Cameron Backs Yes Vote

There is one option left to the No side as far as I can see and they won’t take it. It is Reversion. They must rewind, undo, start again and admit everything that went before was a mistake.
They must apply the air brakes, screech to a halt, burn rubber and come to a juddering stop. Dead weight – Darling, McDougall and co – must be jettisoned and the whole Better Together convoy turned around and headed in the opposite direction.
That route takes them on to the same road as Yes but with a slightly different destination. It leads to maximum devolution with virtually everything the Yes side demands included in the deal and a commitment to a restructuring of UK powers clearly heading for federalism. It would be led by the Prime Minister because only he can deliver and must be wholly backed by the other parties.
An unequivocal commitment to cede powers over all areas of taxation and spending including oil and a deal on currency would transform the meaning of a No vote. The entire British government papers on independence would be wiped out, a public promise to support Scotland over entry to the UN, EU and NATO given and an apology for the wrong-headed campaign of degradation issued.
It would of course be humiliation and split his party, but it has at least a chance of saving the Union. If they do want to save it. It’s always been in the government’s grasp to save the Union, it was only a question of what they would sacrifice to achieve it. And I think we’re now getting the answer.
As you no doubt realised while reading the above paragraphs, they don’t actually care enough about it to take the steps necessary. If the support for Yes continues, it is likely to overtake No before voting but it seems they are prepared to risk all rather than enter into a mature dialogue. Why? They’ve gone too far down the road now to turn back and would rather face the consequences of losing than admit they have been wrong, another admission that the Union itself doesn’t really matter enough.
And I think the deeper reason is that they know they can live with the result. It remains in their hands after a Yes vote to dictate much of what follows and they can fashion that to their interests. The argument that it is the end of a long friendship will be revised to say it isn’t the end of anything, just the beginning of a fruitful new relationship. It wasn’t what the government wanted but the bedrock of the Union was always democracy and London respects Scotland’s wish.
“And you don’t get away so easily”, he will say. “Sovereign or not, the Scots will continue to share with us a language (mostly), an economy, joint institutions, a currency, a monarch, our family links and friendships, our military through NATO, the EU with our increased representation, shared diplomatic facilities, democracy, a desire for peace and of course, whisky.”
He will cite the Edinburgh Agreement as the basis for the friendly deal which includes a joint memorandum of understanding that the question of nuclear arms is not in dispute between the nations for the purpose of entry to NATO. It will be resolved bilaterally from within the Alliance.
Every effort will be made to present as close to a united front to the world as possible. He will publicly demur about losing Labour seats and easing in future Tory governments, while his aides will brief furiously Tory delight at the voting coup. The Conservative Right will be grimly satisfied to get rid of the troublesome Scots who have at least taken a fair share of debt with them and allowed their exports to shore up the balance of payments.
Britain’s global image will be enhanced, he will say, by the democratic ethos behind a legally binding referendum, an acceptance of the result, despite the closeness, and the immediate decision that there should be no formal frontier between ancient friends. “I think this shows the world how even countries with disagreements can work together in enlightened self interest if the democratic will is there.”
The hideous No campaign will be deemed a mistake that Cameron allowed to be led by Labour – Darling is already taking the flak – and was against Cameron’s own instincts. Didn’t he make the Don’t Leave Us speeches?
He will also agree to set up annual bilateral Heads of Government meetings in Edinburgh and London to keep relations cordial. He will attend openings of Parliament in Edinburgh.
“Any man can re-write history,” he will say. “But no man can stand in the way of the future. With this deal, we keep a neighbour AND we keep a friend. Only next time we come calling, we must remember to knock.”

