I was working on Friday at the time that David Cameron made his big pitch to Scotland and the rest of the British Isles at the the site of the Olympic Park in London, so it took me a wee while to catch up with it all. By which time I had eventually caught up and viewed his speech, Scots everywhere were taking to the internet having much hilarity at the absurdity of it all. Some of the unionist press tried to make out that we had taken a bitter reaction to it, while the reality was that we were pishing ourselves laughing, and all doing a Blondie, hanging by the telephone, waiting for Chris Tarrant or even David Cameron himself to come on the line and say, ” Hello, I have Wendy from Buckinghamshire here, and she is stuck on the 64million dollar question, Will Scotland stay part of the Union.
The next voice would be Wendy… “Hello Rod, Wendy here…Scotland will be voting on Independence in September, how will you vote? Will it be A. For Independence, B. Against Independence,C. Don’t Know, D. Don’t give a stuff and wont vote. I asked the audience here in Londonshire and they nearly all said that it would be B. Against Independence. But I wasn’t so sure and nearly went 50/50 because they had removed option E. Devo Max, and I didn’t want to waste any more liflines, and guessed that you would know…..Please say that It will be option B…We don’t want you to go, and that nice man David really wants you to stay, so he can go grouse shooting on the glorious 12th.”
Clunk: Line goes dead….Sorry Wendy….The Union has had its time.
So have you had your call yet? Please let me know if you have?
So what else did David Cameron say from a very safe distance away from Scotland? Lets have a look at some of the actual content. But before we do, I would very much like to know who gave the pro union Vice Chancelor of Glasgow Caledonian University permission to sponsor David Camerons speech? What do Glasgow Caley students make of what has been done in their name? If I was one of them, I know I would be demanding answers of her!
Anyway that aside, here are the bones of his speech.
“Less than two years ago, this Velodrome was a cauldron of excitement.
Chris Hoy was ripping around at 40 miles per hour. I was up there, I had a whole seat but believe me, I only used the edge.
Three more golds – an incredible night. But for me, the best thing about the Olympics wasn’t the winning.
It was the red, the white, the blue. It was the summer that patriotism came out of the shadows and into the sun.
Everyone cheering as one for Team GB. And it’s Team GB I want to talk about today. Our United Kingdom.”
As if they hadn’t milked the Olympics to the full 2 years ago, as If they hadn’t had enough union jack flag waving, as if they hadn’t made political hay out of it enough, here we have the whole thing revisited! They have hit on every conceivable form of British symbolism and appeal to a dubious patriotism and nationalism possible, we have to have more of the rubbish, and they accuse us Scots of being nationalistic!
They have had the Queens Jubilee, The Royal Weddings, The Royal Birth, and are giving World War 1 the full effect this year in their appeal to Britishness, and the deeply divided class system, which leaves us all mindless minions expected to enthusiastically wave red white and blue flags, and feel patriotic. We must have much more of the guff!
“Last year, the date for the Scottish referendum was fixed. The countdown was set. And today, we have just over seven months until that vote.
Centuries of history hang in the balance, a question mark hangs over the future of our United Kingdom.
If people vote Yes in September, then Scotland will become an independent country. There will be no going back”
When asked over a year ago when I expected the debate to heat up, I said from around April/May this year. This is slightly earlier than I anticipated, and with the ramping up of scare stories in the past week, then this apparent change of tack here, why now?
I reckon that Project Fear have had the wind put up them, they have seen the movement to YES in the last 7 opinion polls, and they are worried, very worried!
But what is this nonsense Cameron is spouting? “Centuries of History hang in the balance” If Scotland vote YES in September, ” there will be no going back”
You cannot change Centuries of history! The past is past and cannot be altered, so how can history hang in the balance? There is never going back, whatever way we vote, we can only move forwards, but the question is….What will we move forward to? Indeed what have we got to look forward to if we should vote NO? Decades more of austerity which we have been promised. If you think things are bad so far folks, you aint seen nothing yet..60% of Osbournes cuts kick in from 2015! We have already had some of the proposed measures leaked, privatisation of Pensions administration, an end to bus passes and winter heating allowance. The pension age to rise more steeply, making us all work longer. More foodbanks, more assaults on the disabled, an ever increasing gap between wages and what we can afford. Oh yehh….It all sounds really attractive!
“Today I want to take on all these views, the idea we’d be better off without Scotland, the idea that this makes no difference to the rest of the UK…
And the idea that however much we might care, we in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can have no voice in this debate because we don’t have a vote. All the above are wrong.
We would be deeply diminished without Scotland. This matters to all our futures. And everyone in the UK can have a voice in this debate.
