Monday, 9 January 2012
The Gloves Are Off!
David Cameron's outburst on the Marr Show yesterday has the unionists thinking they have the upper hand, or so today's MSM would have us believe, now the No 10 media hacks have had time to spring into action by distributing their press releases anywhere and everywhere. Ms Lamont, leader of Labour in Scotland, has been conspicuous by her absence in the past 24 hours. Labour's response will be interesting - if there is one.
The Scottish government's Referendum Bill may contain legal issues which may only be resolved by the UK Supreme Court, but is Cameron sensible to intrude in such a heavy-handed manner? Opinions abound in this morning's papers which persist in quoting from the Tory peer Lord Forsyth - because he is said to be leading the campaign to keep Scotland in the UK.
How can Lord Forsyth expect the majority of Scots to take remarks like the above seriously, when the very mention of his name takes me back to St Andrew's Day 1996, when he was Scottish Secretary of State. The headlines on the BBC that night included pictures of a solemn Michael Forsyth walking, from Holyrood Palace to Edinburgh Castle, behind an armoured glass vehicle which displayed a lump of stone on a plinth. This oddest of occasions marked the return of the Stone of Destiny to Scotland. Perhaps I should say it marked the loan of the Stone to Scotland because the Westminster government, to this day, insist it belongs in Westminster Abbey.
Along with others far more elite than myself, I have doubts about the authenticity of the boulder and felt bemused when I saw it sitting, absurdly, on a few feet of material in a glass case in Edinburgh Castle. It sybolised the Westminster's control of Scotland and nothing more.
However, now David Cameron has decided to become involved personally, the stakes are higher. Unlike Michael Forsyth's long diminished influence on Scottish life, Cameron has the power to take control of Scotland's future.
The people are no longer impressed by the same old spin such as the Scottish government's timeline for the referendum is adversely affecting Scottish businesses, but many will be slightly irked by the Westminster government 'source' who said:
To imply Alex Salmon and his government would rig the debate is invidious.
Will it be a clean fight? Of course not, but I can hope that supporters of independence keep their opinions free of derisory remarks and remember the idiom 'sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me'.
The gloves are off!