Scotland 1) Final plea from Cameron: “I won’t be here forever”

telegraphscots“David Cameron begged the people of Scotland not to leave the United Kingdom as he promised them that he “won’t be here forever”. In a final plea before Thursday’s referendum, the Prime Minister warned Scottish voters in a speech in Aberdeen that separation would be a “painful divorce”. Mr Cameron was close to tears as he warned voters that Alex Salmond’s separatist movement had “painted a picture” of an independent Scotland that was “too good to be true”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • “This was a thigh-tingler of a speech which from the start was almost entirely positive, and occasionally as sugary as a foreman’s cuppa.” – Quentin Letts Daily Mail
  • “We want you to stay,” he said. “Head and heart and soul, we want you to stay. Please don’t mix up the temporary and the permanent. Please don’t think: ‘I’m frustrated with politics right now, so I’ll walk out the door and never come back.’ If you don’t like me – I won’t be here forever. If you don’t like this government – it won’t last forever. But if you leave the UK – that will be forever,” he said.” – The Guardian
  • “The PM added: “So as you reach your final decision, please don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t be a proud Scot and a proud Brit. Don’t lose faith in what this country is – and what we can be. Don’t forget what a great United Kingdom you are part of. Don’t turn your backs on what is the best family of nations in the world, and the best hope for your family in this world. So please, from all of us – vote to stick together, vote to stay, vote to save our United Kingdom.” – The Sun(£)
  • If it comes to it, please let’s have an amicable divorce – Jeremy Warner Daily Telegraph
  • “The Prime Minister has been accused by the Yes campaign of “scaremongering”: but as he said, it is his duty to set out the true
    consequences of such a vote, and to explain how disastrous it would be not just for Britain, but for Scots themselves.” – Leader Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Here in Glasgow, the Yes campaign is motivated more by socialism than by nationalism

>Yesterday: WATCH: Cameron appeals to Scots: “Don’t break this family apart”

Scotland 2) Unionist leaders promise “extensive new powers” for Scottish Parliament

“The leaders of the three main parties at Westminster have signed a pledge to devolve more powers to Scotland, if Scots reject independence. The pledge, which appears on the front of the Daily Record newspaper, has been signed by David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg. It has three parts and also commits to preserving the Barnett funding formula. The Yes campaign has argued the only guarantee of more powers is a vote for independence. The first part of the agreement promises “extensive new powers” for the Scottish Parliament “delivered by the process and to the timetable agreed” by the three parties.” – BBC

  • Carwyn Jones calls for more devolution – BBC
  • Pranksters set up spoof border control checkpoint – Daily Mail
  • Defence is new battleground – The Scotsman

>Today: Columnist Garvan Walshe: From Scotland to Catalonia, secession is tempting because the stakes are so low

Scotland 3) Redwood leads calls for an English Parliament

Redwood John Oct 11“The House of Commons could double up as an English Parliament as part of a future devolution settlement for the entire UK, a Conservative MP has urged. John Redwood said English MPs should meet to decide English-only issues, while the existing UK Parliament of all MPs would focus on “Union” matters. The Scottish Parliament is set to gain major new tax powers even in the event of a No vote in Thursday’s poll. Mr Redwood said England should not be “fobbed off” with anything less.” – BBC

  • “The post of an “English first minister” should be created to balance further powers awarded to Scotland in case of a “no” vote, a senior Conservative backbencher has declared. Bernard Jenkin, chairman of the public administration committee, said reforms to restrict votes on English issues to MPs in English constituencies are “urgent”.” – The Times(£)
  • “The UK government is not “remotely” near creating an English parliament, as some Conservative MPs have called for, Prime Minister David Cameron has said. But the issue of Scottish MPs voting on law that does not affect them will get “more pressing” if there is further devolution, Mr Cameron told the BBC.” – BBC
  • Is this the end of Britishness – Ian Jack The Guardian
  • It’s time the people of England had a say on their nation’s future – Philip Johnston Daily Telegraph
  • Localism is no panacea – Polly Toynbee The Guardian

Scotland 4) Let’s Stay Together hold London rally

GOVE, Michael blue sky“Pro-union campaigners have taken part in a rally in central London in support of Scotland remaining part of the UK after Thursday’s referendum. Speakers at the event, organised by TV historian Dan Snow, included anti-poverty campaigner Bob Geldof alongside comedians Eddie Izzard and Al Murray. Organisers from Let’s Stay Together said around 5,000 people attended. Among the crowd in Trafalgar Square was Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and cabinet minister Michael Gove. Supporters of the No campaign waved Union and Saltire flags.” – BBC

  • “Born in Ireland, Geldof said he had an ‘immigrant’s gratitude’ to the union to which he owed ‘everything’. ‘I keep hearing that one of the main reasons we’re having this argument is that the Scots are fed up with Westminster,’ he told
    crowds. ‘I’d like to tell them we’re all f******* fed up of Westminster.’ ” – Daily Mail
  • “Stand up to bullies”, No supporters are urged – Daily Mail
  • “Property website Zoopla said a flood of homes being put up for sale in the event of a yes vote could lead to a repeat of a 17.5% fall in
    Scottish house prices, which took place during the financial crisis of 2008.” – The Guardian

