07/09/2014 Sunday Politics Scotland


07/09/2014

The latest political news, interviews and debate in Scotland.


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Good morning and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland.

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The Chancellor, George Osborne, says the UK parties will shortly

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announce a new package of powers for the Scottish Parliament to be

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implemented if there is a "No" vote in the referendum.

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It follows the publication of opinion polls showing

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As Glasgow's Hydro plays host to a debate for young voters on Thursday,

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three young members of Generation 2014 tell us what they think.

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Well, this is a morning in which the cat is truly out stalking

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Within the last couple of hours, the Chancellor of the Exchequer,

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George Osborne, has announced that a new package of fiscal powers

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for Scotland has been agreed by the Westminster parties and will be

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unveiled - together with a timetable for its implementation -

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His announcement comes as the political world is in uproar after

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an opinion poll showed the "Yes" campaign in the referendum with

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The "Yes" campaign is in a state of seventh heaven.

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The Better Together campaign is scrabbling frantically for something

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We'll be talking to the Scottish Secretary, Alistair Carmichael, and

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The poll which is causing all the fuss - by YouGov for

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The Sunday Times - indicates that a narrow majority of Scottish voters

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Excluding undecided voters, it puts support for independence

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Another poll published today by Panelbase for the Yes Scotland

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campaign gives a "no" vote a narrow lead.

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Joining me now is Jason Allardyce, the Scottish political editor

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It has the potential to rock Britain, doesn't it? Now they are

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two points ahead and we are seeing panic measured being desperately

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dreamt up by Unionists to see if there is any way to turn this round.

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As a political journalist, with your nose to the ground, what is your

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sense? Is it that Better Together are panicking?

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Yes because I think the campaign director has taken a lot of comfort

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that although some have pointed to a momentum towards independence,

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YouGov is the opinion poll company he has tried to calm the trips with

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Andy Shill -- still shows a lead for Better Together. So with this result

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today it has taken the sales out of the Better Together campaign.

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But it is just one poll. It is within the margin of error so as

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they themselves say, it shows a statistical dead heat. Apart from

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that, there are if you are other questions about the poll, aren't

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they? YouGov have had eight cap of 22 points about a month ago. So that

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would be a swing of something like 25 points towards "yes". A swing

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which does not have been picked up why any other pollsters. They

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show... That is a seismic change. Can we really be confident it is

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actually telling us what is happening out on the streets of

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Scotland or is it telling us more about YouGov's methodology?

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It isn't an exact science and there have been previous issues in other

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elections with poles being far right. They have tried very hard to

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analyse the data over the past week or so to make sure it is an accurate

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measure. He looked back to make sure these are people whose clearly

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indicated another preference months ago. There seems to be a shift. They

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have gone back to check what people were saying. They said people said

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months ago... Be important thing isn't so much their headline voting

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intention figure but if you drill down into it to what people are

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thinking about currency, the economy would be better or worse off,

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whether they think we should be out of Europe. And something that we

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should -- else we should mention is gender because there seems to be

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evidence that, interestingly, although the panel piece for the

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"Yes" campaign seems to show they are behind but William -- women seem

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to be willing to vote for them. Yes and there is a survey of a

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thousand women in Scotland. It is not scientific, just a snapshot of

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opinion amongst months net members but that shows in favour of

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independence to. Dash-mac a social website for mums.

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Do you think there is something dramatic is enough at this late

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stage? I suppose the change towards the temp one campaign has been

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pretty sudden. If we are going towards something approaching Devo

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Max is seems to be the right time. We've had three years to prepare for

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this. The poll today shows that David Cameron has a trust rating of

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-50. So there is an issue of whether people believe that these things can

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be delivered. Another significant thing in today's poll is that, for

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the first time, I believe, more are indicating support for independence

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than more powers so maybe that should be pursued.

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Thank you. I'm joined now by the Secretary of

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State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael, who is in our Orkney

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studio. A couple of hours ago, George Osborne said a new plan of

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action would be announced in the next few days and the three main

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political parties at Westminster have agreed specific measures to be

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implemented. There will be eight timetable for implementing them

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which will take effect the minute there is a "no" vote. What is new?

