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Independence meeting? Not quite

Brian Taylor | 14:31 UK time, Tuesday, 28 August 2007

And so the opposition parties meet at Holyrood this afternoon.

The agenda? How to review the powers and functions of the Scottish Parliament - short, well short, of independence.

Here’s what I think they’ll come up with. A formal parliamentary mechanism to consider and consult.

Think they’ll table a motion at Holyrood, jointly, setting up an ad hoc committee of MSPs to look at the devolution settlement, 10 years on.

Think that committee will then open up a public consultation, engaging with civic Scotland, business, unions etc.

Not convention mark two. “So 80s”, as one put it to me.

Plus there is now a Parliament in place with elected members, with real (if devolved) clout. That cannot be sidelined. Indeed, the opposition parties will argue, it should take the lead.

Which leaves the SNP executive where? Watching with interest.

I do not believe the SNP would nominate members of this parliamentary committee. For why? Because, they argue, it is for those of a Unionist persuasion to come up with their alternative to independence.

Nationalists say they know what they want: a referendum on Scotland becoming a sovereign state. It is up to the Opposition parties - Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats - to decide what they want.

Potentially, as Alex Salmond envisaged when he launched his “conversation” white paper, there could then be a referendum providing people with three choices: the status quo, independence and the scheme for enhanced devolution adopted by the opposition parties.

There is, of course, one other aspect to be borne, strongly, in mind. If further powers are to accrue to Holyrood, that would require Westminster legislation.

The opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament have already pledged to involve Westminster in their consideration.

From a sluggish start, this is beginning to get intriguing.


  • 1.
  • At 02:52 PM on 28 Aug 2007,
  • Neil wrote:

It seems that all the parties are moving incrementally towards independence.

The line for devolved powers was made 10 years ago and everyone seems to think this did not go far enough. It looks to me like the line will be redrawn till there are no more powers to devolve.

The arguments against independence are the same arguments that were made against devolution. The only difference is that all three London-based parties are spouting them, as opposed to just the Tories. These arguments were baseless scaremongering then, just as they are now.

  • 3.
  • At 03:12 PM on 28 Aug 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

It's difficult to see how things could remain even vaguely similar to the status quo in say five or ten years down the line.

Since federalism is not practical option for the UK, any more significant devolution of powers will only increase the demand south of the border for some form of compensation, be it in the form of increased spending to bring it in line with Scotland, or greater curbs on Scots' involvement at Westminster.

This being the case, the only two likely outcomes are either a long, protracted stalemate (which will please no-one) or a gradual recognition that independence for all the constituent nations is the only 'bloodless' way to appease all parties.

Belgium is twenty years down the same route, for example, and is finding consensus absolutely impossible.

  • 4.
  • At 03:12 PM on 28 Aug 2007,
  • Ross wrote:

Independence is now the only way forward...let it be so

  • 5.
  • At 03:17 PM on 28 Aug 2007,
  • Angie Todd wrote:

Can't help but think the three are plotting rather than discussing. None of them were truly interested in trying to action more powers for the Parliament until recent days and if there has been a sudden conversion I think it needs to be looked at with a very sceptical eye.
With Labour's true loathing of the Nationalists I'm more inclined to believe the report in today's Herald which says about today's meeting:
"a report emanating from within Labour that this could form the basis of a new "shadow executive" to seize control from the Salmond government and produce its own legislative programme"
They've all denied that scenario of course but, on the basis that none of the three are willing to trust the electorate, the electorate shouldn't trust them or their motives.

  • 6.
  • At 03:19 PM on 28 Aug 2007,
  • john wrote:

is this just another waste of time? I reckon the tories and labour [and the libs] have no real wish to gain more powers. they just hope that if they set up a committee to talk, talk, talk they will never have to bring it before the voters. This is just another ploy to say they believe in more power whilst doing everything they can t0 prevent more power being given to the parliament. Don't believe anything they say, only what they do! So far, they have done nothing.

  • 7.
  • At 03:31 PM on 28 Aug 2007,
  • Malcolm wrote:

Perhaps Prof Brian Ashcroft (Wendy Alexander's other half) can be called upon to offer up his expertise on the benefits of nationalism to this proposed ad-hoc constitutional committee made up of die-hard Unionists.

That's of course if Wendy Alexander lets him out to play. "Who's been a naughty boy then?"

