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Looking out for Portsmouth

Posted on April 28, 2014 by

The transcript below is taken from a public meeting hosted by the Scottish Office at Murrayfield in Edinburgh last Thursday (24 April), featuring Alistair Carmichael.

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You can listen for yourself by clicking the above image.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: One of the things that struck me today when I was reading social media was a tweet by Robert Peston who is a very recognised BBC journalist who it seems had another scoop and been unofficially briefed that the UK government were making it very clear they were making no plans post the referendum for a Yes contingency.

That worries me because it suggests either we have a government in London who isn’t planning for all eventualities – and I think they are planning for a Yes contingency, I would be very shocked if they weren’t, though I wouldn’t expect them to say what they were doing about it – or suggests that we’re not getting an honest response from our politicians when questions like that are put.

So I’d ask you, Mr Carmichael, tonight, what plans are being made in the event of a Yes vote?

CARMICHAEL: We are not contingency planning.  We do not want to see the United Kingdom broken up and I am not going to sanction planning in government for that.

If the people of Scotland decide that they do not want to be part of the United Kingdom, then at that point the United Kingdom – or what remains of it – will start to think about what their position is going to be.  

At that point, actually I am out of the equation because I am a Scot and my country has just decided – if that is what happens – to remove herself from the United Kingdom

AM: So you won’t represent Scotland’s interests beyond the 19th – you won’t lobby on our behalf?

CARMICHAEL: No, I’m sorry, that’s a flat contradiction of what I have just said. I cannot do it on behalf of the rest of the United Kingdom, however. I represent Scotland’s interests day and daily – I’ve done it for the last 13 and a half years, 12 and a half years as a Scottish Member of Parliament, but if Scotland votes for independence then I will not be part of the rest of the United Kingdom.

I won’t be able to influence what people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland want out of their constitutional future – that would be entirely improper. It would be improper on the other side of the referendum, just as it would be improper for me to try to change it now. That’s why there will be no contingency planning.

AM: Well it sounds like a reckless way to manage a government and I have to say that any planning should be covering all scenarios. You would do it in business and you should certainly be doing it in government.

CARMICHAEL: I am not going to start planning for the breakup of this country. There is no way I’m going to be part of that. That is not in Scotland’s interests and it’s not in the interests of the rest of the United Kingdom. The response of the rest of the United Kingdom should Scotland vote for independence will be for the rest of the United Kingdom. It’s not for me.  

You know this is an important part, it’s an important consideration in this referendum. This is a decision being made by Scotland, by Scots in Scotland, but let’s not ignore the fact that it has implications for people in the rest of the United Kingdom and that they will want to have a view on it. It is their right to have a view on it just as much as it is our right.  

If Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, of course I can influence what happens in the rest of the United Kingdom, I do it all the time. But if you are not part of the United Kingdom, that is one of the things from which we will have to walk away.

AM: Scotland will continue to be part of the United Kingdom until the day of –

[Moderator intervenes]

We’ll pass over the notion that a Lib Dem Secretary of State for Scotland “influences what happens in the rest of the UK all the time”, because we’re sure Mr Carmichael was just a bit confused at that point. Indeed, he seems to be confused all the way through, as the questioner keeps asking him what he’d do in terms of Scotland and he keeps answering in terms of England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

More importantly, what we have above is a repeated, categorical assurance by a UK government minister that the UK government is making no contingency plans at all for what polls suggest is at the very least a distinctly possible dissolution of the UK state in just a few months’ time.

To be honest, readers, if we weren’t already supporters of independence then knowing that the Westminster government was prepared to act with such astonishing cavalier recklessness and irresponsibility would probably be enough to convince us that the UK wasn’t a country we wanted to be part of any more.

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    1. 29 04 14 12:15

      Looking out for Portsmouth | FreeScotland

    98 to “Looking out for Portsmouth”

    1. Croompenstein says:

      It’s a rather worrying stance from the UK Government, more worrying is what the SLab MP’s will do on the 19th in the event of a yes vote

    2. Doug Daniel says:

      Does Alistair Carcrashmichael realist that Portsmouth will still be in the UK even if Scotland votes Yes? There’s no reason why a Yes vote should change his job.

    3. HoraceSaysYes says:

      Would it be cruel of me to suggest that contingency planning is indeed going on, but those doing the planning don’t think that Carmichael is worth consulting on it?

