David Cameron was at it again this week. Boasting about how determined he is to campaign to keep Scotland within the UK. There appear to be no limits to what he will do to maintain this Union. Except, that is, participate in a debate with Alex Salmond. He, Cameron, cannot participate in such a debate because the whole independence debate is a matter for Scots living in Scotland. Which begs the question as to why Cameron continues to take every opportunity to intervene in this campaign. Why does his government spend taxpayers’ money in cooking up scaremongering reports which have the sole aim of belittling Scotland? He took it one step further in his speeches at the Tory party conference.
In one speech he called on Tories to go back to constituencies in England and campaign to save the United Kingdom. So much for this being a matter for “Scots living in Scotland” and should not become a glorified general election. Just what are Tories in English constituencies supposed to do in their campaigning? And who are they supposed to convince? It all seems a bit defeatist to me. It is almost an admission that the Unionists cannot create any enthusiasm for the Union in Scotland, but by golly we can get them all fired up in Surrey and Kent.
In his keynote speech he went even further by claiming how much the rest of the UK loves us Scots. His message: “But today I want a more simple message to go out to all the people of Scotland. From us here in this hall, from this party, from this country, from England, and yes from Wales, Northern Ireland too – and it is this, we want you to stay. We want us to stick together. Think of all we’ve achieved together, all the things we can do together. The nation, as one. Our Kingdom – united.”
It is all very strange and not at all convincing. Just why does the rest of the UK want us to stay? A bit of history and a very vague “all the things we can do together”. I would have thought that at this point he might have mentioned some of these great and wonderful things we could do together. But nary a one! Nada, zilch, nichts. Not much of a rallying call! It would be very helpful to voters here in Scotland, especially to undecideds, if Mr Cameron could in fact tell us just what Scotland offers the UK. After all the Better Together is not meant to be just about Scotland. Not that you would notice from their propaganda. Which is all about how Scotland benefits from the Union. Hardly a word is said about what Scotland contributes to the UK. Presumably it must be a great deal. Otherwise why would they be so desperate for us to stay? Yet they cannot or will not come out and openly say why Scotland is such a great and essential asset to the UK. I think we should be told.
A final point about the importance of Scotland at the Tory party conference. Just about every speaker contrived to get in a reference to Scotland and how bad it would be for us to leave and sometimes, how good it would be for the rest of the UK if we were to stay. However, it was most noticeable that this concern was not shared in the least by the English media. In today’s Guardian there is no mention whatsoever of Scotland and the coming referendum in its coverage of Cameron and the Tories. As I have mentioned before, this is either because they are so convinced that independence will not happen, or because, deep down they don’t really care. I would just love to be a fly on the wall at one of these tory party constituency meetings when they discuss how to campaign against Scottish independence.