Friday, 1 May 2015

Fear and loathing

Yesterday at First Minister's Questions Kezia Dugdale yet again raised the topic of a second referendum on independence, as did Willie Rennie.  Specifically, Ms Dugdale was asking Nicola Sturgeon to rule out a second referendum on independence in this generation.  Her entire argument was based on the fact that Nicola Sturgeon had said prior to the last one that this was a once in a generation opportunity.  Now correct me if I'm wrong, but to me that phrase really doesn't say that there can be only one referendum in a generation.  It's simply a way of saying that it's a rare opportunity and therefore not to be missed.

However, given that Nicola Sturgeon has already said that there will not be a second referendum unless (a) something materially changes within the UK, for example England votes to leave the EU and Scotland votes to stay in AND (b) the Scottish people indicate they want another referendum by electing a party that has this policy in their manifesto, it's hard to see what Ms Dugdale is having difficulty with.

It is, of course, the latest wizard wheeze dreamt up by Labour in an attempt to confound the polls and keep their seats in Scotland.  It's a very ill-thought out tactic in my opinion.  For the 45% of people who voted Yes in the last one, the prospect of another referendum really isn't terribly frightening.  Indeed for them it would be welcomed.  Even the 55% who voted No I suspect don't find the prospect of another referendum to be anything more than annoying.  Been there, done that, bought the window stickers.

Labour, however, have everything to fear from another referendum.  Cut off from the gravy train in London and now looking like they might not even be the second biggest party in Holyrood in the next Scottish general election, independence for Labour has taken on a nightmare cast.  Indeed, since yesterday Ed Miliband appeared to throw Labour in Scotland under the bus in electoral terms, things are looking bleak indeed. 

And of course, it must all be blamed on the SNP.  In the bible there is a famous quotation regarding motes and beams.  Perhaps Labour should give it some thought.

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