Nicol Stephen rules out SNP pact

The leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats has ruled out a pact with the SNP over a referendum on independence. Nicol Stephen, deputy first minister in the current Scottish Executive, said such a referendum would prevent any possible coalition deal with the SNP.

His comments echoed those made by the UK Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell at the weekend.

So say the BBC (again)

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113 Comments

  • If any members wish to discuss this at greater length I will post in the member area.

  • Why are the Libdems taking this undemocratic stance when the vast majority of the Scottish electorate want a referendum, indeed a lot of Libdems want one??

  • Indeed on your open forum board (since stopped & taken off this website)there was a poll indicating the majority of poster’s wanting a referendum as part of a coalition agreement.

    Do you not realise the Libdems playing fast & loose with the Scottish electorate and democracy could pay a heavy price come May 3rd?

  • Libdem supporters are conspicuous in their silence on this subject….WHY?

    THIS IS IMPORTANT TO SCOTLAND’S FUTURE GOVERNANCE.

  • Iparralderen Kidea 5th Feb '07 - 11:55pm

    No-one fears a referendum more than the SNP. Two of these have been held in Quebec in the last 30 years, and on both occasions the electorate drew back from separation. And bear in mind that Anglophobia and nationalist fervour are far more intense in Quebec than they are in Scotland.

    The objection to a referendum, I guess, is that pandering to nationalists is just feeding their egos. Far better to get on with the real business of governing Scotland as part of the United Kingdom.

    Nonetheless, a 3:1 defeat for independence would wipe the smirk of Salmond’s face.

    Tony Blair? Gordon Brown? John Reid? Charlie Falconer? David Cameron? Ming Campbell? Who’s complaining?

  • There’s nothing like a frothing at the mouth gnat in a pre-Holyrood election frenzy for entertainment value.

  • Iparralderen Kidea
    What utter tripe you talk and for your information 80% polled in Scotland want a referendum? THE FIBDEMS ARE NIETHER LIBERAL OR DEMOCRATIC!

    So I repeat what are you scared of??

  • Also I notice you choose to overlook your poll on this very website showing a majority of your own members want a referendum?

  • Iparralderen Kidea 10th Feb '07 - 10:32pm

    mctosh45 ought to learn how to speak his own language before he starts throwing mud.

    The word is “neither”, and it is followed by “nor”, not “or”.

    What, exactly, is the “utter tripe”, mctosh45? I put arguments for and against a referendum and come to no firm conclusion.

    I am scared of nothing. As I make clear, a referendum is most unlikely to deliver a vote for independence.

    By and large, nationalism is a disreputable business. Fortunately, in Scotland, the Left has always refused to make common cause with it, not even Mr Galloway (who remains a firm unionist despite his alliance with Islamic reaction). Liberals and progressives of all stripes should follow their lead.

  • Iparralderen Kidea

    “By and large, nationalism is a disreputable business”.

    What are you saying here exactly?

  • Iparralderen Kidea

    “What, exactly, is the “utter tripe”, mctosh45? I put arguments for and against a referendum and come to no firm conclusion”………….

    “No-one fears a referendum more than the SNP”………..

    Is the utter tripe I’m talking about…………you then say you come to “no firm conclusion” but write this……..

    “Nonetheless, a 3:1 defeat for independence would wipe the smirk of Salmond’s face”.

    If you’re so confident then go for a referendum?

  • iainD

    Very funny, how about answering the question?

  • Iparralderen Kidea 11th Feb '07 - 7:21pm

    mctosh45 is a chauvinist. He feels the need to belong to a class which is special and different, and in conflict with other, lesser, communities. That is the essence of the nationalist mentality.

    Nationalism is a deeply unpleasant business. It is inherently divisive and appeals to base instincts. Look at former Jugoslavia to see where tribal politics leads.

    Nationalism isn’t so much a political philosophy as a personality disorder.

