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David Cameron’s speech on Scottish independence – full text and audio

7 February 2014

7 February 2014

At the Lee Valley Velopark today, David Cameron gave a speech where he called on people across the UK to speak out for the UK and against Scottish independence. Here’s what he said:-

I want to thank Glasgow Caledonian for co-hosting this event.

This is a fantastic, forward-looking university – and we are very grateful for your support today as we are to the Lee Valley VeloPark, for hosting us in this magnificent space.

Less than 2 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. 3 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. Last year, the date for the Scottish referendum was fixed. The countdown was set. And today, we have just over 7 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.

As I have made clear, this is a decision that is squarely and solely for those in Scotland to make. I passionately believe it is in their interests to stay in the UK. That way Scotland has the space to take decisions, while still having the security that comes with being part of something bigger.

From Holyrood they can decide what happens in every hospital, school and police station in Scotland and in the UK, Scotland is part of a major global player. These are the arguments we will keep on putting til September 18th. It is their choice, their vote.

But my argument today is that while only 4 million people can vote in this referendum, all 63 million of us are profoundly affected. There are 63 million of us who could wake up on September 19th in a different country, with a different future ahead of it.

That’s why this speech is addressed not so much to the people of Scotland, but to the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Within these countries there are a whole range of different views about this referendum. There are those I’d call the ‘quiet patriots’: people who love the UK, love our flag and our history – but think there’s nothing much they can do to encourage Scotland to stay in the UK so they stay out of the debate.

There are the ‘shoulder shruggers’: people who are ambivalent about the outcome, who think this doesn’t matter much to anyone South of the border. Their view is that if Scotland left the UK then yes, that would be sad, but we could just wave them a wistful goodbye and carry on as normal.

And then there are those – a few – who think we’d be better off if Scotland did leave the UK, that this marriage of nations has run its course and needs a divorce.

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.

I want to make this case by putting forward what, to me, are the 4 compelling reasons why the United Kingdom is stronger with Scotland in it:

The first is our connections with each other. Over 3 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.

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 3 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.

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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 1 we are stronger together.

The second is our prosperity. Some people look at the United Kingdom only in terms of debit and credit columns, tax and spend and how that gets split between our 4 nations. But that completely misses the bigger picture. This is a world that has been through massive economic storms where economic competition is heating up as never before, where we have to work harder than ever just to make a living.

And in that world of uncertainty, we are quite simply stronger as a bigger entity – an open economy of 63 million people with the oldest and most successful single market in the world with one of the oldest and most successful currencies in the world.

This stability is hugely attractive for investors. Last year we were the top destination for foreign direct investment in Europe. That is a stamp of approval on our stability – and I would not want to jeopardise that.

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.

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. But this is a country that earns its living through international ties with millions of our citizens living abroad.

When ships are ambushed on lawless seas – that hits our trade. When the middle class in China is set to grow by millions a year – that presents huge opportunities for jobs back home in the UK. This world shapes us – so our place in the world matters.

And make no mistake: we matter more as a United Kingdom – politically, militarily, diplomatically – and culturally too. Our reach is about much more than military might – it’s about our music, film, TV, fashion.

The UK is the soft power super power. You get teenagers in Tokyo and Sydney listening to Emeli Sandé. People in Kazakhstan and Taiwan watching BBC exports like Sherlock written by a Scot a hundred years ago, played by an Englishman today – and created for TV by a Scotsman. The World Service – transmitting to hundreds of millions. Famously Aung San Suu Kyi has said it helped her through her long years of detention, saying: “Everywhere I have been, the BBC has been with me.” And the BBC itself – founded by a Scotsman. My wife is an ambassador for the British Fashion Council and she sees – and raves about – the international impact of our fashion, helped along massively by Scottish designers like Christopher Kane and Jonathan Saunders.

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. But – pounds and pence and institutional questions; that’s not what it’s really about, for me. It’s about the slave who escaped his master after the American Revolution because he was offered liberty and land by the British crown. In gratitude, he re-named himself this: British Freedom. It’s about Lord Lovat on the beach on D-Day, the bagpipes playing as his brigade landed ashore. It’s about HMS Sheffield, HMS Glasgow, HMS Antrim, HMS Glamorgan grey ships ploughing through grey seas for 8,000 miles to the Falkland Islands – and for what?

For freedom. Because this is a country that has never been cowed by bullies and dictators. This is a country that stands for something.

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.

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. 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.

But still, however strongly we feel – we are a reticent nation. It can seem vulgar to fly the flag. 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.

I have an old copy of Our Island Story, my favourite book as a child and I want to give it to my 3 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. The outcome is still up in the air and we have just 7 months to go.

7 months to do all we can to keep our United Kingdom as one. 7 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.


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Show comments
  • free_your_mind

    Yes, it is once in a lifetime. Quick! Let’s get rid of these crony capitalists and the non-democratic House of Lords while we have the chance! People of Scotland will you continue grovelling to ‘Lords’ and wealthy politicians or will you finally get off your knees, stand up for yourselves, and be a nation again?

