by Allan Armstrong
The latest talk amongst Scotland’s ‘chattering classes’ is that the SNP Scottish Government’s proposed bill for a referendum on Scottish independence, announced on September 3rd, is doomed. Why? – because a closed-door debate held by the Lib-Dems, last weekend in Dunfermline, finally agreed to uphold their former UK leader, Menzies Campbell’s and current Scottish leader, Tavish Scott’s earlier decision to oppose any such referendum.
There had been considerable opposition amongst the ranks of the federalist Lib-Dems to this stance. The party is committed to constitutional referenda on European Union and on electoral reform in the UK, so opposition to a referendum in Scotland seems somewhat hypocritical to many party members. Furthermore, back in 2007, immediately after the Holyrood election, there had been every likelihood that the Lib-Dems could have joined a coalition government with the SNP. They could have made the inclusion of their favoured federal option for the UK, in any future referendum, a condition of their support. However, as with Labour and the Conservatives, commitment to the Union is far more important for Lib-Dem leaders than any notion of democracy. Continue reading “scotland – the ruling class division over defending the british union”