We are all aware of how that fateful phrase 'once in a generation' has come to haunt Scotland's cause. I don't doubt there are times when both Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon wish they'd never offered up that particular hostage to fortune. What makes it truly regrettable is that they could easily have left it out. It wasn't essential. There are other ways of saying the same thing. Not so with the word 'supermajority'. It's not a throwaway remark. It refers to a very specific concept. A concept which is very much part of this election campaign. There isn't really an alternative. There may be other ways of saying the same thing. But none, I suspect, that wouldn't sound painfully contrived. We're stuck with it now.
"Here is what we know. A majority SNP government will hold a referendum within the term of the next parliament."Richard Walker: This is why Both Votes SNP is best way to ensure independence But we don't know this, Richard. That is a very large part of the problem. In your very next sentence you refer … Continue reading What a mess!
In reality, the nuance in this instance is not all that subtle. It's actually quite easy to imagine circumstances in which Boris Johnson might do a U-turn on his adamant opposition to a new referendum. Bear with me and I'll explain.
In all of this the British government would be arguing against relevant provisions of the UN Charter and various UN declarations and internationally accepted conventions. It is entirely possible that the prospect would be too daunting for them.
Arguably the most deleterious effect of descent into a cult of personality (or personalities) is that the rightness or wrongness of the decisions ceases to be the issue. Reasoned and reasonable debate about the choices being made becomes impossible when the only thing that matters is the identity of the individual making those choices.
My hope is that Now Scotland will use the opportunity of its 6 March assembly to debate and vote on resolutions relating to the constitutional issue. I think it would do Scotland a great service if it were organised as a kind of mock party conference. I would like to see it staging the debates that should be taking place at the SNP's conference.
Plan C proposes that, having repudiated the Section 30 process as an affront to democracy, the SNP should include in the party's manifesto for the coming Holyrood elections a commitment that if elected an SNP Scottish Government will immediately assert the exclusive competence of the Scottish Parliament in all constitutional matters preparatory to proposing the dissolution of the Union subject to a referendum that shall be entirely made and managed in Scotland.
The question defines the campaign. In the 2014 referendum the campaign was defined such that the Yes side must always be on the defensive. Why in the name of reason would we want to repeat that appalling error?
Any referendum that is held not having been sanctioned by the British Prime Minister must be sanctioned by the Scottish Parliament. To do that the Scottish Parliament would have to assert its competence in constitutional matters (UDI in all but name.)
When Boris Johnson shows me something and says look at my plan I expect to see a bungling buffoon stuck on a zip-wire. For no reason other than that is the image I simply can't help associating with the vacuous ideologue.