- Will Croft elected Leader of the Conservative party
- South Pacific nations agree new alliance to counter China
- Budget 2016: Chancellor faces global slowdown
- Ministers embarrassed by ‘Legion’ leak
Press Cycle 5 - Scottish Independence White Paper
"Are the Scottish Governments plans for independence credible or feasible?
Closes 23:59 on 27th Feb. Bold your tagline.
“Stalin: Stop sending people to kill me! We’ve already captured five of them, one with a bomb and another with a rifle… If you don’t stop sending killers, I’ll send one to Moscow, and I won’t have to send another” - Tito
The Scottish People must decide what they value most; Economic prosperity or a small-minded ideology of 'Nationalism'. The case is here before them; the SNP may promise land of milk and honey, but the milk is spoilt and the honey is imported from China.
Leaving the United Kingdom would require Scotland to exit the European Union, that is a fact that cannot be escaped. Scotland would then apply, and at current projections fail to meet the standards of entry. Scotland is prosperous in the United Kingdom, within United Europe. Promises come and go, ask the Liberal Democrats about that, but what is fundamental is the SNP have no plan. They ask you to vote for a concept that has no preparation behind it. Ask which currency? You'll get told; The Pound or The Euro. If you leave and take the pound, Scotland shall lose its a voice on how it's currency is controlled. The Scottish People will no longer have a say in Monetary Policy - So much for 'Self-Governance'. Scotland won't be allowed into the European Union let alone the Euro. Think carefully, there is no plan, there is no economically viable option than to remain in the United Kingdom. Vote No and stay with us, United.
Anthony Bertram Charles Wilson, MP for Darlington.
Whilst it is quite right that the people of Scotland get the chance to decide on the matter of independence the plans put forward by the Scottish First Minister are completely unworkable. For a party committed to nationalism and sovereignty I am surprised to see the SNP opt to surrender their right to set monetary policy. Every single idea in the White Paper may sound nice in isolation but at the end of the day a vote for independence is a vote for less economic security and less actual security all while they deal with the uncertainty brought by being a newly independent country.
Conservative MP for North East Bedfordshire
Leader of the Opposition (2014-16)
Prime Minister (2014)
Parliamentary Experience: Novice (25)
Media Experience: Experienced (62)
Policy Experience: Novice (29)
As a Scotsman myself I find this news very disappointing, whilst it is right to let Scottish people choose I firmly believe Scotland is an integral part of the union and it saddens me to see the SNP attempt to divide Scotland with their nationalist rhetoric. Their plan for independence would see them attempt to remain in the EU so still handing over decision making powers, only to a further away and less democratic organisation. Their nationalism hides behind a false banner of self-determination but is really a product of subtle and passive anglophobia.
I hope and pray that the Scottish people will see through the SNP's thinly veiled falsities and choose to remain a part of this great United Kingdom.
Calum Douglas Wilson MP
Member of Parliament for Windsor
Parliamentary experience: Unknown (15)
Media experience: Unknown (7)
Policy experience: Unknown (8)
I am a democrat through and through and the Scottish people deserve the right to decide if they want to go it alone or stay in the British family of nations. I hope they stay. Scotland has contributed so much to Britain and our way of life over the past 300 years, they have been and are an integral part of the cultural identity of our country and I hate the idea that would never feel properly represented or a part of our Union. I say this to all Scottish people: you are wanted, you are needed, please do not leave.
Secretary of State for Education
Minister for Women and Equalities
"Meredith Hansen-Charles...is a deity" - Kandler/The Times
This issue is a personal one for me - my mother is Scottish, and growing up I spent virtually every summer with my grandparents in Inverness. The experiences of my youth formed the opinion I hold on Scotland today - that it is an invaluable and integral part of our United Kingdom, just as British as any other part of our nation. Scotland is better off in the United Kingdom, but more importantly, the United Kingdom is better off with Scotland apart of it. Together our economy is stronger, prosperity for our people is more wildly felt, and our ability to protect ourselves at home and abroad is enhanced.
It's important, however, to look closely at how we got to this point in the first place. Many in Scotland rightfully feel neglected by Westminster; they feel let down by success governments, led by both parties, that didn't do enough to show their commitment to Scotland's future. These feelings are valid, and I can understand why some in Scotland would want the opportunity to express them through an independence referendum.
Yet my belief is that we will always be stronger together. The mistakes of the past must be learned from, but in no way are those mistakes so great that they justify the dissolution of our union. As the Coalition government continues to implement our shared manifesto, we will work hard to demonstrate our dedication to the Scottish people, and to act as an example of how a British government can and must act to deliver policies that benefit all of Britons people. Nothing will ever justify tearing our country, and families like mine, apart. That is a point I plan to make very clear when I campaign emphatically for Scotland to remain apart of the United Kingdom.
Member of Parliament for Bracknell
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Chairman of the Conservative Party
Chief Whip of the Conservative party
I find it difficult to be as articulate on Scottish independence as some other MPs. I'm proud of my country, proud to be Welsh, and proud to represent a Welsh constituency with a good few Welsh speaking communities. I understand that the English ideal of the union, which is prevalent in all parties, can be off-putting, dismissive, and at times downright insulting. All the same, though, since devolution, I think we've turned a corner. Scotland, like Wales, has found a place in the union that is fair and ruled from closer to home. The devolution project should not be condemned until it is fully realised. I get why people resent the union, why the history does not make for nice reading, and why neither Scotland nor Wales always gets the best deal. I also understand that it can be an easy target at times, and is not to blame for all sins, however simple a solution that can be. The union is not perfect, but it is changing due to home rule, and changing for the better. I hope the Scottish people agree with me that when it comes down to it, we're better together.
MP for Montgomeryshire
Parliamentary - 5
Media - 16
Policy - 3
I think the biggest problem with the self-described White Paper is that it is more a propaganda manifesto for the Scottish National Party than a responsible policy document, and it reflects their willingness to offer anything so long as they win, regardless of whether they can deliver. Not only is a good part of the "White Paper" misleading given that the SNP can't deliver without others on promises on the EU, NATO, the currency and other policies, it is also disingenuous in terms of policies the SNP could implement but pretends independence would be necessary for them. One thing is beyond clear: the SNP will say and promise anything to get what they want.
More than an abstract concept, the union matters very deeply not just because of history but because the unity and the cooperation of the different regions of the United Kingdom makes us collectively stronger as a nation. Scotland being the integral and crucial part of the union it currently is in the benefit of us all, and the unspoken yet real consequences of the SNP's reckless attitude threaten to cause far more problems than what their propaganda White Paper promises. It will of course be up to the democratic will of the Scottish voters to decide on whether they want to stay or leave, but it is my hope they will see beyond the disingenous nature of this document.
Rt. Hon. Andrew Summer MP
First Secretary of State (2013 - 2014)
Justice Secretary (2013 - 2014, 2014 - Present)
Nations, Regions, and Local Government Secretary (2014 - Present)
Member of Parliament for Ashford (2001 - Present)
Parliamentary experience: Unknown (19)
Media experience: Unknown (22)
Policy experience: Unknown (13)
I think we have to be very careful about how we have this debate. The Scottish people are a proud people and rightly so; they will not take kindly to being lectured by the English about how much they need us, how much they’ll suffer without us and how incapable they are of existing as a sovereign state. I’ve only actually been to Scotland a handful of times in my entire life - always to the highlands - and I can presume to know very little about the politics north of the border. That’s why I’m not in the habit of trying to tell the Scottish people what to do, and I think we should all refrain from that.
The argument that I would make, I think, is that the challenges faced by my constituents in Luton are not so different from the challenges faced by people in the inner city in Glasgow. It is a fact that we can face those challenges more effectively together than we can apart.
The Labour Party is not going to seek to bully Scotland with scare stories about Berlin Wall style border checkpoints, the second great depression and the collapse of the global haggis market. There are valid concerns to raise about the costs to Scotland of independence, and we will raise those concerns; but our message should be one of hope, not fear, and of the positives of the United Kingdom.
Rt Hon. Juliet Manning MP, MSc (UCL)
MP for Luton South
Secretary of State for the Home Department
Minister for Defence
Lord High Chancellor
As the Labour Party, we do genuinely understand problems and issues that Scottish people have against the government in the Westminster. What I also believe is that Scotland should not make such an important decision, one that can not be undone, due to the actions of this current Coalition government. Actions of this Coalition government can be reversed and the pain that they have caused can be alleviated.
If you are poor in Glasgow issues you do face is very similar to the issues you will face in Birmingham. Working full time and still not being able to make ends meet is a problem in Dundee and in Bradford. Lack of affordable housing is a problem in Aberdeen and in Cardiff. Forced to be rely on food banks is a problem in Edinburgh and in Newcastle. These are our problems as a country and we can only solve these problems if we are united together and fight together. We are as powerful as we are united and that is not what SNP seeks to do.
Right now, the SNP is playing with the fire, and the Labour Party will not simply let that go unchallenged. Nationalism almost always comes hand in hand with resentment, divisive politics and dislike of the other. The Labour Party rejects every form of nationalism, be it nationalism of SNP or be it nationalism of BNP, UKIP and else. We stand up for progressive values, social justice and inclusiveness, which has nothing in common with nationalism. Fighting for a positive change in Scotland must rely on progressive values, social justice and inclusiveness. Fighting for independence and nationalism is not going to help poor people with their energy bills, it will not end homelessness and it will certainly not make Scotland a more prosperous place. As the Labour Party, we are the only party in the United Kingdom fighting for equality and fairness, not the SNP and certainly not the Coalition government. SNP is the party of nationalism and independence, not the party of equality and fairness.
Sylviane Jaubert MP
MP for Cynon Valley
Formerly as The Rt Hon Ariadne "Ari" Suchet MP
Former Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party
"TrashPotato Today at 2:11 AM
my friend offered me a bottle of vodka and i sucked the vodka out the bottle like a baby sucking a titty"
Press Cycle closed.
Verdict: No one wins, but, crucially, no one loses. Lib Dems probably come out best.
There's an issue with the independence debate - project fear works, but every time it is employed it does increase some kind of sense of alienation and risks a backfire: how far you take it is, naturally, up to you. And every party to some degree or another employed it.
Every party also employed project 'appeal'/'heart'/whatever you want to call it. Meredith Hansen-Charles, Juliet Manning and Alex Cardigan all being great examples. These win people over too - maybe less noticeably, and the arguments have to be made over and over, but still. Cardigan's comments were a little peculiar coming from a Tory, but it did make for a decent enough appeal, even if half-hearting the union isn't the greatest way to win people over.
They could've been more prominent, but I suppose the Lib Dems come out of this looking most cuddly in the eyes of Scottish voters who are paying attention. They most effectively balanced the heart and head side of the debate. Unfortunately, there was only one statement.
+1 media xp - Meredith Hansen-Charles
+1 policy xp - Andrew Summer
+1 media xp - Juliet Manning