Union flags missing from No-campaign launch but Saltires welcome Darling

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By a Newsnet reporter
 
There was a noticeable absence of Union flags today as the No campaign finally launched its official tri-party alliance aimed at keeping Scotland in the Union.
 
Even the No campaign’s banner, Better Together, displayed a variation on the Saltire as Tories, Labour and Lib Dem supporters joined forces at the official launch in Edinburgh.

By a Newsnet reporter
 
There was a noticeable absence of Union flags today as the No campaign finally launched its official tri-party alliance aimed at keeping Scotland in the Union.
 
Even the No campaign’s banner, Better Together, displayed a variation on the Saltire as Tories, Labour and Lib Dem supporters joined forces at the official launch in Edinburgh.

However as the media waited for Darling, Davidson, Rennie and Lamont to pledge their all-for-one allegiance to the red, white and blue, outside a demonstration was taking place.

Saltires were in abundance as a group of ordinary people staged a protest calling for an end to rule from London.

Assembled at Edinburgh Napier University’s Craiglockhart campus as Mr Darling and the other Unionists arrived, the group produced banners and flags in readiness and which were prominently displayed despite the best efforts of staff who tried to remove several before the scheduled event.

Speaking to Newsnet Scotland, pro-independence campaigner Fay Sinclair said: “We may have been small in number but we had a big message to deliver – we want to live in an independent Scotland.”

Explaining why they had decided to turn up, Ms Sinclair said:

“This wasn’t a party political event, or even anything to do with the Yes Scotland campaign, we just felt strongly that we should turn out to let the Unionists know we aren’t buying their empty rhetoric and want to get past the scaremongering and onto debating the facts.”

Ms Sinclair said that her group had received waves and thumbs up from workers and passers-by but that the so called ‘real people’ invited to the event had merely scowled as they went past, with some gesturing.

“One man who said he worked at the university even told us that he’d watched the launch and ‘witnessed a couple of hundred more reasons to vote yes’.” she said.

While inside the striking egg-shaped Lindsay Stewart lecture theatre, Alastair Darling warned independence would be “buying Scotland’s children a one-way ticket to uncertainty”.

Meanwhile outside one-year-old David Sinclair seemed unconcerned, happily tucking into a “Yes” cupcake.

Pax Giuntini of Radio Free Scotland said: “To me it was important not only to show that there are two sides to this debate but also show the no campaign that we have a stronger message that we are not afraid to take to them and present in a logical, reasonable manner and which, much to my personal amusement, was enjoyed much more by the press who attended.

“We have truth on our side; they have nothing but negative nonsense and spin. “ he added.

Better Together organisers called in police to supervise the small demonstration which passed without incident.

An advertising van promoting a march and rally to be held in Edinburgh on September 22 in support of independence was also in attendance.