  • 8.
  • At 04:00 PM on 28 Aug 2007,
  • Frank Kerrigan wrote:

Looks like the pieces has been set and the players are moving round the board trying to find a space amongst friends (or lesser enemies). I suspect the opening moves will be of great interest to us all. With most of Scottish politic there will be loads of bluster and little movement or commitment until others make there opening move.

  • 9.
  • At 04:26 PM on 28 Aug 2007,
  • John wrote:

It seems to me that the Unionist will have to remove the argument about the cost of the National Conversation if they are to set up an "ad hoc committee"

  • 10.
  • At 04:27 PM on 28 Aug 2007,
  • Al wrote:

My opinion is that increased powers will eventually lead to independance...not necessarily a bad thing.

At the moment the fact that the 3 "opposition" powers in Scotland are having to band together shows that there isn't 3 distinct reasons NOT to move forward with more devolved powers.
That each parties best individual arguement obviously wouldn't be strong enough to sway a Scottish public.

For 3 political parties to band together to form a Drag "parachute" against the way ahead, shows how scared they each are in turn of actually facing up to the SNP in a straight one on one discussion about independance.

"...jointly, setting up an ad hoc committee of MSPs to look at the devolution settlement, 10 years on."

Do they really think this reflects the mood of the nation or is this just deliberate time wasting? Worse still, is the best they can come up with?

It's in the nature of man (in Particular) to attempt to look strong and powerful wherever possible. The opposition, having been gravely weakened in May,is now trying to present a strong and powerful image to the public by taking over (and severely watering down) the SNPs Constitutional initiative.

As a delaying tactic and a potentially weak alternative it will be welcomed by those terrified at the prospect of Independence.

However the longer the SNP Governs the stronger their light (and judgment) becomes and, I would imagine the less interested the nation will be in the Opposition's manoeuvrings.

  • 12.
  • At 05:17 PM on 28 Aug 2007,
  • A Scott wrote:

Seems to me that the "Gang of Three" have gone in the huff because the voters had the cheek to vote in an SNP Government( how dare they).
Why cant they take part in the National Conversation like responsible grown ups and fight for the Unionist position through that. Or is that too much like common sense ????

  • 13.
  • At 05:46 PM on 28 Aug 2007,
  • Gordon from Ayr wrote:

Alex Salmond must be having a laugh to himself behind closed doors in Bute House; the opposition parties are doing his bidding for him!

Give them time and enough rope and they will deliver independence for him.

  • 14.
  • At 05:59 PM on 28 Aug 2007,
  • Bryce Miller wrote:

Now that Wendy's husband as rubbished her idea of fiscal autonomy (, I do wonder what the Unionists will come up with. I also wonder if it is worthwhile for the three parties to present one option altogether. There will be a certain impression given to the populace that Labour, LibDem, and Tories have got into bed together, whether this is true or not. Interesting times.

  • 15.
  • At 06:01 PM on 28 Aug 2007,
  • Alan Meade wrote:

I love like the idea of independence.
I shudder at the thought of how much it's going to cost!
A Ministry of Defence
A Ministry of Health
A Ministry of Ministries
Where will it end?
Already we have a huge public sector compared to private.
Also,could we not keep just a teeny weeny nuke sub after independence just in case a bully wants to hammer us?? It's a bit unfair to freeload under someone else's nuclear umbrella and I don't really trust Putin!

Frugal Patriot

  • 16.
  • At 06:15 PM on 28 Aug 2007,
  • louise wrote:

So the opposition parties dont want to give scotland the benefit of a referendum but will involve westminster in a decision on any new powers. I have to ask will they be involved in the westminster decision to hold a referendum on the EU. Or are referendums only allright when it involves anything to do with Europe and the effect not having one will have on votes in england. This little clique of MSps is undermining the will of the parliament and making a mockery of democracy in scotland in exactly the same way that thatcher did.

  • 17.
  • At 06:18 PM on 28 Aug 2007,
  • Calvo wrote:

I can't help thinking Scotland might choke if it were to get the whole independence salami all at once. One slice at a time is good enough for me, if that's all the electorate can stomach. Still, I suspect they're getting a taste for it, and the opposition has little of substance to offer.

