SNP wriggling over independence referendum can’t hide some fall-off in support

It’s no surprise that the SNP have rejected the Calman Commission’s recommendations for more taxation and other powers for the Scottish Parliament as an alternative to independence. Independence was ruled out of the remit. And to be fair, no other party has pledged to implement Calman either, in the depths of recession. However, last night the SNP’s Constitution Minister Mike Russell went further than the Herald’s story. He was perfectly prepared to incorporate “a Calman package” in a multi-option referendum, details to be announced on or about St Andrew’s Day, November 30. Stand by for a UK government White Paper in reply. Mike is the most engaging of politicians but I couldn’t follow his answer to my question: what is your threshold for public approval for independence in a multi- option referendum? Nor was he willing to disclose yet what the precise wording of the independence question would be. Because of legal restrictions in the Scotland Act, such a question could only be to mandate the SNP government to begin negotiations with Whitehall. Mike ahowever rejected as undemocratic the Constitution Unit’s judgement that a second referendum to approve the terms could be needed. Meanwhile the latest poll suggests Labour are heading for a comfortable win in the Glasgow north east by election on Thursday and a reduction in the SNP lead for Holyrood. In a pretty volatile situation, 43% register don’t know. Taken with the previous You Gov poll, the trend suggests that Alex Salmond’s hopes for 20 Westminster seats have taken a blow, that the likelihood of a 2010 referendum is receding and that Labour have a good chance of retaking power in Holyrood in 18 months time.

  • Brit

    Seems like the SNP have been the beneficiaries of a short term and unsustainable protest vote, strenghtened by the most base of political prejudices (nationalism and antipathy to the other). It looks like the Scots public have seen them for what they are and hopefully their reactionary sub-state nationalism will be consigned to the dustbin of Scottish history.

  • Springfield

    Best encapsulated in Salmond’s description of Braveheart as “an important film”.

  • Dewi

    Brit – you heard of “blips”? –

    “Mike ahowever rejected as undemocratic the Constitution Unit’s judgement that a second referendum..could be needed”

    What like on joining the European Community? If two referndums are needed what if the second is no? Surely that just means the Scottish Government will just need to review the terms…and then hold a third referendum??

  • Garza

    When your voters are going away towards a failing Labour government you know something must be wrong.

  • oneill

    Dewi,

    If two referndums are needed what if the second is no? Surely that just means the Scottish Government will just need to review the terms…and then hold a third referendum??

    Best solution then surely is to put the fundamental question in the first referendum:

    “Do you want separation/independence from the rest of the United Kingdom ?”

    If the answer is “yes” then no further referendums needed; Salmond or whomever has been given carte-blanche to negotiate for the terms of separation, without condition, with the UK government. If the answer is “no” then the time and money need be wasted on further negotiations.

  • Dewi

    Oneill – I agree (!!!!)

  • Dewi

    “and that Labour have a good chance of retaking power in Holyrood in 18 months time.”

    What with SNP @40% and Labour32% ??

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    >>It’s no surprise that the SNP have rejected the Calman Commission’s recommendations for more taxation and other powers for the Scottish Parliament as an alternative to independence.< < Well it is a piss poor alternative and this rigged commission has been sidelined by the very unionist parties that commissioned the report in the first place and they refuse to implement it's recomendations despite the SNP inviting them to do so. Would it be obvious to point out that they only brought about Calman to take attention off the SNP's 'National conversation' that had no limits to what could be discussed, whereas Calman was under orders NOT to include full independence or full fiscal autonomy. Why are they so scared to endorse it's recomendations? >>And to be fair, no other party has pledged to implement Calman either, in the depths of recession.<< "Depths of recession" eh? Hardly! Are you looking to provide excuses for these guys or something. The reasons are political. The Tories want to wait till their hands are on the Westminster till, the Lib-Dem's don't know what they want. In comparison to labour though they are masters of strategy. Brit You have been asked repeatedly to substantiate your pointless insults regarding Scotland, your Jockophobia is shining through. Go away and play with your Tony Blair dolls if you are not prepared to provide evidence. Oneil You democrat you lol! Your increasing rush to the right is alarming and the question you pose “Do you want separation/independence from the rest of the United Kingdom ?” apart from being constitutionaly incorrect would aptly fit the term 'rigged' so bandied about by Unionists, yet so totally unexplained in context. And as we have covered this issue over on your own blog I fear that you are being disengenious for petty points scoring. It is simple, should Scots trust the SNP to undertake negotiations with Westminster to create an independent Scotland, it is idiotic then to suggest that they would not support the result of said negotiations. This has been made clear repeatedly now, don't see how it aids democracy further, unless muddying the water is the best argument Unionism has. (rhetorical)

  • English Republic

    “unless muddying the water is the best argument Unionism has.”

    Has that not always been the case?

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    English Republic(amen tae that)

    The lack of comeback encapsulates their arguing position. Apart from serious attempts to deny the people democracy(yours and mine) they do not have any credible position blocking the inevitable.