Scotland 5) Salmond attacks “desperate scaremongering”

SALMOND on Marr “The First Minister hit out at “desperate scaremongering” about leaving the UK, which he claimed had been orchestrated by Downing Street. His comments came as the head of insurance giant Aviva became the latest to warn about a Yes vote, claiming the costs of building projects such as schools and hospitals would go up. …Mr Salmond was speaking as he met business leaders including Stagecoach magnate Sir Brian Souter and former William Hill boss Ralph Topping at Edinburgh airport.” – The Scotsman

  • Greenspan: Salmond’s claims “implausible” – The Sun(£)
  • 10 million Facebook interactions concerning the referendum – Daily Telegraph
  • Herring boss gives £100,000 to Yes campaign – The Independent

>Today: Lee Rotherham on Comment: 30 questions for Alex Salmond

Scotland 6) Isabel Oakeshott: If Scotland votes Yes then “Cameron must go”

“As Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party, he has a fundamental duty to keep the country together. Yet his efforts have been diffident and dilatory. Tory MPs have belatedly woken up to this failing and now the knives are out. Moderate backbenchers inclined to loyalty towards the PM are usually a good bellwether. Among those I spoke to last night, the verdict was unanimous: if Scotland breaks away next week, the PM’s number is up.” – Isabel Oakeshott Evening Standard

  • Cocky Cameron surrenders keys to the Kingdom – Rachel Sylvester The Times(£)

Hammond: “We don’t know where the hostages are”

timeshammond“Britain is powerless to rescue the hostage threatened with beheading by Islamic State because the intelligence services have been unable to locate him, the foreign secretary admitted yesterday. Philip Hammond indicated that the government was ready to dispatch special forces should a rescue attempt become possible for Alan Henning, the taxi driver who was kidnapped from a charity aid convoy in Syria. However, Mr Henning’s family has been warned that he may not be freed because of “the limitations of our abilities”, Mr Hammond said.” – The Times(£)

  • “In a joint statement, foreign ministers from 30 countries pledged their commitment “to supporting the new Iraqi government in its
    fight… by any means necessary, including appropriate military assistance”. Mr Hammond said Britain would play “a leading role” in that coalition.” – BBC
  • The PM must win allies at home to fight Isil – Con Coughlin Daily Telegraph

Hunt proposes that hospitals must display their inspection ratings

“NHS hospitals will have to display their inspection rating at the entrance or in waiting rooms under new proposals unveiled by Jeremy Hunt. The Health Secretary said that “putting the scores on the doors” would help “inform people’s choices” about where they had treatment, but health experts warned that the signs could cause unnecessary anxiety to patients.” – The Independent

Plaza Margaret Thatcher unveiled in Madrid

THATCHER resolute“A luxurious central Madrid square was named after Margaret Thatcher on Monday, in a gesture that will see the late prime minister remembered alongside sculptures by Pablo Picasso and a statue to Christopher Columbus. Sir Mark Thatcher attended the inauguration ceremony in the Spanish capital, which marked the first city square outside the UK to honour his mother.” – Daily Telegraph

  • “While there is a statue to Baroness Thatcher in the Houses of Parliament, leading Tories are calling for a “Margaret Thatcher Square” in Britain’s capital. Among those supporting the move are former cabinet colleague Norman, now Lord, Tebbit, and her one-time policy guru Conservative MP John Redwood.” – Daily Express

Ashcroft poll has Tories and Labour neck and neck – Mori give Conservatives a 25 point lead on the economy

“The Tories have extended their lead over Labour on the economy, according to a poll, with twice as much support for David Cameron’s economic policies as Ed Miliband’s. The Conservative approval rating on the issue has soared by 10 per cent over the past six months on the back of the growing economic recovery. Ipsos Mori found that 45 per cent of respondents thought the Conservatives had the best approach to the economy….The survey came as a separate poll by the Tory peer Lord Ashcroft put
the two parties neck-and-neck overall on 33 per cent. Ukip were on 14 per cent, with the Lib Dems trailing on 9.” – The Times(£)

>Yesterday:  Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Labour and the Conservatives are level on 33 per cent in my latest Ashcroft National Poll

Grayling orders mental health centres in prisons

Grayling470“Chris Grayling has ordered justice ministry officials to start work on developing a network of specialist mental health centres within prisons in England and Wales. The justice secretary says he wants to “really get to grips with the challenge of mental health in prisons” soon after next year’s general election. “I want every prisoner who needs it to have access to the best possible treatment. I want mental health to be the priority for our system,” he said in a speech on Monday to the Centre for Crime and Social Justice in London.” – The Guardian

News in brief

  • NHS heads for billion pound deficit – The Guardian
  • MPs attack Government’s record on green issues – BBC
  • Private funeral for Paisley – BBC
  • Passport Office should cut prices say MPs – The Times(£)
  • First time buyers need £23,000 deposit – The Sun(£)