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Salmond: Flat demolition scrapping a 'sensible decision'

The Red Road flats in Glasgow that were due to be demolished as part of the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.
The Red Road flats in Glasgow that were due to be demolished as part of the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has welcomed the decision taken by Glasgow 2014 organisers to drop the demolition of the Red Road flats from the Opening Ceremony.

"I think it's a sensible decision that will be widely welcomed and we've already seen indications of that," he said.

Carolyn Leckie praised 'people power' after the flat demolition was dropped.
Carolyn Leckie praised 'people power' after the flat demolition was dropped. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Archive

Former Scottish Socialist MSP Carolyn Leckie said she was 'relieved and extremely pleased' with the move.

"I think it's great, it's a sensible decision. I think everybody will be relieved and I think the over-17,000 people who expressed their views in the petition - making a lot of sensible comments, some of which were also based on safety - will be relieved," she said.

Vote not for SNP but for Scotland's future says Salmond

Alex Salmond is to echo his deputy's call for Labour voters to back Scottish independence, saying a Yes vote is not about the SNP.

At his party's conference in Aberdeen the Scottish First Minister will say "a Yes vote in September is not a vote for me, or for an SNP government in 2016.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon used her own speech yesterday to reach out to Labour supporters, as ITV News' Martin Geissler reports.

Salmond will also say that independence negotiations between Scotland and the rest of the UK could start within days of a Yes vote in the referendum.

He will say that if there is a Yes vote in the referendum "an all-party 'Team Scotland' negotiating group, including non-SNP members, will be convened".

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Salmond: 'Bluff and bluster' over pound is just tactics

First Minister Alex Salmond has told Sky News that all the talk not sharing the sterling if Scotland votes Yes for Independence is all "bluff and bluster".

First Minister Alex Salmond says the threat of not sharing Sterling is a campaign tactic. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

He also reiterated that that on the polls, the Yes campaign is gaining ground and that the best people to govern are the people who "live and work in the country".

Responding on the Murnaghan programme on Sky News to an article on the Guardian on an independent Scotland, Salmond said that all this "bluff and bluster about not sharing sterling is a campaign tactic."

Salmond said the 'No' campaign is trying to 'scare the natives' by insisting there will not be a currency union.

Sharing sterling after independence 'best option'

Sharing sterling after independence is the best option for Scotland, First Minister Alex Salmond has insisted, but added that there is a plan B, C, D, E and F.

Read: Carney: RBS might have to leave independent Scotland

First Minister Alex Salmond insists on sharing sterling after Scottish independence Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The Scottish Government favours a formal monetary union, in which an independent Scotland would continue to share the pound, but this arrangement has been ruled out by Chancellor George Osborne and the main parties at Westminster.

Speaking on BBC's Andrew Marr show, Mr Salmond said: "We're as entitled to share [sterling] as the people in London and therefore if you claim ownership over that currency like Ed Balls and George Osborne are doing then unfortunately you claim ownership over all the debts of the United Kingdom.

"That's why people in Scotland are seeing through the bluff and the bluster."

Read: Scottish independence 'a threat to safety and security'

Read ITV News Economics Editor Richard Edgar's blog

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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