Friday, 12 September 2014

Every little helps..

You can fight Scottish Labour. You can fight Westminster. You can fight David Cameron or Gordon Brown. But it's very difficult to fight the supermarkets. 

The separatist campaign, only so recently on the advance, appears to have been knocked back. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has rebutted Mr Salmond's claims that a Yes vote would make the NHS better off. Businesses have outlined their plans to quit in the event of a "Yes" vote. And Waitrose, Asda and John Lewis have all warned that prices would also rise - "Vote Yes and food bills will soar" is the Mail's take. 
Fractiousness and a tendency for unforced errors appear to be creeping into the Yes campaign.  Alex Salmond's cracking up, says Alan Cochraneafter a bad-tempered press conference from the First Minister. Meanwhile, John Swinney, the SNP's finance minister, is in hot water after telling a naval veteran who had just seen £7,000 wiped off his pension by market turmoil that these things "go up and down"
Now a second successive poll - this one for YouGov in today's Sun and Times - has the Unionist campaign regaining lost ground. (The numbers are No 52%, Yes 48%.) The numbers are too close to say with any certainty whether the Union will prevail next Thursday - but it's Better Together who are on the front foot once again as the campaign enters its last days. 
Confusion reigned yesterday about Britain's role in Barack Obama's planned assault against Isil. At around lunchtime, Philip Hammond was he was "very clear" that British planes would not be involved in strikes within Syria. But at 4:30pm, Downing Street rowed back from the Foreign Secretary's statement. "The Prime Minister has not ruled anything in or out" is the line. (Ben Farmer has the details)
Giles Watling, the actor, has been selected as the Conservatives parliamentary candidate in Clacton. Michael Gove believes that an anti-Ukip front will see Mr Watling prevail against the odds, the Times reports. The Tories are hoping to recreate the Newark strategy, the only by-election in the course of the parliament where the collapse in the Liberal vote helped rather than harmed the Conservatives.
STEP OUTSIDE, BROWN TELLS SALMONDAlex Salmond is using the NHS as a prop in his bid for a Yes vote, Gordon Brown has said in his latest speech in defence of the Union,Auslan Cramb reports. Mr Brown also suggested that if the First Minister continues to "peddle this deception", he'll have no option but to stand for election to Holyrood to take the fight to Mr Salmond.
It's official: Ukip are part of the Establishment. They might not have the seats in the House of Lords that they crave but they've got one better: a fortnightly radio show for Nigel Farage on LBC, starting this morning at 9. The People's Army are also on the offensive north of the border, although they have "no intention of being incendiary", Mr Farage assured listeners on Today this morning.
Backbench MPs Tracey Crouch and Martin Horwood, as well as the Shadow Transport Minister Richard Burden, are among the signatories to a letter to the Times calling for a national law restricting pavement parking to help the visually impaired and parents with babies. Laws against pavement parking in place for London in 40 years to good effect, according to Guide Dogs for the Blind.
The Morning Briefing is written by Stephen Bush, who tweets as @stephenkb. Our cartoon is the work of Christian Adams; you can see his cartoons on Instagram.
Poll of polls 5th to 12th September, Labour lead of four points (Populus-YouGov)
YouGov: Con 31% Lab 35% LD 7% Ukip 16%
@StewartWood: Love the word "small": "@rowenamason: Website of Clacton Tory candidate, Giles Watling, says he's a keen sailor who owns "two small yachts""
From the Telegraph
Rory Bremner - Why this proud Scot has a very big but 
Fraser Nelson - British reserve may prove the undoing of the union
Peter Hain - Mr Salmond, you're no Nelson Mandela
Cristina Odone - Battle for independence is replaying the struggles of Catholic Scotland
From elsewhere
Philip Collins  - A Yes win means the return of the Blairites (Times)
Gillian  Tett - Fortress finance pulls up the virtual drawbridge  (FT)
The Telegraph Festival of Business is taking place once again on the 11th November, at The Brewery, London. Confirmed speakers include: Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP Group, Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, Nigel Wilson,Chief Executive of Legal & General, Tim Steiner, CEO of Ocado and Roger Bootle, Founder of Capital Economics and former HM Treasury Advisor. To register for your free place at the event, click here.
0845 LONDON: George Osborne bilateral investment talks with Chinese vice-premier Ma Kai.
0900 LONDON: Nigel Farage LBC phone-in.
0900 LONDON: War on Want campaigners demonstration to highlight fashion workers pay and conditions. 
1000 ABERDEEN: First Minster on the campaign trail.
1030 GLASGOW: Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will be joined by actors Martin Compston and Peter Mullan on the campaign trail.
1030 GLASGOW: Minister for employment relations and consumer affairs Jo Swinson will urge people in Scotland "not to walk away from the progressive agenda being built as part of the UK".
1100 FALKIRK: Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont will be campaigning in Falkirk.
1500 SHEFFIELD: Nick Clegg speech at launch of IPPR North report on decentralisation.
1545 PERTH: Deputy First Minister and First Minister will meet Yes activists for campaigning. They are visiting Scotland's seven cities in one day.
1900 LONDON: Uxbridge & South Ruislip candidate hustings. The four finalists, including Boris Johnson, will make their presentations before the association members.
1930 EDINBURGH: Unionist MPs and academics talk to workers. Danny Alexander MP, George Galloway MP, former MP Brian Wilson and Academics Together professors Adam Tomkins and Ronald MacDonald will speak at a free event for business owners, employees, Trade Union members and officials organised by pro-Union campaign Working For Scotland.
0900 LONDON: Maria Eagle launches national campaign against air pollution.
0945 KILMARNOCK: Former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown will make the case for Scotland staying in the UK at a Better Together rally. He will be joined at the rally by local Labour MP Cathy Jamieson and shadow pensions minister Gregg McClymont MP.
1030 EDINBURGH: Alex Salmond takes part in international press conference on independence.
1130 BALLINDALLOCH: SNP rural affairs spokesperson, Richard Lochhead, will set out a 10 point plan to deliver a 'Rural Renaissance' for Scotland using the powers of independence.
1215 LONDON: London bus drivers pay protest.
1800 GLASGOW: Scottish history expert Niall Ferguson delivers speech on referendum. The Harvard professor will offer his analysis under the title: "Kicking the Life Back into a Dying Mutual Friend: A Letter from America on Independence.