UK & World News
Yes Scotland! Battle For Independence Begins
Politicians and celebrities have joined forces to launch the "Yes" campaign to persuade Scots to vote for independence - despite suffering a blow in a new poll.
Organisers have vowed to stage the "biggest community-based campaign in Scotland's history" in the run-up to the independence referendum, which could take place in October 2014.
They aim to convince voters that "the people who care most about Scotland are the people that should be running Scotland".
Alex Salmond, the First Minister and Scottish National Party leader, was one of the key speakers at the launch in Edinburgh's Cineworld Cinema.
"We unite behind a declaration of self-evident truth. The people who live in Scotland are best placed to make the decisions that affect Scotland," he told the 500-plus crowd.
"We want a Scotland that's greener, that's fairer and more prosperous. We realise that the power of an independent Scotland is necessary to achieve these great ends.
Mr Salmond was joined by politicians from other parties, including the Greens, who want Scotland to leave the UK, and a host of celebrities.
A message of support from Sir Sean Connery, a long-standing supporter of independence, was read out to the crowd.
It said: "This is a historic day for Scotland. The Yes campaign has centred on a positive vision for Scotland. It is rooted in inclusiveness, equality and that core democratic value that the people of Scotland are the best guardians of their own future."
Hollywood star Brian Cox, whose films include X-Men 2, The Bourne Identity and Braveheart, also threw his support behind the campaign.
The Dundee-born actor told the audience that he had been a Labour supporter, but Tony Blair's administration had failed to deliver "as much as I had hoped".
"I think Scotland has earned the right to its own-nation status. It has earned the right to control its own destiny. And it will certainly make a better job of it than that Parliament which has not the foggiest clue about Scotland's cultural, economic and social needs."
Meanwhile, a poll commissioned by former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling to coincide with the Yes Scotland launch reveals only one in three want to leave the UK and over half those polled say they would vote against the proposals.
Yes Scotland has also faced accusations that it is an SNP sideshow, with two former SNP special advisers, a party lawyer and several prominent SNP supporters taking key roles.
Former SNP adviser Stephen Noon, a life-long independence activist, is now handling publicity for the campaign. Jennifer Dempsie, another former SNP adviser, is helping to co-ordinate events.
A company called Yes Scotland Limited has been established with SNP legal adviser Scott Martin as its sole director. Its registered office is in Saint Colme Street, just yards from the First Minister's official residence in Bute House on Charlotte Square, although Mr Noon insists this was unintentional.
The spokesman said critics would be left in no doubt that the campaign is about more than just the SNP.
But Scottish Green party co-convener Patrick Harvie said the campaign must be a genuine cross-party bid for independence rather than the SNP's "bland vision of politics-as-usual".
He said: "Most Greens support independence but there are many others who have concerns about the SNP's middle-of-the-road strategy."
Mr Darling, who is co-ordinating the campaign to keep Scotland in the UK, said the findings of his poll showed that on the issue of independence Mr Salmond "doesn't speak for Scotland".
"The Nationalists are entitled to their view but the majority of us simply aren't buying the independence policy they're selling," he said.
what do you think?
You can bet on that.
how can u hav independance from urselfs ? oh well theres always 1 or maybe a few million like u ENGLISH ?
Cannot stand the SNP whose only aim is to destroy the Union. Salmond and his cronies should hang their heads in shame.
How will they manage to pay for their own armed forces, university fees, prescriptions etc. And not to forget methadone?
Alex Salmond is only after a presidential palace! But the people of Scotland will decide what they think is best for themselves.
Give England a say in the matter, Mr. Salmond will get his majority.
As a scotsman still "happily" living in Scotland I do not want a separate Scotland firstly where will the money to pay for everything come from????oil ??no we dont own any of it,green energy,???no the subsidies outweigh the returns on investment,who does Alex Salmond think will pay for the NHS,benefits etc and as a business owner will we get hit with swingeing tax hikes,yes we will,Mr Salmond should realise that a lot of scots are simply not interested we have been down this road before and said NO and it will happen again. Salmond spends far too much time agrandisising himself and his political aims and scots hate a show off. Any leader who thinks joining the euro in the current financial climate involviong the euro debacle is showing a true lack of a grip of reality,so Mr Salmond you push for YOUR dreams but dont think your doing it for ME...