  • 18.
  • At 08:26 PM on 28 Aug 2007,
  • John wrote:

If the SNP hadnt won the election we wouldnt be having this debate.New Labour and the Lib Dems were happy to hold back the development of the Scots Parliament due to there need to do Westminsters bidding.
Your back on form Brian however in this age of the Internet this story is days old.

  • 19.
  • At 10:52 PM on 28 Aug 2007,
  • Brian McHugh wrote:

It's getting a little bit like Hong Kong around here. The Chineese were calm, controlled and patient, letting Hong Kong grow into the major world financial centre that it is and letting the UK empire collapse, before reclaiming it and welcoming it back home.

It seems the SNP under the calm and controlled Alex Salmond are quite happy to let the mood and confidence of Scotland grow while awaiting the imminent collapse of the Lab/Lib/Con empire... Before, you guessed it, welcoming Scotland back home!

  • 20.
  • At 12:42 AM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Spot on, Gordon from Ayr! What are the opposition parties playing at? Giving more powers is simply appeasement. Each little extra, they hope, will stop the Nats wanting more. It didn't work with the Danegeld and it didn't work with the Sudetenland. Stop it, you numpties!

  • 21.
  • At 02:07 AM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • Bradley wrote:

From a far distance I have watched the development of the independence issue and have to say it pulls at my heart to think of the UKs break up. I also feel that the media have given this issue a momentum it never had before.

Actually, the English aren't that bothered what our friends upstairs get up to and dont have much interest in having our own English Parliament either. The way forward would be to preserve what is best of us being together yet each entity within in the UK run its own affairs; save defence and foreign affairs. Something like the old Dominion system. Perhaps we should call it 'One Kingdom, Four Nations'.

Of course that means a big shake up of the whole system which might not be a bad thing in the end anyway.

Perhaps it's too late for this already or maybe I am just a sentimental old fart and should be put out to grass!

  • 22.
  • At 06:33 AM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • Craig wrote:

Im sure those in the vicinity of Bute house are able to hear the roars of laughter coming from within. The gang of three again have reacted in a regressive manner,this however of course suits our First Minister.

At the risk of repeating myself, the Scottish electorate are screaming at the top of their voices for further devolution at least. The gang of three simply refuse to recognise this and it will cost them dearly at future elections.I for one have cannot vote for a party that wont listen to the electorate.

The writing is on the wall, why do the gang of three refuse to open their eyes.

  • 23.
  • At 09:03 AM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • Andrew Ginty wrote:

All this talk of independence is a really useful smokescreen for not addressing the real problems in Scotland - most of which could be dealt with under existing powers, given an executive with the will to do so. Expect another 4 years of "we cannae dae that cos they won't let us".

  • 24.
  • At 09:22 AM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • Liam wrote:

The electorate screaming for further devolution? Sounds like nationalist propaganda has worked its magic on you! And when you talk of the electorate, is this the same electorate which voted predominantly for Unionist parties?

An open and honest debate is needed, I agree, but what if the conclusion of the three parties was for the status quo? Would that lead to the collapse of the unionist vote. I very much doubt it!

The Nationalist agenda is nothing short of divisive. Do not encourage Salmond et al. They will only keep trying to kid you the union is untenable!

  • 25.
  • At 10:46 AM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • Chris Townsend wrote:

Given that poll after poll after poll has failed to provide any evidence for a majority in support of independence, one has to wonder what kind of whispering campaign the SNP is trying to pull off here. Day after day, the comments in this blog read like the minutes of a party conference.

I assume that Brian, or someone else on his behalf, publishes all the comments submitted here. Seeing as the balance of opinion expressed here is so wildly different than what is generally accepted to be the case in the population at large I think it's fair to conclude that the supporters of independence are engaged in a concerted 'letter-writing campaign', in order to try to make it look as if the tide of opinion is turning their way.

We, the majority of people in Scotland, do not want independence and did not ask for the SNP to run our Executive. And I would rather we didn't waste millions on a toothless, Executive-sponsored opinion poll (which is all a referendum on this issue could ever be) when we already know the answer.

Isn't there a hospital somewhere that could do with the money instead?

  • 26.
  • At 11:13 AM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • H wrote:

Typical MSP behaviour - avoiding real work and hard decisions. They need to focus on what is important.. jobs, education etc

Instead they will have some tea and cake and a little chat to generate some soundbites.

