Toofer: letters to Herald published and not (No £wall)

This was published today:

IN setting out the steps required for a further referendum, I am afraid your correspondent Alan Carroll (Letters, April 22) has missed out the most important part. I am happy to fill the gap.

Like the one that was held in September last year, any further referendum would again require the consent of Westminster, as the constitution is a matter reserved to Scotland’s UK government. All of the parties of government have committed to implement the Smith Report, so none would have a mandate to sanction such a referendum.

Likewise, Nicola Sturgeon has told us that the General Election is not about independence, so not even her MPs would have any mandate to support a new referendum. In addition, it was specifically pledged by Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon that there would not be a further referendum for a generation or a lifetime.

So all in all, there is no chance of a new referendum at any time in the foreseeable future, which is as it should be, and anyone voting for the SNP in the hope that it would bring one (and independence) any closer is wasting their vote.

Peter A Russell

This was not (a letter by John McMaster on similar lines was published, however):

Ian Bell draws our attention to the rather odd intervention of Sir John Major in the General Election campaign.
In doing so, he might have pointed out that amongst other follies (like rail privatisation) Sir John was responsible for the loss of all of his party’s Scottish seats, and that he was to blame for the abolition of Scotland’s regional councils, which marked a very serious crossroads in Scottish political history.
This was not just that the abolition of the regions had the effect of exacerbating the sense of a democratic deficit, thereby making large-scale devolution inevitable. The consequence was the establishment of Holyrood, making it possible for the SNP to escalate the terms of the debate in Scotland. Hitherto, the mainstream of Scottish politics had concerned itself with practical issues of delivering services and redistribution of wealth between communities; since then, the debate has been increasingly about identity and “nationhood.”
These are the fault lines which still endure between Scottish Labour and the SNP (as set out by Alex Gallagher) – Labour believing that politics is about co-operation for the common good in terms of the economy and public services, and the SNP believing in independence no matter what the risk or cost.
Anyway, thanks for everything, Sir John. You never did know anything about Scotland.
Yours
Peter Russell
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One thought on “Toofer: letters to Herald published and not (No £wall)

  1. In reality it’s wishful thinking to suggest that there won’t be another Independence referendum – regardless of what transpires in the near term. The referendum result was a “No to Independence” on the promise that Scots, having had no real democratic voice within a UK dominated by England, would get sufficient powers to enable them to feel that they did have a voice after all.

    Whether or not these promises are kept, will determine whether your average Scot now feels that he/she has a say in the running of enough of their lives. But if they still feel that they don’t, and that Independence would promise them more of a say in the running of their lives, then it will be the Scottish electorate who demand another referendum: through their vote on manifesto pledges at the time of a Holyrood election, not necessarily in 2016. Whether this is next year, next decade, or next century – will depend on how Westminster treats Scottish electors.

    If Cameron gets back in to No. 10 again and calls his in/out EU referendum – and the UK electorate decides to leave in disregard of the wishes of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – then another Independence will happen immediately.

    Scottish Labour needs to revisit its approach to Scotland and Scottish politics and carve out a separate Scottish identity from that of UK Labour. Only by that means can it retrieve the dominant position on the future of Scotland as a nation from the one adopted by the SNP.

    Reply

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