Is there any point in opinion polling about matters which are not a matter of opinion? For example, what purpose would be served by asking people if they think the boiling point of water at sea level should be reduced in order to save energy. It would not be at all surprising to find that close to 100% of people think it an excellent idea. But what purposes would be served? What value is there in knowing that 99.9% of people favour something that is impossible? It is not made less impossible by being favoured by an overwhelming majority of respondents. Some things just aren’t amenable to the principles of democracy.
The British state is one of those things.
Do you think these [Internal Market Bill] reductions in the Scottish Parliament’s powers should only take effect if the Scottish people agree to them in a referendum?
The question appears to assume that a referendum on this matter would be meaningful or even possible. Which in turn implies that the will of Scotland’s people might overturn a decision of the British government. Inherent in the question is the notion that the British government would permit that the choices it makes for Scotland be subjected to a popular vote by the people of Scotland. Perhaps even that the British government might be prepared to respect the result of such a vote. Frankly, it is more credible that the the laws of physics might be subject to popular whim.
It may be argued that asking such a question helps to highlight or underline the fact that the will of the people of Scotland counts for nothing under British demockracy. It may be claimed that the question helps to raise awareness of the anti-democratic nature of the Union. But we have real-world examples – such as Brexit – which clearly illustrate the contempt in which the people of Scotland are held by the British political elite. And there must surely be less opaquely contrived ways of educating people about the true nature and purpose of the Union.
How many of those answering in favour of a referendum on implementation of Internal Market Bill are aware that such a thing is as close to being an impossibility as makes no difference? Of the 66% who think these reductions in the Scottish Parliament’s powers should only take effect if the Scottish people agree to them in a referendum what proportion are aware that the Union means this cannot happen?
Similarly, of the 56% of Scots who now favour independence what proportion realise that neither this majority nor a majority twice or three times that size makes the restoration of Scotland’s independence any more likely. For the same reason that the will of Scotland’s people has no bearing whatever on the implementation of the Internal Market Bill or any other policy that the British state wishes to impose on Scotland – the Union!
What is the point of asking the people of Scotland what their opinion is when their opinion counts for absolutely nothing?
Underlying much (most?) of this type of polling is the notion that it will somehow influence the British government. That it will moderate the arrogant, overbearing, contemptuous attitude of the British political elite towards Scotland. A notion actively encouraged by the SNP leadership and its apologists lest people take it into their heads to wonder if it is not the arrogant, overbearing, contemptuous attitude of the Scottish political elite which the real problem.
To those of us who long since realised that the Union is root cause of Scotland’s problems and the greatest obstacle to addressing them it is not at all shocking that the opinion of the people of Scotland is as nothing to the British government. We don’t throw up our hands in horror with every fresh instance of British demockracy disdainfully discounting the will of the Scottish people. The anti-democratic nature of the Union is as much a matter of fact as the boiling point of water at sea level. What is constantly appalling is that Scottish public opinion should be just as casually disregarded by our own government. What truly horrifies is that the will of Scotland’s people should apparently mean as little to the SNP as it does to the British political elite.
Today I shall be attending an assembly organised by AUOB. My hope is that the outcome of the day’s deliberations will be a new political force in Scotland. A political force which represents the combined strength of the entire Yes movement. A political force that even the SNP will find it hard to ignore. My further hope is that this political force can be brought to bear on the SNP in order to compel the party to adopt a Manifesto for Independence ahead of the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections.
I happen to believe that the opinion of the Scottish people should be heard. I am of the opinion that in Scotland the will of Scotland’s people should ALWAYS prevail. I reckon we are worthy of respect. How many of you are of the same opinion?
What are you prepared to do about it?