SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson has claimed the “No” campaign is based on the idea that Scots are “uniquely poor”, “stupid” and “incapable” of self-government.
Mr Robertson criticised Alistair Darling’s Better Together campaign in an interview broadcast on the new political podcast Hear, Hear, which was launched yesterday on the social sound platform Audioboo.
“They are running around trying to scare people into voting No. I think it says something about the paucity of the argument in favour of the Union that the only case they seem to be making is that people in Scotland are uniquely poor, stupid and incapable of governing themselves,” Mr Robertson said.
“I think it reflects more on themselves and their lack of ideas – rather than the case we are making, which is based on hope and progress,” he added.
Last night, Better Together rejected Mr Robertson’s claim.
A spokesman said: “The only people who peddle this line are the Nationalists. No-one from Better Together thinks that Scotland couldn’t go it alone – we think that it is better for our economy, our jobs and our future if we stay together with the rest of the UK.
“The Nationalists are only interested in dividing people. We think that we are stronger when we work together.”
Mr Robertson also claimed that Scots and English would not regard each other as “foreigners” in the event of a “Yes” vote.
The Moray MP said: “We live in an interdependent world in the 21st century and the independence that we seek is that of the 21st century and not the 19th century.
“In many respects, we look forward to working with a degree of continuity – not least and most importantly – the social union. That means that none of us are foreigners. We are good friends and rivals.”
He argued that an independent Scotland would “enhance” the Commonwealth, which was “taken for granted” by the UK.
“I don’t think they take it seriously enough,” Mr Robertson said. “There is a lot more that could be made of it with Scotland being directly represented as we are at the Commonwealth Games. But if we could do that in a political context, we could enhance the role of the Commonwealth to everybody’s advantage.”
Appearing in the podcast alongside his colleague Angus MacNeil, the MP for the Western Isles, Mr Robertson was speaking at the end of a week which has seen the SNP attacked by the Chancellor George Osborne over its plans to keep sterling.
Asked about the SNP scenario, which would see the Bank of England retain powers over monetary policy, Mr Robertson indicated his party’s priority was to gain tax powers.
“The key priority for the SNP and for a post-independence and sovereign Scotland relates especially to the levers of taxation,” he said. “There is much we can do with that, which is necessary to put ourselves in more of a competitive situation.
Mr MacNeil poured scorn on Mr Osborne’s view that it would not be worth it for the rest of the UK to enter a currency pact with Scotland, saying the Chancellor was irrelevant.