Scotland Referendum – Cameron starts his play…

I’ve been expecting something for a while but perhaps not exactly this (from the Indie):

David Cameron is considering a UK-led referendum on Scottish independence to prevent the Scottish Nationalists from setting the terms, question and timing to suit themselves, British government ministers admitted yesterday.

That might be a bit of a red herring but this ain’t:

There have also been suggestions from the Nationalists that Scots would be able to choose more than one option in the referendum – prompting critics to warn that the SNP could secure independence even if this was only the second-best supported option.

Conservative ministers at Westminster want to stop all these developments, moves they believe are simply attempts by Mr Salmond to manipulate every part of the referendum process to suit himself. As a result, plans have been discussed for a “Clarity Act”.

Modelled on a Canadian law of the same name, the Act could force the Scottish Nationalists to put just one simple question to the Scottish people. It is understood that ministers are considering inserting a new clause into the Scotland Bill which would perform the role of a full Clarity Act by setting strict terms for any referendum on Scottish independence.

This is going to be fun.
Meanwhile the dosh is still rolling in for the Good Guys…Lotto Winnners Pay to Break Up Britain (from the Mail).

Fun and competitive…

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  • Obelisk

    Cameron starts his play indeed, facing a monumental threat to the Union he claims to love and cherish his plan isn’t to win around the Scots to his point of view but to play procedural games to make the process as difficult as possible.

    Such moves inevitably play into the hands of the SNP who should be able to spin this as London attempts to thwart the National will.

  • Neil

    Last night, when asked about his donation, Mr Weir simply smiled and politely said: ‘No comment.’

    Legend.

  • Neil

    David Cameron is considering a UK-led referendum on Scottish independence to prevent the Scottish Nationalists from setting the terms

    Unfortunately Posh Boy Call Me Dave has a little more sense than that. The very best he could hope for would be a narrow win. English people are fed up to the back teeth pumping money out of their English economy for what?

    To have non English people voting on English matters to the detriment of English people, while trying to slip a backhander to their own people, let’s say students for example, and from an English point of view they get little gratitude for it. There’s little question in my view that England without the Union to maintain would be more prosperous and likely happier place.

    Posh Boy Call Me Dave wouldn’t want to hand that decision over to the plebs as we know. He might get his fingers burnt and that’s the kind of democracy we don’t want. If you start that caper then you might end up allowing people to have a say in things like Europe, human rights and the rest.

  • Abu Mikhail74

    That’s right, David, you fight! Makes it more fun for the Picts, and you still get the same seeing-to in the end. Now squeal like a Gloucestshire Old Spots, squeal boy!

  • Abu Mikhail74

    Oh, and Neil: providing free third-level education is not ‘slipping a back-hander’ to students, it’s the mark of a civilized government.

  • Neil

    I’m attempting to empathise with the English position. AM. I also don’t feel they have any entitlement to gratitude of any kind as they could have saved themselves any headaches by staying within their own borders.

    My point is to see it from an Englishman’s point of view, however I’m not an Englishman.

  • Abu Mikhail74

    I get you, Neil. Sorry I misunderstood your post. Can you believe I didn’t get a yellow for the ‘deliverance’ post? Mick must be asleep.

  • Neil

    Haha Abu, no worries you’ll get one eventually don’t give up. Personally I only get reds, trying to keep the head down for a while.

  • Abu Mikhail74

    True nuff’ Neil, I’m a newbie but I know I’m not a proper Sluggerite ’til I get that first card! Mick, you awake yet?

  • AGlassOfHine

    Over 66% of the Scottish Electorate wish to retain the Union.
    I don’t know how many times I have to repeat this,but I have faith that eventually it will sink in.

    Then again,why let the facts get in the way of a good old nat/rep wishful thinking shindig ? 😉

  • Dewi

    Heinz – you don’t have to repeat it at all – we read it from you the first time. It’s an opinion. A fact is is that opinion in Scotland is trending toward independence.
    My opinion is that victory is possible.

  • Neil

    Salmond’s a slick operator HG. It’s my opinion that he’ll continue picking away at the link with the Union, one bit at a time and each thread he undoes will be very difficult to reverse. On the other thread I asked you to provide a more recent poll thank this one:

    http://fullfact.org/blog/Scotland_independence_referendum_SNP_Alex_Salmond_Michael_Moore-3103

    which shows a majority for devo max at a minimum. You then responded with references to three polls all of which are old.

    I repeat (as you like to do) can you find a more recent poll? Anecdotally we know that independence is a more popular option now than ever before, so the recent polls will show a higher figure supporting independence.

    Can you find a more recent poll, or is your best option wittering on about out of date information and some of your famed Frank Carson style debating techniques consisting of your devastating witticisms?

    Sock puppetry should be banned by the way, if Mick happens to be reading. Next thing we know we’ll have people vociferously agreeing with their own arguments to lend themselves credence.

  • FuturePhysicist

    If Scotland does leave the UK, it does make the new United Kingdom a little more Tory friendly, 1 seat loss but 40 seats lost from Labour, and 58 from the whole region.

    Add to the Boundary review and some mitigation of the swing to Labour that is happening according to the opinion polls, you could see the Tories back in government, albeit perhaps with a coalition, not necessarily a Lib Dem one.

  • Red Lion

    I do find it a little undemocratic that 3 options might be put on a referendum paper – depending how u look at its either very devious or very clever from Salmond. If a pro-union (in whatever form) vote is split and independence comes out narrowly on top , then i dont think such a vote carries much legitimacy, or potential for stability.

    It seems much fairer, clearer and democratic for Salmond to clearly set out what he wants in any constitutional changes and then a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question.

    I suspect that an astute a man as Salmond knows that Scotland does not want to leave the union (even in his so-called ‘full independence’ ideal i believe even the SNP wish to retain the Queen as head of state though i stand to be corrected), and is instead trying to get as close as he can to an independent or as-devolved-aspossible Scotland that is palpable to the electorate.

    That said, Irish nationalism could learn from a flexibility of what nationalism actually means – by bending the image/definition/abstract of ‘United Ireland’**away from that traditionally trumpeted by harder line republicans, and so distasteful to unionists.

    I also think that the current UK constitional set-up needs a UK wide reform and update to deal with things like the West Lothian question, and to deal with the larger disparities between Uk peoples eg student fees. Perhaps some sort of Federated option might sort out the anomalies and give suffiecient power and identity to the constituent countries while retaining the benefits/identity of union?? This is where Westminster should steal a march on nationalism by perhaps having a Royal Commission properly look at all the Uk constitutional issues, and perhaps seek to harmonise devolution.

  • lamhdearg

    The number of religious hate crimes recorded in Scotland rose by 10% in the past year – with the majority targeted at Roman Catholics.

    New figures from the Scottish government show there were 693 charges aggravated by religious prejudice in 2010/2011 – the highest in four years.

    The data shows 58% of these were against Catholics with 37% of recorded crimes against Protestants