Friday, 3 December 2010

Scottish Independence Initiative

5th MAY 2011

Britain doesn’t do referendums.  The idea of allowing the people to
take democracy into their own hands, and make important decisions by
themselves, like adults, is alien to the British political system.
Clement Atlee once claimed that the referendum was a tool of dictators
and social democrats have parroted his words ever since,

This tradition implies that British politics is best left to a
professional elite in Westminster who think and act on behalf of
everyone else.  It is assumed that Joe Public is too stupid to
participate directly in democracy but is magnanimously granted
permission to put a cross in a box every five years.

The only time there has ever been a British-wide referendum was in
1975.  The referendum question asked was: “Do you think the United
Kingdom should stay in the European Community?”  The Yes campaign won
by a margin of two-to-one.  And that folks was that for participatory
democracy in the UK.

Scotland has a troubled history of referendums.  The infamous 1979
referendum on setting up a Scottish Parliament had a high turnout of
64%. The Yes vote won by a small margin.  But the Westminster
Parliament rigged the election and over-ruled the majority decision of
the people of Scotland.  A lesson in British-style democracy was

Now the London government has decreed that the second ever
British-wide national referendum will take place on 5th May 2011. This
referendum will be on whether or not to move to AV voting in each
constituency.  In reality it is a minor electoral change to the
Westminster system which will do very little to move towards genuine
proportional representation.

If the London government propose tokenistic tinkering with their
electoral system then fine, that’s up to them.  What is more
significant for Scotland is the timing of the AV vote which has been
scheduled for the same day as the important Holyrood elections in

As the SNP have commented: “It just shows that the Tory-led coalition
government with the LibDems is treating the Scottish Parliament and
the people of Scotland with contempt.”

It gets worse.  The British Royal Family have since announced that the
wedding of the heir to the throne will take place on the Friday before
the Holyrood election.  A national holiday has been announced.  The
Scottish elections will be further diminished.  It is worth noting too
that Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, has stated that this
election will be fought primarily on the case for Scottish

It is hardly surprising that those of a more conspiratorial bent are
suggesting that this is a grand pincer movement by the British
establishment to diminish the importance of the forthcoming Scottish
elections.  That may or may not be the case.  But we can be sure of
one thing: neither of these events would EVER have been scheduled to
coincide with elections to the Palace of Westminster.

Q.    How should Scots respond to this disrespectful imposition of an
irrelevant referendum on the same day as the election of our national

A.    We hijack it.  We use it for our own, much more important,
objectives.  We turn the AV referendum into a referendum on Scottish

So with this in mind, we, the undersigned, call for all Scots who
support our country’s independence to write the word INDEPENDENCE in
bold letters across the AV voting slip on 5th May.

Let’s make sure the piles of “spoilt” ballot papers rejecting the
British electoral system – and rule from London - are greater than
those voting Yes or No.

This way we can finally have our first national referendum on Scottish
Independence.  The beauty of this initiative is that the London
government will fork up their own cash to print and distribute a
voting slip to every person in Scotland. Which is very generous of
them.  Thank you London!

Spread the word.  Use your vote on 5th May.  Vote INDEPENDENCE.

Support this initiative by removing the names and organisation at the
bottom of this message, insert your own, and circulate as widely as
possible.  We are all Spartacus!

Kevin Williamson & Mike Small
Editors, Bella Caledonia


Wayne Smith said...

If the referendum happens on the same day as the Welsh and Sottish elections, the main result will be that Welsh and Scottish turnout in the referendum will be higher than in the rest of the country, and therefore Welsh and Scottish voices will be over-represented. This is entirely to the advantage of the Welsh and the Scots.

On the other hand, discussion about the referendum is likely to be pretty much buried in the election foofarah in Wales and Scotland. This is not such a great loss, since the question itself is trivial. AV is pretty much a phony reform—the will of the people will be more accurately recorded, but the same people will get elected.

Whether a referendum should be held at the same time as a general election is a complex question on which reasonable people can disagree. In Canada, we have tried it both ways, and each way has problems. There are times when it is good and appropriate to go directly to the people, but the fact is that referenda are problematic. They are easy to manipulate.

As for the royal wedding, it is completely irrelevant to anything in the real world.

Petroc Gwersyllt said...

I think the timing is cynical it means people will be thinking about UK politics Ie English politics when voting for National assemblies that control spending on Education, Health, Police and other matters. In Wales in particular the TV services ignore Welsh Assembly politics. The TV channels evn peddle a myth that Wales is overfunded (when the most recent reports show gross long term underfunding compared to English regions. The Welsh student fees are to be paid out of the Welsh NHS budget and not by English taxpayers. So how can an uninformed public seperate out the UK and Wales/Scotland issues. This is clearly a political decision to UKize the devolved elections. And to boost Britishness a lovely royal wedding - he is so British he is out there supporting the England bid.