    4. orkers says:

      I doubt that the “monkey” knows what the “organ grinder” is up too?

      Carmichael is a very junior member of the coalition and in his case “ignorance is bliss”.

    5. Appleby says:

      “more worrying is what the SLab MP’s will do on the 19th in the event of a yes vote”

      Sign up for Jobseekers, I’d imagine.

    6. Gavin Alexander says:

      So, we know for sure that the UK government is making no contingency plans at all. Only when Scotland votes Yes, will they “start to think about what their position is going to be”. Fine.

      Why then have we been told (nearly a million times) that they have such very strong positions on our sharing of Sterling and our membership of the EU?

      They are either lying (they are actually thinking), or making rash statements before they have started thinking.

      Take your pick.

    7. MajorBloodnok says:

      Once Westminster can get through the European Elections and then the next UK General Election then they’ll start planning. Referendum? What referendum?

    8. M_Bro says:

      To be fair, I think he is saying that the future of the rUK should be decided by the rUK, and not by a UK government that is integrated by Scottish members.

    9. I just wish that were true, Appelby. These troughers will no doubt find another sinecure somewhere, but nevertheless I look forward to the bloodletting that will undoubtably occur.

    10. Susan says:

      Scotland is not the first country to gain its independence from UK, surely the London government is planning for this outcome and they are just not telling their junior partners.

    11. Murray McCallum says:

      I think UKOK are still struggling to find any content for Plan A.

    12. scaredy cat says:

      @ Croompenstein

      I was thinking the same thing. This is partly the result of pretending their fight is about the SNP and not the independence referendum.

      Labour’s continual talk of a race to the bottom in relation to SNP’s corporation tax plans is evidence that they have no ambition to fight in the event of a Yes vote.

      They have as much as admitted that if we vote Yes, they are finished and SNP will govern.

      No plans, no ideas, no vision for Scotland.

    13. Fiona says:

      @ M_Bro

      It is not in dispute that the future of rUK should be decided by rUK

      But it beyond unbelievable that there is not contingency planning: at least to the extent of putting together proposals for consideration by the rUK electorate should the vote be yes.

      One of the things we keep hearing is that a decision in favour of independence will have profound effects for the whole UK: so much so that many still whine about the fact that people outside Scotland do not have a vote. Of course there are others who insist it will make no difference at all outside Scotland, but my impression is that they are a minority

      It is indeed irresponsible if they are not even thinking about the issue and making some rough drafts about what might need to be done

      I don’t believe that for a moment. I am puzzled as to why “journalists” do not challenge that assertion along the lines of “why is this lying bastard lying to me”

    14. fairiefromtheearth says:

      I just wonder what Country are we breaking up?

    15. Muscleguy says:

      Considering the MoD did a study on whether Devonport was a viable alternative base for the Trident fleet does that not count as contingency planning?

    16. Craig P says:

      HoraceSaysYes:

      Would it be cruel of me to suggest that contingency planning is indeed going on, but those doing the planning don’t think that Carmichael is worth consulting on it?

      Yes, why would you tell a Scottish MP what the plans were, given there is a chance they will be batting for the other side during negotiations?

    17. Jimbo says:

      Carmichael is obviously being kept well out of the loop.

    18. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      IF they are not planning contigency plans, I think it bodes well for Scottish side of negotiations in the event of a YES vote. They will be much better prepared to drive a hard bargain with the rUK who will have fresh people trying desperately to catch up to speed.

      However I have the feeling that the way things are done in the London parliament- adhoc and and the spur of the moment, done by people who are poorly suited for the job (themselves put there by patronage, a debiltating carry over from feudal times of the Norman conquest). Every time I see or hear of Westminster politicians I have to pinch myself that I am watching the real deal, not something out of the Thick of It.

    19. Jeremy Watson says:

      I have got to know numerous politicians over the years in two countries. Those that are career politicians that may work hard, but see it simply as a job and will go with the flow no matter where it goes. And those that get into politics through vision and commitment to meet that vision and serve those who elected them to the best of their ability. Perhaps this one just doesn’t have a vision or an idea of the needs of his electorate. He hopes he will have a job post referundum, but if not, too bad. He comes first, not his electorate. It doesn’t matter which way he would vote, but he doesn’t seem to realise that the very fact there is a referendum means that that electorate are not satisfied with the current situation. Even if we remain in the Union he should be planning what to do to improve that. Or if he can’t, resign.

    20. Papadox says:

      Would you tell that buffoon anything important? Mind you he probably wouldn’t understand it anyway. He really is a clown that’s why he was picked for the job.

      Remember the old saying “when your daft your the last one to find out” gon yersel big yin!

    21. Grouse Beater says:

      Maybe like a certain other secretary of state he will be expected to endorse a document “exterpating” any vote for sovereignty regained.

    22. galamcennalath says:

      He may be being honest, Unionist politicians may not be giving post-Yes much thought. However I just don’t believe civil servants aren’t doing a lot of planning; particularly the MOD.

    23. Angus McLellan says:

      @Muscleguy: I believe the studies of Devonport, Falmouth, Milford Haven, etc as bases for nuclear missile submarines were actually done in the 1960s. So it was that long ago that they were actually for Polaris bases, not for Trident. I’m not aware of any serious studies since then.

    24. Luigi says:

      If the UK government is sensible to contingency plan behind the scenes, in the possible event of a YES vote, I think that a certain Alistair Carmichael would be the last in Scotland to know about it.

      Rather than worried, I am actually reassured that Mr Carmichael will NOT be negotiating on our behalf.

      Phew!

    25. ronnie anderson says:

      Carmichael, he wont sanction contingency plans ( WHO HE )

      is there no a PM in the equasion somewhere.

      He wont represent Scotlands intrests after 19th Sept,

      is he resigning fae Westminster, the mans a Buffon ( sos

      Boris you,ve lost yer mantle).

    26. Les Wilson says:

      Who REALLY gives a toss what Carmichael says?
      He will retire in 2015 even if there is a NO vote, as he will not be re elected. To be shunned by his own would be too big a chance for him to take, to retire is his easy option.

      He is not one of Westminster’s inner circle, and will not be trusted not to blurp out something if under pressure. So he will only know what he is told, little as that will be.

      There is evidence of rUK using “starting point” negotiations right now. The currency union ( V Trident ) is one. The veiled threats to vote against us joining this and that, are others.

      They are slowly letting out what their strongest ( they think anyway ) negotiation positions are. So they are taking this seriously, they could not do, in the case of a YES they would look a bunch of amateurs and would be pilloried for it by voters.

      So they WILL keep project fear going and more, but with a YES vote, they are prepared with their starting points.

      Forget Carmichael, he is just cannon fodder, what’s new!

    27. Apparently Carmichael also took a guid Timpsoning at the Dunfermilne leg of the Scottish Office funded jamboree, according to my spies in Fife. At the beginning two Scottish Office ‘suits’ were already having second thoughts on whether this had been quite as smart an idea as first thought.

      I do not think the local Labour MP thought the audience in the Bruce Hotel would be quite so hostile in what is ‘Labour’ country but Carmicheal was all but booed off the stage.

    28. mato21 says:

      o/t

      R.T reporting immigrants have formed and registered their own UK party to stand in the European election

      It is called the European Party (E.P)

    29. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Check out the editorial statement at the end of this NNS article about CBI/BBC.

      Utterly jaw-dropping. Talk about chutzpah? The BBC has just spat in the face of everyone who dared raise so much as an eyebrow over their farcical CBI membership.

      Looks like they’re getting the gloves off.

      http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/9109-the-cbi-has-killed-the-bbc-stone-dead

    30. heedtracker says:

      He’s just one more UKOK liar contradicting himself over and over. All chancers like Alexander and Carmichael have shown Scotland is that the Liberal Democrat’s are merely Tory boys through and through.

    31. James Kay says:

      I think that our SoS has made a very brave statement:

      At that point, actually I am out of the equation because I am a Scot and my country has just decided – if that is what happens – to remove herself from the United Kingdom.

      He has said that he will stand by the result of the referendum, even if it goes against his personal wishes. Has anyone else in a similar position made a similar statement? Darling? Brown? Any of the Alexanders? Sarwar? Davidson?

      If there is contingency planning, it would be surprising if any of the above were actually included in the planning team.

    32. dennis mclaughlin says:

      Carmichael already made his case clearly before a Scottish Parliamentary committee earlier this year.
      Are we having a wee ceremony in Edinburgh to lower the Union Jack and raise the Saltire….like they did when the “colonies” gained their freedom……’at the stroke of midnight etc’ ?.

    33. Giving Goose says:

      Something that has struck me about both Danny Alexander and Carmichael is the apparent contradictions in what they say and what we, the Yes side, believe to be the case.

      I wonder if both these Lib Dems are being played like puppets.

      Danny Alexander was recently quoted (I think it may have been from a meeting in the Highlands) that he looked at spreadsheets every day and they told a certain story that allowed him to have a different viewpoint from the Yes side on Scotland’s potential economic health.

      Could I speculate that this data that he is reliant upon is, in fact, false.

      Carmichael appears to be distant from the view of the Yes side. Is he actually extremely badly informed by Whitehall?
      Are they, in fact, being deliberately fed misinformation as part of a cunning plan to make them and their party, the Lib Dems, take the blame for a Yes vote.

      It may be a similar game that some have speculated is being played out with Darling and the Labour Party.
      The Tories will come out of a Yes vote in a stronger position within a rUK, while a narrative will have been constructed that will attach blame to both the Lib Dems and Labour.

    34. Les Wilson says:

      Ian Brotherhood says:

      Yes Ian, I read it early this morning. Clearly the CBI and the BBC are suffering from this

      Pharaoh Syndrome
      Psychology Ancient Jewish texts describe Pharaoh syndrome as an impediment to actualisation—i.e., someone in power who gets in the way of things
      Public sector A ‘condition’ suffered by public employees who are often the scapegoats for poor decisions and policies made by their superiors who cannot or will not meet public demands.

      Seems right to me!

    35. Thepnr says:

      Poor Mr Carmichael. That “audience member” seems like a pretty clued up fellow. I’m just surprised that facing questioning such as this he didn’t buckle completely.

      I’m absolutely certain that contingency plans are being put in place in the event of a Yes vote, despite the denials. To believe otherwise is probably a mistake.

    36. Jeannie says:

      Half-way down this old Scotsman article, Michael Moore, the then Secretary of State for Scotland, said that if Scotland voted Yes, he would argue for a good deal for Scotland. Did something happen to the position of Secretary of State for Scotland when Carmichael took over that means he can’t fight for Scotland, even though he’s an MP in a Scottish constituency? If so, what was the change that meant that Michael Moore could negotiate on Scotland’s behalf but Carmichael can’t? Or is Carmichael just at it?

      http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/independent-scotland-would-need-to-quadruple-quangos-1-2784895

    37. muttley79 says:

      I see Carmichael talked about Britain as “this country.” So basically he is just another British nationalist who happens to be Scottish. Carmichael clearly does not regard Scotland as a country or nation. Just another sell out Scot on the make in London.

    38. cearc says:

      dennis mclaughlin,

      They could send dear mr. Chris Patten, if he can be spared from the beeb for an evening, to take the flag home. Just as he did in Hong Kong.

    39. Breeks says:

      The man is a liar. The Treasury has undertaken to honour UK debt in the event of independence. They clearly do have contingencies, but Mum’s the word for now. These Wingers and Cybernats have eyes and ears everywhere.
      Of course that commitment might of been the tea boy when everyone else was out to lunch.

    40. call me dave says:

      I would be astonished if there was no contingency planning going on inside the Whitehall mandarin machine. There will be lots of pre-referendum whizzbangs and scares perpetrated on the people of Scotland in the months that follow.

      Meanwhile as there are no full videos yet of the event.

      FM written speech in Bruge.

      http://news.scotland.gov.uk/Speeches-Briefings/Scotland-s-Place-in-Europe-bdf.aspx

      PS.
      I looked up Maggie’s speech in Bruge for x-reference on the u-tube. Find it if you choose.

    41. Les Wilson says:

      Here is an interesting site that points out what the BBC are doing with Westminster, also tells you how to stop paying your licence.

      http://www.old.tpuc.org/stoppayingtvlicencefees

    42. Luigi says:

      Giving Goose:

      I agree. David Cameron is currently pulling ALL the strings of BT.

      I am surprised that so many Labour and LibDem politicians are so keen to do the Tories’ dirty work for them. And dirty work it is – filthy! A high price for their stupidity will be exacted by the people of Scotland in due course. Willing Labour and LibDem lambs to the slaughter?

