""Labour's approach is backward-looking, rather negative - saying, 'If you leave, it will be a disaster.'This is surely right? I don't know how many people will take Labour's apocalyptic warnings about the effects of the dissolution of the Union but they don't deserve to be taken seriously. The idea of Scottish independence isn't 'crazy', as Blair would have it; would it kill them to simply say that they think, as I do, that it is undesirable? Because as it is, one is left wondering if there's anyone in this Labour cabinet that has anything positive to say about the Union.
"It's the wrong approach. You can't get someone to stay in a marriage by scaring them; you have to persuade them to stay," he said. "I don't want to save the Union for the past, I want to save it for the future."
Meanwhile, Alex Salmond in an interview with the Times demonstrates his poor grasp of electoral politics:
"There seems to be a rumour abroad that somehow you are going to have, if the SNP emerged as the largest party in this campaign, a sort of rainbow alliance of Unionism constructed to frustrate and deflect and stop the SNP as the leading party. I cannot think of anything more likely to incite the wrath of the people of Scotland: the idea that you can have an election and then attempt to snooker the result."But if the election result is as predicted - with the SNP as the largest party but with no majority in Holyrood - it is not possible to talk of the 'people of Scotland' having one view on this matter, by definition. Furthermore, if it turns out to be arithmetically possible for the pro-Union parties to thwart the nationalist parties' desire for a referendum, it would be reasonable to conclude, using the conventional myth of the 'mandate' which politicians continually invoke, that the 'people of Scotland' - or at least a majority of them - are not really fussed about having a plebiscite on independence.