Sunday, 8 January 2012

Referendum Clarity - Cameron

Now then, it seems David Cameron has possibly got the SNP by the short and curlies, although he may have inadvertently grabbed them by the proverbial eyebrows.

No doubt the more fundmentalist nationalists will be going into overdrive with their Mr Angry personas, but Cameron has made what could be a decisive move.

He has stated that Westminster will look at the legality and the timing of the Referendum, and where he scores points is with the timing.

To date, all we have had from the Scottish Government is that the Referendum will take place "towards the end of the current parliamentary term. Not even the slightest hint of when, although it is obvious they will use 2014 due to historical references and the Commonwealth Games.

The SNP has not specified a date because it is trying to judge when it thinks the timing will be perfect to win the vote, rather than coming straight out and telling us when. The Tories have little influence in Scotland, but Cameron is being clever here, since he has made it clear that the timing is the main factor.

In my view, Cameron has made a shrewd move here. There is no point in going off into a rant about Westminster interfering in Scottish matters; the fact of the matter is that the SNP have been dithering. True, their campaign has started, but there is still no indication of when the vote will be held.

There are two points to consider:

1. It can be argued that Holyrood and Westminster should be working together to agree on the timing and the format of the Referendum, since either parliament doing so on it's own will likely make it biased towards their own political aims.

2. The Scottish Government should have stated a date by now. The longer this drags on, the more indecisive it makes them look.

Cameron's approach is intended to make Salmond look indecisive, of that I have no doubt. But he is being rather low key, in comparison to previous statements on the line of "we will never allow the UK to break up" etc.

Salmond is in a bit of a corner here, since how does he explain why no decision has been made on the date yet, despite being eight months into the parliamentary session? The Referendum is about the future of Scotland, not how the current Government is operating, so why hold off on a decision?

Personally, I'm not exactly overjoyed with Cameron sticking his nose in, but the SNP can only blame themselves. I'm trying to look at this from a more realistic viewpoint, rather than the wailing and gnashing of teeth that will no doubt be on other blogs. Part of this approach is to provoke such a reaction, so there is further ammunition to potray the "cybernat" in the worst possible light.


  1. An Duine Gruamach8 January 2012 at 20:50

    More likely to be 2015 than 2014. The warm afterglow of the previous year's events will still be there, plus there'll have been time for the stats to show that "last year's tourism was up by X%" etc.

    Also, once the boundaries are changed and assuming Labour fail to get rid of Jonah Miliband, a Tory victory in 2015 must be a stick-on - which of course suits the SNP to a T.

  2. Rubbish, as usual.

  3. "Not even the slightest hint of when, although it is obvious they will use 2014"

    Absolute bollocks. Did you get the same memorandum from No.10 that everyone else clearly did this week, which is why they've all started spouting idiotic cobblers about Bannockburn? Anyone who's actually listened to a word Salmond's said in the last two months will be expecting LATE 2015 (quite possibly Nov 30, as per the 2007 plan).

  4. Anonymous - thank you for your constructive and referenced comment.


    An Duine - 2015 is possible but I believe it will be close to St Andrews day as possible. If it falls on a Thursday, even better.

    Whatever the date will be, Cameron has kicked things off in cyberspace at least.

  5. Good to see an attempt at a bit of balance for a change.

    Of course, the related problem is ascertaining how all this plays with the public generally rather than the politicos.

    The SNP will play the mandate card, but it was never that strong vis-a-vis the referendum - since for a start it was barely mentioned during the campaign - and it was certainly never conceded by the SNP that it's legality was in doubt ;0)

  6. Hmm. I gave you a referenced comment and you censored it.

  7. Bollocks? Absolute bollocks indeed?

    Perhaps I misheard this afternoon, but the Big Man himself just said Autumn 2014.

    I'm more interested in the consultation document to be honest. Just as long as it is not the same bag of nails that the recent one from Transport Scotland is.

    (For the record, I never censor or anonymise comments unless someone was being truly abusive.)