  • Ricayboy

    I support independence for England.

  • Hydraargyrum

    In all fairness to David Cameron, this is a fairly decent speech and, as far as I am concerned, a welcome change in tone. I was living in Ontario and travelling back-and-forth between there and Quebec during the 1995 referendum. This sort of speech would have been straight out of the playbook for the “No” side when they realized their negative campaign was seriously back-firing. Maybe he is taking advice from Jean Charest?

    But the simple fact is that the referendum isn’t simply about Scottish Independence. Rather, its about how the UK has been governed since the “One Nation” philosophy embodied by Harold MacMillan was abandoned. Parts of the UK have been favoured, others have been disfavoured. In terms of short-term political gain I absolutely understand why this would be done, long-term it is idiotic. The fact that “Yes” support is so high is emblematic of governmental asymmetry since the ’70s. And this is not just about Scotland. Its about how, say, the NW of England is treated, too. So in this regard, Mr Cameron’s speech would be insufficient to cause me to vote “No”.

  • Peter Mechan

    I like the way he got “Glasgow Caledonian University” on the front of the podium – did he hope that we’d forget he was broadcasting from London? Don’t lecture, Cameron, come up here and debate face to face!

    • Iain Hill

      Does that university, known in Glasgow as the “College of Knowledge” have the constitutional right to promote a politically biased event?

  • John Mangan

    I have to say it was funny watching Cameron hiding out in the empty shell of the 2012 Olympic Complex. an empty shell being symbolic of both the man and his party. On top of that, he wants us to talk the Scots into staying in the Union. Well, Tories love destroying unions as much as they love destroying the welfare system, the NHS, the armed forces and the industrial infrastructure of the UK in order to grab a quick profit. Asking us to help him out after being under the Nazty Party’s jackboot for four years smacks of taking the piss.

  • http://weourselves.com/ Christian Wright

    Mr Cameron served up this pablum because he cannot make a substantive positive case for continued union. That’s been the problem all along with the anti-independence consortium.

    His performance and his script need a remake. Whomsoever wrote that speech should be put down. It is clear from that Mickey Mouse thesis that he has but a cartoon understanding of Scotland and no good sense at all of the fast changing Scottish political dynamic.

    Feel the whole “Britishness” thingy has a cloying quality about it. I wanted to get away from as quickly as possible. I don’t feel that about Scotttishness. Immune to Scottish cringe I long ago embraced my inner Braveheart and am at peace with myself. I neither want nor feel a need to be British.

    Quite honestly, by the time he got to the end of that . . blaah, I’d just about lost the will to live. I’d rather be poked in the eye with a burnt stick than go through that again.

    I guess at some level I was embarrassed for him. There is something deeply disturbing about David Cameron telling you how much he loves you, up close and personal, on a wide screen high definition TV.

    You don’t believe a word of it and you wonder how any higher primate could. Then you read the Unionist press and TV and there all taking him seriously, and you realise they must be some lower order of species.

  • Brent

    Cameron yet again sounding like he’s telling children a bedtime story. How can anyone abide this horrendous condescending pomposity? He surely can’t even be taking himself seriously, delusional buffoon.

  • David Ford Cosworth

    Scotland is not here to prop up spending in England, we are not here to pay billions in tax when the Tory Government then sell off Royal Mail for a pittance, Scotland is not here to prop up the majority of Benefits claimants who live in England, Scotland is not here to have its Budget cut and pay far more tax per head to the UK Government then we get back. We have never voted for a TORY government, We don’t wont nuclear weapons parked near our biggest city, We want MSP’s we vote for and not be dictated to by the unfair political system that is bias to the south east of England, We want to be responsible for our own affairs and for the Rest of the UK to butt out. Scotland will be better off Independent and no matter what Wales, England , Northern Ireland or David Cameron says We will do what is best for Scotland and the people who live here. SCOTLAND IS NOT AN ASSET and we will be independent. Roll on September and an end to this Union, Vote YES !!!

    • Holly

      ‘SCOTLAND IS NOT AN ASSET’.
      Couldn’t agree with you more!

  • Trev Mac

    Thank you, David Cameron, thank you from the bottom of my Scottish heart…your shortbread tin patriotism has done more to galvanise Scottish determination to self determine than burning the thatch of the crofts. Edge of your seat at the Olympics…by the time Auld Scotia is done with you, your parliamentary one will be untenable too! ‘We’ have not come through recession ‘You’ and ‘Your cronies’ have sought to undermine that which we Scots hold dear. Your hated bedroom tax, your Atos etc. that is the real Conservative leopard don’t try telling us your spots are thistle shaped! Scotland may one day be so wealthy it can afford to be a Conservative country…but it will never be rUKs lickspittle ever again. Proud of your name? I will warrant there are very few Scots who are. The UK Brand? How dare you cheapen the English Brand, The Welsh Brand and the The Northern Irish Brand…the cheek …the brazen cheek of it. Scotland is a Country who will not be bullied prepare to hear in September just how different your Country is. As a footnote you Mr Proud of his Western Highland roots could have given a speech at Glenfinnan…your absolute lack of commitment, your unwillingness to debate with the first Minister…. Off you go…Homeward….to your English home..tae think again.

