O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us.
- To a Louse, Robert Burns
Today is going to be crucial in that the Westminster Govt will reveal their legal advice and we will (I believe) have an immediate response from the First Minister. What Alex Salmond and his team require, and may have, is perspective. There seems some confusion on whether the 18 month imposition has now been withdrawn, which is odd, given that was presented as the main motivation. ‘Botched’ doesn’t do justice.
What IS good about this process is the way it has drawn together the Labour and Tory parties who seem increasingly comfortable supporting the Quad’s proposals. Johann Lamont has been given airtime and Ruth Davidson has looked hopelessly exposed declaring on Newsnight Scotland last night that she ‘hadn’t seen the legal advice’.
Elsewhere, those with some historical perspective have noticed some Celtic parrallels. An Sionnach Fionn writes (The SNP, Scotland and the Ireland Scenario): ‘Has the British Prime Minster David Cameron hit the self-destruct button on the so-called United Kingdom?’ And asks: ‘So the question is now this: what if the Scots are denied a referendum (or the referendum they want in the circumstances they want)?’ Before comparing the scenario with that of Ireland in 1919 when on January 21st the Dáil voted for and issued the Irish Declaration of Independence.
Over at Slugger O Toole, Peter Geoghegan compares the situation to a different part of Ireland, arguing: ‘David Cameron’s pronouncement that a binding Scottish independence must take place within the next 18 months has significantly altered the dynamic of the debate on Scottish sovereignty.’
Could an imposed poll face a nationalist boycott as it did in Belfast in 1973, thus rendering it politically impotent?
Finally, on the Ramblings of Jason O Mahony, he argues: ‘Salmond, on the other hand, is being very continental about this, recognising the subtle options open to him, and that by giving the people the final say in a future exit he has a good chance of finally bringing the country with him, step by cautious measured step.’
Whatever today brings, the feeling is that yesterdsay was a missed opportunity for Cameron’s forces. As Severin Carrell writes in the Guardian: ‘It should have been a masterstroke.’