      As for the Tories?

      Well, if you think about it, even Thatcher’s infamous, skin-saving Falklands effect will pale into significance beside the effect on David Cameron, “the man who saved the UK” (enthusiastically reinforced by the Milliband-hating, UK gutter press). After all, Thatcher saved a few sheep from the Argies. Cameron will have saved the union from the evil Nats. Tory landslide in 2015 inevitable.

      Scotland votes NO, David Cameron wins (big time).
      Scotland votes YES, Darling et al get the blame.

      Is this what Labour and LibDem politicians want?
      A Tory landslide in 2015. Perhaps they do, perhaps they consider they have no choice.

      You can be your bottom dollar that a huge number of Scottish Labour and LibDem activists and voters have no desire for another five years of Tory rule. This will become more apparent as we approach September 18th.

    43. Murray McCallum says:

      They better start planning for their border patrol manpower and facilities. That all takes time and money.

      Inaction would suggest they are making it up.

    44. Clootie says:

      This is evidence of a shocking and incompetent government at Westminster, certainly a complacent one.

      I have been in the oil industry for 35 years and find it astounding that any “management” could run in this manner.

      Can you imagine an oil company working abroad and seeing issues in the country where they are based(e.g. regime change) that could threaten the safety of personnel / A threat to their capital investment / A threat to their business plan.

      Do you think that company would sit back and hope that everything settled down and the existing regime remained in place.

      Likely actions of an Oil Company in a country with political change is in progress:

      If the current government had a lead of 30%/40% then you may only sketch out a framework of key threats/options
      However if the government lead was only a few percent and the momentum was with opposition group then you would be in crisis management (crisis as in the sense of critical – not the Blair McDougall kind).

      Only a fool would do nothing.

    45. Mary Bruce says:

      Off topic: Anyone fancy applying for a job as a referendum campaign officer with the Labour party? They are looking for 12 recruits. It doesn’t say you can’t be a yes supporter. Applications here: https://www.labour.org.uk/new_job

      Sadly it looks like we might start hearing from the United with Labour campaign.

      But isn’t it great that our team have thousands of grass roots volunteers and we don’t have to advertise for staff.

    46. Nana Smith says:

      O/T

      Members of the NUJ have asked for the bbc Scotland to quit the cbi.
      Something about protecting their impartiality!

    47. ronnie anderson says:

      @les wilson 3.03, Les you do realise thats a Time Martin

      company TBA, the works for & on behalf of governments,

      I am a non payer anyway, people dont need to sign up to

      that organization.

    48. Jeannie says:

      @call me dave

      That’s a really interesting speech given by Alex Salmond in Bruges. I read it right through and it immediately reminded me of the Declaration of Arbroath in the way he set out the case for Scotland’s continuing membership of the EU.

    49. Thepnr says:

      @Nana Smith

      I’m pleased to see that the NUJ are asking for that. I’d be much happier though if they just refused to read that guff that’s handed to them.

      I couldn’t work in an organisation that asked me to LIE to my own people every day of the week.

    50. Oor Wullie says:

      LOL what contingency plans has the Sottish Government made if there’s a “no” vote? Or, if there’s a “yes” vote and no currency union?

      You guys shouldn’t be so naive – of course there’s contingency planning (just as the Scottish Govt has a plan B re currency of course) – he’s hardly going to say so though is he, as it means he’d be admitting a “yes” vote was a possibility.

      Jeez…

    51. JLT says:

      How very odd.

      His job title is ‘Secretary of State for Scotland’ and yet he does not seem to realise that. How odd!

      To be honest, I’m hoping that the next time Carmichael sticks himself in the firing line of a TV debate, that whoever his opposite number is asks him a simple question.

      ‘Mr Carmichael. Can you give us the title of your job; what its function is, and what your duties are, because by all accounts …you seem to be at a loss when someone asked to perform the key function of it, and that is …to serve in the interests, and the will of the Scottish people; and not what the other key cabinet members tell you to say.’

      The guy is hopeless. Honestly, Michael Moore’s dismissal now looks like one seriously bad decision. I’m actually beginning to appreciate Moore more these days. He at least had a clue and even Nicola had a reasoned debate with him in the first of the televised debates.

    52. Nana Smith says:

      @Thepnr

      Quite agree.
      On the whole I think they are thoroughly rotten.