    • Holly

      IF that is what the majority want, based on a politician’s speech, go right ahead, but please make sure you check the small print before you mark your X in the box.

      Oh & by the way….there is no such thing as ‘The bedroom tax’, it was a state subsidy given to people who happened to be TENANTS in council houses.
      It was NEVER a right, and was not given to people, in the same financial situation, living in any other kind of RENTAL property.

      Hope you discover how Salmond & Co are going to fund all his ‘goodies’, and, if he keeps Sterling, how much of this ‘new found freedom’ he is going to have to give back to England in order to do so.

      I also hope you have the guts to put your money where your mouth is when push comes to shove.

      • Trev Mac

        Dear Holly I think the Scottish Nation has its full complement of guts,,no need for a Bannockburn reference here …but I am tempted. There is no need to give up Sterling, remember it used to say ‘will pay the bearer on demand’ on an English banknote? It doesn’t any more because that money is raised against paper rather than reserves…just the same as Scottish ‘promisory notes’ The rUK is in deep and Cameron knows it…he has painted the rUK into a corner and Scotland is free to choose what it does about it. Perhaps a free Scotland will exhibit compassion to it’s neighbours and be a leading light as to how a Country can be run…there’s only one way to find out and it isn’t Davy MacCamerons

        • Denis_Cooper

          Actually it does still say that, but on ordinary banknotes in letters so small that you need a magnifying glass.

          http://www.flickr.com/photos/bankofengland/sets/

          • Trev Mac

            I take it you are confirming what I said and that English Banknotes (Funny when I think of it that they aren’t UK Banknotes) are, as I stated, ‘promisory’ basically a bearer benefit cheque from the Bank of England that they can honour but could never honour all of them at once. Scotland will be in a Sterling Union – be in no doubt for this reason..she already is! And if you make a big pile of banknotes and a big pile of matching reserves…ooo errr the sums don’t add up…’But here’ says the BOE …’Here is a valuable Bond and a super banknote that are worth lots’! ok then..prove it..turn them into gold?..They can’t so they have to go out and borrow…then borrow to pay the borrowing …while still paying Bankers bonuses and fat cat salaries. The Scots are trapped in some respects and getting out of a Sterling Union would be the hard part. In my opinion and its only an opinion, the Scots should convert 20billion dollars worth of oil into an operating reserve as a one off levy to build her own reserves. Then sit down with the BOE and tell them ‘how it’s going to be’ In a Scottish managed Sterling Alliance & without 10 million hangers on (A conservative estimate at the numbers requiring State assistance elsewhere) This will polarise opinion in the rUK and there will be a realisation that things have to get worse before they get better..Benefits for the non essential residents and foreign visitors will need to go. The rUK will likely withdraw from EU membership and rely on the Scottish portal..Of course this is only personally held belief, be interesting to see how it plays out.

            • Denis_Cooper

              Well no, I’m not confirming or denying any of that, I’m just stating the undeniable fact that those words do still appear on the banknotes issued by Bank of England.

              • Trev Mac

                Which words?

                • Denis_Cooper

                  The words that you said no longer appeared on Bank of England banknotes:

                  “I promise to pay the bearer on demand”.

                • Trev Mac

                  Denis, you have misread, I said ‘will pay the bearer on demand’ used to appear (In the days when one may have taken it they had the reserves to match) NOW it says ‘Promise’ for the reasons I have laid out.

                • Denis_Cooper

                  It’s always been “promise”.

                  http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/pages/about/history.aspx

                  “The practice of writing the name of the Chief Cashier as the payee on notes was halted in favour of the anonymous “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of …”, which has remained unchanged on notes to this day.”

                • Trev Mac

                  I stand corrected, Isn’t it annoying when you have been taught something and it turns out to be wrong? I was close though.

    • David Ford Cosworth

      Well said.

  • Makroon

    Ms Sturgeon thinks that one of the main objectives of Scottish independence will be to make sure Scots are never again ruled by the Tory party.
    On such mighty principles are nations (re) born.
    I suppose if any centre-right party appears in the Scottish firmament, she will just ban it.

    • Holly

      Sounds to me like Salmond & Co planning on becoming THE only party ever to govern Scotland?
      Should get ‘interesting’ to see what new stuff these two might have in store for the future governance of Scotland.

      • Trev Mac

        On the other hand I think Scottish labour may have ideas of their own. It is not the ideas at the top that matter it is the Scottish ideas from one of the most inventive nations on earth that will best serve a Scottish Agenda.

        • dougthedug

          On the other hand I think Scottish labour may have ideas of their own.

          No I’m afraid not. Scottish Labour as a separate party is just a figment of the North British media’s imagination. In fact they are just the northern part of the British Labour Party.

          Any ideas Labour in Scotland had were stamped out years ago by the rest of the party.

