The new Sun on Sunday certainly kicked off a right stooshie with their claim to knowing the date of the Referendum, Saturday 18th October 2014.
Why did they come to this conclusion? Because a Scottish Government Source was quoted as saying : “This date is being lined up as the day people will get the chance to vote for independence and equality for Scotland.”
Who is this mysterious source? and if you look at the quote again, does it definitely say that this will be the date? No it doesn’t.
It is not definite, It is a date under consideration, as I’m sure other dates are under consideration too.
The date falls within the Autumn season,but it has not been decided yet if it will be a break with tradition, and be a Saturday vote.
This is a matter under consultation yet, although I think it fair to say that the SNP appear to favour a Saturday, and it will probably be a Saturday the vote takes place on because of that fact.
I don’t think that the majority view in the public consultation will be in opposition. Why should it be? It makes voting more accessible.
But If I were to lay a bet, I would suggest that it wont be the 18th of October 2014, simply because they wouldn’t want to be seen running roughshod over parliament or make a nonsense of their Consultation by broadcasting a date while there are still folks responding to it.
Therefore I confidently predict that the 18th of October is not the Date with Destiny. I think it will be October though, and I would say it will be a Saturday.
My guess is one of the following; 4th October,11th October, or 25th October.
What amazed me was that experienced political commentators have been taken in by this bluff, and the over reaction of politicians taking this speculation as Gospel.
Gerry Hassan who I have great respect for normally said the following in his Guardian article;
“This is a massive moment. The SNP Government is in the middle of their own official consultation on the mechanics and details of the independence poll. And while this is ongoing they have decided to breach their own processes, all for gaining the favour and a headline from the new Murdoch paper.”
Nonsense Gerry, no official announcement has been made,so how can you assert they have breached their process, until proved otherwise?
Despite the Scottish government saying the date was just a possibility, Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said: “The Scottish government’s declaration of a date for the referendum shows what the rest of Scotland already knows – that they are simply stalling for time without explaining why.
Last week I published a simple timeline showing we can hold the referendum in 2013. I suspect many people in Scotland will also be disappointed to see the Scottish government’s proposed date being revealed to a newspaper before the public.”
Mickey, read what they have said, not what some unnamed source said.
You can publish all the Timelines you like, on Facebook or anywhere else, you have no say in the matter, Live with it.
Johann Lamont who has increasingly been taking a vow of silence on the likes of issues like bullying in the Labour led Glasgow Council, or on head bangers like Joyce, finds time for this vacuous quote;
“Alex Salmond is supposed to be consulting with the Scottish people about his preferred date, but seems more interested in consulting with Rupert Murdoch.”
You know this how Johann? Has Alex said he told Rupert the date? No. The Government are still Consulting, if you know otherwise,where is your proof?
Ruth Davidson said;
“the date could fall within the autumn school holidays, which risked disenfranchising many voters.”
This makes sense on what Tory planet? Alex Salmond wants to disenfranchise voters, when he wants everybody to vote for Independence? Engage brain before mouth Ruth.
The Huffington Post quotes a Government Spokesman(slightly more credible than the Suns, mere Source) as saying;
“This date is of course a possibility, but we are in the process of a consultation on the independence referendum – which has already generated more than 2,500 responses. We continue to encourage the public to respond which they can do at http://www.ScotReferendum.com.
“Once we have completed that process and listened to people’s views we will take forward plans for a referendum in autumn 2014.”
The SNP’s Treasury spokesman Stuart Hosie told the BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland programme: “The 18th of October is certainly in the autumn of 2014 and because it’s a Saturday, not a Thursday, that’s one of the area’s the Scottish government are consulting on.
“But the key point is that the consultation isn’t finished and I think it would be wrong for anyone to pre-empt the date that might be concluded from the consultation.”
I am sure I spotted a wee twinkle in Stuarts eye as he made that comment.
I suspect a deal of SNP mischief making at the root of the furore.
I just wonder how many April Fool like stunts they are going to pull over the opposition in one year?
The remarkable thing is that they keep falling for them?
Independence Day 18th October? Aye right ..pull the other one, its’ got bells attached.