Labour Devo plans branded a ‘horrible compromise’ as splits widen in No camp


  By a Newsnet reporter
The anti-independence alliance between the No parties has been shattered after senior Lib Dem and Tory figures spoke out about problems facing the campaign.
Scottish Tory Chairman Richard Keen attacked Labour’s Devolution Commission proposals, branding them as a failed and “horrible compromise” between the party’s split MPs and MSPs that was “incoherent, unworkable and confused”.

He has also accused Labour of being “thoroughly complacent” and taking voters for granted.

Responding to Keen’s remarks, a Scottish Labour spokesman told the Sunday Herald: “Richard Keen’s insights into Scottish politics are like Bernard Manning’s tips on flower arranging. It’s surprising he offers any at all, but ultimately we all know he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie has admitted the No campaign had “a wobble” six weeks ago, with problems with “resources, message discipline and striking the right balance between the positive and negative”.

The Scottish Lib Dem leader revealed that one canvass estimate in Rosyth had found Yes ahead by 60-40.

Commenting, SNP MSP Joan McAlpine said:

“Richard Keen’s comments – and Labour’s response to them – make it clear that the consensus of convenience the No parties would have us believe exists is nothing more than a panicked attempt to try to stop Scotland voting Yes – but it won’t work.

“As Richard Keen points out, Labour MPs and MSPs cannot agree amongst themselves and are split down the middle on further powers – it is impossible to believe they can agree anything at all with the Tories and the Lib Dems.

“Meanwhile, Willie Rennie’s admission of a ‘wobble’ in the ever-negative No camp reveals the panic at the heart of the campaign.

“But last week’s attempt to look united on the issue of further powers was little more than a photo opportunity which failed to name one single power that would come to Scotland.

“The fact is that only a Yes vote can guarantee the powers Scotland needs to thrive and work toward closing the gap between rich and poor.”

The Better Together has already had to relaunch in the wake of polling that showed Yes closing the gap on their rivals.  The anti-independence campaign, criticised for adopting a negative approach, adopted a new ‘No Thanks’ slogan.

The three Unionist parties have also struggled to unite behind more powers for the Scottish Parliament in the event of a No vote.  A recent ‘declaration’ of more powers was branded worthless by Yes opponents who pointed out similar promises had been made in the past, and were broken.