  • 27.
  • At 11:24 AM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • Jonathan wrote:

It worries me that the majority of posters don't seem to appreciate any nuance in unionist constitutional policies. The unionists are just "scared" of independence which is "obviously" what people want/inevitable, or alternatively they'll propose extra powers solely as appeasement.

The truth is that the principles of co-operation in a constitutional union and subsidiarity can co-exist. It's a balance - which powers are best exercised in Holyrood, which in Westminster?

Realistically, independence isn't getting through this parliament, and if the unionist majority can agree within itself what the preferred consititutional balance is; it's surely got to be the only game in town.

  • 28.
  • At 12:02 PM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • Dave "Boy" wrote:

Since the Election, not once in my workplace (or any other pub/club football ground I have visited) has it come up as a topic of conversation. The people just cannae be bothered! People are more bothered - and want to see delivery on - the bread and butter issues that affect all of our lives on a daily basis. If the SNP are any sort of party who listens to the electorate they will realise this.

  • 29.
  • At 12:25 PM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • Stewart wrote:

#25. The proportion that voted and whos votes were not spolied perfered independence.

That is not the same as more people in Scotland dont want independence.

People who voted for a unionist party did so because they supported their politics , some did because they were unionists others because of other reasons. The exact same can be said for the Nats, not everyone who voted for the Nats wants independence but I think most people in Scotland support the right to choose and that is a luxery that is not being offered.

Democracy at work.

perhaps labour, libs and the Torys should start a new party.

keep Scotland in the dark party . Then whoever votes for them wants 300 years more of English rule, lack of choice and no referendum.

  • 30.
  • At 12:33 PM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • Phil wrote:

What has Scotland to overcome. Evil English hegemony? No, rather:-

- a long term underperforming economy
- the worst health in Western Europe
- a massive public sector absorbing wealth and small private sector producing wealth

Whatever constitutional arrangement best delivers against these benchmarks SHOULD be the one that triumphs. And the media need to ensure this is where the debate is centred.

There is no reason why a highly urbanised, well educated, resource rich country in one of the richest trading blocks in the world shouldn’t be successful. The fact that we aren't reflects the systemic failure.

We can say this because no matter what UK govt has been in place we have become poorer.

We cannot YET say that devolution is a systemic failure because we have only recently scene a change in governing party.

I suspect Salmond's government will be competent & innovative but still Scotland will underperform. If so this proves systemic failure and makes the case for significant if not
total extension of power.

It's essential that the return to independence is unhurried & represents the will of the majority of the people of Scotland, but what is the matter with (some) of us ? Mr Salmond is simply trying to bring us up to where we belong. The saddest aspect of our condition is that a nation which has existed for 1,167 years (+ - 3 or 4) should have had so little dignity & self respect to enter into a British union at all.

ps - Independence Before I Die ! (I'm 61 now, so don't be too unhurried....)

  • 32.
  • At 01:06 PM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • James wrote:

I have to agree with Chris's comments surely if the majority of voters in Scotland voted for the three unionist parties then surely the majority of Scots are opposed to full independence, also how much of the SNP vote was a protest against Labour rather than vote for seperation?

We keep hearing about Westminister being the source of our woes, but I would like to know excatly are they doing which is so causing Scotland to suffer. Sure there is scope for further power at Holyrood esp on the grounds of fisheries where Scotland takes the lead. But what about the loss of employment and revenue in Moray or Fife if we were to lose the RAF bases or the Naval bases on the Clyde, or in this global economy in reality how much fiscal independence is Scotland going to have from the Bank of England. These are only some of the arguements but I haven't heard answers to these questions from the Nationalists except rhetoric.

  • 33.
  • At 02:42 PM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • Scott wrote:

#25 Chris Townsend
says "poll after poll after poll has failed to provide any evidence for a majority in support for independence"


the latest poll I've seen was from the Sunday Herald's website

see the vote section in the top right hand corner

Has it occurred that the reason the web and blogs like this one are so full of pro-independence mutterings is that the polls are wrong?

Even the English are at it now! There is increased pressure on either side of the border for fuller powers. It's highly notable that their are growing campaigns for greater devolution in England and that by and large they see the Scottish movement as a positive thing.

The only way to ascertain the truth of the matter is in a ballot. May's election was a governmental election not a referendum on independence.

  • 35.
  • At 03:00 PM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • David Robertson wrote:

There are three elephants in the room that should be brought into the discussion. One is the EU, two is the oil and three is the UK debt.