          • Trev Mac

            And in an independent Scotland they will have to adapt it’s fine to be the northern arm if that is what they choose to be…The ballot box would soon sort that out

    • Trev Mac

      Or allow it its say and the enlightened electorate will decide if they want it

  • Jeanne Tomlin

    “History hands in the balance.” Yes, the history will just go away and disappear from the books once Scotland is independent.

    • Trev Mac

      ‘History is written by the victors’ Scotland’s present and its potential gift to its children is the stuff great history books are made of

      • Jeanne Tomlin

        Indeed. And Scotland’s struggle for independence and the right to run its own affairs will fill some great pages in history books, but will not wipe out Scottish contributions, many for good but some also for ill, in the history of Britain.

        • Trev Mac

          Fair Points Jeanne and I don’t think the Scots are trying to be Painted Saints or to deny their Britishness…there’s no need to.The Scots have great neighbours but much as I would get narked if my next door neighbour came in and turned my telly over to Tellytubbies when I am enjoying Ballamory I have self determination over my remote control. I don’t dislike my neighbour but I don’t do as he tells me either. There will be times when we may want to do some things together and why not? The fundamental difference is that the Scottish people of all creeds and backgrounds will have for the first time in centuries their own hand on the remote control of governance.

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            Very true. Scotland and England will make better neighbors than ‘partners’ in a Union. I personally believe that most of the anger and resentment on both sides will disappear once that’s what we are.

  • dougthedug

    Good old Dave. Using his favourite book “Our Island Story” to boost Scottish love for the UK.

    “Our Island Story: A Child’s History of England is a book by Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall, first published in 1905 in London by T. C. & E. C. Jack.”

  • arnoldo87

    “But my argument today is that while only 4 million people can vote in this referendum, all 63 million of us are profoundly affected. There are 63 million of us who could wake up on September 19th in a different country, with a different future ahead of it.”

    We all ought to read that paragraph repeatedly to realise what is going on here. The biggest example of taxation without representation since the Boston Tea Party.

    • Trev Mac

      The Scots have been poorly represented for 300 years – reap as ye sow.
      Who is to say that once unfettered she may be the most reasonable of neighbours? This does not need to be a fight but there certainly needs to be respect for those with whom the decision rests.

      • arnoldo87

        I have a lot of respect for the Scottish people, but am amazed that such a canny population could be hijacked into the decision without knowing what the terms of settlement are. The process has the negotiation of assets and liabilities taking place AFTER the vote.

        The division of assets and liabilities should be settled before the vote, which should be taken by ALL of those affected by that division. If such a process had been used it would have kept the negotiators honest.

        As it is, it is not hard to visualise big arguments after a potential “Yes” vote.

        • Trev Mac

          That is an opinion, not reflective of that of the majority of the canny population North of the Border where for once in their lives they can address a fundamental inequality which has prevailed for centuries. Be in no doubt that the Scots are not asking the rUK for anything other than they butt out of Scottish business. The big arguments will be settled as they must be, by negotiation the rUK will have no choice in that matter but importantly neither will the Scots…after all the desire is to do more business not less! The rUK cannot afford an ill disciplined hand over any more than the Scots can nad this will be being viewed on the World stage. There will not be ‘big arguments’ as the time for them will be gone..there will be an imperative need for strong negotiation on matters fiscal but this will be on a 50 -50 basis. Two equal and mutually respectful Kingdoms doing business. 63 Million vs 4 Million – yes there will be an exodus and if Scotland has any sense at all she will be picky about who she welcomes and who qualifies for her welfare system…that alone will see the rUK pleading with the EU to accelerate Scottish solus membership (not forgetting as Parliament currently is a ‘joint’ Parliament then if the Kingdom of Scotland ceased to be an EU member on independence so would the other United Kingdoms – of course Scotland will also benefit from subsidies and if she is smart will use these to buy back land and much develop her own arable farming.

  • MichtyMe

    Imagine come Cameron’s own future referendum, dust the script, a few changes, “our love for the EU, love our flag(EU) all cheering as one in the EU” etc ,etc,

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    Weak irrelevant uninspiring.
    We know what the game plan is – trading in Scotland in return for power in a newly defined realm. That is the plan, that will be the outcome. For those who thought that the gay marriage bill or delaying a referendum bill until 2017 (does it all make perfect sense now?) was the new low, those select punters still in their morning gown will now understand that it’s the sell-off of Scotland which will make this PM unforgettable.

    • Rockin Ron

      Thanks for sharing the photo – really interesting, talk about being in the bubble!

    • Makroon

      Could you translate that into English please ?

  • RavenRandom

    Need some positive campaigning. The No campaign needs to shamelessly and emotionally campaign for our shared British heritage. Us our history in as manipulative way as Salmon does.

