March. I do not agree with Andrew Neil’s analysis … we are moving inexorably to devo-max. I rue the day that this option was removed from the referendum ballot, as it is, we are dicing with a really major constitutional crisis for the entire UK.

  • Thomas Robinson 18th Apr '14 - 10:23am

    John Innes

    Devo Max: Interestingly one of the lines of attack on the “Yes” campaign by BT supporters is that Salmond’s wish to retain a number of major aspects of the exiting Union ( e.g. sterling, monarchy etc.) means that he is not going to achieve “real independence”.

    They don’t seem to have spotted that this line of argument is making it easier for supporters of devo max to vote Yes 🙂 and to arrive at devo max from a position of strength where sovereignty is pooled, but the extent of pooling is determined by agreement with the Scottish Government not by grudging diktat from Westminster.

    The Yes route to devo max might work. The Lib Dem route-sometime, never.

  • Ross Stalker 18th Apr '14 - 12:53pm

    A Yes vote isn’t a vote for devo max though, it’s a vote for independence. You can no more guarantee that an independent Scotland will voluntarily pool decision making on certain issues with the remainder of the UK than anyone on the No side can guarantee devo max. Any such cooperation would be ad hoc and not governed by a constitutional framework, aside from the cooperation required if both states remain members of the EU.

    The Lib Dem policy is not for devo max anyway, it is for federalism, which would be a new constitutional settlement, a replacement for devolution just as much as independence would be a replacement for devolution, and yes, I do believe it can happen after a No vote, because the current structure of the UK with uneven devolution to the constituent nations is not sustainable.

  • .Rebirth of localism in 2010′, John Leech says. What ‘rebirth’? What government went through the motions of giving has been taken away with another hand. Localism? Less money and less power, more like. You must be joking, John.

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