STV examines Scottish politics a year on from the referendum with documentary Scotland, What Next?

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On Monday night STV will show a one hour documentary called Scotland, What Next? The programme examines the legacy of last year’s referendum on Scottish and UK politics and talks to the key players who were at the centre of a key moment in the nation’s history.
STVs award winning Political Editor Bernard Ponsonby presents the programme which looks at how the referendum recast Scottish politics. In a series of candid interviews he examines the UK Government’s response to the demands for further change and poses the question, can the UK survive as a unitary state?
The Leader of the Better Together Campaign Alistair Darling launches his strongest attack to date on the Prime Minister over his plans for English Votes for English Laws. Mr Darling tells the programme:
“English votes for English laws is a piece of nonsense and it should be rejected. It doesn’t work and will never work...we need to get it right…otherwise the consequences will be fatal”  
The former Labour Chancellor also says Scotland is more divided now than a year ago saying
“I have never come across some of the divisions, amongst friends, amongst family – people saying things to each other that I would have thought unbelievable. I think that it is corrosive, it won't go away – this is not something you can easily fix and it’s almost being encouraged by the Nationalists – this idea that if you’re not for them you’re against Scotland....Half the population didn’t vote for them and a country that is divided from top to bottom where you’ve got these divisions which you do see day in day out it is very, very, very bad for Scotland.”
Mr Darling’s former Special Adviser Catherine MacLeod who was a prominent spokesperson for Better Together last year is scathing of the emergence of The Vow in the dying days of the referendum. She tells Bernard Ponsonby:
“The Vow was a complete and utter waste of time. I don’t think it changed anyone’s vote.  It was daft; grandstanding by a few individuals trying to get into the was condescending and patronising”
Both Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond talk candidly about their emotions in the hours after the historic declaration. The First Minister says:
" Immediately afterwards, the mood was one of utter devastation and I felt that personally. We were all grief-stricken...”.
The programme also probes the likelihood of the SNP committing to a second referendum. The SNP Leader says:
“I don’t ever want to feel what I felt in the early hours of Sep 19th...if we are going to have another independence referendum I want to know there is support in Scotland for independence that means that referendum is going to be successful. “
There are contrasting views on the legacy for politics from the referendum with Yes supporters pointing to a new energy in engagement but No supporters claiming that there is still an atmosphere of poison around. Winning over the doubters is key for Actor and Activist Elaine C Smith who says:
“We won’t win an independence referendum unless we embrace those fears of people who voted no...who now feel completely disenfranchised in their own country..”
And the country’s pre-eminent historian Professor Sir Tom Devine warns:
“If the crumbling [UK state] is not going to lead to dissolution then it will require statesmen of mastery and vision to deal with it...I cannot see where that kind of quality is going to come from.”
Scotland, What Next? will be broadcast on STV at 22:30 on Monday 14th September and online on the STV Player.
Comment on the programme on Twitter using #scotwhatnext
See the making of the programme at
Watch the promos:
‘It’s been a year’
‘Remember this?’
For further information, please contact the STV press office:- 
Richard Holligan
0141 300 3416/ 07803 970 143
Notes to editors
Full list of contributors  –
  • Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland
  • Alistair Darling, Better Together Campaign Leader
  • Alex Salmond MP, Former First Minister of Scotland
  • David Mundell MP, Scottish Secretary
  • Kezia Dugdale MSP, Scottish Labour Leader
  • Professor Sir Tom Devine, Historian
  • Professor James Mitchell, University of Edinburgh
  • Catherine MacLeod, Former Labour Party Adviser
  • Ian Murray MP, Scottish Labour
  • Professor Michael Keating, University of Aberdeen
  • Elaine C Smith, Actor & Activist
  • Stewart Kirkpatrick, Former Head of Digital for Yes Scotland
  • Jim Sillars, Former Deputy Leader, SNP
  • Professor Jon Tonge, University of Liverpool
  • Terry Christian, Broadcaster & Activist
  • Derek Bateman, Writer and Broadcaster