The First Minister, Alex Salmond has gave his official reaction – through a spokesperson - to the devo plus launch yesterday in a press release -
Commenting on the launch of the ‘Devo Plus’ campaign on more powers for the Scottish Parliament – including responsibility for Corporation Tax and a geographical share of North Sea revenues – a “spokesperson for First Minister Alex Salmond” said:
“Scotland is in a process of independence, and we welcome this contribution to the debate on the need for substantial economic, financial and social powers for the Scottish Parliament.
“With access to all of our resources, an independent Scotland would be the sixth-richest country in the developed world in terms of GDP per head – compared to the UK’s 16th place. Year-on-year, Scotland is in a stronger financial position than the UK as a whole – taking all Scottish revenues and all spending in Scotland into account, the Government Expenditure & Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures show that, in the five years to 2009/10, Scotland was in a stronger financial position than the UK to the tune of £7.2 billion – or over £1,400 for every person in Scotland.
“The ‘Devo Plus’ launch reinforces the need for clarity, in place of the current confusion, about what No in the referendum from the Tories and other anti-independence parties actually means. This information needs to be in the public domain well before the referendum.
“People across civic Scotland are considering the powers that we need to have a successful economy and fair society – instead of punitive cuts and a stagnant economy from the UK coalition – and it is becoming clear to people in Scotland that the only way to secure the job-creating powers we need is to vote Yes to independence in the autumn 2014 referendum. And we are extremely confident of achieving a Yes vote for independence.”
I was going to blog at some length on this in relation to the Newsnight clip of last night, with Jeremy Purvis and Linda Fabiani, but in the light of the FM press release, I think I’ll let my ideas simmer for a bit longer.
Here’s the clip. Linda Fabiani is one of those MSPs who always seems to me to speak with a desperately needed clarity, in the light of the sometimes obscure statement of other SNP spokespersons. She is one of a group of direct communicators, that for me includes Kenneth Gibson, Alex Neil, John Swinney - and a few others - who speak in a language that the ordinary voter can really understand, cutting through the fog of politician-speak and obfuscation aimed at the chattering classes that so often obscures the message from other party spokespersons.
Linda states clearly what I hope is party policy – the SNP wants independence, wants a single question, and regards devo max - or indeed devo anything - as only a recognition that Scotland needs the power to run its own affairs – all of them – that only full independence and a YES vote will deliver.
The only reason they are consulting on devo max, etc. is because as a democratic government of all the people of Scotland, they must ensure that the voter is allowed to make the choices they want to make in the ballot booth.
But let me say that I don’t wholly trust the motives of the organisations pushing devo max or devo plus – they claim to be trying to ‘inform the debate’ but to me they seem to be trying to circumvent the democratic processes of party politics and government in exactly the same way as the Calman Commission did, and with exactly to same motivation – to neuter the elected SNP government and prop up the union.
|From Drop Box|