Monday, 20 June 2011

The Lights Are On - But No One’s in at the Scotland Office

It would appear that the Scotland Office is determined to show us just how little they seem to know about what is going on around them.

After the recent ridiculous statement made by Michael Moore about the legality of the independence referendum we now have blundering David Mundell putting his foot in it to try and muddy the waters even further.

The only Tory MP north of the border is warning the people of Scotland that if his government doesn’t have a say in the wording on the ballot paper then it will end up before the Supreme Court in London.

Blundell is demanding that only one question, “Independence – “yes or no” be put before the people. The Scottish Government’s has said that it is open to the option of two questions. The second, asking if, in the event that they did not want independence, would those voting want greater fiscal autonomy.

It would appear that Blundell, along with quite a few others, does not understand that a two question ballot paper will make no difference to the vote for independence. Either people favour it or they don’t.

However, its got nothing to do with that.

Blundell and the unionist cabal want the choice to be independence or the status quo. Therefore, if the vote did not favour independence they would be able to say that that people of Scotland were happy with the way things were. As that might not actually be the case the SNP want, quite rightly, to offer another option.

One could vote for independence and greater fiscal autonomy. One could vote against independence but for greater fiscal autonomy. One could vote “no” to both. This would give a clear picture of what the people wanted.

So why do the unionists see this as a problem?

Because it is. And its one of their own making.

They will go into the independence campaign telling the people of Scotland that they have been given everything that they are going to get. The London Government has already told the Scots that they will get no more than the insipid unionist Calman Report recommended. Had they given Scotland more, the fear was that by the time the referendum comes about the SNP would be able to show that with greater fiscal autonomy Scotland was better off. And the reason that they don’t want it now is the same reason that they don’t want to risk it on the ballot.

So for them there can only be straight choice between independence and the union. However, if they are confident that everything in the UK garden is rosy then surely all that they have to do is tell people to vote for the “No – No” option.

The contribution to the debate by the Scotland Office so far, has been a mixture of arrogant posturing and threats of constitutional bludgeoning.

If they have an argument as to why it would be beneficial for Scotland to remain in a political union that is well past its “sell by” date then they should make it.
So far, it would appear that they do not.