Monday 21 April 2003

Letting the people speak

The Labour party has announced that it could block a referendum called by the next Scottish administration on the question of independence:
The Sunday Herald has been briefed by Whitehall that it is ready to use a veto either on legal grounds, through the advocate general, currently Lynda Clarke, and the Privy Council; or on political grounds, where the veto is held by Scotland Secretary Helen Liddell.
It doe not look very likely that the SNP will win the May 1st election. Their most likely allies in a coalition remain the Liberal Democrats who oppose an independence referendum. Why then is the Labour party making such a fuss? The Scotsman has a theory:
Could it be that the Labour Party is trying to deflect attention from something else? Like the state of the economy, for instance.
I think that may well be so. Labour could get itself in trouble, though, if people ask why it was OK for Westminster to use the military to overthrow Saddam Hussein but not allow the Scottish parliament to organise an independence referendum.