    The “mctosh45” nom de plume really gives the game away. He is peddling the romantic (and wholly inaccurate myth) that the Jacobites (neo-feudalists who tried to impose an absolute monarch on the UK throne) were Scottish nationalists. That is about the level of most nationalist discourse, I’m afraid.

    On this subject, at least, Gordon Brown is dead right.

  • Iparralderen Kidea

    Your ignorance is boundless, in case you didn’t know Scottish nationalism is a civic nationalism, which means it’s inclusive and open to all irrespective of race, colour or creed.

    You certainly like the sound of your own puffed up opinion, then at least do us the courtesy of getting your facts right? It is ignorant buffoons like who are the danger.

    Still you can’t answer the question why aren’t you giving the Scottish people a referendum as part of a coalition deal when 70/80% want one?

  • It seems Nicol Stephen is clueless about what the Scottish electorate wants? Check out the link below,and the comments….?

    http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/politics.cfm?id=224132007

  • Here’s another when he ruled out the coalition deal…….boy did he ever get this wrong?

    http://news.scotsman.com/politics.cfm?id=106592007

  • Iparralderen Kidea 11th Feb '07 - 9:30pm

    mctosh45, it is loud-mouthed, half-eductaed, pseudo-intellectual bully-boys like yourself who give Scotland a bad name.

    What facts have I got wrong?

    The one thing nationalists and chauvinists of all stripes really cannot stand is people questioning their claims.

    Some chauvinisms are more dangerous than others, and Scottish nationalism is certainly one of the less incendiary; but its beliefs are irrational and its effects divisive. All these creeds are rooted in what the late John Tyndall called “the hidden forces of the human soul”.

    Oh, and please note. The parallel between mctosh45 calling me “ignorant” and Islamists accusing critics of arranged marriages and female genital mutilation of “ignorance” is striking – and not coincidental.

  • Iparralderen Kidea

    You do come across as a puffed up creep with your condescending and patronising attitude. Still, you can’t answer the question just post a lot of pap?

    You’re ignorant, you post ill informed assertions about Scottish nationalism and when corrected compound your ignorance, with comparisons of fundamentalist Islam and female circumcision?

    What are these “irrational beliefs” and who are they designed to divide given I’ve already corrected you as to Scottish “civic” nationalism?

    Seems to me you just like to brow beat and pontificate with your flowery vocabulary, you impress no one, least of all me.

    So once again. WHY are the Libdems not extending to the vast majority of the Scottish people their right to a referendum in a coalition deal?

  • Iparralderen Kidea

    If you doubt the vast majority want a referendum then check out Niall’s website…………

    http://www.independence1st.com

  • Iparralderen Kidea 11th Feb '07 - 10:21pm

    mctosh45, you are obviously unwilling to participate in a civilised discussion. The reason being that you lack the intellectual equipment to do so successfully. In politics, you have to accept that not everyone is going to agree with you. Just get used to it.

  • Iparralderen Kidea

    THERE YOU GO AGAIN THINKING YOU’RE MY INTELLECTUAL BETTER?

    It might of escaped your vast intellect but in order to have a debate, one needs to have an exchange of views and answer questions of the other?

    It’s not a question of agreement it’s about answering questions?

    So Letsby Avenue………

    WHY are the Libdems not extending to the vast majority of the Scottish people their right to a referendum in a coalition deal?

  • Iparralderen Kidea

    Oh! whilst were at it when have I been other than civilised on this forum?

    Indeed it was your ill-informed, patronising and condescending post @# 5 THAT LOWERED THE TONE. I merely responded in kind?

    So typical of a bully you try to lay the blame at my door when indeed the blame is all yours?

  • Iparralderen Kidea 11th Feb '07 - 11:05pm

    mctosh45, your intellectual betters comprise quite a wide class, I do assure you.

    Roy Jenkins once described the referendum as “a very dangerous innovation in British politics” and “a splendid tool for demogogues and dictators”.

    I think most Lib Dems agree that referenda are appropriate where what is proposed is a change in the constitutional settlement.

    For instance, joining the Common Market, Scottish devolution, etc.

