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Scottish independence: No campaign must ‘get real’

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  • by DAVID MADDOX
 

A CALL will be made for the referendum campaign to “get real” and “start talking the language of ordinary people” by Labour’s shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran.

Ahead of a debate in the Commons tomorrow and amid fears that the No campaign has failed to engage ordinary voters, Ms Curran, the MP for Glasgow East, will call for a change of tone and direction.

In a blunt admission that the Labour campaign against independence has to improve Ms Curran said the party would change focus onto “bread and butter issues”.

She said: “I could talk until the cows come home about currency unions and borrowing costs and such like but if you are sitting home at night watching television that is not the language you talk in.”

“It’s not that people are stupid by any stretch, but we need to stop talking like the political elite and start talking about the issues that really matter to people in the street, and in their homes and communities.”

Ms Curran also joined Lib Dem Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael in condemning the “intimidation and bullying” of businesspeople speaking out against independence.

They spoke after BP’s chief executive Bob Dudley was branded a “British nationalist” by a pro-independence group for expressing concern about the currency arrangements under independence.

Scottish Labour deputy leader Anas Sarwar will also say that Scotland has been able to achieve more social change by being part of the UK.

He will say: “When 70 years ago people were faced with inadequate healthcare and opposition from vested interests it was the Labour movement who thought of, fought for and created a system of healthcare for everyone, based on need not nationality, right across the UK.

We did that together.

When there was no safety net for people out of work, no support for families and children it was the Labour movement that thought of, fought for and created the UK wide welfare state.”

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