Bitter Darling

IT IS disappointing, though not surprising, that Alistair Darling should seek to drag the debate over Scotland’s future into the gutter of insult and personal abuse (your report, 27 September).

His bitter and fatuous attack on Blair Jenkins, the Yes Scotland chief executive, ill-behoves a former chancellor. It also exposes the fact that he would rather resort to mud-slinging than engage in serious debate.

What he cannot conceal, however, is the weakness of the anti-independence case – that is, if you vote No, you are likely to get nothing. In the same interview, Mr Darling acknowledges this, admitting that if Scotland votes No, any major changes to the devolution settlement would need the agreement of the rest of the UK and, specifically, Westminster. Scots know from bitter experience that “jam tomorrow” promises made by UK governments have a nasty habit of being broken.

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Unlike the No campaign, which is dominated by an increasingly fractious coalition of Labour, Tories and Lib Dems, Yes Scotland is a broad church. We are embarked on a positive campaign, bound together by a common belief that independence will give Scots the right to make their own decisions and determine their own future.

The big question Mr Darling and the No campaign have failed to answer is: what alternative do they offer to independence? Will there be further powers for the Scottish Parliament? Or do we face the frightening and damaging prospect of more of the same, which Mr Darling now appears to be suggesting.

Yes Scotland is committed to a positive, fair and transparent campaign that matches the most important decision the people of Scotland will be asked to make about their future in more than 300 years. We must hope Mr Darling and the No campaign will follow our example.

Dennis Canavan

Chair, Advisory Board

Yes Scotland

Hope Street

Glasgow