    But note that my two examples are instances where the electorate voted for parties who wished to make those constitutional changes. The referendum was part of the package that had been put to the electorate at the preceding general election.

    In the present case, the only justification for having a referendum is a series of opinion polls. The Scottish people have elected MPs and MSPs who, overwhelmingly, wish Scotland the remain part of the UK (contra Quebec). Unless the Scottish electorate returns a majority of representatives who favour separation, then what would a referendum be other than cowardice in the face of nationalist bravado?

  • Iparralderen Kidea 11th Feb '07 - 11:34pm

    I should also state my view that a referendum on independence should be held in the Basque Country.

    Since it was established in 1978, the Basque Autonomous Community has consistently comprised a majority of deputies belonging to parties who favour separation from Spain.

    A referendum on independence is prohibited by the Spanish constitution, and this is surely unacceptable in a modern democracy and EU memberr state.

    Whether or not the Basque Country should separate from Spain (and/or France) is entirely a matter for the Basque people, and I take no view either way. (Except to note that atrocities such as the Itoitz Dam would not have been perpetrated by an independent Basque state.)

  • Iparralderen Kidea

    Your examples and reasons for earlier referenda are valid but it’s disingenuous to argue that a referendum commitment, in any potential coalition agreement with the S.N.P. is not wanted by the Scottish electorate.

    Given that there is a lot of support in the other unionist parties for one, as all the polling evidence suggests.Plus the fact the S.N.P. Will be, without doubt the biggest party at Holyrood come May 4th and as such, will have the moral authority in asking for a referendum and given this, the S.N.P. Is only asking for an assurance it can rely on an agreement with a coalition partner that a referendum can be put to the people,why are the Libdems not agreeing to this?

    Your contention of cowardice in the face nationalist bravado doesn’t apply.All we have to do is see what happens at the elections.

  • Iparralderen Kidea 11th Feb '07 - 11:52pm

    “All we have to do is see what happens at the elections.”

    Absolutely. And that’s why we cannot be certain that the SNP (or anyone else) will have a majority after the next Holyrood election.

  • Iparralderen Kidea

    So why can’t the Libdems give that assurance now, on the proviso that the S.N.P.is the biggest party?

  • It has also been revealed that more than a third of Scottish Liberal Democrat constituency chairmen support a referendum on independence. More than two thirds also said they favoured a coalition with the Scottish National Party.

    http://forum.theherald.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=30

  • 1. We have Local Party Conveners.
    2. Cite your source for this assertion.

  • I have given the source of this snippet of info, take it up with them?

    http://forum.theherald.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=30

  • I have neither the time nor the inclination to further investigate this tosh. You cited it, you prove it. Quite frankly it is a risible assertion.

  • iainD

    So I’m a “frothing at the mouth gnat” am I?

    At least we nationalists can back up our arguments and not be two faced hypocrite’s, saying two different things either side of the border? It turns out your Scottish leadership is still in negotiations with the S.N.P. over a possible coalition?

  • iainD

    That’s right you bury your head in the sand…….I wouldn’t expect anything else from a Fibdem?

  • Another allegation which you cannot possibly prove.

  • iainD

    You really are a fool, go to the Herald and ask the person who posted for the answers you want?

    Don’t shoot the messenger, springs to mind?

  • More proof that you are indeed a “frothing at the mouth gnat” and resorting to insults when you cannot win an arguement by proof or reason.

    I’m really going to see the heid gnat squirm when we retain Nora as MSP for Gordon.

  • Personal abuse now – how mature (not).

  • Quite frankly I have better things to do with my time than have an arguement with gnats on Lib Dem Voice. Bye, bye mctosh45.

  • iainD

    You started with the insults not me? Boy! you people live in your little bubble don’t you?

    Nicol Stephen wanting the First Ministers job when you poll only 15% of the vote?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!……IT’S TIME!

  • # iainD Says:
    February 12th, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    I have neither the time nor the inclination to further investigate this tosh. You cited it, you prove it. Quite frankly it is a risible assertion.

