Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Last week, I attended the Edinburgh Book Festival, where I took part in a “dialogue” about what the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence could mean for the remainder of the United Kingdom.

The event took place in the Guardian Spiegeltent and also featured prominent Scottish economist Jo Armstrong. It was chaired by David Runciman, a Professor in Politics at Cambridge University. And it was lovely to see so many people at the event.

During my short visit, I was impressed at the really engaged politics in Scotland, with people from all walks of life actively debating the future governance of their country as well as a whole myriad of related issues.

And in recent days, Cornwall has also featured in a number of new items. These include a feature on the BBC website under the heading of “Scottish independence: Is Cornwall more like Scotland than England?” - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28766002 - and a short TV piece on the BBC - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28824991

For the record, I am really disappointed in the comments of Sarah Newton MP in the latter piece. She stated that: “I am a passionate believer in the Union. I think we are much stronger together. Cornwall has got a really important place to play as part of England, as part of the United Kingdom. I really think it would be a backward step to break up the United Kingdom.”

I cannot believe that she is not fully aware that MK is campaigning for the devolution of powers to a Cornish Assembly within the UK.

So why does she need to scaremonger that such devolution would lead to the break up of the United Kingdom? Especially when David Cameron and other Tories are promising more powers to the Scottish Parliament which they maintain will strengthen the United Kingdom.

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