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Wings Over Scotland

Scotland’s man in Westminster

Posted on March 07, 2012 by

We’ve noticed a recurring theme in the Secretary of State for Scotland’s speeches in recent months. Eschewing the line favoured by Labour and the Tories that the countries of the Union are “stronger together, weaker apart“, Michael Moore has come up with his own subtle twist on the theme.

“[the single energy market] is a positive example of why we are stronger together and poorer apart.” (3rd March 2012)

“Now, more than ever, this unity is important to protect us as individuals. In short, we are stronger together, and poorer apart.” (30th January 2012)

“This government believes passionately in the United Kingdom. It is a relationship which provides strength and security for all of our citizens – we are stronger together, and poorer apart.” (17th January 2012)

“We must show – we will show – that the nations of our country are stronger together and poorer apart.” (21st September 2011)

“My congratulations go to Johann Lamont on her election as Scottish Labour Leader and to Anas Sarwar on his election as Deputy Leader. I wish them well for the future. I am sure that in the months and years ahead they will add their strong voices to those already making the case that the nations of our country are stronger together and poorer apart.” (17th December 2011)

It’s an interesting angle. We can only assume it’s one Moore has been frantically trying to drum into the public’s mind because he knew the GERS report for 2009/10 was due to show the exact opposite – that Scotland contributes more to the UK’s finances than it gets back, as it has done for years, and that therefore it would be richer as an independent nation even before factoring in any policy changes an independent Holyrood might make (eg saving billions by scrapping Trident and PFI).

We’ll be watching closely to see if Moore keeps punting the same line now that the figures comprehensively disproving his claim are out.

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3 to “Scotland’s man in Westminster”

  1. MajorBloodnok

    The UK government (and its running-dogs) could do with backing up the scaremongering with accurate and truthful figures of their own.  But then, of course they haven't and they can't, because that would just give the game away….

  2. Kenny Campbell

    Soundbite politics, sadly though its efffective. As per the recent headline in the Herald about the steel for the new Forth Crossing not coming from Scotland being a disgrace. Johann got her headline and a percentage of people will take it at face value.
    The fact that the steel could not be made here isn't even a factor in the discussion. If you did that at work you'd get kicked out the room for being a tool.

  3. Eoin

    The figures do show that Scotland would be better off outside of the UK. However, whether they actually disprove his claim that "we are poorer apart" depends heavily on what he's actually saying when he says "we". The natural assumption might be that he means "we in Scotland", but how safe an assumption is that, really?

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