Two speeches in one day by leading politicians. Could it get any better?
The first one delivered by dear old Alistair Darling. He who now has time on his hands having been evicted from Number 11. He’s now leading the ‘No’ campaign to keep Scotland from ‘buying a one way ticket’ out of the Union.
The thrust of how he and the cross-unionist party intend convincing the Scottish people to stay in the Union is that all of us on these Isles are ‘Better together.’
‘We’re positive about being a proud nation within a larger state and the far wider range of opportunities for our people that this creates.’
In the book 1066 and all: there were according to the authors 103 Good Things in history. Now Alistair Darling will add the104th ‘Good thing’ and that is, staying in the Union. And presumably listening to Alex Salmond would be a very ‘bad thing’ indeed.
But whilst the ex-Chancellor was fighting for the the Union, the First Lord of the Treasury was putting a very different gloss on what it means to be part of the Union.
The Prime Minister was all from moving from the national to the regional. Forget the ‘one nation’ when money is involved. No, he wants the nations and regions to be different when it comes to hard cash.
Mr Cameron is of the view that benefit levels affect work incentives and as wage rates vary around the country. His reasoning is that what someone receives in benefits compared to what they potentially get by going into a job has an impact on the incentives they face.
So in 1066 speak, national pay and national benefits is a ‘bad thing.’ So the Scots and the Welsh getting less benefits and less wages would be a thoroughly ‘good thing’ according to Mr Cameron.
Now whilst Mr Darling has put on his kilt and busies himself with campaigning to convince the Scots that the Union provides them with ‘shared political, economical and cultural institutions.’ The Prime Minister wants to save cash. He’s happy to see a breakdown in some of these shared economic institutions if that means the Treasury paying less to the ordinary Taff or Jock.
‘Better together’ certainly won’t mean ‘Better off, together’ if Number 10 gets its way.
Because of editing commitments over the next month this blog will not be appearing, but normal service will be resumed towards the end of July.