Labour stalwart visits Cumbernauld to make pro-UK case

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 15:54 on 18 June 2014.
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Labour MP, Jim Murphy.

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LABOUR’S Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, Jim Murphy MP, came to Cumbernauld last week with nothing more than a soapbox and a message – Scotland should stay in the United Kingdom.

The Labour Member of Parliament for East Renfrewshire arrived in Cumbernauld last Sunday (15 June) to deliver a speech to local residents on why they should reject independence at the ballot box, in September. 

Mr Murphy spoke to a gathering of local residents as part of his ‘100 days tour’, where he wishes to travel to 100 towns and cities across Scotland to deliver the message of why he believes Scots should reject separation. 

When the Shadow Secretary arrived in Cumbernauld, he came with the battle cry ‘No Thanks’, and a message that “enough is enough with the hateful online attacks”.

Arriving in Cumbernauld with his “Irn-Bru crates”, the Shadow Secretary of State for International Development said he was “looking forward to meeting undecided voters,” adding: “I really enjoyed the start of the tour last week with meetings in Barrhead, Eriskay and Barra.”

Speaking on the street, Mr Murphy described the past week as “one of the most revealing of the last two years of referendum campaigning,” explaining that: “The week ended with Better Together having most of the energy and the SNP campaign increasingly angry.”

He added: “From President Obama, to our 100 days event, to JK Rowling, all the energy is with Better Together. We offered two clear messages. Firstly, the best of both worlds. Something all parties and most Scots can unite around. A real contrast to the increasingly divisive campaign of the nationalists.

“Secondly we offered a thoughtful 'No Thanks' in response to the shouty and dogmatic Yes campaign. We know that the decision undecided voters are coming to is a considered one. 'No Thanks' matches that sentiment. It is thoughtful, polite but firm. It’s clear that many undecided voters will say 'No thanks' because they want the best of both worlds.”

The Labour Party stalwart went on to say that “many middle of the road voters” were becoming “increasingly anxious” as the referendum on whether Scotland should become an independent country draws near. He described the referendum as an “irreversible decision”, adding that many people were “concerned about the tone of the debate,” explaining that: “only a 'No Thanks' vote offers the prospect of a United Scotland.”

“The problems the nationalists have with Scottish women voters were there in technicolor this week,” Mr Murphy said.

“First in the treatment of Clare Lally - at the hands of nationalists and then at the keyboard of First Ministers office.  Then the whole world had a window on the dark side of nationalism when the hateful and misogynistic attacks on JK Rowling went global.”

The East Renfrewshire MP said he was in Cumbernauld to “make the case that as a country we rightly have a zero tolerance view about violence against women. But for some reason too many people are willing to look the other way when an online mob rounds on women who want to stay part of the UK.”

He added: “Enough is enough. We can't have another three months where anonymous cowardly men try to intimidate thoughtful Scottish women. Some people seem to think that internet insults will decide this vote. They're wrong. It will be decided in the streets of towns and cities not by online smears and lies. 

“People want to hear arguments with passion not poison, they want questions answered not accusations of treason. For the sake of Scotland this debate cannot afford another week like last week. This isn't just Scotland's referendum we have to make sure it’s a free speech referendum.

“The SNP leadership has always said that these attacks come from a fringe. Scotland now knows that that was never true and it's a claim that we should never hear again. We now know that the email briefing that came from the heart of the Scottish government against Clare Lally was inspired by Wings Over Scotland - the flag ship blog for nationalist hardliners.

“The suspicion that the protests against the media, boycotts against companies and personal attacks on celebrities and experts are condoned by SNP HQ will only grow.

“The contrast between an angry and divisive SNP machine and the better future offered by the best of both worlds could not have been more stark.”

Scots will go the polls on September 18 and vote on the straightforward, ‘Yes/No’ question, ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’
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