The New 40% Rule
They’re just making it up now…Gerry Hassan in today’s Scotsman outlines the recent attempts to re-awaken an old debate that somehow we would need TWO referendums to gain independence. The first, you see, to sort of see if we wanted it, and the second, to, you know, er, just check we knew what we were talking about.
In the last few days, Jo Eric Murkens, a former researcher at the Constitution Unit has revisited the argument of their book, ‘Scottish Independence’ of a few years ago which made the case that Scotland needed to have not just one, but two votes on independence.
As Gerry points out: “…there is no precedent anywhere in the world for two votes. Instead, it would be seen as another ‘40% rule’ – a constitutional barrier and the equivalent of gerrymandering to influence the ultimate result. “
But, I hear you say, I thought they didn’t want us to have one referendum now they want us to have two? Though Hassan recalls the 1979 attempts to derail the devolution vote – just think we could have avoided Thatcherism in Scotland if they hadnt done that! – he’s forgotten more recent history – whereby the devolution vote had added the Tartan Tax clause in an attempt to muddy the waters in 1997.
“There are no comparative cases of two votes. Twenty four new nation states have been born since the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. Not one of them had two votes. Indeed not one new state anywhere has had two votes. Why should Scotland be the first and only one?”