Alistair Darling says yes to unionists' 'Not The Yes' campaign
Alistair Darling, the former Labour Chancellor, will kickstart the official campaign against Scottish independence in the next fortnight in an attempt to halt the momentum built up by Alex Salmond and the Nationalists since their victory in the Scottish elections last year.
Mr Darling has agreed to become the leading figure in the unionist campaign, but it is understood that for the launch he will share a platform with the former Liberal Democrat leader, Charles Kennedy, and the former Scottish Conservative Leader, Annabel Goldie. With days to go, a name for the campaign has still not been settled.
With Mr Salmond having already grabbed the "Yes" title for the pro-independence lobby, some unionists believe they have no option but to choose "No" as a clear way of setting themselves apart from the Nationalists. But there is also a feeling in the unionist camp that "No" is not positive enough and that the pro-United Kingdom campaign must be seen to be in favour of something, rather than just against independence.
Michael Moore, the Scottish Secretary, told The Independent: "The key thing is that we are the positive case for Scotland staying in the UK as well as challenging those who wish Scotland to separate away. You will see a new dimension to the campaign."
Mr Darling is widely respected in Scotland and, as a Labour politician, is exactly what the unionist camp needs if it is to make sure that wavering Labour voters do not drift over to the nationalist side. He is aware of the size of the challenge facing the unionists in what will be a long run-in to the referendum in 2014.
Even though support for leaving the UK languishes at about 33 per cent in many polls, that figure rises dramatically when the SNP's preferred choice of wording, asking simply if the voter agrees that Scotland should be independent, is used.
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£27000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing cloud based I...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Product Marketing Manager...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding B2B exhibition and...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading manufacturer of re...