1. ITV Report

Feel the love, Scotland!

The Prime Minister hopes that is the message which resonates north of the Border after his speech in London today.

David Cameron claimed he was not addressing the Scots but those in the rest of the UK.

People in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales do not have a vote in September’s independence referendum, the Prime Minister said.

But he argued they do have a voice and, not surprisingly as a Unionist, he wants them to use that voice to urge Scotland to remain part of the UK.

In Mr Cameron’s words: “Let the message ring out…we want you to stay.”

The Prime Minister has urged the other UK nations to tell Scotland “we want you to stay” Credit: PA

Now, modern politicians rarely just turn up anywhere and make a speech.

The Prime Minister’s sees his choice of venue as symbolic: the Olympic velodrome where Sir Chris Hoy, as he is now, won all those gold medals.

Remember Scotland’s most famous sports star, draped in the Union flag doing laps of honour? Or close to tears as the UK national anthem played?

Yes, that’s the idea.

As Mr Cameron put it the best thing for him about the Olympics was the “red white and blue” of team GB.

He wants team GB to stay together politically and he hopes invoking the Olympic spirit – and calling to his aid the people of the rest of the UK - will help that.

The Scottish National Party see it rather differently.

I spoke to Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon about the PM’s speech and she was not feeling the love. Quite the opposite.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is less than pleased with the Prime Ministers speech Credit: PA

Ms Sturgeon was furious at what she, and her party, see as the usurping of the Olympic spirit for political purposes.

Not only that but Ms Sturgeon, in typically combative language, said Mr Cameron was being “cowardly” in making this speech but still refusing to debate independence with First Minister, Alex Salmond.

The Prime Minister “hasn’t got the guts” to come to Scotland to deliver the speech, Ms Sturgeon said.

Mr Cameron has, up to now, refused Mr Salmond’s challenges to debate saying he “saw that one coming” and that it is for Scots to join battle face to face.

He is unlikely to change his mind despite continuous SNP provocation and some polling evidence Scots would like to see such a clash.

For good measure, Ms Sturgeon added the speech was “a tawdry bid” to use the Olympic games as “a political tool” and exposed the “utter hypocrisy and double standards” at the heart of the pro-Union camp.

Now the Nationalists’ opponents may find this a bit rich and point to the famous incident at Wimbledon when Mr Salmond, sitting behind Mr Cameron, whipped out a Saltire to celebrate Any Murray’s win.

But leaving aside these jibes and counter-jibes, the waiving of Saltires or Union flags, the latest exchanges go to the heart of the independence debate.

A lot of the recent disputes have been over technical issues like whether an independent Scotland could share the pound Sterling or become an automatic member of the EU.

These are, of course, vitally important matters and need, as far as possible, to be answered.

But Mr Cameron and Ms Sturgeon are, from their different points of view, engaging in a more emotion debate today – an attempt to win over hearts as well as minds.

Unionists believe the majority north of the Border are both proudly Scottish and comfortable with their Britishness – happy to cheer on team GB at the Olympics. And be part of political team GB too.

Nationalists, while accepting that Scots do have a British identity to a greater or lesser extent, believe that the Scottish part is now dominant and will manifest itself in a ‘Yes’ vote in September.

In the end, the voters of Scotland will decide.

For now it is clear that is little love lost between Unionists and Nationalists.

Don’t expect that to change any time between now and the referendum.

Feel the enmity!