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46 thoughts on “Cameron Backs Yes Vote

  1. Victory has many fathers – defeat is an Orphan. No one is prepared to admit to wrongdoing or mistakes in the no camp. This has led to the campaign spiralling further down into a pit of surreal and idiotic attacks.
    Two weeks ago, some high heid-yin in the BBC declared with doom laden solemnity that Scots got more out of the BBC than they paid in. Yet over in the republic of Ireland, RTE the state broadcaster pays £20 million for complete access to BBC content. Scotland pays over £300 million but some how it is the welfare queen in this arrangement.
    George Osborne declares that Scotland has never contributed to the success of sterling, wiping out in a single sentence 300 years of common purpose and identity.
    A couple of days ago George Robertson told an audience of bemused yanks that an Independent Scotland is a threat to world peace.
    If anyone in the no camp truly believed in the Union, then surely they would have stepped in, and corrected this nonsense. No, what we got instead was a parade of the “Proud Scots But” brigade stepping up to the plate to justify the unjustifiable and declare it all; as Dr Paul Carnegie put it in a recent article on the subject, to be the voice of prudence.

    When they would rather lose the vote, than admit to the mistake of having been wrong in how best to sell the Union to Scotland…that’s simple pride coupled with the arrogance of wilful ignorance. Its been the downfall of many a politician and political party.

    To think they could have won by simply being honest about Scotland’s contribution and then insist on a 2nd question. They would have stolen the Yes campaigns Thunder and it would have went their way. Instead they try to convince us that the Union is a welfare cheque and at the same time try to get foreign powers to say mean things about us.

  2. PM,DC is not capable of any of this, IMHO.
    Besides, he does have other cards to play
    notably bribery.

  3. Welcome back Derek.

    If things after a Yes vote were to turn out much as you propose I think I’d be very happy with this kind of outcome. I doubt very much though that none of this will come to pass until after the UK general election in 2015.

    I believe that all the main parties would see that it would likely mean lost support amongst English voters for being seen to “give in” to those uppity Scots. Yes there will be many in the rUK who see Scotland leaving as an affront to them personally.

    Once a new government is elected, that will be the time for healing divisions. Having said all that, there must be a very good chance that a the HOC will vote to dissolve parliament by a 2/3rds majority or their will be a vote of no confidence and arrange a general election before the year is out if the result is a Yes.

  4. The overwhelming loser in this, is Labour. They may still have numbers, but there will be no substance, no central values.
    Surely the voters, the activists must have expected more from all this than just a win on numbers.

  5. The foreign diplomatic corps in Edinburgh seem to agree with you Derek

    “The UK government’s policies are pushing Scotland away,” said one European consul. “My hunch is that unless the UK government radically rethinks, it’s on a hiding to nothing. It is losing the argument”

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/apr/10/scotland-likely-choose-independence-foreign-diplomats?CMP=twt_gu

  6. hmm,food for thought,iv read it 3 times,and cant help feeling,that although we may have the whip hand,
    we are still dealing with a parcel o slippery elitist rogues,
    but i suppose this is just politics…….,detestable
    lets hope scotland can stay out of the hands of self interested
    politicians,or is that possible

  7. As someone who has lived, and voted through ’79 and ’97, I wouldn’t trust this “parcel of rogues”, and that goes for whoever forms the Westminster Government in 2015. If we, and I believe we will, become independent, we hold all the aces in the negotiations that will follow, and especially in one area that particularly annoys me and was the “theft” of 6000sq mls of Scotland’s North Sea, and four oil flelds, by Blair and Dewar in 1999.

    • Yes Alex, that was truly shocking. I’d believe anything of Blair but Donald Dewar……! That was hard to accept. It’s a deed that’s difficult to forgive.

      • Couldnt agree more. Actually I think it was six oil wells they stole. It still annoys me that the SNP have not done more to address this.

        • Of course there was more than Blair and Dewar involved; Henry McLeish was the Scottish Office Minister, a real baddy in this, who moved the Bill and now keeps popping up as a born-again good guy, but has anyone ever asked McLeish, why he did this, or indeed, asked Tam Dalyell and John McAllion, why they allowed it to be passed with the the token minimum of opposition from their committee which was responsible? Explanations are long overdue and should be forthcoming before we take every square inch of it back and all the dirty dealing is quietly forgotten..

        • Oil fields not oil wells. You can have 30 wells plus in a field

          • The boundaries of Scotland revert back to the time prior to the joining of the union regardless of current lines. This is in the Union agreement signed many years ago and it is law. This was put in place to safeguard our sovereign rights as a nation and under international law, it must be maintained as a legal right upon independence.