If Scotland becomes independent she takes the oil with her. Whither England then? She won't give it up easily. Before oil was discovered the UK was in a parlous state.

The current UK external debt, i.e private and public owed to non-residents, the only debt that really matters, IMHO, is £4 trillion, the highest relative debt in the world. Even if Scotland's share is £300 billion, that still leaves England with £3.7 trillion and no oil or gas, just the City of London, which is where they have put all their eggs.

The EU is coming apart at the seams and can only get worse. Yet Brown is determined to sign on to the latest treaty and enmesh the UK further in this mess. He cannot have both the UK and the EU. It is one or the other, as he will soon discover as momentum for Scottish independence grows. My hope is that we in Scotland recognise the realities and opt for independence outside the EU.

Bring the troops home. We may need them before this is over.

  • 36.
  • At 03:30 PM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • mairi macleod wrote:

hi brian,
nice of you to put a spin on your interpritation of this particular blog, i cant agree, i think torries/labour/lib-dems, are ganging up on the a bid to bring them down,i dont think they'll succeed however,they are not up to the job,alex is, and is well aware of dirty tricks and how to deal with them. to those of you who still say no majority for independence, get out more, all polls are definately in favour of a yes vote.

  • 37.
  • At 05:03 PM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • Michael McFadyen wrote:

Well done the SNP,it is about time that all the "unionist" parties realise that Scotland needs more powers,We,the people deserve the right to determine OUR own future.

The Labour party cares more about middle England than Scotland and the word SOCIALIST is an anathema to them.

When Scotland becomes independent I hope that those Labour supporters who have a not abandoned their principles in pursuit of power can work with those who have Scotland's interests at heart and build a great, caring, inclusive country.

  • 38.
  • At 05:13 PM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • Jamie wrote:

In the human psyche self confidence is everything. The same is true of a national community. To be openly and honestly fearless of running your own affairs is a measure of a healthy mind and a community being true to itself.

The main charactersitics of the opposition parties seem to be fear and dunted egos - not a pleasant combo. You have to feel sorry for them.

  • 39.
  • At 05:43 PM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • Graham wrote:

Why doesn't David Cameron order Annabel Goldie to join forces with the SNP to ensure that an independence referendum takes place?

If the Scottish people vote NO, the SNP would be finished (at least for a generation) and the Tories can claim to have saved the Union while Labour and the Lib-Dems did nothing.

If the Scottish people vote YES, the English will turn on Gordon Brown and force an election. Without the Scottish vote, the Tories would almost certainly win and Cameron would be PM. And to top it all, he would be made an honorary life member of the SNP.

Either way he can't lose!

  • 40.
  • At 05:51 PM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • Neil King wrote:

It still pains me to hear people talk about Scotland becoming independent. What you talk about is independence from London. Which perhaps could be a good thing.However, independence from London will always be replaced by greater dependence on Brussels. In what way is independence in Europe any different from Independence in the Unitked Kingdom. Scotland already has its own laws, parliament, Football team, national identity.
I personally prefer London to Brussels because we have a greater proportional say their than we have in Brussels ( which is understandbly Euro-centric).
You cannot reasonably argue that Brussels is a non-interfering legislative body. The SNP do not advocate independence, rather a new sale of our soverignity to another foriegn power to replace a union with the English, which has undoubtadly been very porfitable to all concerned throughout the years.
Am I being stupid here ? Or are all those advocating independence wanting independence from Europe also? It remains my main hackle that beyond the sentimental language of independence is another sell-out.

  • 41.
  • At 06:14 PM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • louise wrote:

I have a few questions. If Alex Salmond wanted to start a conversation to ask ALL the people of scotland what they would like in a referendum. Then how can the pan unionist coalition (PUC) be listening to all the people of scotland when they are exluding well over one third of the electorate?

The national conversation white paper asks for views on what should be in the referendum question. Surely it would make far more sense for the unionists to get together with Alex Salmond and make sure a "more devolution" question is asked. Then again perhaps they are not doing that because they know westminster has had the power to devolve any power it likes to Scotland at any time it likes. (you have to admit that they didnt even think about doing this under j mcconnell) So obviously the nats have got them running scared what are they scared off and if they can give us more devolution why didnt we get it in the first place. Why now.
Could I also say to all the unionists what happened to Wendy being seperate from gordon when she has to go to him to ask him about devolved powers?
This i think is a stalling tactic to get the uk general election out of the way. That is obviously why the tories are so worried about this. Worry they should...............

