5pm Conservative News Links

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Reactions to David Cameron's Scottish speech and meeting with Alex Salmond lead our teatime newslinks

David Cameron's Scottish independence speech - and meeting with Salmond

Cameron Scots independence 270

David Cameron, on his meeting with Salmond

"I believe that we need to put a straightforward and simple and fair and legal question to the Scottish people in good time, which is to ask the straightforward question: 'Do you want to stay in the United Kingdom' - and I hope that's what people will vote for - 'or do you want to leave the United Kingdom?' I think we need to get on with that … and on those issues I'm afraid we haven't made much progress, which is frustrating."


  • "Mr Cameron is trying to put himself above party politics, attempting to persuade Scots the Union is not a Conservative cause. As he admits, the Tory brand is still fairly toxic in Scotland" - James Kirkup
  • "... any changes to the devolution settlement which further disadvantage England risk sparking off a rise in English nationalism." - James Forsyth
  • "Cameron offers a hint of Real Home Rule incentive but, welcome as this may be, one cannot escape the thought that a) it's not a concrete proposal yet and b) Cameron may not be in any position to offer this anyway, far less guarantee it." - Alex Massie
  • "By making a positive case for the union, Cameron signalled that all of the unionist parties will now fight the independence referendum on the basis of the strength of the United Kingdom and its potential, rather than through a negative campaign about how a weak, powerless and vulnerable Scotland couldn’t go it alone." - Nick Pearce
  • The PM's trip to Edinburgh highlights the lack of unionist fire in the modern Conservative Party - Ben Duckworth

Vince Cable's university access "tsar" row continues

Greek crisis

  • Greek protests"European governments are considering cutting interest rates on emergency loans to Greece and using contributions from the European Central Bank to plug a new financing gap in the second bailout program for Athens, two people familiar with the discussions said." - Bloomberg
  • "The president of the group of eurozone finance ministers said a decision to supply Greece with a new €130bn bail-out would not be made until next week, representing yet another delay in the fractious and prolonged process to help the indebted country avoid a messy default." - FT (£)
  • Germany's smear campaign against Greece - Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
  • Leaving the euro isn't a punishment: it's Greece's last chance for recovery - Daniel Hannan

In brief: