04/02/2014 Newsnight Scotland


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proving there can be piece in the least. We are inviting all these


people to come and see it before they shut it down. -- in the Middle


East. Tonight on Newsnight Scotland:


Should the unionist parties have a united line on more devolution? The


Liberal Democrats are on a mission to find points of consensus, but


will the other parties play ball? And after years of campaigning,


debating and consulting, Scotland becomes the 17th country in the


world to legislate for same sex marriage.


Good evening. If some form of increased powers for the Scottish


Parliament, the so-called devo max option, was on the ballot paper, it


would be ahead in the polls. So should the unionist parties be


joining together to offer increased powers if Scotland votes no? The


Liberal Democrats seem interested in that idea and are seeking points of


consensus with Labour and the Tories. But are the other parties


listening? It was little over a year ago that


the Liberal Democrats published their alternative to Scottish


independence and no Willie Rennie is to ask the party's former leader,


Sir Menzies Campbell, to take a process a stage further. Tonight, in


the keynote speech, he talked of building a consensus on further


devolution. The principle of raising the majority of the money that you


spend will be a common feature of all the plans. Labour have already


talked about income tax. The Conservatives have even talked about


federalism, a great move forward! The trade union movement, also TiVo


plus have come up with the same principles. -- also devolution plus.


I reckon there is an emerging consensus and I think Menzies


Campbell will be able to bring the parties together to show the


Scottish public that voting on the referendum does not mean no change.


Sir Menzies Campbell's task will be threefold, to review the consensus


around and invite other parties, planning a timetable for change and


deciding how that change will be commented after the referendum. In a


recent debate, there was precious little sign of any clear commitment


to work together from the other unionist parties. I cannot speak for


the Conservatives Liberal Democrats. What I am saying is that


for the Labour Party, we will publish our detailed proposals in


March at our party conference and then it is about what process that


goes through from there on to the actual next stage itself. What would


be very help full head of the referendum is that we understand, as


unionist parties, the parameters by which the debate has to take place.


If they can agree, the prize for the unionist is to secure a high


proportion of undecided voters who say they would like the option of


further powers. In Europe, in work. Willie Rennie says decentralising


power across Britain is building such momentum that it will happen,


whether he and Sir Menzies Campbell can build an all-party consensus is


another matter. I'm joined from Westminster by the


Liberal Democrat peer and devo max enthusiast Jeremy Purvis. Jeremy,


when Willie Rennie talks about forming a consensus, what are we


talking about? I think it is for those organisations that have


already published their proposals. One of those is of course the


Liberal Democrats. But the think tank Reform Scotland has published


the devolution plus rather than devo max proposals. There seems to be an


emerging common ground among some basic principles and I think our


task as a party is to try and bring us together. Is your ambition, with


no disrespect to the IPPR and similar organisations, I hardly


think that is going to floor the yes campaign, if you manage to achieve a


consensus within. What you need to do is achieve a consensus with the


Conservative and Labour party, do you not? With respect back, it is


not just about political parties. It is of course the parties that will


be tasked in any future administration... But it is because


I am sure John Curtis will be arguing later on when we talk to him


that the point is that if Labour and the Liberal Democrats and


Conservatives had some come in position which you could put in your


2015 election manifestoes and announced that before September,


then people could vote no and be sure that these more devolution


measures would be carried out. Let me answer this answer in school, for


people to end a sentence. In principle, I think there is a lot to


that. Willie Rennie have indicated today and I am certainly in favour


of the people knowing that when the vote in the referendum that they


would be rejecting independence that they understand what the process


will be that will happen. That is about forming some form of agreement


among basic principles that he is political parties can deliver


post-referendum that can also try and attract as much consensus as


possible with other groups that have contributed to the debate. That was


the founding basis of the Constitutional Convention in the


1990s and I think it is a strong principle to go forward with now. So


you're saying that you do think there could be some joint position,


at least in a very basic sense, between EU, the Liberal Democrats,


the Conservatives and Labour? We are waiting for the Conservatives and


Labour to publish their because of the need space to do that and I


respect that fully. -- their proposals. My party have already


published their proposals. I think Menzies Campbell, looking at where


we are at the moment, a number of months ahead of the referendum, will


already gather which of the basic principles to go forward. Already,


it seems to be emerging that raising the majority, or close to the


majority of funding, for the Scottish Parliament and having it on


a constitutional footing is a positive offer. We will await what


the other parties do that already there seems to be a growing


consensus in the middle ground that we are wanting to capture and have


that as a basis of what form of agreement could be delivered after


the referendum. While many as may be willing, are you getting any


indication that Labour and the Conservatives are willing to join


question -- while Menzies maybe willing. I was watching in the hall


a speech and the Labour interim report also and they have both


indicated there direction of travel. We will await what they say and I


respect that they have their own processes to go through. By the time


of the referendum on the boat, I think that we should be able to know


what is the likely process after what the Liberal Democrats are doing


is indicating yes, we have published proposals but won't know that next


step, to understand what the middle ground is and where are the bones of


what will be delivered afterwards. People are aware that there are


parties like the Liberal Democrats that are very clear that improving


the union is one of the things that we wish to see. That is a stronger


argument than simply rejecting independence. Do not go away.


Also here is Scotland's polling guru, Professor John Curtice, and


the critic and commentator Joyce McMillan. John Curtis, explain why


you think this is a bit of a no-brainer for the unionist parties?


It is certainly true that the part of the current no float that


consists of people whose first preference is more devolution, along


the lines of what he has been talking about, it certainly looks


like the softer part of the no vote. Around 45% of people who say they


are going to vote no of people whose first preference is that they would


like to see more devolution in the wake of a no vote. Maybe around a


third of that 45% of potential no voters say, I might change my mind


if I were not convinced that more devolution was not going to happen.