‘We would be deeply diminished without Scotland. This matters to all our futures. And everyone in the UK can have a voice in this debate’
I want to make this case by putting forward what, to me, are the four compelling reasons why the United Kingdom is stronger with Scotland in it:
The first is our connections with each other. Over three centuries we’ve lived together, worked together – and frankly we’ve got together.
Getting married, having children, moving back and forwards across borders.
Such is the fusion of our bloodlines that my surname goes back to the West Highlands, and by the way, I am as proud of my Scottish heritage as I am of my English heritage.
The name Cameron might mean ‘crooked nose’ but the clan motto is “Let us unite” – and that’s exactly what we in these islands have done.”
Notice that he says that the Idea the UK would be better off without Scotland is wrong.
This flies completely in the face of the nonsense that Westminster has been spouting for years, and is still spouted today, that Scotland is a subsidy junkie, depending on handouts!
He then completely contradicts himself when he has said that this is matter solely for Scots, by saying the rest of the UK have a say too! Which is it Davie?
The The first of his four connections is with each other. “Over three centuries we’ve lived together, worked together – and frankly we’ve got together.
Getting married, having children, moving back and forwards across borders.”
Being a fan of fables and potted childrens history, he maybe has no idea that Scotlands relations with the rest of these Isles stretches way beyond the 307 years of the Union, there was trade and intermarriage and relations long before the Union was ever thought of, indeed the Union is but a comparatively short part of Scotlands history.
There is no denying his name, and that part of his heritage is Scots, but there are generations of Italian, Indian and Pakistani Scots living here that are far more Scottish than he will ever be!
I myself have Camerons in my bloodline, my grandmother being a Cameron, I may even be distantly related to our Davie, but I would no longer place much emphasis on that, than I would by saying that I went to Eton, because I visited there once!
“Today 800,000 Scots live elsewhere in the UK and more than 400,000 people who were born in the rest of the UK now live in Scotland.
And there are millions of people who do business over the border every single day like the farmers in Lincolnshire who grow some of the barley that’s used in Scotch whisky.
The United Kingdom is an intricate tapestry millions of relationships woven tight over more than three centuries.
That’s why, for millions of people, there is no contradiction in being proud of your Scottishness, Englishness, Britishness – sometimes all at once.
Some say none of this would change with independence that these connections would stay as strong as ever.
But the fact is: all these connections – whether business or personal – are eased and strengthened by the institutional framework of the UK.
When the Acts of Union were passed, the role of the state was limited to things like defence, taxes and property rights.
Since then the state has transformed beyond recognition and our institutions have grown together like the roots of great trees, fusing together under the foundations of our daily lives.
You don’t need a customs check when you travel over the border you don’t have to get out your passport out at Carlisle you don’t have to deal with totally different tax systems and regulations when you trade and you don’t have to trade in different currencies.
Our human connections – our friendships, relationships, business partnerships they are underpinned because we are all in the same United Kingdom and that is reason number one we are stronger together.”
Today 800,000 Scots live in the rest of the Uk, so what? How many Scots live in other countries of the world, In the States, In Canada, In Australia, New Zealand and many other places, we are not in a union with these countries, but that does not diminish our relations with our family elsewhere, Indeed I just got an email yesterday from my cousins in Australia, part of my family have lived there for generations now, and some are in Canada, some in the States. I have a niece in England, a brother and nephews and niece in Northern Ireland, We are still family, borders do not change that!
No matter how they try to Imply otherwise, there will be no custom posts, we will not need passports to travel back and forth in the British Isles and Ireland..We don’t need passports now to travel to Southern Ireland, and they haven’t been in the Union for many a long year! The British and Irish travel area will still exist, and farmers from Lincolnshire sure aint going to do themselves out of business by not providing some barley for the Whisky industry.
“But let me be clear. The central part of my economic argument for the UK is not about what we’d lose if we pulled apart – but what we could gain in this world if we stay together.
This Government has set out a long-term economic plan for Britain, getting behind enterprise, dealing with our debts, a plan to give the people of this country peace of mind and security for the future.
And this isn’t just a plan, it’s a vision. The UK as the big European success story of this century, moving from an island sinking under too much debt, too much borrowing and too much taxation, to a country that’s dynamic, exporting, innovating, creating.
Scotland is right at the heart of that vision. Why? I could give you a list of the Scottish strengths…
Their historic universities like Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow and St. Andrews. Great industries: from food processing to financial services, from ship-building to science.
But it’s not about Scotland’s strengths as some sort of bolt-on extra.
It’s about what we, the constituent parts of the UK, can achieve together. The power of collaboration. It’s there in our past:
When the Scottish enlightenment met the industrial revolution, intellectual endeavour and commercial might combining to shape global economic ideas.
