A LEADING figure in the SNP has criticised the decision by First Minister Alex Salmond to pull a bill on the independence referendum, saying the party should have given it "a square go" by putting the bill to a vote.Pressing ahead to certain defeat:
MEP Alyn Smith said he wanted the SNP government to press ahead with its original plan to place a referendum bill before the Scottish Parliament.
Smith, who is also president of the party's youth wings, said: "Obviously the SNP is committed to independence. There is a tactical question about how best to achieve that. But I would like us to give it a square go. If we do not have the parliamentary arithmetic, that is democracy and that is for the next election."Not that strong a condemnation of Salmond's tactics. It appears that it is as much the perception held in the party of being "bounced" into the position on the referendum by the leadership as the actual position itself which is the bigger issue here. Could be an interesting party conference in a few weeks time.
He added: "We are the government. We are not doing gesture politics. We are united that independence is our aim. But I think if it is our principle aim, take it to a vote."