A guest post by Samuel Miller
A bit sooner than expected for a second post, but then this happened:
“The number one thing Nicola Sturgeon could do right now to boost the Scottish economy is to remove the uncertainty of a second independence referendum, she could take that off the table right now.” David Mundell Secretary of State for Scotland
Spookily only shortly after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the availability of £100m funding to boost the Scottish economy and support for jobs. Oh and her well received visit to Berlin.
Do readers think we should list the reasons as to why the First Minster of Scotland, in fact any First Minister of Scotland regardless of party, should remove the option of an independence referendum from the table given the current situation? In point of fact any option? I mean its not as if there aren’t enough clues for the poor soul.
Scotland is a country (not a region) with its own laws. It is party to a bipartite international treaty and its devolved government currently finds itself in a constitutional and economic crisis NOT of its own making. In fairly recent history two referendums, with fairly hefty and far reaching consequences, have been held with the participation of the Scottish electorate. The outcomes of both referendums however appear to be somewhat constitutionally incompatible, which some folk may consider a bit of a tough nut to crack if you ask me.
The point is, that beyond all other desires, the SNP government is bound by one driving idea. The will of the Scottish electorate is sovereign and that regardless of where that will leads them, they believe it is the duty of the Scottish parliament to carry out the wishes of its electorate to the best of its abilities, end of.
Which pretty much explains the whole ‘ we will explore all possible options’ thing:-
As the UK government’s representative in Scotland, Mr Mundell is basically asking, (more like telling), the First Minister to ignore entirely one result voted for by the electorate of Scotland in favour of another. Oh and to effectively dump the idea that the opinions of the Scottish electorate matter in our political partnership.
In order to adhere to the democratic premise that the Scottish parliament derives its direction from the will of the electorate, it should be utterly unthinkable for ANY option to be taken off the table until that option has been categorically ruled out for whatever reason (legal or technical) and yes that includes remaining in both unions if at all possible. The Scottish electorate have basically instructed their parliament to square a circle and it may well come down to the ballot of an independence referendum in order to make that happen.
I repeat – Near as I can see and it’s hard to say otherwise, this constitutional and economic omnishambles was not invited or created by the Scottish Government. It is however where we, as the voting public, find ourselves and I cannot see any responsible First Minister removing options from the table which would provide their electorate with a means of resolving the problem for themselves.
Some folk may find this a bit cynical, but I think Westminster government and its office in Scotland may be aware of this already.
Audio version of this blog article, courtesy of @lumi_1984