And that power of collaboration is there today. Together we’re stronger at getting out there and selling our products to the world.
Like Scotch whisky. Whether I’m in India or China, there’s barely a meeting where I don’t bang the drum for whisky abroad.
Of course, the First Minister fights hard for those deals too.
But the clout we have as a United Kingdom gives us a much better chance of getting around the right tables, bashing down trade barriers, getting deals signed.
The result – Scotch whisky adds £135 to the UK’s balance of payments every single second. And together we’re stronger to lead in the industries of the future.
Like green energy. We have the wind and the waves of Scotland, decades of North Sea Experience in Aberdeen, and with the rest of the UK – a domestic energy market of tens of millions of people to drive and support these new industries.
Two years ago we set up the Green Investment Bank. Based in Edinburgh, it’s invested across the UK helping a Scottish distillery to fit sustainable biomass boilers, financing a new energy centre at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge.
This is what happens when we collaborate. We’ve come through the Great recession together. Our deficit down by a third. Our economy growing.
Our exports to China doubled. And I believe we stand a much, much better chance of building a more prosperous future together.”
Lets get this right… Yes Scotland has all these industries and far more, but can you notice ONE glaring omission from Davies spiel? Yup, I am sure you got it….No mention, not one, of Oil! I wonder why that is?
But thanks for pointing out that Scots Whisky brings in £135 a second to the UK economy!
And despite what Davie says, the British Embassies actually charge if they put on promotion days for it. The world market for Whisky is massive, and growing! We can barely keep up with demand any more. It is our Liquid gold!
As far a Green investment goes, Westminster has been very reluctant over this, now scaling back as a policy, in favour of Chinese Nuclear Powers stations and Fracking!
But in an Independent Scotland, it will be fully supported, and we are already net exporters of energy as it is.
“The third reason we’re stronger together is our place in the world. Together, we get a seat at the UN Security Council, real clout in NATO and Europe, the prestige to host events like the G8.
Together we’ve got the finest armed forces on the planet. I think of the fighter pilots originally operating from RAF Lossiemouth who flew sorties over Libya, the legendary Scottish titles now part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, like the Black Watch and the Highlanders.
I think of the shipyards on the Forth and Clyde, where – alongside shipyards across the UK – they are building the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, launching this year to secure the seas and keep us safe.
Now to some, all this might sound like national vanity. It’s the view that if the UK split up and our role in the world shrank, it wouldn’t matter so much.”
All good reasons why Dave wants Scotland to remain,British clout and prestige in NATO, UN Security Council, G8, more clout for Westminster in Europe and all the rest. I get it, they will be diminished somewhat without us, but they hardly do anything for Scotland do they?
The armed forces which are being slashed and he is proud of it? He mentions RAF Lossiemouth which was under threat of closure, but is now our only air force base as they closed Leuchars and Kinloss instead!
He mentions legendary Scots regiments such as the Black Watch and the Highlanders, which are no more now, but rather units of the remaining regiment.
He talks of our shipyards and building Britains only aircraft carrier,but neglects to say that it useless as we have no planes for it!
What sort of idiocy is this he spouts?
“Sometimes, we can forget just how big our reputation is, that the world over the letters “UK” stand for unique, brilliant, creative, eccentric, ingenious. We come as a brand – a powerful brand.
Separating Scotland out of that brand would be like separating the waters of the River Tweed and the North Sea.
If we lost Scotland, if the UK changed, we would rip the rug from under our own reputation. The plain fact is we matter more in the world together.
These are all compelling practical reasons for the UK to stick together.”
Is this all that we are together Davie? A Brand?A Brand that we are separating out of? Well let me tell you something…Scotland is far more than a Brand! We are a proud people in a proud Country..not a bloomin Brand!
“And this, really, is why I’m standing here today: Our shared values. Freedom. Solidarity. Compassion. Not just overseas, but at home.
In this country, we don’t walk on by when people are sick, when people lose work, when people get old.
When you talk about an Englishman, a Welshman, a Scotsman, a Northern Irishman, it might sound like the beginning of a bad joke but here it’s how we started our NHS, our welfare system, our state pension system.
And these values aren’t trapped in the pages of a history book – they are alive. When the people of Benghazi were crying out for help, when a girl in Pakistan was shot for wanting an education, when children around the world are desperate for food, we don’t walk on by.
And let’s be clear. Our values are not just a source of pride for us, they are a source of hope for the world.”
You say “In this country, we don’t walk on by when people are sick, when people lose work, when people get old.”
We don’t, you do!
