Salmond says that British Airways refused to let him on the plane at Heathrow because the name on his ticket, James T. Kirk (the name of the StarShip Enterprise’s commander, played by William Shatner in Star Trek) – didn’t match that in his passport. Salmond said, as a fan of the show, he had been using the name to travel incognito for years. But since resigning as First Minister he no longer travelled with protection officers who could explain the ruse. After some emails and calls to his staff, Salmond was allowed on the flight.
It was all sorted out. I just wanted BA to ‘Beam me up, Scotty’.
Salmond says in his resignation speech that Cameron has broken a campaign promise made by Brown:
I spoke to the Prime Minister today and, although he reiterated his intention to proceed as he has outlined, he would not commit to a second reading vote by March 27 on a Scotland Bill. That was a clear promise laid out by Gordon Brown during the campaign. The Prime Minister says such a vote would be meaningless. I suspect he cannot guarantee the support of his party.
Salmond announces that he will resign as First Minister and head of the Scottish National Party. He will remain in the post until the SNP’s annual conference in Perth on Nov. 13-15 and will then stand down and allow another leader to be elected. He does not endorse a successor. At his official residence in Edinburgh:
It has been the privilege of my life to serve Scotland as First Minister. But as I said often during the referendum campaign this is not about me or the SNP. It is much more important than that. The position is this. We lost the referendum vote but can still carry the political initiative. More importantly Scotland can still emerge as the real winner.
Salmond steps down as Scotland votes to remain a part of the UK. He announces he will not be seeking reelection as leader of the SNP party at the party conference in November.
I am immensely proud of the campaign that Yes Scotland fought and particularly of the 1.6m voters who rallied to that cause. We lost the referendum vote but Scotland can still carry the political initiative. For me as leader my time is nearly over but for Scotland the campaign continues and the dream shall never die.
Malcom Bruce, the UK MP for Gordon, Aberdeenshire, says that very early observations show the area may reject independence:
It looks pretty good for the ‘No’ side. This is Alex Salmond’s heartland. I think he’s been rejected in his own backyard.
Salmond concedes the referendum as the ‘democratic verdict of the people of Scotland’ in a speech at 6.15 a.m. UK time, seven minutes after the count becomes a mathematical certainty for the No vote:
Today of all days as we bring Scotland together, let us not dwell on the distance we have fallen short, let us dwell on the distance we have travelled and have confidence the movement is abroad in Scotland that will take this nation forward and we shall go forward as one nation.
He calls on the unionist parties to deliver on their promises to devolve more powers to Scotland:
Scotland will expect these to be honoured in rapid course – as a reminder, we have been promised a second reading of a Scotland Bill by March 27 next year. Not just the 1.6 million Scots who voted for independence will demand that timetable is followed but all Scots who participated in this referendum will demand that timetable is followed.
Salmond tells Sky News that an independent Scotland would continue to use the pound:
All this stuff about being able to be vetoed from using the pound actually isn’t true. No one can stop us from using (it) … It’s sensible – England is our biggest trading partner, and Scotland is England’s second-biggest trading partner after the U.S. There will be a common sense agreement for a common currency.
Salmond writes an open letter to the Scottish public, saying that now the campaigning is almost over, the focus is on the people of the country and how they will decide:
So in these last days of the greatest campaign Scotland has ever seen, I want to ask you to take a step back from the arguments of politicians and the blizzard of statistics.
The opportunity for our Parliament to gain real job creating powers, the ability to protect our treasured National Health Service and the building of a renewed relationship of respect and equality with our friends and neighbours in the rest of these Islands.
But for all that, the talking is nearly done.
The campaigns will have had their say.
What’s left is just us – the people who live and work here.
The only people with a vote. The people who matter.
Murdoch criticizes the SNP just days before the Scottish Sun is expected to issue its editorial stance on the independence referendum. On a stop-off in a Glasgow pub during a tour of Glasgow, Aberdeen and Fife Murdoch says he is ‘considering’ giving the Yes campaign the Sun‘s backing – he later publishes several tweets critical of what he says is Salmond’s pro-EU, pro-welfare stance:
SNP not talking about independence, but more welfarism, expensive greenery, etc and passing sovereignty to Brussels.
