Will Scotland get more power? Yes or No – You Decide

How can Scotland be sure of more powers, in the event of a No vote? Aileen Campbell and David Mundell give their views on this reader's question.
How can Scotland be sure of more powers, in the event of a No vote? Aileen Campbell and David Mundell give their views on this reader's question.

The twelth question from the Carluke and Lanark Gazette’s Independence Debate, answered by Clydesdale MSP Aileen Campbell and Clydesdale MP David Mundell, focuses on who will fight for the Scottish people if these is a No vote.

Aileen and David kindly agreed to debate the case for Yes and No at the Gazette’s Independence Debate in Lanark Memorial Hall on May 26.

They were only too happy to answer questions posed by our readers that we couldn’t quite get through on the night, thanks to a heated meeting which 420 people attended!

So, just a matter of hours before Carluke and Lanark Gazette readers go to the polls to decide on independence, we’re bringing you their responses.

Each hour on the hour, between 8am and 10pm today, we’ll post one of the answers to a question posed by a Gazette reader.

For each question posed, we will give one opinion from the Yes camp and one from the No camp.

Question: In the 1979 Scottish Referendum, the Westminster Government promised incentives to the Scottish people if they voted No to Independence. After the vote, the Westminster Government proposed to cut the allowance given to Scotland. The then Scottish Secretary vehemently fought this proposal, stating that, if they did, the Scottish people would neither forget nor forgive and the allowance was not cut at that time. The Westminster Government is now offering incentives to the Scottish people if they vote No to Independence. The Scottish Secretary, Alastair Carmichael, has announced his intention to retire after the vote so who will fight for the Scottish people if they vote No to Independence and, once more, the Westminster Government renege on their promises?

Aileen Campbell, Yes campaign: Former Conservative prime minister, Sir Alex Douglas­ Home, told Scotland to vote No in the 1979 devolution referendum, promising something ‘better’. Unfortunately, for Scotland, that ‘something better’ turned out to be Margaret Thatcher. And, of course, the promise of additional powers never materialised. The current promises from the anti­-independence politicians of more powers – even if they can’t agree on what these might be – seem strangely familiar and equally hollow. We should never forget the words of Michal Kelly, the former Labour Lord Provost of Glasgow City Council, who said that after a No vote “there should be a steady erosion of Holyrood’s powers until it can be abolished”. The only way to guarantee Scotland gets the powers to make our country even better is to vote Yes in the referendum.

David Mundell, No campaign: Scotland now has its own Parliament which does a very good job in making Scotland’s voice heard. We also have significant representation at Westminster and I cannot see the scenario outlined in the question happening. The Scottish people wouldn’t stand for it and nor would Scottish politicians – just as your example from the 1970s highlights.