• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Campaign is proclaimed a hit as one million sign

THERE was sunshine and it was pretty close to Leith when The Proclaimers turned up to celebrate Yes Scotland announcing it had reached its target of securing more than a million signatories to its Yes Declaration, with less than four weeks to go until the independence referendum.

TWIN AIM: The Reid brothers explain why they back independence.
TWIN AIM: The Reid brothers explain why they back independence.

The Reid twins, Craig and Charlie, have been campaigning for independence for their entire adult lives, penning the famous lyric for one of the tracks on their 1988 album Sunshine On Leith, "I can't understand/Why we let someone else rule our land/Cap in hand."

Their views haven't changed and they are currently writing songs for a new album. Will there be a new political lyric? Charlie replied: "Not yet. We've got to win first."

Craig suggests: "Maybe we'll do a special reworking of Cap in Hand." Referring to the English celebrities love-bombing Scots with appeals to reject separation, he adds: "I say, 'we love you too but this is about independence'. I want to see a Scotland where our young guys and women are not sent out to fight illegal wars."

The event at Dynamic Earth, round the corner from the Scottish Parliament and not far from the Reid twins' beloved Easter Road, home of Hibernian FC, was to publicise the achievement of securing the million-signature target.

Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkins said breaking the million barrier at this stage was a clear indication the Yes campaign is on a winning trajectory.

He said: "We are hugely grateful, not just to the one million-plus people in Scotland who have now signed the Yes Declaration, but also to our many thousands of volunteers all around the country who have worked so hard to help us reach this target with just under a month still to go.

"More and more people are waking up to the fantastic opportunities that would be created by a Yes vote. People realise that only with a Yes can we protect our NHS and other public services, grow our economy to create better jobs, and make Scotland a fairer society.

"Today's announcement is a clear indication of the level of support we are getting, and it gives us great confidence as we work towards securing a Yes majority on September 18."

Mr Jenkins said every signature had been cross-checked and verified on the voters' roll. Celebrity supporters who do not have a vote next month were excluded from the figures.

One man enthused by the milestone was Moray MP Angus Robertson, the SNP's leader at Westminster, campaign director for the party's referendum effort, and a fluent German speaker who delighted in showing off his prowess for visiting broadcasters from that country.

He has his origins in Stockbridge in Edinburgh, where he recalls as a teenager opening the door of his parents' flat to an SNP canvasser who persuaded him to join the party. A few weeks later he saw the same person on stage as half of The Proclaimers and realised it was Charlie Reid who had been his recruiting sergeant.

Mr Robertson is now one of the sharpest strategists in his party and is convinced that things are shifting on the ground - what he calls "the community effect" - as the Yes message gains traction.

Back in front of the media the Reid twins fielded questions about the SNP's failure to address uncertainty. Craig said: "There is uncertainty in getting out of bed every morning. Yes there are risks, but there are certainties about what is coming down the line under the Union - Prime Minister Boris Johnson pulling us out of Europe, for example."

Charlie added: "I'm worried about a right-wing agenda driven by the south of England being imposed on the Scottish people. That's the real risk."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

256529