    • Trev Mac

      Here’s some positive campaigning. I am positive Cameron’s ill advised referendum, failure to engage with the Scots, his ill advised venue for his shortbread box speech and his pathetic whining will positively be the end of his political career

    • Trev Mac

      ‘Our’ history…should we start at the Routing of Scottish Armies, The connivance with ‘bent’ Scottish Landowners, The Highland Clearances, The piper led cannon fodder of the Great wars? The Destruction of Clydeside, Ravenscraig, Linwood, Invergordon, Scottish Coal, Or that Scottish votes are meaningless in first past the post election rig – sorry- erring. The History of Scotland is that of an industrious and inventive nation ‘The engine room of Victorian Britain’ constantly exploited by a near neighbour and then labelled a hanger on and subsidy junkie by the ill informed. Scotland and her people have the right to self determine and govern to a Scottish Agenda.She will always be British and proud of that association, she will help her neighbours but will never need bend her knee in a London Parliament. One may manipulate this in pro UK spin if one likes but the facts are the facts and the most simple one of all is that a divorce is imminent, lets try to be friends afterward if only for the children’s sake?

      • RavenRandom

        Dear me what a sad little rant. Got a persecution complex have you?
        You’re right all the bad things in Scotland and ever happened to Scotland were all England’s fault. You’ve no responsibility at all.
        Also pretty despicable to claim Scotland was the cannon fodder of the Great Wars… I think you’ll find we all did our part, including sixty thousand dead London civilians.
        You’re just a one eyed zealot.

        • Trev Mac

          Thank you for your appraisal of myself rather than what I was saying. Of course it is as deluded as you clearly are. I hold no personal responsibility for Scotland’s misfortunes any more than your insignificant self, however neither do I seek to dismiss the issues and ‘muddle though’ because it suits ‘Your Agenda’ You took no part in a Great war or even a mediocre one, you aren’t even making a fair account of yourself in a little spat. Your reference to my being one eyed is almost accurate and yet I see more and comprehend better with one than you seem to with what one presumes is a full complement. On what planet do you think my quotient of friends (plentiful or otherwise) has anything to do with Dim Dave and his sabre rattling? The tactics of the No campaign will seek to slight the individual…anything really rather than face the issues. Best put your rose tinted specs back on and return to contemplating your navel, counting your friends or whatever else it is that the inane do when not bumping their gums x

          • RavenRandom

            Again your tone veers towards hysteria.

            • Trev Mac

              Your being here must be an terrible loss to the medical profession…your unerring ability to misdiagnose matches only your unerring ignorance and inability to engage with the reality that Scotland’s people will decide and your snide commentary will do little to persuade them one way or the other. I shall leave the histrionics to yourself, seems right up your alley…pretty much where your head is too.

              • RavenRandom

                Verbose, hysterical and unpleasant appear to be your rather sad stock in trade. I’m happy for Scotland’s people to decide, always have been. I can do it without the hysterical persecution complex you seem to need to invoke.

                • Trev Mac

                  I am beginning to wonder if English is your first language or whether you have a tombola of disjointed words to disgorge – generally inappropriately. That you feel moved to comment at all probably speaks more of your own insecurity than anyone else’s. Thus far your medical opinion has assessed my eyesight, mental wellbeing and now what I love. You know me so well, almost as well as you know the people of Scotland (or to put it another way not very well at all). That you believe yourself qualified to offer your superfluous opinion of myself and believe it to have any merit at all is as deluded as your pink and fluffy ideas of ‘Union’ You are however mildly amusing and fully deserving of the upholstered wallpaper in your secure room.

                • RavenRandom

                  Thank you doe confirming your verbosity with a torrent of nonsense. Seems you can’t help yourself. Take a few calming breaths, and do stop whining about insults whilst delivering the same. Looks like your a hypocrite too.

                • Trev Mac

                  May as well add breathing difficulties and adenoids to your cornucopia of drivel. A thought occurs though…you are trolling out of your depth and beyond the outer limits of your intellect. Reference to your posts on other threads confirms you to be an authority on anything and everything there ever was to be an authority upon while retaining the capacity to be thick as two short planks. Come back when you are finished sucking your thumb and try to say something, anything coherent about Scottish Independence. If not take your self off and waste someone else’s time.

                • RavenRandom

                  “If not take your self off and waste someone else’s time”, yet here you are again crying like a child, vomiting up yet another verbose fat nonsensical paragraph.
                  So you’ve been stalking me? Hmm bit creepy. But then it’s clear you’re some sort of obsessed hysterical fanatic.
                  This third paragraph is merely to acquaint you with paragraphs as a literary device.
                  Finally, little man, you’re getting more ridiculous with each and every comment.

                • Trev Mac

                  Fatuous and repetitive bile would appear to be your mother tongue. If nothing else you are consistent, consistently avoiding discussing the thread topic in favour of your own increasingly erratic meanderings. There is a gelatinous consistency to found across the entire gamut of your extensive repertoire. which is in urgent need of a verbosity condom. Your treasured little postings which you worked so hard over and are so proud of are breeding out of control. That you manage to type at all with your other hand so fulsomely occupied is remarkable. Now toddle off sweetheart unless you have something pertinent to say about Scottish independence.

                • RavenRandom

                  You sound a tad stressed. Still stalking I see. Still trying to insult but generating only humour. Desperate stuff you tiny troll you. Cute that you’re trying so hard.
                  Little man, crying, stalking and full of spite… you’re a joke.

