Letters such as the one from JW Ponton (Letters 3, October) bring only rancour to the current debate on “new powers” for the Scottish Government.
He describes the result as an “overwhelming majority”. I much prefer the words of Christine Bell (director of the global justice academy and a specialist in constitutional law at Edinburgh University), when she said “there was a 50 + majority for quite fundamental change in Scotland”.
This has been confirmed by the findings that as many as one in four No voters acknowledged being influenced to vote No, by the late “new powers” offer. New powers, by the way, which were likened by Gordon Brown to “home rule” and signed up to in principle by the three leaders of the Westminster Parliament.
It was widely reported in the media, that the vast majority of people in Scotland wanted and would have voted for devo-max on the ballot paper. The people’s wishes were denied. Significant “extra powers” were offered “at the last minute” to influence voters away from voting Yes and succeeded in doing just that. That is why Scotland must get the high level of devo-max that was offered in the weeks before voting. The new powers will be required to “support job creation, fairness and equality, whilst providing a bigger international voice for Scotland”.
The majority 55 per cent to 45 per cent would never be described as “overwhelming” by a reasonable person, so let’s have no more juvenile point-scoring comments. The only “age group” that voted No by a majority were the over-55s.
The only “overwhelming majority”, (throughout the entire course of the referendum), were those of us who wanted devo-max on the ballot paper. Let us now hope we get just that.