Appeal for end to 'silly season' with 'No' launch

Speaking ahead of the launch of the official ‘No’ Campaign, SNP Referendum Campaign Director Angus Robertson appealed for an end to the ‘scaremongering silly season’ on Scotland’s constitutional future.

Calling for a grown-up and honest approach from the anti-independence campaign, Mr Robertson highlighted some of the more ludicrous scare stories that had been peddled over recent months, including:

- Claims by Lord Fraser, the former Tory Solicitor General, that England could have no choice but to bomb Scottish airports in order to defend itself from attack if Scotland became independent.

- Claims by Tory Education Secretary Michael Gove that an independent Scotland would no longer have a National Health Service.

- Claims by Home Secretary Theresa May that passport checks would be issued at Scotland’s border with England.

- Questions published by the Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee querying if people could still buy wine form The Sunday Times Wine Club or whether the school curriculum would include ‘English’?

- Claims that the Westminster Government would seize custody of the giant pandas at Edinburgh Zoo post-independence.

Mr Robertson said:

“I hope the launch of the ‘No’ campaign will bring an end to the scaremongering silly season which we have seen over recent months.

“While of course people have legitimate questions, some within the anti-independence camp have been guilty of the most ridiculous scaremongering. They have treated people like fools with bizarre claims that, for example, the NHS would cease to exist, that ‘English’ would no longer be taught on the school curriculum or that there would be a custody battle over the pandas at Edinburgh Zoo.

“In contrast, the Yes campaign is rooted in a positive approach that represents all of Scotland’s communities – job-creators; labour movement figures; civic Scotland; the Arts; urban and rural Scotland; young and old; north, south, east and west.

“Part of the job and the process of the Yes campaign is to answer all the questions, and explain all the benefits and merits of independence – and that is exactly what we are doing. It contrasts with the confusion and negativity of the Tories and other anti-independence parties.

“They are confused, because they are either unable or unwilling to spell out to the people of Scotland what their alternative to independence is. So far, the anti-independence parties have not been able to answer any questions about their constitutional proposals.

“And they are negative, because in the absence of a positive alternative they are consigned to negativity about independence.

“Instead of more scare stories from the anti-independence parties, we need an honest and grown up debate on Scotland’s constitutional future.”


The scare story examples highlighted above can be found here:

- Reports of Lord Fraser’s claims, published in a pamphlet for think-tank Politeia, can be found here:

- Speaking on Radio 4 on 13th January, Westminster Education Secretary Micahel Gove asked: “Do they [Scotland] want to be part of the same nation that has a National Health Service?”

- Home Secretary Theresa May’s claims can be found here:

- Questions published by the Westminster Scottish Affairs Select Committee can be found in their Sixth Report of Session 2010-12: The Referendum on Separation for Scotland: Unanswered Questions.

- Claims about the Giant Panda’s can be found here: