Cameron blunder will boost independence
Monday, 09 January 2012 00:00
Labour split over UK action – Anti-independence parties in disarray
Moore sidelined as Osborne takes over
The SNP today said the chaos and disarray of anti-independence parties as they seek to interfere in a Scottish referendum will only boost support for independence as the party sought clarity from Tories and Lib Dems over their plans, and from Labour over their position.
There is confusion from the UK Government about their attempts to dictate the terms of the referendum, and it has now emerged that the Tories have taken over the issue within the UK Government – with Tory Chancellor Gorge Osborne sidelining the Scottish Secretary Michael Moore.
Labour are now split on the issue, with senior Labour MSP Malcolm Chisholm calling on Labour to “speak out against Cameron's mad meddling which will greatly increase support for independence”.
Former First Minister Henry McLeish this morning told Radio 5 live that Cameron’s actions were likely to increase support for independence.
SNP MP and Referendum Campaign Director Angus Robertson said:
“David Cameron’s efforts to dictate the terms of a referendum to the Scottish people will only boost support for independence. It is a ludicrous, self-defeating and doomed effort from a party with just a single MP in Scotland – there are more pandas in Scotland than Tory MPs.
“The Tories have a long track record of blundering their way in Scotland, and look set to do so again. Trying to override the democratic mandate of Scotland’s voters to have a referendum in the second half of this Holyrood parliament is a disastrous start to 2012 for the anti-independence parties –and with George Osborne leading the Tory charge, the Lib Dems and Michael Moore have been well and truly sidelined. Only last May, Michael Moore said ‘I firmly believe’ the Scottish Parliament can proceed with a referendum – that is the democratic reality of the matter.
“And Labour must now decide if are they in cahoots with the Tory/Lib Dem Westminster coalition – or will they speak up against Tory efforts to
interfere in Scotland’s referendum from London? To side with the Tories
against the decision of Scotland’s electorate would mark a new low for Scottish Labour, if such a thing is possible.
“Malcolm Chisholm is a voice of sanity within the Labour Party – David Cameron’s ‘mad meddling’ will indeed greatly increase support for independence. Does Johann Lamont agree with Mr Chisholm, or with the Tories at Westminster?
“People across Scotland elected an SNP Government committed to a referendum in the second half of this Parliament, and that is exactly what we will do.
“The only people who are confused are the anti-independence parties in the UK Government and Labour in Scotland, who are in complete disarray.
“Support for independence has grown since the May 2011 election, and the actions of the Tories and Lib Dems will give it a further boost.”