And all this leaves Alistair Darling as the Tory Prime Minister’s puppet. When Cameron can’t front up, it is a Labour MP who steps forward to do his work for him. Darling has just become the Tory Party’s Save the Union mouthpiece. Leading a united campaign of Unionist parties including Cameron’s Conservatives is one thing, replacing him is quite another.
If a televised debate is now an essential aspect of our politics, it is a Prime Minister’s duty to participate and represent his side – on behalf of all the people he represents. In fact, look at it another way, Darling should have told Cameron that it was his duty to speak up against Salmond head-to-head and should have made clear that he (Darling) would only debate with Salmond after the Salmond-Cameron programme.
It rather proves my point that Darling is the willing stooge that he hasn’t done so. The words: “But it’s your responsibility, Prime Minister,” should be ringing in Cameron’s ears. So the deal clearly is that Cameron can’t stand up in part of the United Kingdom, which he governs, because he is a Tory who can’t command respect. What better evidence could you have of a failing United Kingdom…of a kingdom which is in decline and no longer represents Scots? Our county, Scotland, is a NoGo Area for the leader of the United Kingdom. He requires an anointed placeman to state his case on his behalf. Darling is now the Tory Prime Minister’s Lord Lieutenant. No doubt, like the Queen’s loyal representatives, he will be on hand to greet his Chief when he deigns to turn up on foreign soil.
Why not turn this debate scenario round…if Salmond had refused to debate with Cameron on television, can you imagine the apoplexy in the Unionist media? If Salmond said he would stand aside and let Dennis Canavan debate with Cameron, because he is the leader of the Yes campaign, can you picture the jeering headlines, the endless laughter and incredulity that would have caused?
Darling is getting Cameron off the hook, acting as his agent and front man in Scotland. However Miliband tries to distance himself from the policies – and that’s a limited effort – Labour is standing shoulder to shoulder with the London neo-cons and their right to introduce their policies throughout the Union. In fact that is what this referendum is about. Labour is saying: We disagree with Tory policies but we will defend to the death their right to make them – here in Scotland.
The current myth is that Cameron shouldn’t debate with Salmond because it’s a decision for the Scots alone. But this isn’t a decision, it’s only a debate. We will decide for ourselves, all we’re asking is that Cameron does what he did for the General Election and appears on television with his opponent. He can’t argue it isn’t important either, as those debates won Clegg a place in government. And, surely his argument about it being a Scots-only affair falls at the first hurdle because he himself says this a matter for the whole UK. So one day it is, the next day it isn’t.
And if it’s true only the Scots who are the voters should be playing all the key roles, why doesn’t he condemn the donation of £500,000 to the No campaign by Ian Taylor of Vitol who doesn’t have a vote in the referendum? Double standards, perhaps?
So we now have the disgraced Chancellor, a man whose morals evaporate when money is mentioned – half a million from the revolting Vitol source, more than the First Minister’s salary in outside earnings and flipping his house four times – on the stage as a Tory puppet, his mouth opening and closing as Cameron pulls the strings.
There is something of the music hall grotesque about this unedifying old pals act embarrassing themselves this way. And for what? To prevent the Scots standing up for themselves and implementing policies that suit them. Independence is about self respect, something Alistair and Labour seem to have misplaced.