Scottish independence: Darling’s plea for emotion

Alistair Darling has urged Better Together campaigners to match the emtotion of Nationalists. Picture: TSPL
Alistair Darling has urged Better Together campaigners to match the emtotion of Nationalists. Picture: TSPL
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CAMPAIGNERS fighting to keep Scotland in the UK must match the emotion of the Nationalist case for independence, Better Together leader Alistair Darling said.

With just 100 days of campaigning until the independence referendum, the former chancellor urged the “quiet but resolute majority” of Scots to play their part.

Mr Darling also said that with Labour, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats all having now promised further devolution in the event of a No vote on September 18, Holyrood is in line for “substantially enhanced powers”.

This, he insisted, is what the “overwhelming majority” of Scots want.

Mr Darling was speaking at a rally of hundreds of Better Together activists in Glasgow, where he called on people to say “no thanks” to independence.

With just over three months left until the vote, Mr Darling said: “Our opponents have spent months trying - and failing - to come up with evidence to support their goal of separation.

“And now with just 100 campaigning days left, the Nationalists are running out of arguments - and they are running out of time.

“So I suspect in the remaining weeks they will give up on the evidence and simply go for the emotion.

“That is where we, the quiet but resolute majority, each have a crucial role to play.

“Together in the days ahead we must, and we will, meet and match them in emotion as surely we have mastered them on the evidence.”

The Labour MP also stressed that “with 100 days to go, the terms of trade have changed” as a result of the proposals from the pro-Union parties to hand more powers to Holyrood.

“It is now clear that a No vote will bring more powers to Scotland within the UK,” he said. “Now all three of the Scottish parties backing a No vote have put forward broadly similar proposals for further powers.”

While he said there is “much that divides us on other issues”, he argued that when it came to the constitution, Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats are “all now pretty much on the same page”.

Mr Darling pledged: “I want to use these 100 days not to see Scotland divided further but to bring together most of us in this nation around a common vision of Scotland leading the United Kingdom after September 18, not Scotland leaving the United Kingdom.

“I want to use these 100 days to plan for Scotland’s positive, possibility-rich future as part of the United Kingdom and with the substantially enhanced powers for the Scottish Parliament which all three parties have committed to.

“It is a vision that the overwhelming majority of us want.

“And so when voters go to the polls on September 18 I want every voter to understand that within the United Kingdom change and progress is coming to Scotland, underpinned by the commitments of all three parties.”

Mr Darling added: “The Nationalists will be offering the negativity of pig-in-a-poke separation.

“We are offering the guarantee of a constitutional future for Scotland which corresponds with what the great majority of Scots want.”