Interventions aid Yes, says Salmond

Hampshire Chronicle: The former US secretary of state said she would "hate" Britain to lose Scotland The former US secretary of state said she would "hate" Britain to lose Scotland

Interventions in the debate on Scottish independence from US president Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will be a boost for the Yes side because Scots do not like being told what to do, the First Minister has said.

Mrs Clinton said she would "hate" Britain to "lose Scotland" while last week Mr Obama said he believed that the United Kingdom appears to have "worked pretty well".

Alex Salmond said both politicians would do well to appreciate Scotland's "thrawn-ness".

Mrs Clinton said she believes a Yes vote would be a "loss for both sides" and she is hoping it does not happen.

The former US secretary of state, who is on a tour to promote her memoir Hard Choices and is widely believed to be preparing for a presidential run in 2016, told BBC 2's Newsnight: "I would hate to have you lose Scotland.

"I hope that it doesn't happen but I don't have a vote in Scotland. But I would hope it doesn't happen."

She added: "I would think it would be a loss for both sides but, again, I don't have a vote."

Speaking last week, Mr Obama said: ''The United Kingdom has been an extraordinary partner to us. From the outside at least, it looks like things have worked pretty well.

''And we obviously have a deep interest in making sure that one of the closest allies we will ever have remains a strong, robust, united and effective partner.

''But ultimately these are decisions that are to be made by the folks there.''

Asked how influential the interventions were likely to be for voters, Mr Salmond said: "I suspect that insofar as it is influential, it is helpful to the Yes side.

"I don't know if Hillary or the president of the United States are familiar with the Scottish word thrawn. It doesn't mean stubborn, it basically means Scots don't like being told what to do.

"I think that kind of thrawn-ness, they would do well to appreciate.

"Being told what to do tends to instigate a position in Scotland where we will say we will choose our own way forward.

"So insofar as influential at all, I think Scottish thrawn-ness means it will be a boost for the Yes side, not the No side."

Commenting on Mrs Clinton, he added: "Hillary Clinton is, of course, entitled to her views and, as she rightly points out, the referendum is a matter for the people of Scotland.

"Mrs Clinton's observations are quite interesting in that she infers Britain will 'lose Scotland' after a Yes vote.

"This reflects reports that David Cameron has said he doesn't want to 'lose' Scotland, likening it to George III losing the United States.

"But, unlike that period in American history - when independence was only gained through conflict - we are deeply fortunate in that we have the opportunity to secure our nation's independence in a profoundly democratic way, as President Obama and John Kerry, Mrs Clinton's successor as secretary of state, have acknowledged."

A Better Together spokesman said: " Hillary Clinton is a figure who is respected right across the world. Like President Obama, she understands that the UK is at its strongest when it works together.

"She has said 'no thanks' to Alex Salmond's attempts to divide the people of Britain. We are grateful for her support."

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander welcomed Mrs Clinton's comments, which also came the day after Harry Potter author JK Rowling made a £1 million donation to the No campaign.

Asked whether such outside interventions could rile people, he told BBC Radio Scotland: "If you would like to argue that President Barack Obama, JK Rowling and now Hillary Clinton are a problem for the No campaign, good luck.

"These are all, independently, figures who are hugely admired here in Scotland and I think you would be hard-pressed to find a female politician anywhere in the world that is admired as much by Scottish women as Hillary Clinton."

Comments (2)

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10:00am Fri 13 Jun 14

Good Job No Kids says...

Hilary can't even satisfy her own husband her opinion is less than worthless.
Hilary can't even satisfy her own husband her opinion is less than worthless. Good Job No Kids
  • Score: -1

10:37am Fri 13 Jun 14

MSG says...

Whatever way the Scots vote she has no right to comment. Look at how the USA has left Iraq !
Whatever way the Scots vote she has no right to comment. Look at how the USA has left Iraq ! MSG
  • Score: 0
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