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  By Bob Duncan

As we reach the end of a year which has been characterised by scare stories and negativity from anti-independence politicians, say the SNP, the No campaign's New Year's resolution should be to raise the quality of the referendum debate in 2013.

The Nationalists have appealed to the Better Together campaign against Scottish independence to raise its game next year by signalling an end to its tactic of scaremongering, and have cheekily assured No campaigners that Hogmanay will continue as normal after independence.

Despite their promise earlier this year to ‘make the positive case for the Union’, claims emanating from Better Together campaign politicians include: an independent Scotland losing the pandas from Edinburgh zoo, an independent Scotland losing its NHS, and even England being forced to bomb the airports of an independent Scotland.

SNP MSP Bruce Crawford - who convenes the Referendum (Scotland) Bill Committee - said:

“After this year of silly scaremongering, it’s surprising the anti-independence campaign hasn’t claimed Hogmanay would stop under independence.

“Just as our great traditional New Year celebrations would continue in an independent Scotland, the NHS would carry on, ‘English’ would still be taught on the school curriculum and there would be no custody battle over the pandas at Edinburgh Zoo.

“A Tory peer even suggested that England could be forced to bomb an independent Scotland’s airports in the event of a terrorist attack.

“As they reflect on the campaign they have been running this year, anti-independence politicians should make it their New Year’s resolution to raise the tone of the referendum debate in 2013. Some of the stuff that the people of Scotland have heard this year has frankly been an insult to their intelligence, and they deserve better.

“People have legitimate questions to ask, which is why we need an open platform – not one congested by the most bizarre claims, including saying our friends and family in the rest of the UK would become foreign.

Referring to what he characterised as the more positive Yes campaign, Mr Crawford continued:

“In contrast, the Yes campaign is rooted in a positive approach that represents all of Scotland’s communities – young and old, job-creators, Labour movement figures, civic Scotland, the Arts and urban and rural Scotland.

“The SNP believes Scotland’s people – and its future generations – should be in charge of their own fate and know that the alternative to a Yes vote in 2014 would be to see the achievements of devolution being rolled back.

“Being independent is the best option for Scotland, because the people best placed to take decisions on all issues that affect Scotland are the people who choose to live and work here. That is the fundamental truth which resonates so powerfully with people across this nation.

“A country that earns its wealth and shares it more fairly, where every child has the chance to grow up and fulfil their potential and that enjoys excellent relations with its friends across these islands.”

Examples of negative and scaremongering stories from 2012 included the following:

  • Lord Fraser, the former Tory Solicitor General, claimed that England could have no choice but to bomb Scottish airports in order to defend itself from attack if Scotland became independent
  • Home Secretary Theresa May claimed that passport checks would be issued at Scotland’s border with England
  • There were claims that the Westminster Government would seize custody of the giant pandas at Edinburgh Zoo post-independence
  • Anas Sarwar claimed that in an independent Scotland we wouldn’t have access to our favourite television shows or current affairs programming
  • Lord Caithness suggested that the northernmost Scottish Isles and Rockall be ruled from London in the event of independence
  • Philip Hollobone, a Tory MP says that an independent Scotland would face an economic crisis similar to Greece
  • According to Ian Davidson MP and Michael Kelly, former Labour Councillor and Lord Provost of Glasgow, individual constituencies could stay part of the UK if Scotland voted for independence
  • Anti-independence campaign leader Alistair Darling claimed that friends in the rest of the UK would become foreign
  • The Scottish Tories suggested that independence would increase the number of sick days taken by public sector workers – on the basis that there were fewer absences during the two-week period of the Olympics, when compared with the same period last year
  • The Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee queried if people could still buy wine from The Sunday Times Wine Club or whether the school curriculum would include ‘English

Comments  

 
# UpSpake 2012-12-30 13:00
It takes two to tango. Let them spout this nonsense but by printing and acknowledging it we give it traction where it has none.
I'm so looking forward to the day they bomb our airports with planes we have partly paid for, only to hear the BBC tell us it was all our own fault.
Yep, all our own fault for paying for such drivel.
I never buy newspapers and don't even read the freebie's on the bus. I don't buy into the BBC and, remarkably, the world hasn't come to an end, despite what my Mayan calander said.
 
 
# Mad Jock McMad 2012-12-30 13:04
Upsake the so called 'Mayan calender' was simply a fosillised version of the 'Oreo' biscuit.