    If my “assertion” is so risible then answer my post @ # 3?

    And don’t pretent you never saw it!

  • Still nobody prepared to give me a satisfactory answer as to why the Libdems are ruling out a referendum as a coalition deal with the S.N.P.

  • Lancs Lib Dem 14th Feb '07 - 8:19am

    Possibly because, unless the Gnats win an outright majority (which, I think, they won’t) the chances of them winning a referendum would be small. Why waste the time, effort and money on something like that.
    All that said, I think we should support a referendum and see off the Gnats once and for all. And, if I’m wrong, and Scotland does want independence, then there’s nothing wrong with that either!

  • Lancs Lib Dem

    You may not know but I suspect you do, it is near impossible for any party to win an outright majority at Holrood? It was designed that way with the express aim of keeping the S.N.P. and independence at bay.This was a major part in the S.N.P. not supporting devolution but when it came to it the S.N.P. formed the opinion that at least a devolved Scottish parliament was a step on the way and they could fight that battle at a later date.

    Polling evidence has consistently shown a large majority(over the period of the devolved parliament) of the Scottish people want a referendum. So your contention that the S.N.P. wouldn’t win is dubious to say the least?

    Be in no doubt the S.N.P. will be the biggest party at Holyrood come May, it only remains to be seen how big they become.

  • So, still no answer to my question, just equivocation? Not very liberal or democratic.

    Let me ask it this way…..why is the Liberal Democratic party unionist, given the rising tide of English voters wanting independence?

  • Iparralderen Kidea 15th Feb '07 - 8:46pm

    Let’s not bother holding an election in Scotland this May. mctosh45 KNOWS that the SNP is going to end up the biggest party. The future has already been decided. Why waste money on an election?

    The Lib Dems remain overwhelmingly unionist because we know that the union is a thoroughly good thing, both for Scotland and for England.

    Before the Act of Union, Scotland was a lawless, poverty-stricken, war-torn backwater on a par with Albania. With England’s help, Scotland prospered. And with Scotland’s help, the United Kingdom became the greatest nation on Earth.

    If it aint broke, don’t fix it.

  • Lancs Lib Dem 15th Feb '07 - 10:10pm

    Wanting a referendum and wanting independence are two different things – there is no evidence of a “large majority” of Scots wanting independence.

    YouGov Sep 2006: “44% back independence, with 42% supporting the status quo”.

    On that basis, even if the indepence vote was won, I don’t think it would be by a huge majority. Would/should that be enough? Should there be more evidence of a desire to break away from the UK before we spend the money on a referendum?

    As I said, I personally think we should agree to a referendum in order to see off the SNP for a while.

  • Lancs Lib Dem

    Thank you, perhaps you could make your feelings known to your leadership?

    Iparralderen Kidea

    So it isn’t broke is it?

    Then explain why consecutive Westminster governments have lied to the Scottish people over oil revenues for the past thirty years? This treachery will not be forgotten or swept under the carpet?

    Explain why Scottish service men/women have to die fighting an illegal war in Iraq when the overwhelming majority of Scots were against it?

    Explain why Scotland has to suffer the presence of W.M.D. on it’s SOVEREIGN territory when again the overwhelming majority of Scots are against them not only being here but against them full stop?

    Explain why consecutive Westminster governments have perpetuated the myth of Scotland being subsidized when in fact the opposite is true?

    Explain why Scotland’s population has remained stagnant since the end of the war (W.W.2.) and recently gone into decline?

    Explain why Scotland’s economy has consistently under performed compared to the rest of the U.K. since the end of the above war?

    Explain why 25,000 young Scots emigrate every year to find decent jobs with better prospects?

    Explain why independence was denied the Scottish electorate as a choice when devolution was set up and why Holyrood elections are rigged against independence?

    I could go on but will leave it there, so are these examples of this “union dividend” we here so much about?

  • I see Nicol Stephen has given his (final?)judgment on a referendum on Scottish independence……is this an astute political move?