    53. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      You better believe they are making plans. They will never admit it, as that would add credence to Scottish Independence.

      One area they will be desperate to negotiate is to attempt to tie Scotland into a permanent Currency Union.

    54. Morag says:

      One area they will be desperate to negotiate is to attempt to tie Scotland into a permanent Currency Union.

      Nailed it.

    55. Thepnr says:

      Come on you wingers. Please get Ian’s petition to the 1000 mark. We need to keep the pressure on. Think of their embarrassment if forced to resign from the CBI rather than just “suspend” their membership.

      We have them on the run. No slacking now or pay the consequences!

    56. Adrian B says:

      Westminster might not admit it but they certainly are looking at options after a YES vote. There is a great deal of discussion happening in certain circles – some of it is more advanced than you might well think.

      The official line is that Scotland will vote to stay in the Union. But we know that they know that they know we know that it is not as likely a result as it was last year.

    57. bunter says:

      @ Nana Smith

      Don’t know if it would be enough for just BBC Scotland to ditch the CBI as the whole BBC network feeds into it, so I think it would have to be the whole EBC. Then what about the fact that the BBC take all their news from Londons press and regurgitate it as headlines. I am sure there are many of these papers in the CBI as well. Looks like a can of worms to me.

    58. andrew>reid says:

      “If the people of Scotland decide that they do not want to be part of the United Kingdom, then at that point the United Kingdom – or what remains of it – will start to think about what their position is going to be. At that point, actually I am out of the equation because I am a Scot and my country has just decided – if that is what happens – to remove herself from the United Kingdom.”
      Alistair Carmichael has said that, if there is a Yes vote, then ” at that point, actually” he will be ” out of the equation” – I would take that to mean that He will cease to be Secretary of State for Scotland from 19 September – he is notifying an intention to resign on September 19, or that he will be replaced (by a non Scot?), or that the post will be deleted from the list of UK ministerial positions.

    59. NewportDee says:

      So the Yes campaign should have a Plan B now but the Better together campaign should not start planning for a Yes vote until that is shown to be the will of the Scottish people. Illogical.

    60. Robert Kerr says:

      Absolutely Morag and Ronald.

      But it could well be a poisoned chalice.

      Sterling is very vulnerable. There must be a get-out clause for Scotland else we all can sink.

    61. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      The transcript reads like the script for a Greg Moodie ‘Comical Ali’ cartoon strip.

      🙂

    62. Andy-B says:

      I’d be surprised if Westminster didn’t have some kind of plan when Scots vote for independence, after all they’re a devious bunch,in Whitehall and Westminster. As for Alistair Carmichael, he’ll spit out the unionist mantra right up until the 18th of September, thankfully, Mr Carmichael will become obsolete, the following day.

    63. Chic McGregor says:

      I shouldn’t imagine Carmichael has the slightest inclination to get out of his plausible deniability niche.

    64. Morag says:

      Sterling is very vulnerable. There must be a get-out clause for Scotland else we all can sink.

      Also nailed it. This is precisely what the disagreement is about. It’s not what can be explained to English voters though.

    65. MochaChoca says:

      Carmichael fits the bill as the ‘useful idiot’ perfectly. No way anyone involved in pre-planning for a YES will be divulging anything of real importance to him.

      Can’t get my head around Danny Alexander’s role on the other hand, he seems more ‘in there’ with the Tories. I don’t think we’ll see much of him in Scotland after a YES.

    66. Chic McGregor says:

      @James Kay
      “Has anyone else in a similar position made a similar statement? Darling? Brown? Any of the Alexanders? Sarwar? Davidson?”

      I believe Moore did.

    67. Bill Walters says:

      This is a pretty weak argument, I have to say. It’s a fairly standard political strategy that in a referendum or an election you keep repeating the mantra that you’re going to win, even if you think the complete opposite.

      Behind the scenes it would be completely ridiculous if the UK government hadn’t made contingency plans for what would happen after a Yes vote, but they’re not going to say that because it would generate unwanted attention. In fact they’ll continue to make a point of trying to emphasise, as strongly as possible, that they aren’t making any plans at all.

      Ask the SNP what their plans are to hold a second referendum after a No vote and you’ll receive exactly the same response – we aren’t making any plans because we’re going to win. I’m not sure why this should be news to anybody.

