Monday, May 05, 2008

Wendy Comes Out Fighting

For weeks, neigh month, the leader of Labour in Scotland has looked like a punch drunk boxer, up against the ropes waiting for the next punch or hoping that her corner would through in the towel, while facing Alex Salmond in the chamber at Holyrood. However, just like in all the Rocky films you think its all over then, using all effort one final telling blow swings the whole thing around. Well Wendy may be setting up a few jabs ahead of that telling blow.

Yesterday she announced her intention to back Alex Salmond's call to give the people of Scotland a say on independence by referendum. As regular readers of this blog are aware I've long held the view that by calling a referendum and giving people a clear view of all that independence would entail, it would knock the wind out of the Nats sails, when it fails.

I personally don't think that the people of Scotland do want independence and that view appears to be backed up by opinion polls. If senior SNP backers like Tom Farmer are urging caution about haste over the matter, I think Wendy Alexander is right to bring it on. Lets give the people of Scotland what they actually want a devolved Parliament, inside the UK with greater powers to govern the people of Scotland better.


Jeff said...

Definitely agree with you here Stephen, if it's a 3-way poll then the SNP have no chance.

I think they might have preferred the unionist parties blocking a referendum in 2010 and then using that in the 2011 election to garnish further support in Holyrood.

I expect the silence from the SNP camp will be deafening given Wendy's clever (though overdue) tactical switch.

Stephen Glenn said...

No I want this issue out on its own, getting the attention to the detail it deserves. In fact I thought we should have done this in 2006.

Once it is desected closely by the voters, press etc and shown for what it is I have no doubt it bring the ship to a very abrupt halt.

I agree with you regarding the overdue nature of playing this hand from Wendy's part though. I'm also waiting to find out exactly how our leadership respond.

Anonymous said...


I'm inclined to agree with you - whatever your position on independence the issue clearly won't go away. Better to have a referendum and decide either way (or at least for a generation if it goes against).

I can't quite decide what the Libs/Tories will do. They can't be happy this has pulled the rug from beneath the Calman Commission. The Libs especially must be furious that the only reason they're not in government is that they rejected the SNP's demands for a referendum.

I suspect the SNP wanted this as a 2011 issue and hoped/thought that no-one would call their bluff. They will be in a corner if Wendy Alexander proposes a bill on early referendum - how can they possibly vote against it?


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