    I’ve posted the link in the Scotsman below, interesting to take note of the comments, don’t you think?

    http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=251642007

  • Iparralderen Kidea,

    Come on I’m waiting….explain??

  • Iparralderen Kidea 16th Feb '07 - 11:05pm

    mctosh45 is into grievance culture big time. Which explains the middle part of his name, and taste for myth in preference to reality.

    I’ve heard it all before. Everything wrong in Scotland is the fault of the English. Even the theft of Shetland’s oil. Anglophbia run riot. Edit these rants by substituting “Jews” for “English” and “Schnapps” for “Glenlivet”, and you get the picture.

    mctosh45 should consider the nature of the Scottish economy in the mid 20th century, in particular the dominance of coal mining and heavy, smokestack industries, which have gone into decline in every part of the developed world. (Ofcourse, these industries were abandoned in favour of South Yorkshire, the tartan zealots will tell us – by the wicked and racially inferior English.)

    Odd, isn’t it, for a downtrodden colony of England, that Scottish landowners and industrialists have always been Scottish. As has a sizeable chunk of the English ruling class, since the 18th century.

    Sorry, mctosh45, but I will not admit this Noddy book twaddle into the world of serious political debate.

    PS: mctosh45 hasn’t worked out what my name means yet!

  • Iparralderen Kidea,

    Still waiting?

  • Iparralderen Kidea,

    What an offensive git you are and not only that a dissembler to boot?

    Your pathetic attempts to play to the gallery with squeals of me being anti English show you up for what you are, a coward and a bully?

    Don’t tackle my points no just spew a lot of twaddle, you’re a thick tosser.

    The blame lies at Westminster’s door so how do you equate this with being anti English???

    You wouldn’t know serious political debate if it hit you in the puss! as demonstrated by your idiotic post..

    Answer my points?

  • ColinW

    Is that the best you can come up with? It’s a sad indictment of “Fibdem” political discourse if it is?

  • Iparralderen Kidea 17th Feb '07 - 1:02am

    mctosh45 is typical of the detritus which infests identity politics.

    These types simply cannot abide having their fantasies challenged.

    Nationalism is a murky, twisted business which decent, sane folks should shun.

    Had one too many tonight, mctosh45? More white coat than tartan.

  • Iparralderen Kidea

    That’s right evade what you can’t answer.

    Think you’re clever with all the flowery language but like I say you don’t impress me, you’re rally a political lightweight after all your a Libdem supporter, going nowhere fast, in England or Scotland.

    So please try to answer my points?

  • Iparralderen Kidea

    Can you tell me how I can become like you as, at the moment, I feel less than perfect?

  • Personally, I haven’t made up my mind which way I will vote in May, or even if I will vote for ANY politician. But I know which way I would vote in a referendum. I am a member of Independence First, the single-issue, non-party-political, campaign for a referendum on independence for Scotland, which was formed in 2005 at least partly on my own initiative. We are DEMANDING a referendum, as our internationally-recognised right of self-determination. If necessary, we are prepared to ensure that the UK gets the same kind of international condemnation for its resistance to democratic self-determination as Indonesia and other regimes received. People vote for different candidates for all sorts of different reasons. They may like a party’s policy on one thing, but disagree with them about another thing. They may like a political party at national level, but vote against them because they don’t like what that party is doing at the local level. They may just vote for a particular candidate because they like that person as an individual, never mind their party’s policies. Opinion polls have shown that while a minority of SNP voters actually disagree with independence, just under fifty percent of Labour voters SUPPORT independence, thirty five percent of Liberal Democrat voters would vote for independence in a referendum, and even twenty five percent of Tories would support independence in a referendum. But these are just opinion polls. The ONLY liberal and democratic way to establish the true level of support for independence is through a referendum. Furthermore, opinion polls have indicated that somewhere between seventy five and eighty percent of voters support HOLDING an independence referendum, regardless of how they would vote in that referendum.

