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Showing posts with label Lord Sutherland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lord Sutherland. Show all posts

Thursday, 23 August 2012

The Sutherland Panel: How hard can it be to ask the Scottish electorate a question? Yet more experts ...

Yet another panel of experts under Lord Sutherland is commissioned to find a question that the Scottish electorate can be asked without being influenced on how they answer it. Panels of experts are always described as 'eminent', 'the best legal brains in the country" etc. by whoever commissions them, and this one is no exception. It is commissioned - or tasked if you like - by the three unionist parties who are opposed to Scotland's independence and who comprise the BetterTogether campaign.

Have they a right to do this? Indeed they have. Is anyone obliged to listen to them? No, they're not. Is the electoral Commission obliged to test their question? No, it's not, unless the UK Government decides to place its imprimatur on it.

What is the difference between this panel and their question, and Alex Salmond's question?

The difference is the Alex Salmond is the First Minister of Scotland in a Government elected with a massive mandate to run a consultative referendum and to frame the question, present it to the Scottish Parliament, vote on it, then implement it. That's democracy in action.


Lord Sutherland is a British Lord, a life peer and a Knight of the Thistle. He has had a distinguished career, and has chaired other enquiries. He may be reasonably described as a distinguished member of the British Establishment.