Salmond likens Osborne to Thatcher in sterling row

Alex Salmond has compared George Osborne’s warnings over Scottish independence and ruling out of sharing sterling with Margaret Thatcher’s infamous “sermon on the mound” to Scottish Christians 25 years ago.

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People value 'the success' of the 300-year-old union

Margaret Curran
Labour MP Margaret Curran said Scottish opinion was "starting to settle" around the future of the welfare state. Credit: Daybreak/ITV

Scotland "gives a lot" to the UK and voters value "the success" of the union, the Shadow Secretary for Scotland has told Daybreak.

"The welfare state, we have built together - I think that benefits a lot of people and I think that really is where opinion is starting to settle in Scotland.

"Big debates still to be had, not complacent in any of that at all. It is a big, big decision.

"But I think it is the fundamental issues of our standards of living. If you can't tell us what kind of currency we are going to have, I think Alex Salmond is asking us to back a very, very bad idea."

Read: Salmond mocks Osborne's 'Sermon on the Pound'

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Salmond not facing up to weaknesses on sterling row

by - Political Editor
Alex Salmond speaking on Tuesday night in Westminster
Alex Salmond speaking in Westminster on Tuesday night Credit: ITV News

The 'Sermon on the Mound' was the time Margaret Thatcher went up and gave a speech to some extent talking about the theoretical underpinning to her ideas and a lot of Scots, particularly in the Church, took great exception to it.

Really what Alex Salmond was saying was that Scotland is different and has been different since those days - that it is a modern social democratic country and really ought to rule itself.

There are those who say that Scotland couldn't survive economically. He said that is ridiculous, and he is probably right - of course it could.

Read: Salmond likens Osborne to Thatcher in sterling row

Where he was weak tonight is on the currency. He is right to say that in the event of independence, politicans in London would be wanting a currency union in theory.

But it would be on quite strict terms and Salmond is left in the position of is saying: "Westminster wouldn't be in a position to dictate [to] us, they would want the currency union".

That, of course, will not be his call.

On that, and to some extent on Europe, he is not facing up to the weaknesses of his position.

But he would say that his opponents are not facing up to the reality that Scotland could perfectly well go it alone.

Salmond likens Osborne to Thatcher in sterling row

Alex Salmond speaks at the New Statesman lecture in Westminster
Alex Salmond said George Osborne's warnings over Scottish independence would prove to be a "monumental error". Credit: Jonathan Brady - PA

Alex Salmond has compared George Osborne’s warnings over Scottish independence with Margaret Thatcher’s infamous “sermon on the mound” to Scottish Christians 25 years ago.

In her 1988 speech in Edinburgh, Thatcher was seen as using her religious convictions to justify policies to a part of the UK that largely rejected them.

The Scottish first minister said the chancellor’s decision to rule out a currency share with an independent Scotland would equally be seen as a "monumental error" in the run up to September’s referendum.

In the Westminster lecture, hosted by the New Statesman, Salmond also criticised the UK government’s “Dambusters strategy”, with the prime minister appealing for Scots to remain in the union while Osborne warned they would lose the pound.

"We were love-bombed from a distance by David Cameron, then dive-bombed at close range by George Osborne,” he said.

Salmond to condemn Chancellor's currency 'error'

The Chancellor's decision to rule out sharing currency with an independent Scotland will prove to be a "monumental error", First Minister Alex Salmond will declare.

Mr Salmond is expected to say in a lecture tonight: "In the last three weeks people in Scotland have seen an array of approaches from the UK Government - what they apparently call their 'Dambusters' strategy.

File photo of Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond.
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond is taking part in a hosted by the New Statesman in London tonight. Credit: PA Wire

"We were love-bombed from a distance by David Cameron, then dive-bombed at close range by George Osborne.

"Scotland will not be a foreign country after independence, any more than Ireland, Northern Ireland, England or Wales could ever be foreign countries to Scotland".

Read: Alex Salmond tells ITV News' Martin Geissler he is not prepared for a 'No' vote

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Only 32% 'would vote yes to Scottish independence'

Scottish and British flags held up over Edinburgh, Scotland
The 'no' camp remains firmly in the lead ahead of September's Scottish independence referendum, according to the STV poll Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Scotland remains unlikely to vote in favour of independence in September's referendum, a new poll has suggested.

The survey by Ipsos Mori for STV News found 57% saying they would vote 'No', compared to 32% voting in favour of secession and 11% who are still undecided.

STV's polling indicated little change in the last three months.

There was some hope for independence campaigners, though: the poll results indicated those currently undecided would be more inclined to a 'Yes' vote come decision day on 18 September.