The Lib Dems are tying themselves in knots in order to avoid accusations of hypocrisy over their policy of seeking another referendum on the EU but steadfastly refusing to concede another referendum on Scottish independence. It’s hard to understand why they’re so bothered, seeing as how being inconsistent is pretty much the Unique Selling Point of the Lib Dems. The Tories can be relied upon to be incompetently nasty. Labour can be relied upon to devote itself to infighting and just being incompetent. The Lib Dems however are proudly competent, they’re highly competent at saying one thing in opposition and then doing the exact opposition the second that they get a wee snifter of power.
Anyway, it’s not a good look, trying to argue that the UK needs another referendum on the EU on account of the fact that the Leave campaign lied through its teeth, while refusing to allow another independence referendum in Scotland even though the Better Together campaign likewise lied through its teeth. It’s OK to lie through your teeth just as long as the Lib Dems are on board with the lying. It’s only when the Lib Dems are the liees and not the liars that there’s a problem, apparently.
It’s the Lib Dems being the victims of the lying instead of the liars which is the sort of thing that gets Vince all puffed up like one of those hallucinogenic toads, the kind which if you lick gives you crazy and insane visions of impossible and fantastical realities where all sorts of weirdness comes to pass. Although this is very much like what usually transpires at a Lib Dem party conference, come to think of it. Those would be fantasies like the Lib Dems winning enough seats in an election to be able to form a government, or Wullie Rennie being a respected statesman whose every word people cling on to like divine wisdom, or people actually believing that demanding a second referendum on the EU but refusing a second referendum on Scottish independence is really moral and principled and not opportunistic and two-faced at all. Lib Dem conferences are full of people who take this sort of surreal nonsense seriously. Well, I say “full”. It’s easy to be full when your container is so teeny tiny small.
Since he does have some awareness of the reality of the universe outside the otherworldly territory of the Lib Dem conference, Vince Cable has decided to tell the press that he doesn’t want a second EU referendum. There would be no justification for that, according to Vince. It would be terribly hypocritical to insist on a second referendum on the EU while refusing to allow a second referendum on Scottish independence. But Vince still wants another referendum on the EU, and he still doesn’t want another referendum on Scottish independence. Something about this makes the Brexiteers’ favourite phrase “having one’s cake and eating it”, spring to mind. But Vince has a way out of the referendum conundrum, or refonundrum. He wants a another first referendum instead. Having a second referendum but insisting that it’s really another first referendum is completely different, and totally not hypocritical at all. Oh no. Because Vince says so. Totes different. Toads’ eyes bulgingly different. Ribbit.
The second referendum on the EU wouldn’t be a second referendum because it would be a first referendum on the facts, opined Vince in an interview with a BBC reporter who was contractually obliged not to scoff and who didn’t press him further. Pressing British nationalist politicians on the contradictions and sheer utter sanctimonious double-dealing of their stance on preserving the Union isn’t part of the BBC’s remit. Instead Vince was allowed to set out his stall for a second referendum that’s not really a second referendum and to continue in claim that it’s not really a second referendum even though he doesn’t believe that it’s not really a second referendum any more than the BBC reporter or the viewing public do. Any word salad will do, as long as it allows Vince another referendum on the EU but still to refuse another referendum on Scottish independence.
There’s a hallucinogenic toad at the Lib Dem conference that when you lick it takes you into a dream world where Scotland is an equal and valued partner which leads the family of nations that makes up the UK. It’s just a shame that in the real world, all we’ve got is a foul smelling swamp where Scotland’s hopes and dreams are drowned by Brexit loving toads.
A second referendum on Scottish independence would likewise be a first referendum on the fact that everything promised to the people of Scotland by the Better Together campaign in 2014 turned out to be a big fat lie. This sounds remarkably similar to the whole Brexit thing, come to think of it. Scotland was promised a set of things by supporters of the British state, and as soon as they got the No vote that they wanted they delivered the exact opposite. Vince says that the people of the UK deserve a referendum on the kind of Brexit that they’re going to get, which is completely different from the kind of Brexit which they were promised during the EU referendum campaign. Vince doesn’t think that the people of Scotland deserve a referendum on the kind of UK that they’re getting, even though it is completely different from the kind of UK which they were promised during the independence referendum campaign.
Vince Cable and the Lib Dems might have found a form of words which gets Vince through an interview on the BBC and allows him to square the circle of the Lib Dem’s refonundrum, but it’s not going to persuade anyone else. When the Lib Dems stop licking the toad, they’ll see that their party, with its 82,000 members across the entire UK, is smaller than the Scottish independence movement. A recent opinion poll showed that support for independence remains buoyant, and that’s before the independence movement even gets into gear. There’s much more of a prospect of a second Scottish independence referendum than of a second EU referendum. Scotland will still have its say on the EU, just not in the way that Vince Cable wants.
The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.
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