But just think ! Scotland would have it`s own ambassadors and seat at the UN. Scotland may even lead Europe ! You could have your very own import agencies. Millions of Africans and West Indians are waiting to fill those cold empty Glenns. Many more millions would benefit from a Scottish aid programme.
well we cod reduce the high taxes on fags alcohol petrol then the english wouldnt hav to go abroad for cheaper goods cohld just nip over to scotla.d along wiv a lot of companjes ?
Presumably if Scotland leaves the UNited Kingdom area they will also leave the EU as well?? Then no scottish born people will have the right to free movement within the EU and as far as the UK is concerned they will have to register as aliens plus apply for permission to work within EU member states such as England !!
Please let's be clear when discussing this subject. The 'UK' means a United Kingdom: united under one monarch. 'Great Britain' means a Greater Britain: a political union formed in the 1700s. The campaign for an 'independent' Scotland means a break-up of 'Great Britain', not the 'United Kingdom'.
Actually, it means both, as Northern Ireland is a province and Wales a principality.
mgch mgmx 9:00 AM on 25/5/2012....Thank Goodness there's at least one Scotsman with a brain not like salmon
The FIRST thing that the SNP need to do is let the people of Scotland know that if and when Scotland becomes independent Alex Salmond WOULD NOT automatically become 'prime minister'. There would be a Scottish general election just as the UK have at the moment and everyone would vote as they do now for whatever party they support. I would imagine that the Labour party would win this hands down. The Scottish National Party would cease to exist as it would no longer be needed. Why would you need to vote for independance when you ALREADY have it. So...SNP let the people know that Mr Salmond would not automatically become the boss!!
Spot on. When out canvassing I come across many who say they will vote SNP, but once Scotland becomes independent they will be Conservatives or, occasionally, Labour.
Wonderfull, but will scotland raise its own taxes to run its new state without massive handouts from england and wales and n. ireland. Lets see what happens to free university education then. Its a free loading jobs for the boys duplication yet more politicians doing the same as those already at westminster.Independence should mean exactly that but it will not happen.Meanwhile I shall continue on the treadmill generating tax to pay for all this rubbish.
As an English democrat and someone who likes Scottish culture, I hope the people of Scotland stand up and seize their chance of independance. Because if the people of Scotland can finally get those deceitfull, cruel and duplicitous politicians in whitehall off their backs. . Maybe theres hope for English people as well ? England has nothing to fear from Scottish independance, in fact, we may ultimately benefit. . .
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A lot of Scots in Westminster None of us will be of any use without the other
The last refuge for a scoundrel is Nationalist flag waving politics. Divide and rule , CaMORON is all for it. I am surprised the Scott`s are falling for Alex Salmon I would never trust him. I am a fully paid up member of the Celts .
Go for it Scotland and get rid of Westminster dictators. You'll get the oil and all its revenues and hopefully we can come into Scotland and fill up at a cheaper rate than the exorbitant thieving prices we pay in England. If I was a Scotsman my vote would be YES. Independance and please please please border control. I don't mind showing my passport to enter.
The irony is that the official SNP policy on matters such as NATO membership is not supported by the majority of its members. While Scotland is big enough to go it alone and be independent, it would be far better off within the UK - we have achieved a lot together. Salmond makes much of Scotland's oil, but as events in Russia only a short time ago proved, an oil-based economy suffers the ups and downs of the energy market. Cameron visited Scotland and upset Unionists by offering so-called 'devo-max' if the Scots voted against independence - showing his usual terrible judgement. There is another point. Salmond might not become PM after independence as the SNP's work will be done and when canvassing I have come across many 'SNP voters' who will vote Tory or Labour after independence.
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"the people who care most about Scotland are the people that should be running Scotland". There are more Scots in Westminster than in Scotland! Surmise these will be recalled north? Time England governed itself
The reason Labour say no is that they would lose about 50 seats in Parliament. The SNP should wait until 2015 because then the Lib dems will lose 100% of their seats. If Cameron still stands as Prime Minister the Tory`s will lose about 220 seats and Labour will lose about 90 seats. The UKIP could then have about 370 seats and would be the new Government and would then boost the economy, leave the EU but stay in EFTA, reject all illegals, stop benefits to all migrants and immigrants, cut immigration by 90%, cut VAT to 1.5%, reduce tax on everything by 50%, increase state pensions by 50%, keep retirement for both men and women at 65, cut councils to County Councils and reduce their tax by 50%. So everyone would be better and the economy would soar up.
Many of the posts comment on how would Scotland manage financially without finance from England. Makes me wonder why Cameron so is hell bent on trying to stop Scotland gaining independance?