After David Cameron ruled out another plebiscite on whether or not Scotland should secede from the United Kingdom before 2020 (which is a pretty reasonably time scale), Nicola Sturgeon predictably went on the offensive.
“Two questions I get asked often these days – will there be another independence referendum and, if so, when? My answer is simple. It will be if and when the Scottish people decide and not a moment before. No politician can impose a referendum on Scotland, no matter how much some of us would like Scotland to be independent. And it’s worth pointing out that the reverse is also true. If the Scottish people do vote in future to have another referendum, no politician has the right to stand in their way.”
The question that Sturgeon’s quote raises is this: how do we know when the Scottish people actually do want to have another say on independence – if ever? Are we to take away from her words that we should tacitly understand that a vote for the SNP means a vote for another independence referendum? She says “no politician” can impose a referendum on Scotland – and yet that is exactly what she wants to do herself. Perhaps Scotland should have a referendum on whether there should be another referendum or not.
Personally, I think Sturgeon and the SNP all told should just shutup about referenda for a bit. Because while the quest for Scottish independence is a motivating factor for some Scots voting SNP, many others would have voted for them in spite wanting to remain in the Union. With the Tories mistrusted, the Lib Dems tarred by being in government with the Conservatives, and Labour out of favour, the SNP represent to a lot of Scots a sensible yet exciting alternative. If they seem overly obsessed with having endless independence referenda, it will eventually hurt them electorally.
I close with this: Sturgeon always implies that Cameron has no say in whether or not there is another vote on Scottish independence. But this isn’t really true, when you think about it at all. As prime minister of the whole of the United Kingdom, whether one large chunk of it wants to leave said union of nations is sort of under his remit. I’m not saying he can ignore democracy, but we just had a referendum on Scottish independence five minutes ago, guys. One that wasn’t even all that close in the end, really. So Cameron asking to park the issue for at least half a decade isn’t unreasonable. I think Sturgeon should accept that and move on for now.
Bernard McGuin says
Don’t you think we should have a referendum about whether we should have a referendum about having a referendum or…. ad absurdum.
It is obvious Scottish Parliament takes on more powers then we see if people are unhappy. Let Scotland be happy raising its own taxes and take responsibility for what it wants, or thinks it wants, to pay for.
Pete B says
If we did have a referendum which went in favour of independence, that would make it one each. Surely we would then need another one as a decider? Or is it like a Test Series where a draw leaves things as they are? Also, what’s the difference between a referendum and an opinion poll?
I admire Nicola Sturgeon, a lot. She’s highly intelligent, very sharp, and makes a lot of sense. But on this very question, she has not given a proper answer, and I think that’s a shame. It doesn’t fit with her usual honesty and openness.
Good grief, it hasn’t even been 12 months since the Scottish People said an unambiguous No. Floating the issue of who gets to set the schedule for their rerun is a characteristically ingenuous bit of partisan scene setting. The treacherous 55% are expected to come to their patriotic senses ASAP.
Anthony Dunn says
As Bernard McGuin correctly observes, let the Scotch, as per the SNP’s 2015 General Election manifesto, have full fiscal autonomy so that the SNP government north of the border can get on with managing either the tax rises or public expenditure cuts arising from this. For shorthand purposes, let’s call it “austerity”….!
Achieving FFA will, of course, do nothing to silence the SNP’s sotto voce anti-English racism in attempting to blame Westminster (they actually mean “the English”…) for anything and everything from the phases of the moon, to the weather to err, you name it. Even were Scotland ever to vote for independence from the rest of the UK, they will STILL be blaming all their ills on those of us south of the border.
Rob Pettit says
The more that the SNP and Scottish voters only care about Scotland, the more I wish the UK could have a referendum about whether to keep Scotland in the UK.
Whether or not you voted Tory it’s hard not to feel that they aren’t fairly paying the price of the austerity push.
The voice of rayianolitt! Good to hear from you.
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