It is important to record their crass comments to enable later haunting of the No camp in 2014.
 
 
# GrassyKnollington 2012-12-30 13:21
In view of that ludicrous list can we put the Labour friendly nonsense that "both sides need to start debating sensibly" and that "Johann Lamont has had a good year against Salmond at Holyrood" to bed once and for all?

I know that hopeful pals of a Skoddish Labour revival, pragmatic about coming change but uneasy about independence and the SNP like to punt them on a regular basis but they do nothing for their credibility. * shouts GerryLesley hoarsely into fist *
 
 
# WRH2 2012-12-30 16:19
"As they reflect on the campaign they have been running this year, anti-independence politicians should make it their New Year’s resolution to raise the tone of the referendum debate in 2013. Some of the stuff that the people of Scotland have heard this year has frankly been an insult to their intelligence, and they deserve better."

This comment by Bruce Crawford, has got to be the most brilliant understatement I've read in a long time! So succinct and subtle. Fairly sums up the No campaign nonsense. And I especially loved the bit that there would not be a custody battle over the pandas.

I agree with MJM that we need to record this stuff and remind them of it but not just in 2014. We should do it now and often because when listed like this it looks like a script for a comedy. How I would manage to get through much of the list without splitting my sides laughing is another question.
 
 
# proudscot 2012-12-30 17:28
GK, Probably like yourself, I watch FMQs every week. So, if 2012 has been a "good year for Lamont against Salmond", I dread to think what a bad year would look like by comparison. Unless, of course, the pro-Union and pro-Labour pundit(s) whose deluded opinion this was, count personal abuse, snide childish comments and inaccurate statistics as substitutes for actual questions.
 
 
# proudscot 2012-12-30 17:43
I wonder if, post independence, Johann Lamont will be available for comment? Especially when she won't have to wait for instructions from London HQ telling her what her opinion is?
 
 
# From The Suburbs 2012-12-30 20:25
you forgot about Alistair Darling's piece de resistance featuring something that is becoming an increasingly popular theme in the rhetoric of the Better Together campaign.

"British music will no longer be our music. British art, dance and drama will no longer be ours. British sporting success will be someone else’s to celebrate".
 
 
# weegie38 2012-12-30 20:37
Bruce Crawford MSP (from the article)
Quote:
People have legitimate questions to ask, which is why we need an open platform – not one congested by the most bizarre claims, including saying our friends and family in the rest of the UK would become foreign.

Bruce should not be using this sort of language IMO - there is a tacit racism in it because it implies that foreign=bad.

This "England will become foreign" rubbish is something which really needs to be thrown back in the Unionist's faces, by asking them the simple question: "And what, exactly, is wrong about being foreign?"
 
 
# gfaetheblock 2012-12-30 21:21
But they would be foreign, as they would be from a different country. It is wrong to state otherwise.
 
 
# soutron 2012-12-31 02:25
When Ireland gained their independence, the 1949 Ireland act (www.legislation.gov.uk/.../2) ensured that Irish citizens were not considered foreign by the British state (despite it being a different country).
 
 
# SolTiger 2012-12-31 08:42
They are already from a different country.

England is a foreign land and always has been.

Friends and family who describe themselves as Scottish, English, or Welsh, or Northern Irish rather than British are still friends and family.

Families and friends who do say they are "British" are not somehow closer than those of us who do not.
 
 
# gfaetheblock 2012-12-31 18:13
That may be a nationalist view, but many see the UK as their country, one that has been in existence for their lifetime and the foreign point will be real to them.

It is dangerous to dismiss this as wrong, as it feels real for many of those that the Yes campaign need to target.
 
 
# xyz 2012-12-30 22:40
OT - Award for the first minister of Scotland: juancole.com/.../...

"Winner: The 2012 Amun-Ra award goes the far-sighted First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, one of the contemporary world’s great heroes."

Can't argue with that.
 
 
# Caadfael 2012-12-31 12:15
To all staff, contributors and readers of this great organ HAPPY NEW YEAR....
May the best ye hae ivver seen be the warst ye'll ivver see.
May the moose ne'er lea' yer girnal wi a tear-drap in its ee.
May ye aye keep hail an hertie till ye'r auld eneuch tae dee.
May ye aye juist be sae happie as A wuss ye aye tae be.
 

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