Saturday, 28 January 2012


I've been tardy (so what's new, I hear you ask), in bringing to people's attention the independence referendum consultation paper launched by the Scottish government. My thanks, as ever, to Cynical Highlander for reminding me.

In a way I'm glad I am late, because James has produced another corker of a set of answers to the questions, to which I can have the pleasure of directing you!

I think it's important that we complete this consultation, regardless of what side of the argument we are on, with the best answers we can give.

I have never made any secret of the fact that I thought that the consultation into our country's future, launched by David Cameron, was no more than 'an exercise in having a consultation', but I think that this one is likely to be a genuine attempt to find the mood of the country, particularly with regard to the "second question". Some have said that the possible inclusion of a 'devo max' option on the ballot paper is a cop out for the SNP. 

But given that opinion poll after opinion poll shows that option to have massive support, it would surely be anti democratic to allow no official discussion of it (on the basis that we want to discover what the people of Scotland actually want, as opposed to what the leaders in Scotland or London prefer for them, or for their careers).

In the Tory referendum of last year about constitutional change in the UK (voting systems), it seemed to me that the choice that most people wanted was left off the ballot paper, possibly exactly because it was the choice that most people would have voted for. (Unscientific assertion there, based on my personal questioning of anyone and everyone I could ask, across a wide range of contacts.) 

I think Cameron banked on the fact that, although many (most?) people  didn't think much of the FPTP system, the only alternative offered was very much more complicated, not much better, likely to produce the same biased results, and had, only months before, been disparaged and ridiculed by its main supporter in the campaign, namely the UK's deputy prime minister. 

It was a "devil you know" situation, as both options would allow some MPs to go on with their "jobs for life" on a minority of votes.
For us Scots this decision is vastly more important than how we elect our representatives. It's our whole entity, our way of life, our future in the world, which could be changed... in my opinion for the better; in the opinion of others for the worse.

I genuinely believe that the government will listen to what we have to say: how we feel about the actual question; whether there should be a second option; the design of the ballot; its clarity, possible bias (or lack thereof); what we feel about the extension of the electorate to include all adults in Scotland (rather than accept the English legal definition of adult), and the timetable allocated to the referendum by the government.

This consultation in and of itself is not the most important decision we will ever make, but it is part of a process that (apart from our very personal decisions) may well be.


  1. The referendum questions are already online tris...

  2. Thanks Monty, LOL. It's brilliant!. Danny will love it!

  3. Tris

    This is the question that the Daily Record had as part of their on line poll.

    Question three.

    3) Do you want Scotland to be an independent country or not?

    a Yes
    b No
    c Dont know

    Really clear! This from a supposedly professional paper. Mind you they are good a printing Labour press releases.

  4. tris

    'the possible inclusion of a 'devo max' option on the ballot paper is a cop out for the SNP.'

    Spot on 'A COP OUT' And no mistake
    for years and years and years Alex (slippery Salmond) has called for a in out Referendum.

    And now the day(some time in the future that is)dawns whereby the snp have put up or shut up

    They bottle it the only the only reason i say devo max is being considered by the snp is simply due to the fact all the evidence points to them losing the in or out referendum.

    All this bunk about letting the people have a second choice is well bunk.

    Tell you what if devo max has massive support then why doesn't the snp just put up devo max vs the status quo.
    After all that would be the 'Democratic' thing to do let the Scottish people have what they ask for.

    But they wont because the snp are antiscottish when it comes to letting the people choose what the snp dont want them to choose.


  5. Colonialists,like Niko, as heard on Newsweek at c46 mins in.

    The North of England are starting to wake up at long last.

  6. Poor Niko. After a lifetime of supporting English based parties he just can't accept that there is a party that is prepared to say: well... you guys are speaking to us about a third option... let's launch a consultation about it and find out what those of you who can be bothered to fill it in think...

    I know it's not in your range of possibles Niko, but... hey, that's how it is.

    But suit yourself Niko. I dunno why you're so bent out of shape; it's what your party seems to want, but they can't back it because it seems to be going along with Eck.

    And they would rather eat their own feet and hobble around on stumps, than ever do that.

  7. Thick as mince Dubs...

    Tell yiz whaat boiz. How no hiv wir aine wee referedic... no that's no th' ward... referendix... no it's somethin' like thoan...well yiz noz, wan o' thay wee quizzy thingies in the paper, aye?

    Way to go morons! A referendum question with "Duh, I don't know. It's too difficult. Can we have more of strictly come dancing please..."

    That'll be the next thing. Retard Headlines:

    BBC Warns: End to Strictly in Torn Away Scotland

    SIR Brucie (Didn't he do well) says he won't come north!

    There you are Connan...

    Still, it isn't nick-named the Daily Retard for nothing, is it?

  8. Oh that was very interesting CH. Very interesting indeed.

    Mind you for a long time many people in places like Newcastle have felt more attached to Edinburgh than to London. My colleague who is a Geordie, says that she and her husband came to Scotland to work because they felt completely ignored by London.

    Interesting too that right wing of the Tories (so says a political academic) want out of the EU. To appease them Camergoon postures and makes everyone in Europe fed up with him. He must be as hated as Thatcher was by now.

    Of course the First Ministers of Wales and Scotland are far more affable guys (I'm not sure that affable is a word I would use to describe the Robertson bloke), and would be welcome in Europe, whereas England might not be.

    Of course that would please a lot of English people, until England found that it had to comply with all the regulations of the EU if it wanted free trade with them, without being allowed any say at all in the framing of these regulations ...whereas Scotland, still a member of the EU would have a seat at the top table.

    Oh the irony...

  9. It would appear Cammy the clammy is having second thoughts on the EU thingy

  10. Fiarfor: I think someone has had a word in his ear. The trouble with him (whether about this or anything else) is that he acts first and thinks (or someone else does the thinking) after.

    Climbdown Cameron is hardly a desirable name for a politician, but it's apposite.

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