Scottish MPs vote for second independence referendum

March 29, 2017 Europe , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , UK

Reuters photo



Hazel Speed

The Scottish Referendum issue was debated and voted for successfully, but that is about as far as it will go until at least post Brexit.

It was interesting to compare styles of the Scottish Parliament, with its electronic voting systems, and that of Westminster in London. The following extracts provide a flavour of the day’s exchanges…


Ruth Davidson: “We are not frightened of Independence, we are sick of it.” This lady is truly impressive and is more than a match for Nicola Sturgeon, in fact I am amazed she is not the First Minister.

After listening to the honey-tongued introduction by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, however, at the beginning of proceedings to open the debate and vote on another Scottish Referendum, this viewer of the broadcast was suddenly startled by the strident response of Ruth Davidson who, at one point, when Nicola Sturgeon wanted to interject for a second time, told the First Minister to “sit down” and the shock on Nicola Sturgeon’s face was priceless (gobsmacked).What a great ding-dong this has become!

Andy Wightman, Scottish Green, Lothian injected a more sedate pace to the female speakers so far. Scottish Greens have been predicted to swing today’s vote in support of Nicola Sturgeon however. “Mr Wightman is claiming that the previous two referendums are at odds with one another and therefore another referendum is required. No difficulty, therefore in supporting the First Minister regarding her Mandate for another Scottish Referendum.”

Alex Cole-Hamilton, Liberal Democrat, Edinburgh Western stated that “people did not want their vote regarding Europe to be utilised to generate another Scottish Referendum. Family relationships were damaged in the last referendum, etc.”

It was unique to see Members of the Scottish Parliament thumping on their tables (desk like), in agreement with one speaker or another. Alex Cole-Hamilton stated “the Britain he recognised was through kindness shown last week on a bridge and in a courtyard.” He went on to add that “the best years of Britain can yet be in front of it. He also felt privileged to be in the Scottish Parliament and being next to all of his colleagues.”

Kate Forbes, SNP, Skye, Lochaber & Badenoch; With an irony of geography and history, this lady gave a metaphor of “sailing with a map in hand. Not project fear.” That last remark was challenged, i.e. “If disagreement was to be considered as project fear?” We then were treated to a Gaelic poem thereafter translated in English “though not as good.” (Note: some English upon hearing that slight, might remark ‘thank you for that respect madam, so you can speak Gaelic, we have many dialects in England you know, and expressions also’)…

Oliver Mundell, Conservative, Dumfriesshire, reminded the last speaker that “democracy does not only belong to her. Nicola Sturgeon thinks she can dictate terms not only to the Leader of the UK but to Scotland too.” He then went on to chastise her stunts at Bute House before the cameras. (Note: This is better than Dallas). This Government wants to airbrush the million Leave vote as it is an embarrassment, more voted to Leave than put The First Minister into Office.”

Ben Macpherson, SNP, Edinburgh North & Leith, spoke of “the choice being taken in mutual respect. How are we to be governed and where power resides.” He then went on during his SNP rhetoric to say “Brexit is a choice Scotland didn’t vote for.” (Note: what a strange remark – are they not still part of the UK, i.e. Collective vote?).


So far in this debate not one Member of this Scottish Parliament made reference to the fact that Scotland would be leaving the EU!


James Kelly, Labour Co-operative, Glasgow, started by paying condolences in respect of events last week. “An independent Scotland would have to have another referendum anyway. The Scottish people do not want another referendum as they had online abuse, pensioners were scared to say No because of the interrogatory nature of those who wanted them to vote Yes, some were chased up streets. The Government loses a vote and a note is taken upstairs saying ‘file’ – no further action”. He also decried the misuse of powers and the fact that people were sleeping rough. “Support NHS staff, defend public services and let’s get on with the job in hand.” Sandra White, SNP, Glasgow Kelvin, said she “would have thought better of the honourable gentleman than that”

Condolences were given for those involved in the Westminster Bridge incident. The Henry VIII Powers were referred to – the Great Repeal Bill. (In other words there may be a potential loophole “as there could be aspects not considered ‘normal'”).

The following saying and retort I once heard came to mind whilst listening to all of the above:-


Oh what tangled webs we weave,

When first we practice to deceive

How vastly we improve our style

When we have practiced for a while


Liam Kerr, Conservative, North East Scotland; In 2014 Alex Salmond said this is a “Once in a generation opportunity for Scotland. The people knew what they were voting for on both occasions so why another vote now?” He recommended “pulling together not pulling apart. Not forcing the UK Government to fight on two fronts. No answers for Independent State regarding borders,” and went on to mention that “the people of Scotland do not even know what they would be voting for. Your Constituents do not want another Referendum, stand up and do what they elected you to do.”

