Author Archives: Barry Turner

Scotland – time for Project Facts

As Liberal Democrats, we do not support independence and we don’t want a second referendum; we have better ideas about the constitution. However, we must live up to our title as democrats and must recognise that there is now a clear majority at Holyrood for such a referendum. It would be foolish and self-defeating to oppose it. We must not repeat the mistake we made at the 2019 General Election when we were proposing to ignore the outcome of the EU referendum by not going back to the electorate for a second vote. That surely damages our reputation and cost us votes.

But we can take a constructive, different and positive view about how a second independence vote should be organised, learning lessons from the disastrous EU referendum process involving four years of discord and wrangling, and resulting in an outcome that few seem to be happy with. The simple yes/no, in/out binary approach to referenda with little in the way of facts, just opinions, guesswork and hope, and a promise on negotiations later, is not the way forward this time. It will give no guarantee that the outcome, if in support of separation, will meet the expectations of all those voting for change. The reason for this is the massive imbalance between the population of Scotland and the rest of the UK with whom Scotland will be negotiating and who will be very much affected by separation. Their representatives will bring a different set of requirements to the table that will potentially have a huge influence on the outcome. Another White Paper, as promised by the SNP, given this scenario will serve no real purpose other than again being a wish list and merely a basis for negotiations from one side only.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 31 Comments

Why federalism over independence?

Lib Dems support the union because we believe there is strength in unity.

We support the principle that decisions should be made at the most appropriate local level giving power to the people. We aspire to achieving mutuality and respect between the home nations and between the regions. We see fundamental flaws in the current constitutional arrangements whereby there is little or no real devolution in England and different approaches to devolution where it does exist. There is no common approach or equality in the way that power is administered across …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 20 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • matt
    @Jeff "It’s not acceptable for employers to make medical judgments. " They're not making medical judgments, they are making economical ones, which I am ...
  • David Campanale
    One extra point about the Tusvanyos festival founded by liberals in 1989 and which I have re-visited in recent years. I began in journalism freelancing for ITN ...
  • David Campanale
    When asked ‘what do I stand for?’, the answer can be found in what I have set out plainly in my blog. Over the past decade, I have championed public service...
  • David Campanale
    On my historic membership of CPA, I physically attended my last meeting end of 2012, when I resigned as Chair. Although re-elected at that meeting to the Counci...
  • David Campanale
    Should anyone have further comment or questions on my selection in Sutton & Cheam, please contact me on [email protected] I'm happy to engage with Libe...