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This is something I've been speaking about for some time. You will recall

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I made a speech in June making it clear that once there was a "no"

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vote then we would convene a conference for Scotland. He didn't

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mention that. He was talking about a plan of action. You will get to the

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announcement when it comes and I will not give it to you here and

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now, but I still believe that the consensus in Scotland, which is a

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unifying consensus, is one that wants to see a Scottish parliament

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with more powers but still within the United Kingdom. Remember, we've

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already delivered more powers and they are still to come on stream. As

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of next year, there will be powers for income tax, Stamp duty land tax

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and borrowing powers and they are difficult which have been already

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guaranteed. They are being implemented.

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There is some confusion here. George Osborne didn't mention that there

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will be a conference if there is a no vote. He said they've had talks

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with the Lib Dems and Labour and we've agreed a plan of action for

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more and new powers over the welfare state, over the economy and over

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taxation and we've agreed a timetable to start implementing

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them. You seem to be saying something different, that there will

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be a conference to discuss all these things falls.

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No, what I'm saying is, as has always been the case, there has to

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be a process that involves other people apart from the political

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parties. I will not give the exclusive of what you will hear

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later in the week, but it is clear that there is a growing willingness

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and there always has been, to deliver more powers because that is

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where the consensus lies. It is quite clear from all the opinion

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polls is that the question of independence is one which is

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dividing Scotland very much. If you want to build a consensus that we

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can all move behind and I would hope this will involve the Scottish

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Nationalists ultimate beat, the way in which you will build consensus is

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around more powers. That only becomes relevant if we get a no

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vote. What we need to be talking about is what would be the reality

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of an independent Scotland. Nationalists keep talking about this

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as some great movement and moment but it is no such thing. It is an

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irreversible decision. I am still confused. You seem to be saying

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coming different from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. No, I have already

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said I completely agree. Let me make a simple point, if you have agreed,

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as Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives, new proposals, given

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the Scottish Conservatives are proposing to devolve all powers over

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income tax and Scottish and Labour are not proposing that, what have

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you agreed to do? That is where you keep inviting me

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to give you the exclusive. But it is getting the -- a bit late for the

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usual evasive answers, isn't it? With respect both ways here, this

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will be made clear in a few days. I know you would love to have it now

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but I cannot give it to you now. But, if they're now an agreement

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amongst Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems on precisely what

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powers over income tax will be devolved to the Scottish

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Parliament? Just tell me that there is a deal.

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Now you are asking me instead of telling you about the packaged...

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No, I'm not. I won't fall for it. But it's not a try. Tell me if there

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is an agreement. Labour want to be hearing, not just about the RSS and

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the polls and the rest of it, they will one to hear about the issues

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and what it will mean for them... Tell me if there is an agreement.

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What it will mean for them to have a ?6 billion deficit in Scotland and

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its spending powers. You don't have to tell me what the agreement is but

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just tell me if there is an agreement. Gordon, I don't see

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what's so difficult here. You've already got the Chancellor 's words

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on what has been agreed. You will get the detail in a few days time.

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If I were Alex Salmond, and far be it for me to put words in his mouth

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and he will appear shortly, I think you would say we only hear about

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this sort of stuff when the "Yes" campaign is winning. The truth is

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that my party has been outlining proposals for 18 months and the

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Conservatives have had their proposals out for six months. We

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have all been working on this. There is a large amount of consensus but

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it only becomes relevant if we decide to remain part of the United

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Kingdom. A United Kingdom that has delivered a great deal that is good

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in Scotland and which offers as a single jobs market across the whole

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of the UK, a leader on the world stage and you don't walk away from

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that lightly. A couple of weeks ago you offered to

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join Team Scotland if there is a yes vote. Given the way the polls are

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going, shall I get Alex Salmond to give you a ring later? He has my

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number and I take a call from him any time he once. I think it is

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quite legitimate to ask him as well. We are talking seriously about more

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powers. In the past, they've always walked away from that. If there is a

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"no" votes, will they do as they've always done in in the past and walk

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away from the difficult process of building consensus will they come to

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the and talk and I think some -- that is something people would be

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interested in listening to. Listening in the first -- in our

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Inverness studio is the First Minister. What do you make of all

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these promises that George Osborne and... I'm not sure Alistair

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Carmichael is saying the same thing but he says he is. Alistair Darling

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couldn't name one single job-creating power that was going to

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come to the Scottish parliament if we made the mistake of voting "no".

