The following email and attachments were sent by Councillor Mike Barnacle to fellow Councillors in relation to the “Forward Together” campaign that should follow the “Better Together” campaign for the referendum.
Following the Independence Referendum that produced a clear majority in Scotland for us to remain part of the UK (although you would not think so from media coverage since), I have become increasingly alarmed, as we approach the forthcoming UK General Election, at the growing strength of the separatist SNP and the number of recent opinion polls suggesting a nationalist landslide, with the increasing and frightening prospect of the SNP holding the balance of power at Westminster. I am left pondering the real danger that the vote of the ‘NO’ camp (over 2 million people) will be fragmented by tribal loyalties to party politics that don’t realise the importance of the bigger picture (the survival of the UK as a family of nations) and lose out to a totally focussed nationalist party and the YES activists that remain in place.
I had thought that the offer of enhanced devolution through the Smith Commission would settle matters for a while but, as expected, the nationalists would never be happy with that (their politics of grievance knowing no bounds) and their opponents sometimes appear to pander to such sentiment rather than defend the clear reasons and advantages of maintaining our union.
Given this situation, it is surely incumbent for the parties in Scotland who backed ‘better together’ to support ‘forward together’ on a national basis, in order that the candidate best placed in each constituency to prevent a nationalist victory gets the support they need. I am sure this could be organised and suggest it is urgently required, if the forecast scenario above is to be avoided at this critical juncture for the future of Britain.
I have refrained from circulating the many people who helped the ‘NO’ campaign in Kinross-shire, although alluded to this tactical approach at a ‘thank you’ evening last November for supporters.
One idea I have is a logo showing 2 flags side by side, the Union Jack and the Saltire, above the words ‘co-operation, not separation’.
I would be interested in your thoughts and welcome a response ASAP.
Councillor Mike Barnacle
Independent Member for Kinross-shire
ps I enclose background viz: