We saw last month that some nationalists are prepared to tell downright lies in the way they portray comments made by pro UK supporters. Remember how they twisted Johann Lamont’s words?
Well, this picture is doing the rounds on Twitter:
As if Willie would say that. He’s been fighting for more powers for a Scottish Parliament all his life, for heaven’s sake. One of the first things he did as leader was to get Ming Campbell to set out a path towards home rule. That report was published in 2012.
Today, its follow up report, Campbell II, or Return of the Ming, whichever you prefer, was published. It gives a very clear timetable to more powers, put to the vote at the 2015 election and implemented in the next Parliament.
Quite clearly, the nationalists’ tweet is a load of hogwash. Actually, forget the euphemism. It was a pure lie. End of.
This is what Willie actually said on Sunday Politics Scotland:
If people want to continue devolution, if they want more power for the Scottish Parliament, if they vote for independence they’re ending that: they’re putting it to an end. So there’s a danger, if you think you can vote yes in the comfort that you won’t get independence and somehow you’ll get more powers, it’s a dangerous game to play.
There are people who have suggested that they will vote for independence even though what they actually want is more powers within the UK. Those are the people Willie was talking to. It’s stating the bleeding obvious that voting for independence risks a result that you leave the UK, so you can never get what you want. It’s really simple.
But the last thing the Nationalists want is for any sort of consensus to emerge on more powers. Despite the fact that they seem to ask for it every two minutes. More powers is where the debate is at, not independence.
Ming Campbell’s report shows how more powers can be achieved by the end of the next Parliament, just 6 years away. It’s actually quite clever because it puts the Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael, in a key position to develop and deliver that consensus within days of a no vote. The proposals would then go into party manifestos and would then be implemented in the next Parliament.
Sir Menzies Campbell said this morning:
Liberal Democrats have already concluded that home rule in a federal UK is the best future for Scotland. Today’s report, as requested by Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, assesses the emerging consensus on more powers. We have concluded that there is solid common ground on the reform required to Scotland’s relationship within the UK.
Looking across Scotland’s parties it is clear that a consensus has formed around two broad propositions. Firstly, that the Scottish Parliament should raise the majority of what it spends. Secondly, that the Scottish Parliament should be entrenched permanently.
On the currency, on energy, on the EU, on the intelligence services, the white paper has been casual in its assumptions that most of the fundamentals of Scotland will be unaffected by independence. The fundamental choice in the referendum is therefore a clear one. Either to maintain these important and fruitful unions and to reform them on a federal basis, or as a result of a Yes vote, to leave these unions and endeavour to join them on inevitably poorer terms to Scotland, if at all.
Today’s report makes a series of rational, reasonable and indeed radical recommendations by which this reform could take place. Equipping Scotland with more powers, what I regard as an early step for a federal UK, can be done.
2015 is the time when it should be done. To give a stable future for Scotland and the UK it must be done. The proposals in this report will bring people together after the referendum. It is a radical programme for change.