Salmond says “the…Lib Dem(s)….cannot act as the Tories’ front men in Scotland and at the same time present themselves as Home Rulers – they have to choose.”

From the BBC Nick Clegg attacks the SNP’s delay on calling an independence referendum

Clearly I am opposed to Alex Salmond’s ambition, which seems to be his sole ambition in Scottish government, to yank Scotland out of the United Kingdom.
I think it is not good for Scotland. I believe passionately in a strong Scotland, with more powers, but in a strong United Kingdom.
I think the more that the details are looked at and the less that Alex Salmond is able to provide any answers to any questions about what it means for Scottish people, then the more people will actually decide this isn’t really something that they want.

A spokesman for Salmond:

The Lib Dems’ obsession with the SNP this week has been plain for all to see as their position on the constitution crumbles under pressure, and they have only succeeded in making themselves look ridiculous.
On the one hand they oppose the Scottish government’s call for financial powers such as Corporation Tax being transferred to Scotland to support our economy and create jobs, but at the same time Scottish Secretary Michael Moore and his colleagues are talking about setting up a Commission to deliver full financial independence.
That is extraordinary muddled thinking, and the simple fact is that the Scottish Secretary and his Lib Dem colleagues cannot act as the Tories’ front men in Scotland and at the same time present themselves as Home Rulers – they have to choose.

It’s sad in a way how generations of patient and assiduous work on behalf of the Scottish Lib Dems can be wiped out almost overnight. I’ve posted on the Scottish Parliament election wipeout previously.
Newsnet Scotland reports on recent by-election results.

With the SNP enjoying continued success in the Highland ward in Perthshire on Friday the analysis of the combined vote in all the by-elections which have taken place since May’s election show significant swings of 2.23% from Labour, 4.78% from the Conservatives and an astonishing 8.10% from the Liberal Democrats.
The SNP has gained two seats in the eight by-elections held since the elections and seen its support increase by more than 8% since the last Local Authority Elections.

Whilst both the Tories and Labour in Scotland are considering new structures and responsibilities in response to the SNP success it seems that the Lib Dems have transformed themselves from proud Home Rulers to a bunch of dismally unpopular Unionist attack dogs. Interesting strategy.

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  • Rory Carr

    “It’s sad in a way how generations of patient and assiduous work on behalf of the Scottish Lib Dems can be wiped out almost overnight.”

    Hmmph ! Speak for yourself, mate. Me ? I’m positively crowing.

  • DougtheDug

    “It’s sad in a way how generations of patient and assiduous work on behalf of the Scottish Lib Dems can be wiped out almost overnight.”

    Dewi, the Lib-Dems only formed in 1988. It was a combination of the SDP who were a proto-New Labour party of Old Labour refugees and the Liberals who in many parts of rural Scotland were the alternative Tories.

    They’ve always had lots of talk about, “Federalism”, within the UK but hunt down their policies on their party web site and you’ll find almost nothing beyond some waffling on how devolution for Scotland can be improved. Policies on creating a federal UK with parliaments in NI, Wales, Scotland and England or even regions of England are simply not there.

    The Lib-Dems talk the talk on devolution and federalism but they don’t walk the walk. In the face of requests to create policy or to actually define what they mean by federalism they instinctively create a commission to make the problem go away for a year or so.

  • Michael Gillespie

    “I personally believe in a strong Scotland with more power but a strong United Kingdom.”
    It is questionable that there is a strong United Kingdom nowadays in two senses. Firstly with the transfer of sovereignty from Westminster to Brussels the sovereignty of Westminster is diminished a fact of which the UKIP party is aware. Secondly with the devolution of government to Scotland Wales and N Ireland in what sense is the United Kingdom still united? The only remaining sense is that the Crown is still Head of State. The Lib-Dem’s talk about a Federal United Kingdom. This envisages subservient governments for Scotland Wales and N Ireland with Westminster remaining as the central sovereign government in control of the UK constitution but this constitutional set-up wouldn’t be acceptable to the SNP who are pressing for independence. In Scottish independence some fear for the break-up of the United Kingdom but this will only happen if Scotland becomes independent as a Republic. A Republic would have no electoral support in Scotland and that is not the direction Alex Salmond is steering. In a recent TV interview Alex said he wanted an independent Scotland with the Crown as Head of State like other independent nations in the world. IN this Alex envisages not a Federal United Kingdom but a full blooded Federal Kingdom.
    For a country to be an independent nation it is essential that the country has its own constitution and be in control of it. IN the 80ties Australia and Canada became sovereign independent nations independent of Westminster with the Crown as Head of State because in the Australia Act and Canada Act control of the constitution was transferred from Westminster to Canberra and Ottawa. The Crown is Head of State in these nations but treats them as separate and apart from Westminster.
    A middle course for Scotland can be steered between a Republic and the United Kingdom in a Federal Kingdom of the Scottish and English nations separate and apart but co-equal. This would require the enactment of the Scotland Act at Westminster giving a written constitution for Scotland. With its own constitution a strong Scotland with more powers would be a sovereign independent nation within a Federal Kingdom with the Crown as Head of State and in this way a sense of the unity of the Kingdom would be retained. The objectives of the SNP would be met and Alex Salmond wants the Crown as Head of State in Scotland.
    Michael Gillespie Federal Unionist- Early Sinn Fein