Scott bullish ahead of referendum meeting

Voters in the isles will overwhelmingly reject independence, according to isles MSP Tavish Scott.

Speaking a month before Scotland goes to the polls to decide its constitutional future, Mr Scott said he was confident the electorate would reject the Yes campaign and the SNP’s desire for an independent Scotland.

Mr Scott is due to speak to an audience in the Whiteness and Weisdale hall tonight as part of his Ferry to the Referendum series of open meetings in the run-up to 18th September.

Speaking ahead of the meeting he said people were worried about the prospect of independence and “all the uncertainty that would bring”.

MSP Tavish Scott.
MSP Tavish Scott.

“My intention has been to create an opportunity for folk across the islands to listen to the argument for Shetland and Scotland being better in the UK,” he said.

“I think the majority of Shetland folk made up their minds a long time ago. They’re not voting for independence. I’ve fought enough elections to know where the population is on fundamental issues.”

He described as a “fundamental miscalculation” of First Minister Alex Salmond and the Yes campaign the notion that young people – including, for the first time at the polls, 16 and 17-year-olds – would buy into the nationalist message.

His experience, he said, was “actually quite the opposite”.

“Not just from Shetland but across the country.”

Mr Scott said there was “no doubt” the Scottish parliament would enjoy greater powers in the event of a no vote.

“That will be welcomed by people across the political spectrum. I suspect it will be welcomed by plenty of people in the nationalists as well.”
He strongly rejected reports that Westminster may reign in powers and effectively renege on any power sharing agreement in the event of a no vote.

“That’s exactly what Alex Salmond said about the Labour party in 1997. He said Labour couldn’t deliver pizza in 1997, and Tony Blair and Donald Dewar delivered the Scottish parliament.

“So, if you listen to Salmond and the nationalists, that the Westminster system has never delivered anything, well, actually, it’s delivered the Scottish parliament with all the powers over health and education that are there.

“It’s also delivered the reforms carried through in the Calman Commission, which is the new Scotland Act, which will introduce more tax responsibilities that will have to be decided on by the Scottish Parliament in 2016.

“The nationalists … never get behind the case for more powers, and that’s what I think is so depressing about nationalism. In the past it’s always been the progressive parties … who have worked hardest to make things happen.

“I think what will happen after the no vote on 18th September is that the sensible nationalists – and there are lots of sensible nationalists – will get behind the campaign to strengthen the Scottish parliament within the United Kingdom and we can do that on a cross-party basis.”


Add Your Comment
  • John N Oakes Manchester, England.

    • August 19th, 2014 13:22

    Question is what would Shetland miss out if the Scotland chose the independent route?
    Being English I would be very happy for Scotland to make the journey for “FREEDOM”. Shetland has and alway will have a unique identity over the rest of Scotland, akin to the Isle of Man in fact. After referendum will there be a rush for the door, to escape independence to Norway or hammering on the barbwire fence of England/Scotland border to get in. I seriously doubt it, either economy will stay the same because the Scots are unwilling to adopt Plan B Two sheep per English pound. The problem will be after the vote when the results come in. In that too much effort to promote “Independence” has divide Scotland and nay say us English folk.
    The last time I was based in Shetland at Saxa Vord Unst in 1988 On my arrival I was not greeted with Scot smile or welcome or even the flag but a Shetland welcome . If the people of Shetland prefer to follow the Scots down the independence route, I welcome it knowing you made the right choice. So encourage your young folk to vote in pride of knowing Shetland made the right choice. Viva Shetland Wassail from England.

  • Robert Duncan

    • August 19th, 2014 14:40

    “It’s also delivered the reforms carried through in the Calman Commission, which is the new Scotland Act, which will introduce more tax responsibilities that will have to be decided on by the Scottish Parliament in 2016.”

    Careful, Tavish. I think the party line is “more tax powers”! Calling it a responsibility is a bit too close to truth.

  • David Spence

    • August 20th, 2014 0:42

    Robert, if the people of Scotland do vote for independent, and takes the Scandinavian model, I would rather pay higher taxes than pay some private company whose sole purpose is to rip you off and provide a half baked service or product. Their one and only priority is to cater for themselves or their dreaded shareholders and to maximize profits with the minimum of expenditure to themselves.

    And yes, anybody who runs a business will have the same mentality as what I have mentioned, and if they don’t (which is very unlikely) they soon will have such methods as the pull of money, greed and profits takes hold of them and their whole judgement will be purely based on themselves (the selfish aspect of capitalism) and what they can gain regardless to what insidious practices they use to better themselves financially.

