Sunday, 1 November 2009

Referendum no more ...

The decision of the Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference yesterday to reject Salmond’s independence referendum proposal (see is a decision I greatly welcome. This effectively kills off the SNP referendum proposal this side of the 2011 election and judging by the latest polls (see that show the SNP firmly behind Labour in likely seats in the Scottish Parliament were an election to take place now for the Scottish Parliament, with Liberal Democrats, Tories and Greens gaining seats as the SNP slides, the likelihood of a referendum after 2011 also now looks unlikely.

I have indicated in the past (see that a referendum is a complete waste of public money - particularly in the current challenges facing the economy (what an irrelevance at a time all effort should be being made to tackling the recession) – but particularly because there are regular General Elections and Scottish Parliamentary Elections where the constitutional future of Scotland could be altered should separatist parties gain a majority of the vote or seats.

I therefore agree with the letter writer from Polmont in today’s “Scotland on Sunday” (see who writes :

“When will the SNP realise that every national election in which they have campaigned has offered the Scottish electorate the opportunity to vote for independence?

My first personal experience of a General Election was in 1974 when the posters declared 'Independence this time – Yes'. My political experience came in 1992 when we were told that Scotland would be 'Free by '93'! The fact is that every recent election to both Westminster and Holyrood has failed to show that the people of Scotland either support independence or indeed want a choice over it. If they had, there would have been a clear majority of votes for those parties that supported it, as there was in 1997 for devolution.”