At the end of my David Cameron and the Union blog, I suggested that Tam Dalyell believed that the Scottish Parliament would bring about the end of the Union.
Maybe he was reading my blog, as sure enough he comes out in the papers with his evidence to the Unionist Calman Commission:-
“It is in the nature of politicians to go on claiming additional powers and status for the institutions in which they find themselves. ”
“So it is no surprise that not only SNP members but MSPs from every other party are clamouring for more powers.”
“MSPs will not be satisfied until they reach a position indistinguishable from a separate Scottish state. ”
“It might well be that before this point is reached, the patience of people in England will have snapped.
“Thus my submission is that the very existence of a Scottish parliament leads to the dismantling of the British state.”
“If this is what the majority really want, so be it. But in any referendum, in addition to questions on independence, enhanced powers, and the status quo, there ought to be a fourth question – Do you wish the Scottish Parliament to remain in being?”
Mmm. Calling for another referendum on whether we have a Scottish Parliament? Surely that would be a Unionist Neverendum?
Lets look at the 1997 result:-
For a Scottish Parliament: 74.3 %
Against a Scottish Parliament: 25.7 %
In Mr. Dalyell’s West Lothian constituency, the vote was even higher for a Scottish Parliament:- 79.6 % For; 20.4 % Against.
Not really close was it? And its not as if there’s evidence to suggest the Against vote has grown. We’ve got an SNP government elected, for one thing! I’d be utterly amazed if they was a vote now that the Against vote could even come close to a quarter. Any Scots that still argue against a Scottish Parliament are so very few and far between.
Maybe Mr. Dalyell is slightly out of touch? That’s of no matter though. He may be viewing things from his lonely Barony but his predictions of English unrest and of Scottish desires for more powers have proven uncannily accurate; his West Lothian Question still hangs in the air, many Unionists fearing its inevitable conclusions. Mr Dalyell could just have said “I told you so.” to the Commission and left it at that.
I’ve never had any problems with letting the people decide in a referendum though. If Tam Dalyell’s option was added I think it would split the No to Independence vote anyway.
A Neverendum? To quote Wendy Alexander: “Bring it on!”