Yesterday afternoon, pro-union campaigners gathered together to take part in a rally in central London, in support of Scotland remaining part of the UK after the referendum on Thursday.
The organisers from Let’s Stay Together, including the historian Dan Snow said that about 5,000 people attended, waving union flags to persuade Scottish voters that the rest of the UK wanted them to stay. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and cabinet minister Michael Gove attended the gathering, along with other public figures such as anti-poverty campaigner Bob Geldof and comedians Eddie Izzard and Al Murray.
Bob Geldof, in his speech, described England and Scotland as the “closest of cousins”.
“I’d just like to tell everybody in Scotland we’re all f***ing fed up with Westminster and its even more frustrating for us because we don’t even get to do the argument that you’ve begun. This argument needs to be had among us all, you can’t selfishly resolve it amongst yourselves by taking an easy opt-out clause.”
“Before there was a United States, before there was a United Nations, before there was a united this, that and the other there was a United Kingdom and it was an extraordinary meeting of very different minds of two extremely close cousins. And what a construct this thing is. Because Scotland is a feeling. England is a feeling. Wales is a feeling, Ireland a feeling. But the United Kingdom is one of the greatest ideas for the modern age. Between the native genius of the Scots and the pure pragmatic drive of the English we made a world beater.”
Eddie Izzard also said: “We would really love you to stay with us. You will make your own decisions. It’s totally up to you but if you vote ‘No, thank you’ then you will get more powers. So why not try it rather than separating from us forever.”
In an interview with the Guardian, the historian Snow disputed the claim that holding the rally in London sent a negative message to Scottish voters.
“Our opinion is that unity is better than division. Cooperation is better than competition. We’ve come here to London to the heart of our city, not to tell the Scottish people how to vote…We do what Brits have always done, we gather in Trafalgar Square. When we celebrate, we commiserate, we memorialise as nation, this is where we do it. What we want to do is for the rest of the United Kingdom to gather together and say please, when you are voting, remember one thing. We want you to stay.”