    Does Capitalism bring out the worst in human nature and behaviour in terms of business practices? Of course it does, you only have to look at the way and manner the banks run their business.

  • Robert Duncan

    • August 20th, 2014 11:33

    I’m rather unclear on why you’ve directed that comment at me. I don’t see any relevance to what I have said here.

  • Ali Inkster

    • August 20th, 2014 11:56

    Or how about this David it is human nature that brings out the worst in any political system, including socialism.

  • joe johnson

    • August 20th, 2014 15:07

    I agree with Tavis scott. We are better together and I’ll be voting no. After hearing all the arguments for both the yes and no campaigns, my mind is made up. Very happy for the Scottish Parliament to get more powers, we get the best of both worlds and there’s no reason to break it up. In the commonwealth games, I was touched when the English cheered for us and also when the scots cheered for the English ( never thought I’d see that at Hampden Park 🙂 ) thats how it should be and I know for a fact that the english love us despite all the stick we give them. We have a good union, lets keep it together. Vote no

    • Robert Duncan

      • August 21st, 2014 9:21

      The promise of “more powers” looks more like a snatch and grab at Barnett Formula funding. Until that ludicrous position was announced I was ready to vote no, but now I am very unsure.

      Scotland will have more tax raising responsibility – not power. It will essentially mean the duplication of work within HMRC. With Scotland collecting its own income taxes, the UK Government can then reduce block grant funding (as this OBR paper says they intend to:

      This will leave no option but either raise income taxes (essentially not a workable policy because people would just move en masse south of the border) or to make drastic cuts – most likely to the previously safeguarded NHS.

      I cannot see how anybody who understands this “more powers” pledge can now vote for it.

    • Harry Dent

      • August 21st, 2014 14:25

      I’ve been known to cheer for Argentina at football, but it doesn’t mean I want to be governed from Buenos Aires.

      I have to disagree with Joe’s assertion that it’s a “good union”; in my opinion it’s a bad one, and the sooner it’s dissolved the better.

      Finally, I have real difficulty understanding the logic of the idea of voting vote no in order to “get more powers”. I tend to the view that a more likely outcome of a no vote is the Westminster parties colluding to make sure Scotland gets clobbered for its insolence.

  • David Spence

    • August 20th, 2014 15:43

    Robert, the reason I directed my comment towards yourself was if it was the case that the people of Scotland do vote for independence, then I presume that, like a few countries within Europe, Scotland may take the Scandinavian model of running their economy. This may be broken down into a) Government providing the basic structures which shape our society and b) the private sector controlling, within the guidelines of Government legislation, providing other amenities and services. I am of course referring to paying higher taxes rather than using the USA model, where anything, literally, goes without any proper regulation, and where, in many respects, the worker and/or the consumer has very little rights.

    This, I suspect, would explain why, like their banking system, the US Legal System is, for the best part, governed by market forces rather than providing a proper, just system for the better of its citizens. Again, another example where money, greed and profits dictates the service you get rather than the system acting in the best interests of the citizen. This would also explain why the USA Legal System is so prevalent within their society (the compensation society) and where free markets (and the encouragement of corruption etc etc) of any service or product is more liable due to a legal system that caters more for its own commercial gain than anything else……….business (capitalism without any proper regulation) corruption, legal system….they all go hand-in-hand. This again, like most of the basic structures within the USA, is very much a 2 tier system………..those that can afford it and those who cannot.

    I agree to a certain level Ali, but in modern times, I would say that the incentive is, primarily, this of commercial and material wealth (capitalism) which very much dictates how, predominantly, western Governments behave. Due to massive technological advances, the world is far smaller, communications, digital technology, weapons and military technologies etc etc have had a profound influence on all societies, and where the man-made condition of money and commercialism has had a far greater impact than anything else……..certainly within the past 200 years or so.

    But Ali, as mentioned previously, the incentive of commercial and material wealth is the main priority how people or business operate and function, and this in turn encourages the darker side of human behaviour………it ends up being a system of adopting a jungle survival mentality, where it is not the desire to sustain life but the necessity to better yourself (and yourself only) only by whatever means possible……..even it is means breaking the law or harming other people or by other means detrimental to society as a whole.

    • Robert Duncan

      • August 21st, 2014 19:27

      I still don’t understand what any of that has to do with my own comments here.


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