Former Tory MP slams No campaign negativity


The No campaign faced further criticism today, this time from a former Scottish Tory MP who slammed the negative tactics of the group which has previously labelled itself Project Fear.

Peter Duncan, the former Tory MP for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale, has written an article in which he condemns the No campaign’s tactics and reliance on scaremongering as having been “negative to the point of dispiriting”.

Mr Duncan also pointed out that the strategy had proven to be “ultimately unsuccessful, as momentum since last autumn has swung to the Yes campaign.”

This latest criticism of the negative tactics coming from the Better Together campaign comes as part of the No camp was forced to withdraw misleading adverts about health provision in an independent Scotland after complaints made by Great Ormond Street Hospital.

In what has been a disastrous week for the No campaign, the much vaulted Treasury report on start up costs for an Independent Scotland was rubbished by the academics cited in the report. It also emerged that an influential Brussels think tank has concluded that Scotland would remain in the EU. These are just the latest in a catalogue of claims later proved to be false including the assertion that roaming charges would force up phone bills in Scotland made on the same day that the EU abolished such charges.

Mr Duncan’s comments follow on from a wide-range of criticism levelled at the No camp from their own side. – with No campaign chair Alistair Darling being urged to quit by senior Tories after being referred to as a “middlingly competent accountant with zero charisma”.

Commenting, SNP MSP Linda Fabiani said:

“Peter Duncan is absolutely right to speak out against the negativity of the No campaign. The lack of a positive vision for Scotland from the No camp is now so blatant that even its own side are criticising it – and their reliance on ludicrous scare stories is clearly becoming too much for even some of their supporters.

“Just this week we have seen the No camp forced into an embarrassing climb down over their attempts to scaremonger over Great Ormond Street Hospital.

“Facing accusations of negativity from their own side is clearly not the way the No camp will have wanted to start off the official campaign period – if the No campaign can’t even convince its own supporters, how can it expect to convince the people of Scotland?

“While No fights amongst itself, the Yes campaign will continue to make the positive case for a fairer, more prosperous Scotland – which is exactly why the momentum is with Yes.”