Further to the earlier thread, here are highlights of David Cameron’s ‘Stronger Together’ speech in Edinburgh earlier today. It has a strongly Unionist flavour.
A great history: "Together, we turned a small, off-shore European island into the one of the most powerful countries known to the world. In the 18th century, the Union helped create the sense of possibility that inspired the titans of the Enlightenment. In the 19th century, what was Europe’s first common market brought unparalleled prosperity to both our countries. And in the 20th century, we not only remained stable in the face of…the totalitarianisms that were the scourge of mainland Europe…but we confronted them side by side."
The challenge of separatism today: "We must confront and defeat the ugly stain of separatism seeping through the Union flag. This is where I stand, here in this great and beautiful capital, an English politician in a Scottish city saying clearly today and for all time that Britain comes first. For I believe that we are stronger together. Stronger together: Scotland and England……more, much more than the sum of our parts. And in every part of these islands I want people to hear me when I say this. That if it should ever come to a choice between constitutional perfection and the preservation of our nation, I choose our United Kingdom. Better an imperfect union than a broken one. Better an imperfect union than a perfect divorce."
Together, we are stronger, safer, richer and fairer: "Britain is one of only five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. We have a seat at the top table and are listened to in a way that other countries can only dream of. So yes, together we are stronger. It means saying loudly and proudly: together, we are safer. Scotland and Wales punch above their weight in Britain’s armed forces….and Britain punches above its weight in the world because of the expertise and bravery of those armed forces. So, yes, together we are safer. It means saying loudly and proudly: together, we are richer. The City of London overtaking New York as a global powerhouse……Edinburgh’s role as a great financial centre. So yes, we are richer. And it means saying loudly and proudly: together, we are fairer. The NHS is the best of British……created by a Welshman and benefiting from the skills of doctors trained in the great medical schools of Scotland. Stronger. Safer. Richer. Fairer…together."
Gordon Brown doesn’t get it: "He talks about values but Britishness
isn’t just about values – liberty, fair play, openness – are general,
unspecific, almost universal. They are virtues which could be as
easily associated with Denmark, say, or Holland. Britishness is also
about institutions, attachment to our monarchy, admiration for our
armed forces, understanding of our history, recognising that our
liberty is rooted in the rule of law and respect for parliament."
Don’t blame each other for Britain’s problems, blame Labour: "It’s easy to blame your neighbours.
But what we should be doing is blaming Labour. So, to those in England
who are angry about rising council tax, angry about the rising cost of
living, and angry when they look across the border and hear about no
prescription charges and free social care, I say this. Don’t blame the
Scots. Don’t blame the Union… It’s not because of the Union that
you’re being held back…it’s because of the Labour Government."
Barnett formula and Englishness: "We have not leapt on the Barnett formula bandwagon. We have not sought to exploit these matters to foster a sense of English nationalism. And we never will, because we believe in the Union and we will never do anything to put it at risk."
The Scottish Conservatives: "I know there is still a reluctance to
openly support the Conservative Party in Scotland. So let me say
this. Consider all our Party’s history, not just the recent past. It
was a Conservative Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, who set up the
Scottish Office. It was a Conservative Prime Minister, Stanley
Baldwin, who elevated the Scottish Secretary to full Cabinet rank. And
it was the Conservative Party after the war that stood up for
Scotland’s identity, and the life of Scottish businesses, against the
attempts at nationalisation and centralisation by Labour. We are a
party of the Union and as long as I lead it that is how it will stay.
And to the people of Scotland, I make this guarantee. I will carry out
my duty to nurture and support the Union whatever my Party’s political
standing in any of the Union’s constituent parts. I will fight for
every seat in Scotland just as I will throughout the United
Conservatives will fight for Scotland: "I want a Scotland where young
people can fulfil their ambition of buying their first home. I want a
Scotland where businesses can innovate and create the jobs, wealth and
opportunities that are so vital to local communities. I want a
Scotland where first-class health-care is the right of all, and not
just a few. I want a Scotland of opportunity, responsibility and
security. But I don’t just want this for Scotland. But for all of the