The recent discussions on the possibility of a second independence referendum show how weighted the whole process is in favour of the Nationalists. Listening to Nicola Sturgeon, it looks like she will have another referendum at exactly the time that best suits her interests.
Compare this with parliamentary elections. For both the UK Parliament and Holyrood, we have fixed terms between elections.
The British Prime Minister or Scottish First Minister can’t therefore time an election when it is politically expedient to suit party interests, irrespective of the good of the country.
So, why is it OK for Ms Sturgeon to choose a time for a referendum when it is most likely she can scrape up just over 50 per cent of the vote?
The Nationalists claim we voted No after being misled into believing more devolution was on offer than is actually being delivered.
Had we voted Yes we would have been misled on EU entry, misled on currency and misled on the oil price.
In the light of these, would it have been possible to have a second referendum? Of course not.
The public may recollect that those in favour of independence originally wished for three question on the ballot paper, the third of which should have been: “Do you want additional powers for Scotland?”
However, the Westminster Government refused to sanction a third question, insisting on a straight Yes or No to Scotland becoming an independent country. Polls taken prior to this decision showed 20 to 30 per cent were keen on the more powers option.
Then, when campaigning was in its final throes, we had the “Vow”, whereby more powers, “akin to federalism”, were added to the No vote! (“Don’t think a No vote will mean the status quo!”)
So the No vote neatly hoovered up those who were against independence and those who wanted more powers.
This ingenious and unscrupulous political sleight of hand created an advantage that would prove decisive. However, ironically, the Scottish Labour MPs, who so enthusiastically supported the No campaign, in order to save their jobs, were not long in getting their comeuppance.
Joseph G Miller