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Scots on independence: 'No' support builds

Scots on independence: 'No' support builds

by Christopher McLean / 22 Oct 2012 11:57

The Edinburgh Agreement signed by Alex Salmond and David Cameron has paved the way for a referendum on Scottish independence in the next two years. The first minister acknowledged the challenges facing the nationalists, but said: “given the proper opportunity, we will be able to convince a majority of our fellow citizens that [independence] is the right future for Scotland.” Our latest Scottish Public Opinion Monitor for The Times highlights the considerable challenges facing

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SNP attack 'empty' and 'inaccurate' Darling speech

SNP attack 'empty' and 'inaccurate' Darling speech

by Amber Elliott / 25 Jun 2012 12:09

"We can't give our children a one way ticket to an uncertain destination," warned Alistair Darling at the launch of Better Together, the campaign to keep Scotland as a partner in the UK.

The former chancellor argued that pro-unionists must "make a positive case for staying together".

But SNP MP Angus MacNeil told Total Politics that the Labour MP had made his case through "fear and worry".

"Our children only

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Cameron's national identity dilemma in Scotland

Cameron's national identity dilemma in Scotland

by Matthew Rhodes / 17 Feb 2012 11:05

David Cameron’s speech in Scotland yesterday about the future of the United Kingdom was notable for its emphasis on issues of personal and national identity as much as economic and political pragmatism. 

Speaking in plain view of Edinburgh castle as he laid out his case why the sun should not yet set on the arrangements made between Scotland and England in 1707, the prime minister said the future of the United Kingdom

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David Cameron's unConservative fight for the union

David Cameron's unConservative fight for the union

by Ben Duckworth / 16 Feb 2012 14:57

The PM is currently speaking to the Man of the Moment (or 2010s so far), Alex Salmond in Edinburgh. His preceding speech (read it here) provided a decent rallying call for those in England and Wales who believe Scottish independence is a very bad idea. “Our union isn’t some antique imposition. It’s living, free and adaptable,” said the PM, although he also cited the historical contributions made by Scots to the health, wealth

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Ed Miliband’s cry to ‘Save the Union’ half works

Ed Miliband’s cry to ‘Save the Union’ half works

by Ben Duckworth / 30 Jan 2012 12:29

One of the SNP’s most significant successes has been to create a positive call for change  – its civic brand of nationalism is based on making Scotland feeling good about itself. The specifics and problems of separation are placed in the background. The Labour leader has given a speech this morning (full text here) which aimed to inspire the Scots to ignore the SNP’s siren call for independence.  But can Ed Miliband, a man rooted

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Which Labour MPs will stand on Scottish independence?

Which Labour MPs will stand on Scottish independence?

by Amber Elliott / 26 Jan 2012 16:43

The Labour Party Burns Night took place yesterday evening. Haggis, neeps and tatties to start, with roast beef as a main.

By all accounts, it was a late one. 

Perhaps a good description for their campaign to prevent Scottish independence.

While Johann Lamont has been confirmed to front the campaign, the Westminster Labour Party must surely play a role.

Former chancellor Alistair Darling, shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy and shadow

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The many personas of Alex Salmond

The many personas of Alex Salmond

by David Torrance / 25 Jan 2012 09:18

Crucial to any understanding of Scotland’s First Minister is that there are many different Alex Salmonds. At last night’s Hugo Young Memorial Lecture in London, the Anglophile Alex Salmond was in full flow. Today, when he launches his consultation on an independence referendum back in Edinburgh, the patriotic Alex Salmond will no doubt be on top form.

This chameleon-like instinct also applies ideologically. To an audience of Guardianistas and the cream of London’s

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Fact-checker alert at PMQs

Fact-checker alert at PMQs

by Amber Elliott / 11 Jan 2012 12:47

The first PMQs of 2012 was part-consensus, part-loggerheads.

Ed Miliband chose to tackle the issue of rail fares. It should have been a safe topic – after all, Ken Livingstone supporters froze their toes off handing out 'fare deal' leaflets when everyone went back to work last week.

'Last week' being the operative word – people have been back at work for a week and the topic risked seeming out-of-date. But the

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The battle lines are drawn on a Scottish referendum

by Caroline Crampton / 11 Jan 2012 12:05

A better-attended than usual Scotland questions has just concluded in the Commons, and has served both to clarify and confuse on the matter of a referendum on Scottish independence.

Lib Dem secretary of state for Scotland Michael Moore made it clear that the Scottish government doesn't currently have the power to instigate a referendum, but that the aim is to provide them with it. "We need to provide it by working with them,"

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Salmond demands humility from Westminster

Salmond demands humility from Westminster

by Fern Tomlinson / 07 Sep 2011 14:04

Riding high on his landslide victory in May, Alex Salmond’s first annual legislative programme statement today was clear in its intentions – the SNP is focused on Scottish interests, and Scottish interests alone.

Salmond stressed throughout his speech the SNP’s opposition to the spending cuts introduced by the coalition government. Indeed, he emphasised the need to strengthen the Scotland Bill in order to grant further economic powers to Scotland, without which he said

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