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Old 11-03-2007, 07:23 AM   #1
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Labour acknowledges Scotland could survive as a nation

A rather stunning shift

Originally Posted by BBC News
Scotland could survive as an independent country, a senior Labour politician is set to acknowledge.

Scotland Office Minister David Cairns will say he does not believe the country would "wither and die" if it was to break from the UK.

The speech, to be delivered later on Saturday, will mark a shift in tone from Labour's approach to the Holyrood election campaign.

The campaign was widely criticised by opponents for being too negative.

Mr Cairns will warn that the party has to find a way of articulating "an innate pride in Scotland" without the "reactionary nationalism" of the SNP.

He will tell a Labour youth conference in Glasgow: "Scottish Labour does not believe that Scotland would wither and die as an independent country."

He will go on to argue that Labour believes in "common endeavour", saying: "Just as this is true of communities and society, so it is true of our country."

Mr Cairns will tell his audience that the party must reform its policies and renew its "bond of trust with the people" in readiness for a public disenchantment with the SNP's "broken promises."

The party must articulate policies in tune with people's "hopes and ambitions" - but must also find a way of inspiring voters by appealing to their hearts as well as their heads.

Recalling an advert during the election campaign which featured prominent footballers, he will say: "Legends from across the Old Firm divide, including such greats as Sir Alex Ferguson, Walter Smith and Billy McNeill, wrote of their tremendous pride in being both Scottish and British.

"It was simple, almost understated. But its quiet emotional appeal demonstrated that it is not only the Nationalists who have a passion for Scotland, it's just that they wear it on their sleeves and lapels."
Rather shocking to see Labour engaged in positive campaigning rather than scare-tactics; I thought they and the Tories just talked about doing that and then continued onwards with their smear campaigns.

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