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Now we are expected to believe that, secret leak, after hundreds of

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thousands of people have already voted, there is a radical new deal

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on the constitution agreed by the Westminster parties. There is one in

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the Constitution and its called independence. Are you saying you

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don't believe they'll come up with anything? What we believe is that

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they are not serious. This is a panicky, last-minute measure because

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the "Yes" campaign is winning on the ground. Evidence is overwhelming.

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Not just that Alistair Darling couldn't mention a single power last

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meet .Mac week, but -- last week but he wasn't willing to confirm. Having

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failed to scare the Scottish people, they next one to try to bribe is --

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bribe us but they have no credibility left. We, as a

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community, can secure independence a week on Thursday.

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As a politician you would say to me, and you have said to me many times,

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what would happen in the event of a no vote, you look on the bright

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side, but you what also the First Minister of Scotland so you must

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entertain the possibility that there might be a no vote and in that case,

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if they do put together a package of new powers, aren't you as the

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Scottish government going to be saying, couldn't we be involved in

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this? In these circumstances, the Scottish Parliament has two vote on

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that. That's the situation as it stands and I've made it clear that I

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will work for Scotland and greater powers for Scotland under all

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circumstances. But you are right to say, particularly now as the

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campaign moves towards its climax and hundreds of thousands have

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already voted, things on the ground and in the communities in Scotland

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are moving firmly in the US direction. -- yes direction. It is

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because of the lack of confidence in the Westminster elite. I negotiated

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with George Osborne and David Cameron two years ago to get this

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referendum. At that stage, they weren't even prepared to allow Devo

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Max to go on the ballot paper. Now we're expected to believe that if

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they get a no vote, the day after that they are going to introduce

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what they weren't even prepared to allow on the ballot paper two years

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ago. That's why these people have no credibility left and that's why I

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believe people will vote to take matters into our hands a week on

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Thursday by voting yes. You've mentioned the postal votes a couple

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of times. Are you suggesting there is something democratically in

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proper about the British Government coming up with new proposals after

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the voting has already taken place? I suggesting it shows the chaos and

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confusion and total disintegration of the no campaign because if you

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were serious about something and wanted to do something for Scotland,

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you would announce it before people voted as opposed after many people

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have voted. This is a reaction to the movement on the ground and

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particularly to the first opinion poll to show yes in the lead. It is

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overwhelming. We don't have to go back to 1979 but it was the case

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then that Alex Douglas Hume said that if you only trust the

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Conservatives, they would introduce a better Scottish Parliament and

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what we got was 18 years of Tory rule and Margaret Thatcher's

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deindustrialisation of Scotland. Sir Alec Douglas who was a lot more

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trustworthy than George Osborne will ever be. I presume we don't even

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have to ask you how elated you buy this opinion poll. Are you still the

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underdog? Yes, we've been the underdog throughout this campaign

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and are fighting through that position. How can you be the

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underdog when you are head in the polls? It is one pole and we haven't

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relied on opinion polls throughout the campaign and we going to start

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now. We are relying on persuading our fellow citizens that a radical

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new constitutional deal is available to us by taking Scotland's future

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into Scotland's hands. We have many more conversations and converts to

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make. It is that positive message that is winning is this campaign and

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that's why we'll continue to fight and campaign from that position. One

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of the other things George Osborne said this morning - and he was very

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emphatic - is that there would be no currency union if Scotland votes to

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become independent. I know you think he's bluffing but particularly,

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perhaps, if the polls are now moving in your direction, don't you have to

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rethink a strategy of an currency when you're asking the Scottish

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people to take it on trust from you that the Prime Minister, the

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Chancellor of the Exchequer, the leaders of the labour and Lib Dem

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parties, are all lying? Your word not mine but surely the development

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this morning rather reinforces the bluffing position. Clearly they've

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been bluffing this far on the constitution, the same way they only

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said a few weeks ago that these three separate parties had three

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separate proposals, weekend and said that though they were, and we're now

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told that as a bluff and they have a different set of proposals which

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will be announced later this week. I put it to the view is that if they