Explain to me ATOS, explain to me Bedroom Tax, explain to me Job Centre Sanctions, explain to me Foodbanks!
Now you going on about the NHS you are privatising in England and Wales, for You to dare talk of the damage you are inflicting on the Welfare State,and your leaked plans for Pensions…..Now that is a Bad Joke!
“In 1964, Nelson Mandela stood in the dock in the Pretoria Supreme Court.
He was making the case for his life, against apartheid – and in that speech he invoked the example of Britain:
He said: “I have great respect for British political institutions, and for the country’s system of justice. I regard the British Parliament as the most democratic institution in the world…”
Our Parliament, our laws, our way of life. So often, down the centuries, the UK has given people hope.
‘Some people have even advised me to stay out of this issue – and not to get too sentimental about the UK. But frankly, I care far too much to stay out of it. This is personal’
We’ve shown that democracy and prosperity can go hand in hand, that resolution is found not through the bullet, but the ballot box. Our values are of value to the world.
In the darkest times in human history there has been, in the North Sea, a light that never goes out.
And if this family of nations broke up, something very powerful and precious would go out forever.
So there is a moral, economic, geopolitical, diplomatic and yes – let’s say it proudly – an emotional case for keeping the United Kingdom together.”
You have a cheek mentioning Mandela….He that your mentor Thatcher branded as a Terrorist, and who you and your young conservatives wanted hanged.
“‘Some people have even advised me to stay out of this issue – and not to get too sentimental about the UK. But frankly, I care far too much to stay out of it. This is person
You said you were staying out of it, now you say you are not….So lets see you debate with Alex Salmond then….you have no longer an excuse not to….So lets see you stand by your supposed convictions and tell us why it is in Scotlands Interests to remain in the Union, not the Uks interests on why it needs to hold onto Scotland!
“In the darkest times in human history there has been, in the North Sea, a light that never goes out.”
Uhuh…That would be from the Oil Wells I take it!
“I have an old copy of Our Island Story, my favourite book as a child and I want to give it to my three children, and I want to be able to teach my youngest when she’s old enough to understand, that she is part of this great, world-beating story.
And I passionately hope that my children will be able to teach their children the same, that the stamp on their passport is a mark of pride.
That together, these islands really do stand for something more than the sum of our parts, they stand for bigger ideals, nobler causes, greater values:
Our great United Kingdom: brave, brilliant, buccaneering, generous, tolerant, proud – this is our country. And we built it together.
Brick by brick, Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland… brick by brick.
This is our home – and I could not bear to see that home torn apart. I love this country. I love the United Kingdom and all it stands for.
And I will fight with all I have to keep us together. And so I want to be clear to everyone listening. There can be no complacency about the result of this referendum.”
Now you really take the joke too far when you say this! “”I have an old copy of Our Island Story, my favourite book as a child and I want to give it to my three children, and I want to be able to teach my youngest when she’s old enough to understand, that she is part of this great, world-beating story.”
Are you such an numpty that you cannot see what you just said? That Scotland is a part of England! I know lots of your ilk believe that to be the case, but to openly admit how you view us is incredible.
That book you quote… “Our Island Story” Is no history of Britain, it is a History of England!
Here is its description by its publishers…
Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall (1867-1941) was famous for her 1905 children’s history of England, “Our Island Story: A History of England for Boys and Girls”. The book was a bestseller, was printed in numerous editions, and for fifty years was the standard and much-loved book by which children learned the history of England. The book is still to be found in schools and homes, but the last printing was in 1953 and it went out of print in the 1960s. In 2005, an alliance of the Civitas think-tank and various national newspapers brought the book back into print, with the aim of sending a free copy to each of the UK’s primary schools. Readers of The Daily Telegraph contributed £25,000 to the cost of the reprint.”
I think enough said about that Dave..Don’t you think so?
“The outcome is still up in the air and we have just seven months to go. seven months to do all we can to keep our United Kingdom as one. seven months to save the most extraordinary country in history.
And we must do whatever it takes. So to everyone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, everyone, like me, who cares about the United Kingdom, I want to say this: you don’t have a vote, but you do have a voice.
Those voting are our friends, neighbours and family. You do have an influence. Get on the phone, get together, email, tweet, speak.
Let the message ring out: from Manchester to Motherwell, from Pembrokeshire to Perth, from Belfast to Bute, from us to the people of Scotland – let the message be this:
We want you to stay. Think of what we’ve done together – what we can do together – what we stand for together.
Team GB. The winning team in world history. Let us stick together for a winning future too”
Well….I am hanging on the telephone….but all I hear is our neighbours telling us to get out while we still have the chance, and can they come too!!