    68. Robert McDonald says:

      Bollocks, he’s just plain lying. If the UK has contingency plans for nuclear attack and asteroid strikes (and they do) even they don’t envisage them happening then they bloody well do envisage independence. I say again, he’s lying through his teeth.

    69. Grouse Beater says:

      James

      Darling has stated, publically twice to my knowledge, that a win “even by 1%, must be respected. One assumes he means a win on either side.

    70. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      Wasn’t suggesting that we should agree to a permanent CU, in fact can’t see how we could agree. Just making the point.

      Also, I suspect if the polls continue to narrow “the markets” will get jittery and confirm the need for a CU, for the rUK’s necessity.

    71. msean says:

      Of course they are making plans for a yes victory,but they won’t even acknowledge the existence of the plans as that, in their view, would weaken their hand.

    72. Caroline Corfield says:

      perhaps he’s being economic with the truth… perhaps he means the politicians aren’t doing any contingency planning when in fact when we use the word government we mean the whole apparatus of actual government, namely politicians AND civil servants, because I know for a fact that civil servants for the MOD are contingency planning. And of course there are as has been pointed out above pronouncments from the Treasury wrt a Yes vote. Defence and Welfare are not devolved, neither is tax, so one presumes HMRC will be looking at contingency – possibly a la Ecclestone eh?

    73. Caroline Corfield says:

      Clootie, re oil companies and regime change, wasn’t that exactly what some of them did in Russia though? Can’t recall who had to sell all their shares in the joint company to the Russian bit, was it BP ?

    74. There are hints of pre-negotiations already out there.. I’m sure the rUK will be setting out their stall that the oil belongs to them and not Scotland or even we should only get population share of it. They will negotiate that with the 6,000 sq miles of ocean taken from Scotland’s territory. The currency of course and Trident. Of course perhaps they are going to challenge the whole referendum and refuse to accept the YES vote altogether. There’s a can of worms!

    75. Rod MacKay says:

      The pound is vulnerable IF there is no cu. Scotlands plan B is use the pound.

      The ruk will have just lost income from oil, beer and spirit duty from Scotland, tax take from Scotland etc. Balance of trade takes a dunt ( whisky: c40% of UK food and drink exports.)

      The only option to hurt Scotland would be to increase sterling v dollar in order to decrease our income from oil but if they try that, no more printing money. They would have to take enormous amounts of cash and credit out of the economy: huge increase in unemployment, increase in mortgage defaults.

      But hey, what do I know, I’m a rabid cybergnat amI not?

    76. CameronB says:

      To be honest, readers, if we weren’t already supporters of independence then knowing that the Westminster government was prepared to act with such astonishing cavalier recklessness and irresponsibility would probably be enough to convince us that the UK wasn’t a country we wanted to be part of any more.

      Pedant alert. The UK is not a country. Apologies if already spotted.

      Re. the UK governemtnt’s lack of due care in planning for the future. I wold have thought this might have been grounds for a vote of no confidence. Then again, who would replace the blue Tories? The red Tories?

    77. Rod Robertson says:

      The other reason they are not making any contingency plans is they have already got ballot boxes crammed full of No Votes and ready to deploy.
      That may indeed have been their plan all along.

    78. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Robert Kerr at 4.06

      Indeed it is very vulnerable and the way to do it real damage is for Scotland to abandon it – which at that point would do our own economy huge damage. We require stability initially on this issue and others like EU membership until we are up and running.

    79. Inbhir Anainn says:

      Question being who in the event of a YES vote would you prefer to see on the Scottish Negotiating Team?

    80. Robert Peffers says:

      Let’s get a few things that this numptie stated into proper perspoective, shall we?

      He seems rather confused as to what constitutes, “The Country”..
      Read my lips – “United KINGDOM“, describes a union of TWO KINGDOMS. It is not a country.

      Thus, upon a YES vote for The KINGDOM of Scotland to part company with, The KINGDOM of England the status quo ante is TWO Independent KINGDOMS. The English one being composed of the same three COUNTRIES it contained on 1st May 1707.

      It also means that the joint union government is no more. Read, ‘Article III, of the Treaty of Union : – “That the united kingdom of Great Britain be represented by one and the same parliament to be stiled The Parliament of Great Britain.”, There are only two signatory, KINGDOMS to that Article of union.

