Scottish independence: Michael Moore and Alex Salmond clash over future of country

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore says the SNP would 'pretty well say anything and do anything' to win referendum as First Minister Alex Salmond argues for a move away from current 'undemocratic' system

The main proponents on either side of the Scottish independence debate returned to campaigning today, with Scottish Secretary Michael Moore and First Minister Alex Salmond delivering conflicting speeches on the future of the country.

Mr Moore argued that after poor showing at initial polls, the SNP is going to overhaul its rhetoric and “pretty well say anything and do anything” to win the referendum next year.

Giving a speech at the Institute for Public Policy Research at Glasgow University, the UK Government minister accused the Nationalists of attempting to “de-risk, deflect and distract” from the challenges that would face an independent Scotland.

He said: “When it comes to their rhetoric about an independent Scotland, the SNP has retreated a long way in a short time.

”They no longer want to talk about how different things would be. The want us to believe instead that so much could stay the same.“

With polls so far failing to show a majority support for independence, the Scottish Secretary claimed: ”Having looked at the numbers, the SNP leadership has come to fear that independence is a product that too few Scots are willing to buy.

“So, to sell the goods, they are changing the packaging.”

Meanwhile, during a speech in Campbeltown, Argyll, where he is holding a cabinet meeting with his key ministerial team, Mr Salmond said an independent Scotland could be inspired by a new written constitution and the benefits of a move away from the “profoundly undemocratic” system at Westminster.

He said the process of drawing up its own constitution would provide Scotland with “a chance to reflect on the democracy and society we want to live in, the values that we most cherish”.

The First Minister spoke of Scotland’s “six unions”, and said that while he wants to break the political union the country would retain other ties, such as the European Union, the defence union, the currency union and the union of the crowns.

“The social union - the ties of family and friendship connecting the people of these islands - will endure, regardless of the choices of governments,” he said.

The Scottish Government is set to publish a white paper this autumn that will set out the case for leaving the UK, and Mr Moore challenged it to be “straight with the people” when doing so.

The final referendum will be held on 18 September next year, with the electorate in Scotland answering the yes/no question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Recruitment Genius: Invoicing Clerk

£14500 - £17500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are contractors to...

Recruitment Genius: Executive Administrator / Marketing Assistant

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of packag...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy