Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Call the bluffer's bluff

From "Bagehot", one of the few commentators at The Economist still worth reading:
There is a good reason why Scotland’s other politicians fear Mr Salmond: he is more charismatic and cleverer than them. He is clever enough to realise his chances of getting his referendum are slim and of winning it slimmer; he may well be content to see his adversaries vote it down, furnishing just the sort of grievance that he thrives on. They should call the conjuror’s bluff.
Indeed they should and details of a YouGov poll in this morning's Daily Telegraph give two pretty concrete reasons why:
A YouGov survey of voters' opinion north of the Border, published by this newspaper today, shows that support for independence has reduced – there is a healthy two-to-one majority against – and that most do not regard the question as a pressing matter for Scotland. Asked to rate a referendum on independence in a list of national priorities, only one voter in eight said it was the most important of seven options – well behind the 63 per cent who saw "reducing unemployment" as the top priority.

Only 29 per cent of voters back independence now, compared with 31 per cent last year, while 57 per cent are opposed – an increase of four per cent on 2008.
Given those figures, would it then not be a worthwhile strategy for the Unionist parties to sit back, mouths shut, as Salmond prepares to publish his Bill on St Andrew's Day next week calling for a referendum on the break-up of the United Kingdom? Let him take the responsibility for making the running of a referendum that few want and on which, if it ever took place, he would be hammered anyway?

12 comments:

Aye We Can ! said...

Are you Wendy Alexander in disgise?

She was right, you are right. Im am just glad the unionist leadership(s) in Scotland have no balls....or brains

Aye We Can ! said...

unlike Mr Carson!

Chekov said...

Great minds O'Neill! Hadn't looked over here .... honest!

O'Neill said...

Chekov,

The more the merrier:)

AWC

In our particuliar case, I think he was proven right.

Logician said...

I am a unionist too.

Seems logical to me that the island of Ireland should be one country, and the bigger island of Britain also one country.

Aye We Can ! said...

I look forward to seeing that staue to Wendy outside Holyrood a few decades from now

O'Neill said...

"Seems logical to me that the island of Ireland should be one country, and the bigger island of Britain also one country."

Sure and why not join up the US and Canada, Spain and Portugal, Norway/Finland/Denmark/Sweden while we're at it-

AWC

Dedicated to the woman whose suggestion finally copper-fasted the Union? ;)

Logician said...

Is there a majority for joining up say, Canada & the USA-thought not?

I bet there IS a majority in the whole island of Ireland for a united Ireland, and a majority in the bigger British island for a united Britain exactly along the lines I suggest, don't you?

O'Neill said...

"I bet there IS a majority in the whole island of Ireland for a united Ireland,"

You "bet"?

Nothing more concrete than that?The one all-Ireland party, the one party with a "united Ireland" as its raison d'etre pulled in how many votes in the last ROI election?

You can have last word on this one, it is (in case it had escaped your attention) a thread about the SNP and not a "united" Ireland and after your last word, I'll be only printing comments which keep to that theme.

Logician said...

Thanks for your response.

I think you are giving me one last shot at this, for which I thank you.

My point really is that I think that a vote of everybody in Ireland would result (in an all-Ireland referendum) in a united Ireland.

I also think that a referendum of the whole island of Britain would result in a united Britain.

To a major extent I am playing devil's advocate with myself as I am a member of the SNP with a late mother who was born in Cork and baptised under a white flag in 1921

At one level I find it amusing and interesting that essentially logic goes out the window around issues of self identity (I am not criticising anyone, cetainly ot myself :-) just commenting).

tony said...

Lol!

>>"Seems logical to me that the island of Ireland should be one country, and the bigger island of Britain also one country."

Sure and why not join up the US and Canada, Spain and Portugal, Norway/Finland/Denmark/Sweden while we're at it-<<

Well the logician has exposed the absurdity of your position Oneil.

Of course it is all Protestant/Unionist self-interest no matter how you dress it up or how outdated the reality is. As soon as Scotland goes, and Scottish money goes with it. England realises that paying a hefty premium for the legacy of an essentially sectarian state.

I wonder then if Prods from the north of Ireland will suddenly embrace the idea of a strong independent Scotland? Ah but our memories will be lang indeed.

Oh and as far as any referendum goes. Old ground for us, they won't give it to us because there is too much at stake for the British government to lose. The fear tactics and bullshit economic statistics won't stand up in the internet age.

The interest for me now is the much liklier possibility, should the SNP and allies gain enough seats at the next Holyrood elections and call for a referendum. Will Westminster acceed to the request?, I am honestly wondering if they will.

O'Neill said...

"Well the logician has exposed the absurdity of your position Oneil."

I think his last paragraph above is important to the overall point he's making; my national identity is not the same as someone born in Cork, the national identity of someone born in Montreal is not the same as someone born in say Seattle...even if logic would point towards saying it should as in both cases the same identifiable land-mass is shared.

And it's a theory, as a Scottish nationalist, you need to be very careful of following too closely;)