When No might not mean No

15 Oct 2012


So we have a deal.


We have a Yes/No question for a vote on Scottish Independence, and we can hardly contain our disappointment.


This referendum has become a bit of a game with both sides intent on rigging the deck. We now have a deal that suits the interests of a few dozen people in Edinburgh and Westminster and excludes a large section of the Scottish people who want more powers within the UK.


Every reputable poll since 1999 ‘more powers’ has almost always been the most favoured option with two most recent Polls in June  by IPSOS Mori  and a face to face survey by TNS showing more powers on  around  40 points and ‘Independence’  and ‘Status Quo’ at best in the high 20s.


It’s now important that Unionist Parties make clear their intentions on what exactly a ‘No vote’ would entail – with the options on more powers spelled out in law ahead of the 2014 vote.


They need to tell us if No means 'No Change' or if No means ‘more powers’. If change is what’s on offer then it should be more than a politician’s promise: we need it enshrined in law before the vote.


And looking to the positive, we now have votes at 16 for the referendum. But let’s consider for a moment the magnitude of that move.


Young people will get a say on the future of the Union, so it is absurd not to let them have a say on the small matter of their next local MP. Votes at sixteen should be more than another grubby political deal. Politicians need to seize this opportunity to make a lasting investment in the political education of all our young people.


It seems that until 2014 our politicians will be too preoccupied with defeating each other to see the real problems facing Scotland’s politics. We will have to rely on others to lead the debate on our democratic future.



6 Responses to When No might not mean No

HappyBriton 19 Oct 2012

I realise that this is somewhat against the grain of opinions here, but a clear in and out referendum on the question of independence, seems sensible. There are, naturally, a wide range of views on what Scotland's constitutional future might look like - but the question of whether Scotland remains part of the UK comes logically prior to all of them, and this has to be fully and conclusively resolved. Splitting the 'no' vote by essentially obscuring the question would be morally, as well as rationally, dubious. If there is a groundswell of desire for more powers, that can be legitimately pursued by ordinary democratic means.

Ibj 16 Oct 2012

How do we get the change enshrined in law before the referendum? Not at all clear about how that would work.

Roddy 15 Oct 2012

Given Westminster's record, any Scots who took any Jam Tomorrow promises about more powers for the Scottish Parliament seriously before voting in the referendum should get their heads examined.

Derick Tulloch 15 Oct 2012

No means neither 'no change' or 'no powers'. No most likely means less powers for Scotland, or undermining of the Scottish Parliament by stealth/budget manipulation = Devominus

Ross A 15 Oct 2012

I wonder if, just as Thatcher inadvertently created devolution and the Scottish Parliament, Cameron and Clegg will be responsible for Scottish independence...

Baz Thomson 15 Oct 2012

The choice is between A. All powers to make all decisions for Scotland being made in Edinburgh by a political party that the Scottish people vote for or B. Most powers to make most decisions for Scotland being made in London by a political party that that the Scottish people dont vote for. I've had to make some tough decisions in my life but this is not of them.