Its a really long speech (currently up at Labourhame.) I suppose you could have a read but its the usual frothy Labour/Better Together/not-of-this-world puff piece and really fucking boring to boot, (I swear to underline just how boring it is.) I did want to mention a couple of things though because he was on the radio this morning having a mither about the independence debate during which he came out with a number of howlers, the most memorable being that support for Independence has fallen when in fact going by the most recent poll information, the don't knows increased at the expense of the no crowd; the yes vote stayed the same.
Moving along though, it is common for BT'ers to cite Scottish Nationalism as being bad, for example and I apologise in advance, Alexander will tell people tonight:
"I believe the Nationalists’ approach can best be understood in this way: they aimed to campaign around the ‘inevitability’ of independence, founded on identity.
But that campaign of identity has failed and they are now attempting to recover by offering, however unconvincingly, a campaign of ideology.
Let me start with their original failure: To convince us that after their historic victories independence was inevitable.
It seems to me that their original strategy was to try and build on their unexpected success in May 2007, followed by their even more unexpected (even by them!) majority in 2011 and use this momentum to create a sense of both inevitability and invincibility around the nationalist cause.The aim, as always, was to equate nationalism with patriotism, the philosophy of self determination with one version of constitutional structures, and convince or co-opt the public into support for independence."
It's the last paragraph, equating nationalism with patriotism then using it as cudgel to obtain a vote for self-determination. The gonk then later goes on to say:
"Indeed, the 2012 Games showcased the very best of our country and gave us the opportunity to celebrate what unites us: perhaps again to our surprise we found afresh that we in these islands are a pluralistic, and outward looking family of nations, confident and capable when working together towards a common endeavour."
You'll not need many guesses to know which games he'll be yacking on about tonight, Douglas goes on at some length (unfortunately) extolling the virtues of the Olympics in 2012 and how it brought the country together and encouraged a sense of ident-
Hold on a minute?
A wee minute ago Douglas, you were saying its bad to equate nationalism with patriotism? I saw a wee bit of the Olympics (you couldn't avoid it) and it was an orgy of Britishness, it was shamelessly so and do you know what, I don't really mind, what country wouldn't sell its self under those circumstance.
Just leave the double standard at the door would you?
My main point, which has become something of an after thought, although it is potentially a lot more important is this:
"The choice to stay together will create an opportunity for politicians to lay the ground for a way of doing politics differently.
A time where politicians no longer speak about ‘the people of
’ but instead the people speak and the politicians listen, deliberate and decide. Scotland
So this evening I ask: Could we in 2015 gather together a National Convention – “Gathering 25 years on from the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention, this National Convention would look beyond an agenda of constitutional change."
2025″ – to chart a new vision for an old nation for the next decade? Scotland
Despite repeated demands made by Better Together, Unionist parties and in this case Douglas Alexander for Yes Scotland and the SNP to provide details and facts in the event of a Yes vote in 2014. In terms of a no vote, what you'll get is a National Convention which will deliver its findings on constitutional change not in the run up to 2014 so you'll know what you'll get for your no vote; but in 2025.
In political circles this is usually known as the Jam Tomorrow Gambit. Will this jam keep till 2025?
I know this is boring, although if you got this far down kudos to you for sticking with it. There is information out there on what Scotland would be like if it became independent, I don't wish to sound trite but, its called Wikipedia. You can search for info about other countries and get an idea of what independence means for people in Scotland (please don't search for North Korea, its not a good example.)
As a starting point, look at our other neighbours, Denmark has been in the news a lot recently, they do things very differently, some of which works, some not so much so, if I can ask one final thing though, have a quick read of this.
"UK savers are currently retiring with pension pots worth 50% less than some of their European counterparts, despite having invested the same amount of money, because of an array of hidden charges. With innocuous-sounding fees of 2.5% the pension funds can grab nearly half of a lifetime’s savings, without the pension saver ever realising that their retirement fund was being syphoned off by a banking system designed to benefit big business over individual savers."
(You can click on it for a more in depth explanation on pensions.)
I wonder why Douglas isn't mentioning that tonight in his speech?