The minority Scottish National party government yesterday published a 176-page white paper outlining its case for a referendum next year, but the hostility of the three main opposition parties at Holyrood means it lacks the votes to pass the required legislation. Alex Salmond, Scotland's first minister, said the SNP's only demand was that the referendum should have an independence option - beyond that, he was "totally flexible".Can’t say fairer than that really, so why don't the Unionist parties give him his referendum with his "independence" option, offering the electorate a simple "Yes" or "No" choice?:
But Iain Gray, Scottish Labour leader, dismissed the white paper as "a multimillion-pound white elephant". "Alex Salmond is out of touch with Scotland. All recent polls show the great majority of Scots don't want to break up Britain and now is not the time for a referendum," he saidThe fact that the SNP would be seriously humiliated in this is exactly why it is the time for that referendum.
What then are Gray, Goldie et al running scared from?