Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Open warfare erupts as the SNP attacks Tory/Lib Dem Coalition as poll row escalates, referendum with strings rejected by SNP
They say that a week in politics is a long time, over the last 24 hours the independence referendum has become a hot potato in the UK.
David Cameron's Cabinet colleagues last night began openly hinting they would call their own vote.
They want Alex Salmond to accept their proposals on how the referendum is conducted however it is expected that the First Minister will rejected their proposal for conditions outright.
The stick that the UK Government is using to beat the nationalist government is that the uncertainty is damaging the Scottish economy.
Transfer of total sovereignty isn’t really an issue as major businesses have set up shop in Scotland and will continue to do so.
One of the UK Government conditions to their offer is that there will be a ban on under-18s voting.
This idea for 16 and 17-year-olds to be allowed to take part was never a serious prospect that Westminster would allow in my opinion, it was fantasy politics.
Alex Salmond’s call for 16 and 17-year-olds to be allowed to take part wouldn’t even get out of the starting gate nevermind take part in the race.
Michael Moore, the LibDem Scottish Secretary is to speak at Westminster today to tell MPs that it is right to attach strings to both the timing of the vote and the question asked.
A Scottish Office spokesman said:
"The statement will be about how the UK Government can facilitate a legal, fair and decisive referendum."
Fighting back the Scottish Government insisted yesterday that only it had the mandate to call an independence vote.
They won the Scottish election, however there are two governments in Scotland and only the Westminster Government has the legal authority regarding the referendum, not Holyrood.
And that is the problem.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the party would stick to its guns and hold the poll in the second half of the current Holyrood parliament.
As I previously blogged that would mean mid 2014 in order to prepare the ground for a Westminster campaign in the event of a no vote!
Giving interviews yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon said that there was a body of opinion which favours a question on extra powers for Holyrood and the so called devo-max option which no one has twigged is unworkable.
Devo-max requires a Westminster Bill and that requires Westminster MPs to vote through this proposal, which I suspect wouldn’t happen.
Devo-max requires English MPs to dance to a Scottish Jig, much in the same way as the tail wagging the dog concept.
There are only 6 SNP Westminster MPs.
Devo-max isn’t going anywhere; it is a pipedream, pure fantasy politics, much like a consolation prize, it is a stop gap if things don’t work out to salvage something if the independence vote fails.
The only people in politics talking devo-max are the SNP within the context of the independence referendum, when challenged which other party supported this question Nicola Sturgeon was forced onto the back foot repeatedly by saying that other parties’ views change daily.
In the context of the referendum, all UK parties are of the same mind; they want one question and one question only and don’t want the water muddied by the second question on devo-max.
I don’t see their position changing and giving the SNP two bites at the cherry, its all or nothing as far as they are concerned.
The fight will continue because no one is willing to give an inch.
If the SNP decide to go ahead with allowing 16 and 17-year-olds being allowed to take part in the vote, then there exists the possibility that Westminster Government will not recognise the result or go further and block the referendum on technical grounds via a Scottish Court.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University