      There is no elected as such Parliament of the country of England and no other Kingdom has joined the Union since 1707. Thus both the three country Kingdom of England and the country of England will no longer have a legally democratically elected parliament upon the two kingdoms parting company.

      Now consider the legal standing of THE KINGDOM OF ENGLAND. It has legally, since 1688, been , “A Constitutional Monarchy”, and it has Elizabeth II as its legal head of state.

      Without a legally elected government the Queen must summon someone, (of her choice), to form Her Majesty’s Government of Her Kingdom Of England. Yet there are no legally elected members of a Kingdom of England and no Kingdom of England Civil Servants. The existing ones were employed by the now defunct United Kingdom,

      You just have to laugh at the legal mess they will find themselves in. Not a single legally elected government in the World need recognize their, unelected, “rUnited Kingdom Government”.

    81. Free Scotland says:

      Ali Blah Blah Carmichael is another example of someone who has been promoted above the level of his own incompetence. He’s right when he says he’ll be out of the equation after a Yes vote: he’ll be lucky to get a job anywhere if it involves using his mouth. I suppose he could try for “I’m a Celebrity, Get me out of here!”

    82. Midgehunter says:

      OK Ian I’ve signed.

      We’ve come this far down the road to freedom so let’s get the rest done.

    83. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Midgehunter –

      Cheers. I know I must be doing people’s heads in with this thing, but it’s one of the few ways we have of getting our message directly to these people. They can and will ignore it, just as they rubbished the Covenant back in the fifties, signed by two million.

      But they won’t be able to say they weren’t warned, one way or another.

    84. gerry parker says:

      Petition looking good Ian, over 700 now.

      Well done.

    85. sionnach says:

      @Ian Brotherhood:

      Signed. 🙂

    86. TJenny says:

      Regarding the petition demanding the BBC withdraw from the CBI, how is it that with all of the WOS hundreds of thousands of readers, who can donate over £50k in a few hours, this petition is struggling to reach 1000 signatures? Y’all got shares in BBC or something? C’mon, sign this petition ’cause it may just start the ball rolling on enforcing their impartiality clause in future indy coverage.

      You know you want to – so here’s the link:

      https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/lord-patten-chairman-bbc-trust-cancel-bbc-membership-of-the-cbi

    87. geeo says:

      @TJenny..

      Signed.
      Next !!!

    88. Craig says:

      At least there has been one good outcome of the current coalition in London.

      The Liberals have been exposed as the utter hypocrites and opportunists they have always been.

    89. Ken500 says:

      Unemployment Govan 15%

      Unemployment Portsmouth 3%

    90. Dubai_Scot says:

      scaredy cat says:
      @ Croompenstein

      Not quite my take on it, If Labour issue a vision for Scotland prior to a YES vote, they fear it may contribute to a YES vote if it was to be to the liking of the Scots. A real quandary for them, so they avoid it at all costs.

    91. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

      If the Tories are now actively talking about replacing David Cameron after September what chance has Carmicheal.

      Carmicheal will be the first to get kicked out of the cabinet shortly followed by Danny (Tory) Boy. There will be a complete meltdown in the ConDem coalition and the Tories will be looking for scape goats prior to the UK election. First on the list – the Scottish Libdems who lost them their Union.

      So his is right – he will not be negotiating for Scotland after a Yes vote.

      The Tory knives are being sharpened already.

    92. fergie35 says:

      Denial, its written all over UKOK / Better Together.

    93. rabb says:

      Sorry folks but I don’t think they have done any planning. It will start to happen on the 19th Sep.

      Would you start making plans with your potential adversaries sitting next to you eavesdropping? Would I fuck.

      Here’s my take.

      1. Sep 18th Scotland votes Yes.

      2. Sep 19th All Scots MP’s given gardening leave with immediate effect with all lines of communication to WM cut.

      3. rUK MP’s start planning furiously.

      4. Both parties (SG & WM) then sit round the table and cut the deal.

      End of.

    94. rjg says:

      Let’s not kid ourselves, of course the UK government will have scenarios pre planned for a yes and no vote. Examples like oil distribution are far too important not to do so. The Edinburgh agreement bars any prenegotiation, it can hardly be admitted too. I wouldn’t expect anything less from the SNP either.



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