Monday, 7 November 2011

How Can the Unionists Run a Referendum That They Do Not Want?

We are still waiting on the reasoned argument for the retention of the Union. Believe you me. If there was an overwhelming argument that outlined the benefits to Scotland remaining in the Union we would have heard it by now. Instead what we have had are the tactics of fear and intimidation.

The scaremongering can easily be shown as just that. Whether it comes from politicians or their friends such as Citigroup, who’s clumsy and remarkably stupid outburst about investing in an independent Scotland might have made for fleeting headlines in the Unionist media, they are along with the rest of the invective, easily shot down.

When it comes to Scotland, Westminster’s track record of playing fast and loose with democracy should not be forgotten. The manipulation of the first devolution referendum and the consistent use of the civil service to produce spurious statistics to give a less than truthful picture of an independent Scotland are well documented. And I would be surprised if they are finished with the use of the latter.

But its not so easy now. People no longer have to rely on a biased media. Those who wouldn’t be seen dead in the corridors of the Daily Record, the Scotsman or the BBC can, and do, make legitimate challenges to the propagandists through the internet.

So, having lost the argument so far, it would appear that the hijacking of the referendum is becoming the favoured policy of many at Westminster and their subordinates north of the border.

The idea is not new. But as the main London parties seem to be accepting that they are losing ground, this last-ditch tactic is surfacing surprisingly early.

They were against a referendum. They’re still against a referendum. However, some now seem to think that, as its going to happen, they should be in charge of it. Of course the raison d’etre for this is no more convincing than the argument for the status quo.

Are we to have a referendum, that is the sole result of the Scottish Parliamentary Elections, run from another country by those who don’t want it in the first place?

The referendum was in the SNP’s election manifesto. But the Unionists chose to ignore this in the sure and certain knowledge that the voting system devised by Westminster would never return a majority SNP Government. Now they are scratching around the rubbish for some way of denying the implementation of that manifesto.

Calling on the UK Parliament and the courts to declare the referendum illegal at such an early stage in the debate shows that the Unionist argument is pretty much lost before it starts.

I doubt this will worry the Scottish Government. It will not be the SNP who will be portrayed as interfering, arrogant draconian bullies.

As much as David Cameron is detached fro the realities of Scotland, I doubt he is a stupid as some in his party.

But, I might be wrong.