                • Trev Mac

                  I see you have come to the end of your repertoire or perhaps being on the verge of the vinegar stroke everything is diminishing into a pink hued reverie and you are all spent. In that you feel obliged pathetic Mr Troll to spout like a scratched CD of the inane suggests that repetitive is really ‘your thing’ presumably you laugh at the moon also. Your increasing desperation to be loved and respected in a world which probably cares little for your ilk probably irks your pathetic ego.
                  New Paragraph
                  Do you have anything, anything at all to say about Scottish Independence?
                  If not – do one

                • RavenRandom

                  Aw back again? Still following me around the internet like a lovelorn doggie with Tourette’s.
                  Well done on the whole paragraph business, it’s nice to see that your stalking has some positive payoffs.
                  Scottish independence? Well I think we’ve gone a little beyond that, don’t you? Now you’re obsessed with me, and each convoluted pompous half-baked insult you belch serves only to belittle yourself in your own eyes.
                  You hate me but you love me too. Kisses. I am laughing at you and look forward to more of your tortured stalking nonsense.
                  p.s. I note a few of your sentences above could do with a comma or two. Read them out loud and you’ll see.

                • Trev Mac

                  It would appear this is your full time occupation insignificant little troll. A dim, pathetic grammar prefect.
                  You have nothing to contribute on the subject of Scottish independence at all despite being invited to bring something to the party.
                  You clearly think yourself more interesting than the rest of humanity does, in all likelihood thinking the World waits with baited breath for your next less than thrilling instalment.
                  It’s been fun but I can’t have a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent. Cheerio x

                • RavenRandom

                  My goodness is that little yappy dog trotting after me again… seems it is.
                  We veered a long way from the Scottish debate (you brought it to this), and now, finding yourself outside your comfort, competence and confidence zone you are desperately trying to retreat to a space you feel comfortable in. You start an internet fight you don’t get to say when it stops, or determine what grounds it’s fought on.
                  I see you’ve run out of original pompous and clunky insults and have sought refuge in the old ones… “battle of wits with an unarmed opponent”… oh it’s genius, tee hee.
                  Well my little whining stalker doggie, scuttle off and gum a rubber bone, it’s about all you’re capable of.

                • Trev Mac

                  Correction, ‘disarmed opponent’
                  By all means resume discussion on the matter in hand – ‘Scotland’ – not Ravinglunaticrandom’s impending puberty. goodbye x

                • RavenRandom

                  The yapping gets weaker and further away. The issue in hand became your weak and clumsy attempt to insult me, in which you failed miserably. Hence… “oh boo hoo I want to talk about Scotland again.”
                  Now you’re off and crying. Well lovelorn little stalker doggies, with no more brain than a peanut, shouldn’t pick fights they can’t handle.
                  Off you go cry baby.

                • Trev Mac

                  Correction, ‘disarmed opponent’
                  By all means resume discussion on the matter in hand – ‘Scotland’ – not Ravinglunaticrandom’s impending puberty. goodbye x

                • RavenRandom

                  What’s that Lassie? You’ve lost your brain down a well? Are you having a seizure?
                  Blimey I’ll have to get a restraining order on you.
                  Love and hugs you crazy hysteric you.

                • Trev Mac

                  Correction, ‘disarmed opponent’
                  By all means resume discussion on the matter in hand – ‘Scotland’ – not Ravinglunaticrandom’s impending puberty. goodbye x

                • RavenRandom

                  Wow you really are that stupid.
                  Yap yap little doggie.

                • Trev Mac

                  Correction, ‘disarmed opponent’
                  By all means resume discussion on the matter in hand – ‘Scotland’ – not Ravinglunaticrandom’s impending puberty. goodbye x

                • RavenRandom

                  And yet “goodbye” seems almost impossible for you… you sad little stalker. Yap yap little doggie. I do hope your brain starts working again.

                • Trev Mac

                  Correction, ‘disarmed opponent’
                  By all means resume discussion on the matter in hand – ‘Scotland’ – not Ravinglunaticrandom’s impending puberty. goodbye x

                • Trev Mac

                  Correction, ‘disarmed opponent’
                  By all means resume discussion on the matter in hand – ‘Scotland’ – not Ravinglunaticrandom’s impending puberty. goodbye x

                • Trev Mac

                  How we all pray for you to have the last word closely followed by the last breath

                • Trev Mac

                  How we all pray for you to have the last word closely followed by your last breath

                • Trev Mac

                  How we all pray for you to have the last word – closely followed by the last breath

                • Trev Mac

                  We all pray for you to have the last word closely followed by the last breath

                • Trev Mac

                  You are entitled to your opinion, what you do in the confines of your padded cell is your own business

                • Trev Mac

                  Forget commas, we eagerly await news of your coma,,,,,,,,,,,,

                • Trev Mac

                  I was so looking forward to your pearls of wisdom, seems you have pulled a mussel

                • Trev Mac

                  And please take your superfluous third paragraph, pack it away with the rest of your febrile ravings and take yourself off to play with the traffic. There’s a good little troll…sending you a virtual and very patronising cyber pat on your clearly troubled head x

                • RavenRandom

                  Two responses? Well couldn’t stop your little angry fingers eh?
                  Still, well done, a nice short paragraph. Keep working on that, and then we can move on to TWO paragraphs. Then you’ll be a real boy.

