So, Holyrood “delivering” a referendum of any kind would flout a fundamental principle of democracy, because constitutional matters are reserved to Westminster and, in terms of the 1998 referendum, the Scottish people gave their approval (your report, 7 August).
But the referendum attracted the support of only 45 per cent of the electorate.
Westminster would determine the exact wording on the ballot paper, and has the power to limit the question to Yes/No to independence (or “separation” as some persist in calling it) and also who should be able to vote.
All this contradicts the baiting of Alex Salmond and the SNP to hold the referendum without delay, therefore attributing to Holyrood powers they knew they did not have. But the mystery is why Westminster did not go ahead unilaterally – we could have been looking forward to its single question referendum as early as next month.
I forecast that, if Westminster gets its way with a single question, under the contention that nothing else would be either legal, constitutional or democratic, there will be a resounding Yes vote, with those seeking only more devo-plus powers, weighing in for the full Monty.
And remember, we are having this debate on account of rejection of the old order.
The Unionists bear a great deal of responsibility for not having upstaged the Nationalists with alternative proposals, and for having no vision for Scotland (apart from more of the same).
By the way, it is not generally realised that, constitutionally, the economy is also a matter reserved to Westminster. It’s a pity it is not so assiduous in questioning why, with 13 years of a Labour UK government and eight years concurrently with the Labour-led coalition here, that we are still blighted with so much poverty – not really a recommendation for more of the same, is it?
Douglas R Mayer
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: West