  • 42.
  • At 09:09 PM on 29 Aug 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

Independance cannot be stopped.

People may of voted for Labour, Conseravtives etc but you vote for a party which policies best suit you.

I am a Labour/ S.N.P supporter but my country in other words Scotland means more to me then what ever we may face if we have independance.

But no matter what happens, with a true die-hard Scot in charge we truely can seperate and become one of the best countries in the world and re-invent our own history and traditions.

In todays world money may play a big part...but whats more important? Money or a home to be proud of?

Labour and the Liberal Democrats were in power for the last two parliaments.

If they had any genuine desire for more powers for the Scottish parliament they would have articulated that desire during their time in power.

Although it was not properly reported prior to the election the independence movement as a whole (ie including the other Scottish parties as well as the SNP) was never more united than at the last election (apart from the SSP schism over the Sheridan trial). All the scottish parties are agreed on political strategy (ie through a referendum and also delaying a final decision on the EU and monarchy till after independence to ensure maximum unity now) and all were actively working together within the independence convention or the referendum campaign Independence First.

Despite the reduction in representation of other parties the facts remain that all the Scottish based parties support independence ie normal powers for Scotland.

In the past Labour and the Lib Dems lined up against the Conservatives for devolution (also motivated by a desire to outflank the SNP).

The Conservatives were like King Canute, telling the waves to go 'this far and no further'.

Now Labour and the Lib Dems have joined forces with the Tories and now effectively speak with one unionist voice bellowing NO to a Scottish public which wants a referendum.

(Most polls prior to the election actually showed a narrow MAJORITY for independence btw if don't knows were exluded which explains why the unionst bloc is unwilling to countenance a referendum, they might well lose it!)

If the unionist parties supported the 'Claim of Right for Scotland' which was the moral basis of the Scottish constitutional Convention in the 1980's then they would respect the Scottish public's desire for a referendum on independence (support for that is at between 60 and 80% according to the polls).

In fact they do not. All are London owned and controlled branches of larger British parties which require the status quo on the union to continue to allow them to gain power at Westminster.

The more they act together the more the Scottish public will see who they can trust and who they can't to represent Scottish interests.

It's not hard now we see a home grown Scottish party in power to see the difference in political ambition between the current administration and the last.

No doubt mistakes will be made by the SNP but no one can doubt their desire for more power for their fellow Scots. On the other hand one can easily see such moves by the unionists as outlined above are an obvious and pretty cynical last ditch attempts to hoodwink their fellow Scots out of the natural normal powers of independence.

  • 44.
  • At 11:51 AM on 30 Aug 2007,
  • Chris Morrison wrote:

I'm sure labour said before the election that they were not interested in more powers for the Scottish Parliament (I remember Anabelle Goldie having a go at wee Jack over that). What's changed? Are they that desperate to work with the Lib Dems and Tories that they'll try anything?

Is this not the same party that complains when all the SNP's manifesto commitments haven't been fulfilled in the first 100days? Is this Labour going against an election pledge.

...Oh well no change from when they were in power!


  • 45.
  • At 11:52 AM on 30 Aug 2007,
  • Stewart wrote:


Does that mean everyone who voted Labour supported the war in Iraq, and trident.

Of course not dont be so niave, If unionism wsa the only thing people looked for in the three parties then the Torys would have done alot better then they did.

If the NAts got in on a protest vote so be it, as long as they keep doing better I dont think the next will be a protest vote

  • 46.
  • At 01:52 PM on 30 Aug 2007,
  • JaneyM wrote:

In answer to post no 15, Scotland already has most of the government departments it needs - some began in the old pre-devolution Scottish Office and the post devolution Scottish Executive developed the range further in response to the powers in the Scotland Act. Just look at the Executive's website. There's even a bit dealing with External Affairs. Admittedly there's no equivalent to the MOD, but how big a military sector would we actually want?

Bit worried, that if you have two 'no' options in the independance referendum you effectively split in two the no vote. Seems a bit sneaky. Theres probably enough mandate in the scottish parliament (SNP, tories at least) makeup for increased powers without a referendum, if thats allowed.

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