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Thursday, 20 October 2011

Moridura’s contribution to the Ipsos Mori debate

YOUR QUOTE: "Other polls have shown higher levels of support for ‘independence’; crucially however, respondents in these polls are not presented with a definition of what independence means, possibly because such a definition has yet to be fully articulated."

I would suggest that Scottish voters have a very clear and straightforward idea of what independence means, in a definition that has repeatedly and clearly been articulated by the First Minister and others, e.g. Stewart Hosie MP.

Independence is the full autonomy of Scotland as a nation, with control of foreign policy, defence, taxation, resources, all revenue and expenditure, membership of the EU and membership of the UN. In other words, what every independent nation in Europe defines as independence. Scotland will be a sovereign state, but it will retain the Queen - and her rightful heirs - as constitutional monarch.


What flows naturally from that, as any school child can understand, never mind adult voters, is that Scotland, as an independent state in the modern world will also be interdependent with other nations, and will enter freely into treaties and agreements, and will freely incur obligations and responsibilities and other arrangements that are in Scotland's interests and yield corresponding benefits.

Such agreement will naturally focus on mutual cooperation with our near neighbours and long-time friends in these Islands - England, Wales, Northern, Ireland and the Republic of Ireland - and with the European Union. They will also include the obligations of membership of the United Nations.

Such treaties and agreements will be freely entered into, and crucially, freely terminated under the terms of the agreement when they no longer meet Scotland's interests. They will include matters relating to defence and the armed forces, and any other matter where cooperation and sharing of resources is in  Scotland's interests.

There will be one over-riding proviso in any defence agreements - that Scotland will not be a party to the use of nuclear weapons, and will reject absolutely any basing of nuclear weapons or nuclear delivery weapons systems within the boundaries of Scotland. That resolutely non-nuclear position will be a deal-breaker in any defence-related agreements or treaties.

Any other options such as the so-called devo-max option, i.e. full fiscal autonomy, are not independence options - and they do not represent the core objective of The Scottish National Party. While the UK exists, and is the sovereign state, the Scottish government will continue to press for the maximum autonomy within the devolved settlement, and progressive extension of its fiscal powers and control of resources.

However, what the SNP and supporters of independence want is not necessarily what all of the Scottish people want - determining that is the intent and purpose of the referendum. What questions will be posed and what options offered in the referendum ballot remain to be determined, and will be determined - by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament alone - before the ballot.

What the opponents of the independence of Scotland appear to be doing is making the patently ridiculous demand that the Scottish government should present to the people the full complex detail of the negotiations that will follow the independence referendum, not precede it. Leaving aside the fact that doing this would prejudice the Scottish governments negotiating position, it would be totally and utterly impracticable. No other nation seeking its independence has ever proceeded in such a fashion, Nor will Scotland.

If I may mix a Scottish saying with an American one - the Scottish voter didnae come up the Clyde/Forth/Tay on a bike, and he or she can tell **** from Shinola when it comes to evaluating the case for their country's independence.

Saor Alba!


  1. It's not the % YES I'd like to see but a LOT can happen in 3 years.

  2. Peter, on the last slide, what interests me is the collective figure of those who would prefer to wait until the time was right for the referendum 37% + 27% = 64%.

    A two thirds majority want to wait until the time is right and so that the voting public can be fully informed as to what the future can hold for Scotland. This can only mean one thing, that 64% seek to give the independence decision the best chance.

    It is also a shot across the bows warning for the MSM to report factually and objectively or feel the public disdain that leads to oblivion.

    From this poll's findings and if this is a reliable trend and it can be coupled with the coming wave of young voters who are showing willing - the golden goal is not far away!

  3. We'll have to convince the auldies that it's their duty to their weans and grandweans - and keep reminding them that they'll still have the Queen ...

  4. Barontorc makes a very interesting point.

  5. Barontorc,

    You could even argue that at least some of those responsing to a question 'as soon as possible' interpreted it as 'when the time is right'.

    No option appears to have been offered to answer 'Hold it right now' which is what most unionists are arguing.

    But we can only hope that Ipsos Mori knows its business. The fact is, all sorts of interpretations can drawn, and it's vital not to delude ourselves, while reacting to undoubtedly positive indicators and trends, and justly celebrating them.

    What we can be certain of is that the enemies of our country's independence will reach very different conclusions. We may hear from one of them on 'Question Time' tonight - Margaret Curran (nae relation!)

  6. Salmond seems very clear on holding a two question referendum according to the Sky video.

    Time will tell.

  7. Peter - "We may hear from one of them on 'Question Time' tonight - Margaret Curran (nae relation!)" - Peter, believe me, I listened and listened but didn't hear much of anything from the whole program, what an anodyne production - and Dimbelby must be laughing his socks off to have "done his duty" and had such an easy ride.

  8. I am a BBC supporter, but I was horrified by this programme. I don't like to think the fix was in, but it sure as hell looked like it. The audience were tame, and the questions ...

    A selction from what the audience submitted? Undoubtedly, but what was ruled out?

    I've been in a QT audience - a regional one at Meadowbank some 10 years or so ago, with John Swinney and no panel, but the pre-broadcast format was identical - each audience member had to submit about four questions, and the Chairman - or whoever - selected from these. Wide open to abuse.