First Minister Salmond says that he will not hold another referendum if Scotland votes No to independence on Sept. 18. He notes that the most recent constitutional referendum in Scotland took place in 1997 and 1979, and says that this timeframe represents a ‘political generation’:
My view is this is a once in a generation, perhaps even a once in a lifetime, opportunity for Scotland.
Salmond says the execution by ISIS militants of British aid worker Haines is an ‘unspeakable act of barbarism.’ He indicates that an independent Scotland would favor combating ISIS as the murder of Haines underscores the growing threat the group poses to UK citizens, after the group threatened British volunteer Alan Henning in the video of Haines’s death. But unilateral action would not be considered:
You can’t have a strategy where you bow to terrorism. There’s an urgent requirement to get back to collective [action] under the United Nations.
A survey by YouGov for The Times and The Sun finds that the Scottish public favor remaining in the UK by 52% compared with 48% who want independence. The numbers exclude undecided voters. YouGov says the reversal in the margin from its previous week’s Times poll – which showed Yes ahead for the first time, at 51%-49% – is due to Brown joining the debate:
Shortly before he stepped down as Prime Minister, Tony Blair warned David Cameron to beware ‘Gordon Brown’s great clunking fist.’ Cameron survived it, but Alex Salmond’s bid for Scottish independence may not. Since Brown entered the debate, the Yes bandwagon, which has been rolling so dramatically, has stalled. His warnings that independence would be bad for jobs and family finances have struck home.
YouGov’s three previous polls each showed Yes climbing in support, although Yes remains at a higher level than at any point up to late August.
Salmond discusses the referendum with Alastair Campbell for GQ. Asked if he considers himself a historic figure:
I prefer modern studies to history.
He says the Yes campaign is trying to dismiss ‘unreasonable’ fears about the outcome of independence, and that keeping the pound is the most likely scenario for an independent Scotland, drinking culture in Scotland, and whether Spain and other opponents of independence can keep the country out of the EU. His general view on Putin:
Well, I don’t approve of a range of Russian actions, but he is more effective than most and you can see why he carries support in Russia.
On whether he ‘admires’ Putin:
Certain aspects. He’s restored a substantial part of Russian pride and that must be a good thing. There are aspects of Russian constitutionality and the inter-mesh with business and politics that are difficult to admire.
He also discusses whether the Iraq War was illegal and former Prime Minister Blair a war criminal, Kosovo, Syria and Afghanistan. The leader he admires most is German Chancellor Merkel, and he admires Obama’s campaigns but says he should be effective despite running a minority government.
Salmond defends his remark that Putin has ‘restored a substantial part of Russian pride’:
When people see the comments I made, they will see that they’re perfectly reasonable. I said I deprecated Russian actions in Ukraine and also its human rights record. I pointed out that the western press underestimated Putin and that’s obviously true … When I was talking about the pride issue, it was in the aftermath of the Sochi [winter] Olympics, which was obviously a restoration of Russian pride. Those are reasonably balanced remarks.
First Minister Salmond announces that Sept. 18, 2014 has been selected as the date for Scotland’s vote on independence from the UK. He says this will be:
A date which becomes etched in our nation’s story as the day Scotland took a decisive step forward to a better, fairer future.
First minister Salmond announces that he wants to hold a referendum on Scottish independence in 2014. The timeframe for the vote is designed to allow all the necessary legislation required to authorise it to be passed and for proper preparations to be made:
The date for the referendum has to be the autumn of 2014. That’s because this is the biggest decision that Scotland has made for 300 years. If you are going to do things properly and have the debate in the way it must be had then that is the date that we are going to move towards.
He says the referendum must be ‘made in Scotland’ and approved by the Scottish Parliament, and warns the UK government about ‘trying to pull the strings behind the scenes’.
What Scotland objects to is all the strings they (the UK government) are trying to to attach. They are trying to run a referendum by proxy.