Quote us no more! The Proclaimers hit out at Johann Lamont’s use of lyrics

Craig and Charlie Reid of The Proclaimers are backing Scottish independence.
Craig and Charlie Reid of The Proclaimers are backing Scottish independence.

The Proclaimers have angrily hit out at Scottish Labour’s leader for quoting their lyrics as part of an argument against independence.

Johann Lamont had referenced the Fife band’s song, Letter From America, when attacking First Minister Alex Salmond over announcements by Standard Life and the Royal Bank of Scotland, which expressed the banking giants’ concerns about the independence referendum.

Ms Lamont said: “The reality is that more jobs would go than went at Ravenscraig, more jobs would go than at Bathgate, more jobs than at Linwood.

“If there is a Yes vote, is it not the case that we will need to rewrite the song: ‘Standard Life no more, RBS no more, shipbuilding no more, the Scotland we love and fight for no more’?”

The brothers behind the band, Charlie and Craig Reid, accused Ms Lamont of “distorting our song as part of Labour’s anti-independence cabal with the Tories”.

They said: “The reality is Johann Lamont believes the people of Scotland aren’t genetically programmed to take decisions and would prefer we went ‘cap in hand’ to London under Westminster rule than allowing us to govern ourselves.

“The lyrics in Letter From America are about the job losses and closures that flow from Scotland not having control over her destiny that is what happened in the 1980s, and that is why Scotland needs independence now.”

Replying in Hoylrood’s debating chamber, Mr Salmond said: “Does Johann Lamont not recall that what she has just quoted Bathgate, Linwood, Lochaber no more were put out by the No campaign in 1979, a campaign that she supported because she was against devolution?

“Scotland did not get a parliament, and guess what happened? Bathgate, Linwood and Lochaber all closed.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson also pressed Mr Salmond on Standard Life and RBS’s interventions.

She said: “People explaining how independence would affect them, would affect the country, would affect their business, would affect their customers, is vital to this debate.”

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