In general, those people who say, my first preference is more devolution,


they are located amongst those people who have not yet fully make


their mind up. Therefore, put that together, this looks like the soft


underbelly. If it is true, the lead of the no side has narrowed


somewhat, we might be beginning to enter the territory that that


movement could make a difference and returned the referendum into a close


fight. We will use you as a swing voter, because you have not made up


your mind yet, but if you were to see a platform from Labour and the


Tories and Lib Dems saying, here are our proposals for more devolution,


you do not need to vote for independence, and you know it would


be in the manifesto is that this would be implemented, would that


have an influence? I do not know. I have been pretty well put off by the


negativity we have seen from the no camp so far, but I welcome any


development that makes the people on the no side think possibly the spec


positively about what they might have to offer Scotland in the


future, because until now, it has been, you cannot do that. So if they


get themselves into a frame of mind where they are offering some kind of


positive change, that can only have a positive effect on the quality of


the debate, and there is clearly a large chunk of the electorate who


would, if the devolution campaign got itself together at an earlier


stage, and got it onto the ballot paper, who would have been choosing


that option, and will now be reassured if the three unionist


parties get together and guarantee some kind of better devolution


offer. The crucial thing here is that it has got to be all three of


them. If I am a voter, I think, I will vote no for more devolution, so


if all three do it, they will be the next government. The crucial thing


is, will it happen? The unionist parties have only done something


when they have been under pressure from the SNP. The concern that some


people have is, if there is a no vote, the pressure on the unionist


parties will not deliver, so people want the unionist parties to have a


clear commitment in advance of September, and they are committed to


putting it in their manifestoes in 2015, and that is as close as a


guarantee as we can get. This is the crucial point, it is not just you,


you have got to get the others to do it. It does not work if Labour and


the Liberal Democrats do it, it has got to be all three, so voters know


it will happen, irrespective of which party is the next government


of the UK. All of those three parties will have their own plans,


and Ming Campbell has do find the common ground that exist and allow


that to be clear going forward. Alistair Carmichael will be


Secretary of State for Scotland after the referendum, and he is


clear that a no vote to independence is not a no vote to change. But the


critical thing, will these be the best reforms to allow the long-term


relationship that works well to strengthen the Scottish Parliament


in the UK? I think so, that is why we are working hard to secure the


middle ground. We have to leave it here, thank you.


The debating, campaigning and consulting is over, MPs, or MSPs,


voted the bill legalising the same-sex marriage into law this


evening, a landmark for equality, but some religious groups said they


could be discredited against for opposing gay marriage.


The celebration started early outside Holyrood. But inside the


chamber, some MSPs were expressing concern about the law. Equality is


about fairness, not about making everyone the same. The indisputable


fact is the build them on issues the deeply held views of those that


consider marriage as between a man and a woman. There is nothing fair


in causing those who are opposed to same-sex marriage to feel


apprehensive about expressing this view. But this is the situation


which will now prevail in Scotland. The Health Secretary joined


campaigners in advance of the vote, confident his law would pass. This


is one of the biggest historic moments in the history of Scotland.


From today forward, Scotland will be a much more civilised society will


stop the law was passed, decisively. Yes, 105. No, 18. There were no


abstentions. The marriage and civil partnership Scotland Bill is passed.


And it's the cheering, notice the people in the calorie think the law


the thumbs down. There were protesters outside


Holyrood earlier, too. Matthew chapter five says that God sent the


rain on the just and the unjust, but which is which? If you are a man who


wants to marry a man or a woman who wants to marry a woman, the doors of


this magnificent building will remain closed to you stopped the


minister says it is a redefinition of what marriage is, a step too far,


but he was keen to stress that, as in parishes across the country,


every kind of person is welcome to play a full part in the life of the


community that worshipped here. The Kirk says safeguards in the law are


not robust enough. We are concerned that the scheme which the Scottish


government is promoting through the Scottish Parliament is full rubble


to challenge under European human rights legislation. We do not expect


there to be an immediate challenge, but there is a real prospect that,


in the future, there will be a challenge, perhaps a successful one,


and the church may be faced with a choice of either having to do all


marriages, same and different sex, or no marriages at all. Alan Watts


in a civil partnership. Until Malcolm died two years ago. This


week would have been their anniversary. We loved each other


ridiculously, we fought like cat and dog, but every couple does. However,


because we could, we thought we should, it would be the right thing


to do. It is not for everyone, but it was right for us, and it made


such a massive difference. Especially when Malcolm needed to


keep going back to hospital before he eventually died. Some of the


nursing staff, the older people, were a wee bit funny. But then, the


younger staff said, that is his husband. Is it his boyfriend? No, it


is his husband. That is the difference. Had we not been married,


I would have just been his boyfriend, no matter how long we had


been together. This couple met nine years ago when they were both


working on Edinburgh's ghost tours. They are in a civil partnership to.


Every marriage in the world is unique, it is between two unique


people, people have different things in common, and we are both women.


Somebody else might have in common that they both have run high, --


both have brown hair, there is so much judgement about what you can


and cannot have in common. 50 years ago, interracial marriage, you have


to have that in common. The pictures from the ceremony already looked


like a wedding, now they say they plan to get married as soon as they


can. The Scotsman says, BP boss's warning


on independence, and people celebrating same-sex marriage. I am


back tomorrow, good night. Another story spell of weather is


with us, more heavy rain and strong wind overnight, continuing into


tomorrow. Brief spells to the east and north, and there will be some


pride in this between heavy showers, but the wind will be especially


strong, maybe touching 80 miles an hour for western coast. The rain


will be on and off all day in Northern Ireland. For the north-west


of Scotland sunny spells. Rain throughout the day across the


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