                • Trev Mac

                  Now you are mastering binary, we can maybe progress into crossing the road…M8 would be a good start

                • Trev Mac

                  Many things end with a bell ,,,in this case it seems you have a bell end to hand

                • RavenRandom

                  Strange. Have you just got out of jail?

                • Trev Mac

                  Yes

  • asalord

    How can it be a “united” kingdom when the Prime Minister is too scared to come to Scotland to debate with the First Minister?

    • Holly

      Probably because this IS NOT about Alex Salmond or David Cameron.
      This is about whether the Scottish people want to break away from the rest of the UK or not.
      Alex Salmond is the one who has made it all about HIM v Westminster.

      • dougthedug

        “Alex Salmond is the one who has made it all about HIM v Westminster.”

        No….

        It’s the Better Together campaign team, (Darling, Cameron, Labour the Tories, the Lib-Dems, the North British Press, the South British Press and the BBC), who have tried to reduce the desire for Scottish independence to be one man’s vanity project.

        • Holly

          So what was Salmond’s ‘white paper’ all about?
          Did he explain to the Scottish people what would happen in BOTH scenario’s?
          NO he did not!

          I don’t remember hearing the ‘better together campaign team’ using the referendum as a ‘party political broadcast’ as if were simply a general/by election.
          It is not.
          From here it looks like it is Salmond who is the one afraid of running on an honest ticket, and telling the Scottish people what could lay ahead.
          WARTS & ALL!
          That is why Salmond is SCREAMING blue murder for Cameron to ‘debate’ with him…Just so he can bring Cameron down to his level, and deflect the public from what the referendum is REALLY about.
          SHAME ON HIM!

          • Makroon

            And why would any sane person believe that the fate of nations should be decided by a debating match, on Scottish ground, between two professional, highly slippery, politicians?
            Why don’t they have a whisky drinking contest, or a sheep shearing contest – those would be slightly more relevant.

            • Holly

              As I have already said, “This is NOT about politicians”.
              It is about the people of Scotland deciding whether they want to be an independent nation, or continue being part of the UK.

              It would be a lot easier for them to make an informed decision if one of the political parties were not playing on hate and a ‘goody bag’, and the other on the ‘heartstrings’.

              Hard, cold, honest, facts is what they should be hearing.

              • Trev Mac

                A Union of Crowns..not a subservience of Crowns. So Scotland has a lesser population but it should have an equal say regardless. This is a fact.

              • dougthedug

                You’re damn right. Salmond should be promoting the economic benefits of Scotland not just the emotional aspect of independence.

            • Trev Mac

              Because when the slippery stop bumping their gums..it is the people who decide. We shouldn’t forget that it was Cameron who was stupid enough to agree to referendum and if and when there is a yes vote he will be backbench bound before an early bath….He will have given Scotland away…maybe the Scots robust humour will see them even feel a little sorry for him…

              • dougthedug

                maybe the Scots robust humour will see them even feel a little sorry for him…

                No it won’t.

                • Trev Mac

                  Ohh so quick they forget his western highland links….(He probably thinks that’s a golf course)

              • Wessex Man

                I hope you don’t feel sorry for him and I do hope the Yes Campaign win the referendum.

          • dougthedug

            So what was Salmond’s ‘white paper’ all about?
            Did he explain to the Scottish people what would happen in BOTH scenario’s?
            NO he did not!

            Ahh. Excellent. You’ve hit the nub of the matter. It’s up to Alex Salmond to to explain what happens in the case of a yes vote.

            It’s up to Labour has been Alistair Darling, David Cameron’s representative in Scotland, to explain what happens in the event of a no vote.

            An explanation we are waiting for with unbated breath. It’s unbated because bated breath would result in asphyxiation and death because there’s no official response from the Labour/Tory/Lib-Dem alliance about what would happen if Scotland votes no and no sign of it ever appearing.

  • asalord
  • monty61

    Much as I can’t stick Cameron, in fairness this was rather well put. The girning Gnats will nitpick of course but the entire case as presented is a valid one with resonance for many.

    • Trev Mac

      What was well put? The rhetoric? I can smell the heather from Stratford? My great granddad’s great granddad wore a kilt so like me? We didn’t really mean to force cripples to work and the bedroom tax was just a little joke? Scottish fighter pilots from Lossie…How many were actually Scottish and was theirs a Scottish squadron? ..No need for Girning Nationalism…this is ‘Grinning Nationalism’ and the Lion Rampant showing it has teeth. Scotland will take her place at the top table and does not need to bend her knee to the UK. Scotland will remain British and if anything strengthen the Brand that Cameron seems to hold so cheaply. Scotch whisky doesn’t need fancy pants promotion from posh boy, it does fine on its own and may do better in a tax regime suited to it. Scots aren’t saying ‘stuff you near neighbours’ they are saying We are an Independent nation and respect your right to your own self determination.

