Contradictory Questions

The First Minister has announced that the Independence Referendum will be on Thursday 18th September 2014. Predictably, some Labour MSPs tried to make an issue of not receiving special knowledge of the date ahead of Parliament. This would have been improper and against Parliamentary procedures.

We can now expect an 18-month increasing onslaught against Independence. Though I hope this might include some rational debate, I anticipate plenty of nonsense. For example, immediately after the date announcement, a Labour MSP objected saying some of her constituents might need candles to get to polling stations!

Opponents are in the strange position of demanding to know why the Referendum can’t be held sooner, but asking in the same breath how Scots can decide on major constitutional change without knowing, in microscopic detail, exactly what the future will look like in an independent Scotland.

To the first question: legal and democratic processes in the Scottish Parliament, as with Westminster, simply take time. We could, of course, have had a Referendum by now, following the minority SNP Government’s first proposals in 2009/10. But Labour, the Tories and the LibDems combined forces to oppose and reject any possibility of allowing the Scottish people the right to decide their destiny.

On the second objection, there will never be enough information for those who oppose Independence. It makes you wonder how so many other plucky countries took this step before us.

The people will decide next year, but one thing looks certain – a dirty political campaign will be fought by opponents of Scottish Independence.

The above was originally written for Bill’s Dunfermline Press column. This version may vary slightly. 

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