  • Ireland-1st/Ireland-last

    Oh deary me mo Chairde, looks like nobody wants to be part of the so-called ‘United (?)’ Kingdom… lol!
    It’s a far cry from the days of the Sun never setting on the British Reich (sorry I meant empire)

  • borderline

    “Do you want separation/independence from the rest of the United Kingdom ?”

    I sincerely hope than any questions put to the Jocks don’t have hyphens in them, or there will be trouble.

  • borderline

    or slashes………

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Slash you an your Jock shite. Why do some feel the need to fall back on English made stereotypes anyhow? Make something up yirsel man.

  • Springfield

    Yeah right Tony-strip away all the grand language and hyperbole and it’s got fuck all to do with a noble ideal such a Nationalism-who the fuck made the SNP the sole guardians of the Scottish Nation anyway?

    It’s about separatism and “Ourselves Alone” and deep down at the core a rabid Anglophobia.

    “English Republic(amen tae that)” Aye, get tae fuck yersel wee man.

  • English Republic

    “It’s about separatism and “Ourselves Alone” and deep down at the core a rabid Anglophobia.”

    Strange that you hear far more Anglophobia from uber-Brit “Scots” like Gordon Brown (who can’t even manage to let the “E” word pass his lips when speaking about England-specific areas of government) than you ever do from anyone in the SNP.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Yep I get bored with the baseless accusations that we should want the best for our country because we hate another one. The puerility of this needs no other comment. As for the SNP being “sole guardians” I have not made any such claim. However any casual peruser of Scottish politics could witness for themselves just who has Scotland’s interests at heart. The SNP is not controlled by a leader who sits in a foreign capital and who’s first interest is not Scotland.

    Scotland is not a pawn to be used in British politics, yet this has been her fate recently. We will make very good neighbours with England, but it is best we split soon whilst there is a good relationship to keep and our people yet resist the rabble-rousers who would wish otherwise.

  • English Republic

    “We will make very good neighbours with England, but it is best we split soon whilst there is a good relationship to keep and our people yet resist the rabble-rousers who would wish otherwise.”

    I agree 100% with that. I fear that the tipping point from this side of the border is not too far away however. That may be a good thing in terms of moving things on quickly but it may be at the expense of Anglo-Scottish relations. If it is I would hope it would only be a short term souring of relations.

  • oneill

    Tony,

    You democrat you lol

    What’s undemocratic in favouring a referendum asap with the clearest possible choice given to the Scottish electorate?

    Your increasing rush to the right is alarming and the question you pose “Do you want separation/independence from the rest of the United Kingdom ?” apart from being constitutionaly incorrect would aptly fit the term ‘rigged’ so bandied about by Unionists, yet so totally unexplained in context.

    The Scottish administration, true, may not presently have the legal powers to so word a referendum but that would also surely be the case with the multi-option being presented by the SNP? “Independence” is what’s being offered by the SNP isn’t it? Why then would it be rigging the ballot to actually put that choice as a simple “yes’ , “no” option? If the majority for independence is there, then what are you worrying about? Re my “increasing rush” to the right”, I realise now posting that Sonic Youth video was a mistake;)

    It is simple, should Scots trust the SNP to undertake negotiations with Westminster to create an independent Scotland, it is idiotic then to suggest that they would not support the result of said negotiations.

    That’s where you’re constitutional problem is. They can receive permission from the electorate to undertake negotiations but surely isn’t the same as the electorate (or the rest of the UK) agreeing to the outcome of those negotiations? Constitutionally, as has been pointed out in Brian Walker’s post, they still then would have to go back to the electorate. It’s telling the SNP’s argument against that second referendum is generally that it would be “undemocratic” rather than not legally required.

    This has been made clear repeatedly now, don’t see how it aids democracy further, unless muddying the water is the best argument Unionism has.

    “Muddying the water”- my simple “yes/no” question re independence (I’ll even drop the *slash “separation”:) or the multi-option referendum offering every possible constitutional solution under the sun?

  • oneill

    They can receive permission from the electorate to undertake negotiations but surely isn’t the same as the electorate (or the rest of the UK) agreeing to the outcome of those negotiations?

    Should read:

    They can receive permission from the electorate to undertake negotiations but that surely isn’t the same as the electorate (or the rest of the UK) agreeing to the outcome of those negotiations?

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Oneil

    The multi-option carrot thingy has been used by the SNP to try and widen the gulf of opinion within mainstream Unionist parties on the referendum question, primarily the Lib-Dem’s. It is probably pie in the sky. What is not, is that once the SNP win the referendum, with the constitutionally correct question(sorry not the rigged question that you are muddying the waters with) which will of course empower them to conduct negotiations.

    The question has been asked and answered over whether this gives them the authority to treat and deal. Why else would we give them the authority to treat without trusting them to deal. Stop being silly.

    English Republic

    We all want the same thing, there is no reason why we can’t be great neighbours, we have so much in common. And I am positive we will have several special relationships concerning matters of mutual interest.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    >>or the rest of the UK<< Stop being ridiculous, stick to muddying the other bits! Oh God.................command word Labor...................the dirty swines!