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were prepared to bluff on the central issue of powers for the

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Scottish Parliament, the same parties and people are able to bluff

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on the currency. Their problem is that that bluff has been called

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overwhelmingly by the Scottish people. But if you want to be the

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government of an independent country, it's time you started

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acting like one. Just on practical measures, if you have to set up a

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central bank, it isn't going to come out of thin air. Surely you are

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going to have to start planning right now to but the architecture in

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place for whatever one of your plan Bs you want to have to implement

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should there not be a currency union, and demonstrate that you are

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serious. At architecture is in the fiscal commission's report,

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including the setting up of... That's a report. You need to

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actually set the thing up. It's also in the White Paper. You're asking

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about architecture and I'm saying we've laid out the architecture, for

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a conduct authority. We have the plans in place and these are what

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we've laid out the Scottish people and unlike the no campaign

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spiralling into self-destruction, we don't have to cobble something

:21:46.:21:48.

together in the last few days because we've thought through that

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and we've presented a positive case for Scotland's future in Scottish

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hands. Thank you for joining us. Let's cross now for the news.

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The Chancellor has confirmed the UK Government is to set out plans in

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the next few days to give Scotland further powers, in the event

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Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr, George Osborne said

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the plans were being agreed by all three major parties in Westminster.

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You will see in the next few days a plan of action to give more powers

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to Scotland, more tax powers, more spending powers, more plans powers

:22:35.:22:38.

the welfare state, and that will be put into effect - timetable for

:22:39.:22:45.

delivering that will be put into effect - the moment there is a no

:22:46.:22:50.

vote in the referendum. But the Deputy First Minister Nicola

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Sturgeon said it was too late in the campaign for new measures to be

:22:54.:22:56.

announced. There is no option of more powers short of independence on

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the ballot paper. There is no guarantee whatsoever that of

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Scotland votes no we will get a single additional power for the

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Scottish Parliament. If people want the powers we need to protect our

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public services, but at the health services, ensure we can create jobs

:23:11.:23:15.

and grow our economy, the only way to get that is to vote for the

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powers that a yes vote will deliver. Meanwhile, two polls released today

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suggest the difference between the campaigns is narrowing, with one,

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by YouGov, giving the "yes" vote The other shows a small majority in

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favour of remaining part of the UK. Some

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of Royal Mail's busiest delivery offices will open today, allowing

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customers to collect parcels Delivery offices in Edinburgh,

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Glasgow and Inverness are included It's just one of the changes being

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made in an attempt to make Scotland kick off their campaign

:23:44.:23:48.

to qualify for the 2016 European They're in Dortmund to take

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on the world champions, Germany. Darren Fletcher will captain

:23:56.:24:02.

the Scots for the first time Now here is Gillian for a look at

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the weather. A nice afternoon for most of us as

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high pressure dominates but we've got a weather front still plaguing

:24:20.:24:23.

the north-east, which will continue to bring persistent and, at times,

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heavy rain to the Northern Isles. Elsewhere across the country, winds

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fairly light with the best of the sunshine in the South West.

:24:33.:24:35.

That's all for now, I'll hand you back to Gordon in the studio.

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Both campaigns have targeted 16 and 17-year-olds voting for

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But what questions do young people feel have been left unanswered?

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Well, I'm joined by a group from our Generation 2014 project - James,

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who is an undecided voter, Amina, who is voting "yes", and Natalie,

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You chose quite a good morning to come in! It's all happening. James,

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you're undecided. What have you made a developer is overnight? They've

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been really interesting. I personally don't go under the same

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banner of undecided now. I'm unconvinced.

