The Independence Question
Today, the Scottish Government (currently devolved from the British Government rather than independent) published their referendum plans. This is the SNP starting it’s bid to make Scotland a fully independent country. The idea being that they will put it to the people of Scotland to decide. As it turns out, the referendum comes down to whether or not Scotland should have more powers than they have now, and then a second question as to whether or not they should have the ability to achieve independence.
Firstly, that’s an interesting wording for the second question. They’re not asking us if we want independence, just whether we should have the right to do it. SNP trying to be sneaky I think.
The thing that really pisses me off though is the attitude of the English based opposition parties. Now, being English based you can assume they don’t want Scotland to be independent. You’d be right too. But what annoys me the most isn’t that they don’t want it, it’s that they don’t even want the Scottish people to have the right to decide!
Once more they’re crowing about how the SNP are wasting money and time on this referendum. There’s more important things to deal with, look at the mess Britain and the rest of the World is in with the recession and all that jazz. Now, leaving aside that they are ignoring the point that the SNP make about how we don’t have control over the stuff we need to sort the country out… they’re missing the point.
Something this big HAS to go before the people of Scotland. We SHOULD have the right to decide our future. That’s the point of democracy.
Better still, they’re missing a trick here. They come out with soundbites about how it’s not good for Scotland, the opposition parties don’t want it, the Scottish people don’t want it… eh, how do you know we don’t want it? You haven’t asked us. You don’t even want to ask us! Surely if you’re that confident that we don’t want it, the best thing for the opposition parties to do is to back the referendum, and persuade people to vote no. If it’s a complete fair vote, and with the backing of all parties it would be, then the answers from it will be final. According to them, the majority don’t want it so we’ll vote no anyway. The SNP will have the feet cut from under them and they’ll finally need to shut up about independence for Scotland once and for all.
Wendy Alexander, then leader of Scottish Labour, actually got annihilated by her own party for saying “bring it on”. Struck me that Wendy was one of the few opposition MSPs who actually understood this concept. I respect her for that, even if her own party doesn’t.
It gets better though. The opposition parties had their own consultation on where next for Scottish devolution. The findings basically said that Scotland should have more powers. Not independence mind, but certainly a “yes” to the first question the SNP are asking. What about those powers then? Well, currently Labour are in charge in England and they’ve promised they’ll bring in those extra powers for Scotland. In 2015. Right you are, thanks for that. I’m fairly certain that by the time 2015 comes round we’ll have just had 5 years of a Tory government that Scotland more than likely didn’t vote for. Labour are on their way out, and like it or not the Tories are the only opposition likely to take power from them. No one in Scotland votes Tory – Maggie Thatcher made sure they were unelectable up here.
I have a sneaking suspicion that’s what the SNP have been hoping for all along. They took over in the Scottish Parliament a few years ago now. Why didn’t they have their bill before now? Because they’ve been waiting for the point that Britain is run by a party the Scots didn’t vote for. That way they can use it in their Independence Referendum campaign as a stick to beat the others with. The only way to guarantee we are run by who we vote for. It’s quite a good plan actually.
Personally, I think the opposition parties are right. Although I’m all for Scottish independence (within a United States of Europe actually, but I’m probably alone on that idea!) I’m fairly sure there’s enough unionists in Scotland that it would get voted down. So I really can’t understand why the opposition don’t use that fact to kill off the SNP’s primary goal and render them effectively pointless.
Well, apart from the fact that politicians in the UK are ridiculous awful at actually running countries.