  • Rockin Ron

    “Some people have even advised me to stay out of this issue…”

    That would be the No camp. Salmond must be laughing his head off at this nonsense.

    • Makroon

      Yes but Salmond is a snide, cynical politician on the make. God knows what the Scottish population will make of this speech.

      • Trev Mac

        I am Scottish and laughed, like many Scots laughed at a parody of a Prime Minister posturing like a heather scented bufoon

      • terregles2

        We loved Cameron’s speech haven’t laughed so much in ages.

  • Rockin Ron

    “My wife is an ambassador for the British Fashion Council and she sees –
    and raves about – the international impact of our fashion, helped along
    massively by Scottish designers like Christopher Kane and Jonathan
    Saunders.”

    Hilarious. This is about the nearest we are going to get from Cameron about how ‘some of my best friends are Scottish!’

    • Holly

      He could, of course, have lowered the tone to Salmond’s level, and promised a cart load of free this & that, like Salmond has, without fully explaining to the Scottish people how it would be funded if things don’t quite turn out the way Salmond thinks they will.
      There will be no going back, whatever happens….good or bad.

      Out of all the political players, it is Cameron who has the most to gain, from the ‘YES’ vote…….
      because……..
      There are quite a few down south who would ‘forgive’ Cameron if the Scottish people did vote ‘YES’.
      Let all the Scottish MP’s who sit in Westminster sit in their own parliament…
      Never seeing the likes of Bozo again…
      Boo hoo…
      Don’t know how we’d cope.

  • asalord

    Another boost for the Yes campaign as Mr Cameron delivers a patronising speech in England to a hand-picked audience of unionists.
    He can’t even face an open debate in England about Scottish independence; no wonder he’s scared of an open debate with the First Minster in Scotland.

    • Makroon

      An “open debate” is it ? You clowns only survive by leaching on your hatred of everything English. Sturgeon just couldn’t wait to erupt with another foul mouthful of spiteful, chippy bile in reply to Cameron’s “love bomb”.
      Optimistically, a majority of Scots will see through your tosh.

      • Trev Mac

        As a Scot who has lived in England for many years why does there need to be a hatred of anything other than exploitation? When the English paint the cross of St George on their faces and are overtly English we Scots smile..we have been doing similar for years and getting away with it. We don’t despise the English..far from it….we may wish you would grow a pair and sort out your leadership…but that’s a different story.

      • Brent

        You don’t seem to be cut out for this political stuff mate.

      • terregles2

        Chippy bile? What did she say?

    • Holly

      If you took your head out your A*se, you might realise this has nothing to do with Salmond or Cameron. They are BOTH mortals and will not be here forever.
      This is about whether Scotland wants to be separate from the rest of the UK.
      It is not about whether you have an SNP, Conservative, or Labour government, it is about a lot more than that.
      Why do you think Salmond keeps dragging it back down to ‘party politics’ level?
      He does the Scottish people a disservice by not talking about the nuts & bolts, or allowing anyone else to either.

      • Trev Mac

        Holly, It is Scottish Business, non residents may not like it but that is the nuts and bolts of it. Of course others have opinions and are about to see how poorly served they have been by a London Parliament…Hardly the Scots fault though. The Scots have fought through layers of London Smoke and mirrors to get to this point. They are not the UKs nuclear dustbin, they are not subsidy junkies, they are a proud people – poorly served. Resentment from others not in a position to better their lot is understandable, hey it may even ‘seem’ unfair but the same Parliament that makes bad decisions on a daily basis and makes regulations for the sake of it and to draw ones eye of the ball…That’s the same Parliament that gave Scots the choice…and when Scots do so..those who are dissatisfied need to look to the nuts and bolts of how the situation arose in the first place.

  • Tuskar Rock

    I amost cried after listening to Cameron’s speech – it was carried on RTE.
    Does Scotland enjoy an influence within the UK proportionate to its population (8.4%) or is this influence greater than this proportion would require?

    • asalord

      I almost cried with astonished laughter.

    • http://weourselves.com/ Christian Wright

      I almost lost the will to live.

  • Denis_Cooper

    Cameron seems to have missed out the bit about Boris Johnson being wrong to uncritically repeat Gordon Brown’s lie that the Scots are being constantly subsidised by the English, and therefore he has been expelled from the Tory party for stirring up unnecessary antagonism between the English and the Scots.

    But he’s also missed out the bit about the English also deserving their own devolved Parliament if they want one, just like the Scots, and therefore he will be fast-tracking legislation for a referendum on that question to be held in England on the same day as the referendum in Scotland.

  • Denis_Cooper

    “There are 63 million of us who could wake up on September 19th in a different country, with a different future ahead of it.”

    Nope, it would be the same country, the present UK, until its Parliament passed the legislation to repeal the Acts of Union and make the other necessary arrangements and that came into force, which could be after eighteen months or could be later.

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