Sunday, 7 September 2014

If we win we win, if we lose we win

Though I am Scottish, I haven't posted much (anything?) on the Scottish independence referendum because it is a) profoundly not important unless you are British, and b) the whole exercise was effectively rigged from the start, when the option of increased devolution was not included in the referendum options.

I'm possibly more inclined towards independence than the current arrangements.  But like most Scots (I suspect) I'd have preferred the option of maintaining the union but with more powers devolved to the Scottish parliament.

(It cost so much to build the damn thing, after all, that we might as well make the most of it.)

So this story, from the Guardian, is is a bit exciting:
Amid signs of panic and recrimination among unionist ranks about the prospects of a yes vote on 18 September, the Observer has learned that a devolution announcement designed to halt the nationalist bandwagon is due to be made within days by the anti-independence camp.

The plan, in the event of a no vote, is that people from all parts of Scottish society – rather than just politicians – would be invited to take part in a Scottish conference or convention that would decide on further large-scale transfers of power from London to Holyrood.

A poll by YouGov for the Sunday Times sent shockwaves through the political establishment north and south of the border as it showed the yes camp had 51% to 49% for no, excluding the don't knows. Better Together leader Alistair Darling said: "These polls can and must now serve as a wake-up call to anyone who thought the referendum was a foregone conclusion."
Obviously, it is one poll, and it is excluding a substantial number of undecided voters and only shows a knife-edge result which could go either way.  But it is still a landmark, and as the story suggests, even a defeat for the independence camp might deliver a significant victory for Alex Salmond.

I'm impressed by the democratic impact this is having.  Politicians, for the first time in recorded history, may actually be listening and accepting that opposing viewpoints can't simply be ignored forever.

The Unionists originally tried to rig the referendum by excluding the 'Enhanced devolution' option from the referendum, because they knew that would almost inevitably be the preferred choice.

Now they're so frightened by the possibility of losing - or winning marginally - the may be willing to give it away.

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