  8. Another good one Derek. A bit off topic but….
    It was announced today that all Scottish wind and wave energy off our coasts and in our hills is making contingency plans to relocate to England in the event of a “ yes” vote in the Scottish independence referendum.
    A spokesperson from the Better Together Bunch stated : “the future of these natural elements in an independent Scotland would be fraught with problems and could see the creation of an energy independent country, a substantial reduction in carbon emissions, the creation of far too many jobs and the lowering of consumer energy bills.”
    I thought I would pre-empt the Better Together Bunch and save them the trouble by alerting all you nasty cybernats about the environmental catastrophe that was looming on the independence horizon.
    They have warned us about everything else and they must be running out of inspiration so it was only a matter of time before they got round to warning us that large areas of our natural environment were about to head south, along with banks, businesses and anything else you could dream up if you were a slaverin’, incoherent, political mutation with a truly fine disregard for logic, commonsense or fact.
    I apologise to readers of this fine blog ,but I am having a bad day: I just got a “United with Labour” leaflet through my letter box called “Keep The UK Keep The Pound” and it surpasses, by a long way, the amount of pish contained within my wee rant.

    • May I suggest that you burn the said leaflet, either in the fire should you be lucky enough to have one, or outside. It will mean that you will be using the energy up in a good way.

  9. A good read Derek, but you didn’t mention Trident. A settlement that allows Trident to remain in Scotland would be against majority opinion in Scotland, would likely fragment the SNP, and so I do not see Alec Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon conceding on Trident. Alex Salmond’s career commitment has been to achieve independence for Scotland, he will be astute in any of the negotiations you describe above but Trident non-departure will be a “ring not pass”.

    Regarding the Southern Tories, well they already have achieved their goal, massive personal enrichment. Just look at the departed cabinet member. £1 million richer, and a £17K departing bonus, and she is not alone. London will continue as a “biblically stained synagogue” post independence.

    • I think any “deal” on Trident will be the number of yard ‘grace’ until it’s removed. The SNP certainly could not pull back from the statements made – unequivocal statements – about the fact that its removing is not negotiable.

  10. That should be “year’s” grace. oops

  11. We haven’t won yet and must fight for every vote until referendum day.

  12. Dr JM Mackintosh

    Welcome back Derek.

    there is something strange about the approach of David Cameron as he seems very quiet on the whole affair – especially when compared to the rabid performances of Alistair Darling.

    Why is he not up here arguing the case instead of giving a few odd pronouncements from London?

    We will see what happens in the next few months but perhaps he does not really care that much about keeping the UK together.

    London and South-East just far more important?

    • The PM David Cameron’s PR advisors would not allow him on TV in debate with the FM Alex Salmond.

      The reason is obvious to everyone. The Referendum electorate would be offered a clear choice between the two leaders with Mr Salmond the runaway winner.

      And on national television – the media’s most important tool in forming public opinion.

      But, though far less influential, the refusal by Mr Cameron is already a concession to what would have been the inevitable defeat.

      It’s just that the media have strategically chosen to ignore the significance of the PM/FM TV debate since Mr Cameron wedged it into the long grass with his ‘it’s up to the people to decide’.

    • Apparently he has stated that the EU elections are more important and he will concentrate on those first, only worrying about our referendum after the EU elections next month!

  13. Good to have you back Derek.. Where in Argyll di you get to?

  14. Its the nature of the English establishment never to lose face and when ever its had a defeat it always spins a partial victory out of it ,thats what English historians are for .
    The commonweath was all about just that . They always find a local to say “we are/were better off under the English .
    A Chinese prime minster in the seventies during the Hong kong talks put it well ,

    ” when ever they depart the British [sic] always like to leave a tail”

    • In repy to my self I should say that Derek is spot on with his analysis of how Cameron will react to a yes vote .
      Cameron will use the time honoured spin of the establishment

  15. I think you’re spot-on (as ever) Derek, but like you and many others, I think we need to keep focused on the job in hand and make sure we keep getting the message out. What’s happening in every street across Scotland is that as each and every person learns more, the more people we see coming over to Yes. I think you provide Cameron et al with an outstanding set of words for their post-Yes press call and suggest they start practicing them shortly!

