No, Alex, I wasn’t tricked. I voted No because I wasn’t convinced by you and your plans

Hi Alex

You’ve been putting it about that those of us who voted No in last week’s referendum have been tricked by the vow from the three pro-UK parties. That’s a bit of a presumption, to be honest. It assumes, to start with, that all of the 55% who opposed independence did so purely on the basis of a slightly inept Vow from the pro UK party leaders.

That Vow will be kept. We will get the powers promised. The parties are unlikely to fail, given that their own future depends on them doing so. Yes, the waters were muddied with Cameron deciding to choose the moment to pick a fight with Ed Miliband to overshadow his Conference. While I might not be pleased about that, it’s irrelevant to what’s happening in Scotland. We’ve had it from Miliband, we’ve had it from Downing Street and we know that Danny Alexander has been kicking some Tory backside to ensure that new Scottish powers are not dependent on the more complex English issues being sorted out.

You know all this, of course. You also knew on Friday that you were lying to the Scottish people when you said that Cameron had reneged on the promise that there would be a Second Reading of the Bill by 27th March. That was never part of the deal. It was always going to be debated after the General Election.

I suppose it was too much to ask that you would actually act like a First Minister to the whole country which you have divided. You have personally come out with this divisive Team Scotland stuff. You have sat by while members of your party, included elected representatives, have said things like you are a bad parent if you vote No, that Alistair Carmichael is a “supposed Scot”. You have allowed a senior person in the Yes movement to threaten a Day of Reckoning against opponents. These are the things that fuelled the abuse that many No campaigners, 46% of us, experienced on the ground. On Friday, you could have said something that brought us all together. Instead you stoke up further division in a thinly veiled and cynical attempt to create political capital for your successor.

If you can’t act as First Minister for the whole country, then it is right that you should resign.

Be in no doubt, I voted No primarily because of the horribly divisive nature of your campaign and the fact that you were making promises about the currency, about EU membership that you just couldn’t keep. I voted No because of the destabilising threats you made not to take debt and to blockade our fishing waters if you didn’t get your way. I voted No because you didn’t take my concerns seriously and come up with some convincing answers.

I voted No because I think it makes sense to make some decisions at a UK level. I voted No because the UK might not be perfect but it has delivered the best health care service in the world, it’s leading the world on tackling violence against women and girls and providing humanitarian aid.

I voted No because the last thing I wanted to do was to give your illiberal party counter-terrorism powers when you have a Justice Secretary who has put armed police on the street against the wishes of local communities, who has no respect for human rights and who is perfectly comfortable with unregulated stop and search. If the record of the coalition government was relevant, then so was yours.

Most of all, I voted No because I didn’t see how we could really make things better for the poorest and most vulnerable in our society while playing Chicken with their currency and when respected independent organisations said we’d have to find an extra £6 billion a year just to fund the services we currently have.

You should be stating very clearly that the referendum, which your government was in charge of, was conducted with scrupulous propriety, that the videos purporting to show electoral fraud are wrong. You should be showing willing to work with the UK Parliament, to put your ideas forward for more powers. I never thought the three parties should stitch it up between themselves. I always thought the SNP should be part of the process and civil society and ordinary people too. But you only seem interested in prolonging the agony and division. You don’t seem to have any interest in leading one nation. If the SNP is going to regain the trust of the majority of the nation, your successor will have to show willing to do so.

The way you have behaved throughout the campaign and since the very decisive result has shaken my faith in the SNP. I’ve always been relaxed about an independence referendum. In fact, I made a mad dash from Perth to Edinburgh in 2007 in a vain attempt to persuade Liberal Democrat MSPs to agree to it. Now that I’ve seen what you were going to do, to portray people who don’t agree with independence as somehow not proper Scots, I’m thinking for the first time that I might have been wrong then.

And now you’re apparently telling us that we don’t even need another referendum to be independent.

I’d hoped the SNP was now going to spend the last year and a half of its term solving the problems that caused people to vote Yes, to tackle the poverty and housing. Your government has cut the budget for social housing. You need to start thinking about what you can do with the powers you have to make their lives better. If you did that, you would get a lot of people who voted No onside too, because we care about these things too.

When I think what Labour and the Liberal Democrats achieved together, free personal care, fair votes for local government, free eye and dental checks, land reform which empowers individuals and communities, it looks so much more impressive and transformative than anything the SNP has done in 7 years. Time to stop complaining about what you can’t do and get on with the things you can. I won’t be holding my breath.

About caronlindsay

Scottish Lib Dem internationalist, mum, LGBT+ ally, Doctor Who, Strictly, F1 and trashy tv addict and blogger. Servant to two spaniels. She/her.
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10 Responses to No, Alex, I wasn’t tricked. I voted No because I wasn’t convinced by you and your plans

  1. This says everything I feel at the moment. And for Salmond to continue to provoke division and further enflame those parts of the un-thinking flag flying nationalist masses who act like they are the only true Scots is not only patronising and insulting but totally dismissive of most of his country.


  2. Jayne allan says:

    Me too!


  3. Dennis Gowland says:

    Hits the nail on the head!


  4. Alastair Ross says:

    Tricked?!? What??? Is Salmond calling us all stupid and gullible because that’s what it feels like? Is he saying the Scottish people aren’t smart enough to see through an empty promise when they see one? I thought this was the man who declared after the election in 2011 that he “would trust the Scottish people”. Where’s that trust in the Scottish people now? Gone, it seems. The 55% who voted No should feel insulted by this man. They voted the way they did for their own reasons and that’s what we all had to trust – that they would sum up in their own minds the whole campaign and reach the right decision for themselves. They did that and now they are not to be trusted? Away with that man. He is not worthy to lead his country.


  5. Andy Wilson says:

    I voted yes because I saw past the lies spouted by both sides.
    I voted yes as I have an unwavering faith in my fellow Scots.
    I voted yes because we had the opportunity to shape our country to reflect our collective values.

    To use an analogy, the point of the referendum was lost to the self interested. With Christmas just round the corner, think of it this way. Everyone lost sight of the Christmas tree in the debate as the powers to be fought anargument on some tatty decorations (look at the shiny shiny!). They argued we couldn’t afford to by our own decorations to dress our collective tree!

    Unfortunately, the gullible bought this rational and lost the opportunity to buy their own decorations and to dress their own tree, how they pleased, for further more!

    It’s really sad, especially with the unraveling of the further decorations they promised us.


    • Alastair Ross says:

      Sorry Andy. “Unwavering faith in my fellow Scots” quickly followed by accusing the majority of being gullible. Short lived faith it seems.


  6. Andy Wilson says:

    So Alistair, so you did see through the empty promises and voted for those who would sell them to you?
    My, that makes me the gullible one for having faith in the people I share my country with. Still I’m very proud that I put others in front on my own self interest. Call it a badge I’ll eternally hold close to my heart.


  7. No, I saw through the empty promises and voted not to be taken in by them.


  8. Andy Wilson says:

    ” Is he saying the Scottish people aren’t smart enough to see through an empty promise when they see one? “??


  9. What I said is that I saw through the empty promises and voted no. What other people saw in it all is up to them and they are as entitled as you, me, or anyone else to choose how to vote. And they voted – based on whatever they saw. That is democracy and that is their right.

    It’s Salmond who claims they were hoodwinked and thus accuses them of not being smart enough to make up their own minds. I made up my own mind. You made up your own mind, and everybody else made up their own mind too.

    And now you too are saying the people are gullible. Have some respect man.


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