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Both sides have good points and quite bad points that may be need to

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be addressed more but I think this new surge in the poll saying that

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the yes side is now in the lead has may made people's ears prick up a

:25:29.:25:33.

bit and people might say, wait a minute... I'm furious. Would you be

:25:34.:25:39.

influenced by the fact that there is a surge in the polls for one surge

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or the other. If it's about arguments that you are unconvinced,

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would you catch the bug? If there was a big move into yes, would you

:25:48.:25:52.

think, I'll just go with that? I wouldn't make my own decision just

:25:53.:25:57.

based on anybody else. I would pay attention to it, to people's

:25:58.:26:02.

arguments why there has been a surge towards the yes side, so there may

:26:03.:26:05.

have been developed that I haven't heard of yet, just by chance. So it

:26:06.:26:11.

might have been that they've come up with a new argument that might

:26:12.:26:14.

really interest me. I'm into the arts. There might be something about

:26:15.:26:17.

job opportunities or training opportunities in the arts. That's

:26:18.:26:21.

something that has been spoken about that much, but maybe that's the

:26:22.:26:24.

reason why there has been such a surge. Natalie, what have you made

:26:25.:26:32.

of it? I'm not sure I'm any clearer about what it is that George Osborne

:26:33.:26:35.

and Alistair Carmichael are proposing between them but what is

:26:36.:26:40.

your sense? You want to vote no but you busy with the think that the

:26:41.:26:44.

campaign is in a bit of trouble. Not really. We're talking about a 2%

:26:45.:26:48.

difference and it is in the two present margin of error, so I don't

:26:49.:26:53.

think there should be that big a panic about the fact that it has

:26:54.:26:57.

gone slightly in the yes campaign's favour. Maybe the better together

:26:58.:27:02.

campaign just need to up their game a bit. But apart from that... Can

:27:03.:27:09.

you think of what they could do to up their game because presumably

:27:10.:27:11.

they're getting as many people out on the street as they can, like the

:27:12.:27:18.

yes campaign. What should they do? Maybe they should try targeting

:27:19.:27:22.

different people because I'm actually not... Maybe there has been

:27:23.:27:26.

a lot not aware of anything that has been targeted at the 16 and

:27:27.:27:31.

17-year-olds who are voting. There's quite a lot of us and it's worth

:27:32.:27:37.

targeting us because a lot of us are still undecided, like James, or

:27:38.:27:45.

unconvinced, and... Spit white he's created a whole new polling

:27:46.:27:48.

category! Amina, you're going to vote yes. Presumably you like the

:27:49.:27:55.

polls. Do you find anything attractive in what George Osborne or

:27:56.:27:59.

Alistair Carmichael is saying? They're going to come with a plan

:28:00.:28:02.

that should and give Scotland lots more powers so you don't have to

:28:03.:28:07.

vote yes - you can vote no and things will change. I think on the

:28:08.:28:10.

yes side, their plans for what would happen have not been outlined but

:28:11.:28:17.

having more devolved powers such as Scotland staying in the union, they

:28:18.:28:22.

are just promises to try and encourage... Obviously, the yes side

:28:23.:28:27.

have gone up by lot now in all the recent polls and I think the people

:28:28.:28:31.

on the side of the union are trying to give you all these things just to

:28:32.:28:36.

put people away from the idea of being in an independent Scotland and

:28:37.:28:43.

I don't think it's going to happen. You've told us which way you are all

:28:44.:28:47.

inclining Ann Jones has come up with a new category and I'm curious now,

:28:48.:28:53.

Amina, about whether you think the way in which this debate has been

:28:54.:28:56.

conducted is actually meaningful to younger people. James has already

:28:57.:29:01.

hinted at some things that he thinks should have been taught about which

:29:02.:29:03.

haven't been. What is your sense of that? Like James, I'm involved in

:29:04.:29:08.

traditional music and I'm interested in the arts and I don't think that's

:29:09.:29:12.

been outlined so it could have been in the White Paper, stuff to do with

:29:13.:29:17.

the arts and Gaelic music and culture which hasn't been talked

:29:18.:29:20.

about in this debate very well. As far as targeting young people, the

:29:21.:29:26.

Yes Scotland campaign have done a much better job than the Better

:29:27.:29:30.

Together campaign. What is your sense, Natalie? You've told us you

:29:31.:29:36.

want to vote no but do you think young people are being engaged by

:29:37.:29:41.

the way in which the politicians are conducting the debate? Well, yes. I

:29:42.:29:46.

know many people who have watched the big debating with Alex Salmond

:29:47.:29:54.

and Alistair Darling... I'm sorry to interrupt you. We've had a slight

:29:55.:29:57.

technical problem and we're at the end of the programme. Thanks for

:29:58.:30:01.

joining us. We'll be back next week.

:30:02.:30:04.

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