  16. Can I take this opportunity, as somebody who has been campaigning against separation every week since the turn of the year, to thank Mr Bateman for his advice.

    I know the interests of the Better campaign are close to his heart so I just know that his advice is sincerely given.

    However, can I suggest that Mr Bateman takes the advice of a nationalist from a different country and time: “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

  17. Hopefully you’re correct Derek, but I just can’t see them giving up Scotland so easily. I suspect that dodgy postal votes will swing things for them in key areas.
    Assuming postal voting is allowed in this referendum ?

  18. The Unionists believed that keeping the single most popular option off the ballot was a coup. They thought that if voters were confronted with a flat choice between independence and the status quo, independence would lose heavily. That in essence was the sum total of their campaign: fix the question so that we can’t lose. Now they find themselves in completely uncharted waters: robbed of their preferred option voters are taking a hard look at independence – and liking what they see. That was never supposed to happen.

    With painful irony, Unionists are undergoing the same epiphany as the electorate – suddenly realising that there is no case for the Union.

    • Mr vronsky

      You seem unaware that the reason we don’t have a second question is down to the people who responded to the SNP’s consultation process and who rejected it by a rather large margin.

      • That was the previous abortive bill from the minority SNP administration, which did contain a third option. Thought you might have guessed that the omission of the most popular option from the current bill was unlikely to be a product of public consultation.

      • What a sad man you are Grahamski, with your revisionist crap.
        How does it feel to be a red hot socialst (paid ?) government stooge/employee?

      • Not as unaware as you son, who blissfully rambles on unaware that your LIEBOOR mob got booted out in 2007 and soundly humped again in 2011. Suppose you could describe those two vents as public consultation on the merits of the LIEBOOR party’s wee Scottish branch

  19. Good, clear logic, vronsky. Thank you. ( We must not forget, all the same, that AS nudged them gently in that direction. His demeanour at the signing of the Edinburgh Agreement was a picture of happy satisfaction.)

    • Cameron’s preference for Decisive In/Out referenda had a big say in what the unionists wanted to see on the ballot paper.
      As with his referendum on Europe,this is going to come back and bite him very hard on his posterior.
      Of course,if Labour had been in charge at Westminster,there would have been no Edinburgh agreement signed.
      They,afterr all have most to lose from a Yes vote.

  20. Careful Derek, you may get an invitation to write that speech. I have printed out your article to reference when DC makes that speech. Full house for that one, no doubt!

  21. BT following your advice
    As likely as the Devil having to learn to skate.

    I gave up on Labour after New Labour/Blair/Iraq etc. The party is unfortunately still New Labour but keeping it quiet. My only hope is a Labour revival via common weal / Labour for Independence / Radical Independence in Scotland.

    Darling is motivated by self interest as are those sitting in the House of Lords – I see nothing of the socialist values I demand on evidence.

    …as for a Labour Party supporting a Tory welfare cap…!

    I have a simple choice. Right wing Westminster parties or full Independence.

  22. Have a nice break Derek,

    You should be taking a few hundred leaflets with you to put through the doors right enough!

    It’s good fresh air and exercise.

  23. I have just finished reading a book about Scotland/Britain during the Roman occupation. It contained the following quote attributed to Tacitus, a Roman consul and I immediately thought about the cardboard cutouts which are the Scottish versions of the main UK political parties:

    ” Thus among the British even our style of dress came into favour and the toga was everywhere to be seen. Gradually too, they went astray into the allurements of evil ways, colonnades, warm baths and elegent banquets. The British who had no experience of this, called it ‘civilsation’, although it was part of their enslavement”.

  24. I also wonder why the SNP have not addressed the 6000 square miles stolen by Blair and Dewar for England. I emailed Richard Lochhead in 2007 but never heard from him. Aren’t Scottish Labour stunning, in that they are quite happy for their own country, Scotland, to be dealt with so badly. Could never ever vote for Labour.

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