Stuart McMillan, SNP, Greenock & Inverclyde, stressed that “Referendum language emphasises delay rather than not having one,” and he toyed with semantics that amounted to nothing but platitudes and vacuous arguments in support of something, but it was so muddied the point lost me almost as soon as he began. Then a quick and incongruous reference to ‘food banks’ until the lady Deputy Presiding Officer reminded him about time.

Kezia Dugdale, Leader, Scottish Labour Party, immediately rebuked her tone and “requests she changes it next time she speaks.” Then Ms Dugdale had a pop at the First Minister for “not trying to achieve a deal with Brussels but rather it is Independence, first, last, forever, when it comes to her.”

Pauline McNeill, Labour, Glasgow; At last, this lady referred to the aspect of withdrawing from two unions at the same time without knowing the full implications of Brexit and prospects upon which an Independent Scotland is Predicated. This lady presented her views calmly which was refreshing for that and it invited the viewer to listen to what she said. She stressed that Europe is not on offer! What about WASPI women? How would Scotland have handled that in Scotland? (Indeed). Please do not give us two years of this, the people demand something else.

Edward Mountain, Conservative, Highlands & Islands; This gentleman listed a whole lot of domestic issues such as education. What difference have you made? Instead of division they should get on with the day job. Success is achieved by people who support each other – a team. Whether you are on the battlefield or in the office. Scotland benefits from being with the United Kingdom – better together, and supported the Motion of Ruth Davison.

In the closing speeches, Mike Rumbles, Liberal Democrat, North East Scotland stated “We do not give up our support of the UK Government.” The First Minister interjected why wants another referendum on Europe. His reply was that the last referendum was supposed to close this whole issue down.She may have the numbers with support of the Greens but she has not won the argument. The First Minister does not have the Country with her. Any independence referendum should be separate to the issue of Europe (he said concurring with a colleague thereon).

The First Minister appears to be chasing her life’s ambition, never mind the will of Parliament. The State is saying yes but the will of the people who he supports are saying no.

Ross Greer, Scottish Green, West Scotland said that people should choose on two offers open to them. (Note: which two offers I wonder?). Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour Party, Glasgow, said that if we left the UK can he guarantee we would be in the EU – yes or no? His reply was at least they would be in control of what happened to them. He then postured about Spain, etc. (Note: Now who is jumping off a cliff I wonder?). He then criticised what Mrs May was doing. No disrespect intended but given this young man’s age that was a presumptuous assumption and remark.

Douglas Ross, Conservative, Highlands and Islands, said that hundreds of his Constituents were annoyed they have to vote in yet another referendum. He said his cause is to give the people a choice, “we are the parliament elected by the will of the people and we say let the people choose.”

Lewis Macdonald, Labour, North East Scotland, explained the facts about not confusing voting for one referendum infers a similar stance in another. The Scottish people have the right to reject independence either with the EU or without the EU. The fisheries issue was raised in that by rejecting the EU common fisheries means that one cannot stay in the EU. He also stated the separation between the EU and UK must take place before trade agreements and Nicola Sturgeon has to rely on the words of Mrs May. He was not picking up anything regarding the will of the people for another referendum which they do not want. The First Minister ignored the will of the people on all domestic issues yet declared it is the will of the Scottish people to hold another referendum.

Murdo Fraser, Conservative, Mid Scotland & Fife, stated that “eight hours of debate had been a waste of time. All it takes to make a Conservative Prime Minister popular in Scotland again is for her to say no to Nicola Sturgeon. Nicola Sturgeon is less popular not only than Ruth Davidson but Theresa May. Keep up the good work on our behalf First Minister.”

The Green Party said they would get a million voters for referendum but they cannot – all they needed was one vote, that of Nicola Sturgeon who so instructed them. This Parliament ignored issues before yet what hypocrisy when they say the UK Parliament ignores this Parliament. The Scottish people are left not knowing if they have the Pound or the EU; No thanks.

John Swinney, SNP, Deputy First Minister; Condolences expressed regarding events at Westminster last week. Intervention – that this gentleman was not accepting the outcome of either referendum of 2014-2016 whereas others were. Ruth Davidson stated “What about the issue of Good Faith? Within three hours after results of last referendum the First Minister instructed staff to commence drawing up a draft for another referendum.” “Best do things for our country with powers of independence,” Swinney replied.

There was an intervention during this debate when a text was quoted which asked a particular Party representative, ‘my boyfriend is French can he still live here after we leave Europe?’ – the reported reply was ‘there are no guarantees in life – grow up!’










Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing stages of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short: She has also written an E-novel, ‘Just Suppose…!‘ which is available via the attached link.

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