  • mctosh45 (20) says “If you doubt the vast majority want a referendum then check out Niall’s website…………

    http://www.independence1st.com

    Independence First covers a very broad spread of political opinion. Although Niall and I agree about demanding a referendum, we disagree about a great many other things. While of course folk should check out the Independence First website, can I point out that Niall has no personal ownership of our website!

  • Lancs LibDem (43) says “I think we should support a referendum and see off the Gnats once and for all. And, if I’m wrong, and Scotland does want independence, then there’s nothing wrong with that either!”. Now THAT is a genuinely liberal and democratic view. What a pity some prominent LibDem politicians are not prepared to be so liberal and democratic.

  • Lancs LibDem (47) says “Wanting a referendum and wanting independence are two different things”. Indeed they are. Opinion polling suggests that something between seventy five percent and eighty percent of voters in Scotland want a referendum on independence, REGARDLESS of how they would vote in that referendum. Lancs LibDem continues “there is no evidence of a ‘large majority’ of Scots wanting independence”. True, the evidence is inconclusive. The ONLY way to settle the question is to actually hold a referendum. “YouGov Sep 2006: ‘44% back independence, with 42% supporting the status quo’. On that basis, even if the independence vote was won, I don’t think it would be by a huge majority.” – That remains to be seen, what is indisputable is that a large majority of voters in Scotland WANT a referendum.

  • Lothian Sky 17th Feb '07 - 9:19am

    I think it’s grossly undemocratic to say you wont have a referendum because, er… you dont want one! If YOU GUYS are the largest party, fair enough, but if the largest party is the SNP after May, then they will lead the coallition. Would you ask the SSP to ditch socialism? You probably would.
    What will the electorate think when they see your blatant self interest and dishonety? Are we to have a 1000 year Lib/Lab reich? I dont know how Scotland would vote in a referendum. But I’m not afraid to ask, and neither should you guys be.

  • Lothian Sky 17th Feb '07 - 9:26am

    57.Iparralderen Kidea says “Nationalism is a murky, twisted business which decent, sane folks should shun”

    Empty sweeping statement. I want independence, if that makes me some kind of fascist, where does that leave the Slovaks, Norwegians and Estonians? Are they “twisted” as well? How about those scoundrels in Iceland and Denmark? Fascists are they?

    Scotland is no better than England or anywhere else, but it’s certainly no worse. Go and read some history books and you’ll find out how we lost our independence in the first place.
    Then you might engage your brain before talking such rubbish.

  • What, so they’re not a second division minority party now?!

    According to their PPB last night, they are “overtaking the SNP”. Yet another example of failing to read opinion polls. No doubt they’ll claim to be winning up until the last minute, as they always do.
    They are strangers to integrity.

  • Iparralderen Kidea (5) Says: “No-one fears a referendum more than the SNP”. – Whether that is true or not, it is irrelevant. The pressure for a referendum on independence for Scotland does not come from the SNP. It is in fact only in recent years that the SNP has adopted the policy of having a referendum, and there are still quite a few diehard Nationalists who disagree with that policy. The pressure comes from outside party politics, and in particular from Independence First, the single-issue, non-party-political, campaign for a referendum on independence for Scotland, which was formed in 2005. Our campaign is small in terms of paid-up members, but big in terms of support for what we are seeking: opinion polls have put support for a referendum in the region of seventy five to eighty percent.
    You say that “Two of these have been held in Quebec in the last 30 years” – also irrelevant. For dozens of reasons, far too many to go into properly here, Scotland is a very different place from Quebec. “The objection to a referendum, I guess, is that pandering to nationalists is just feeding their egos.” – also irrelevant. The demand for a referendum does not just come from “nationalists”. Some of the most active members of our campaign, including myself, would reject the label “nationalist”, and it is certain that the seventy five to eighty percent of the population who would support holding a referendum include large numbers of people who would also reject the label “nationalist”.

  • Jim C. (66) says “in an independent Scotland the Libdems would be nothing more than a second division minority party” – I think it’s rash to make any assumptions about the state of the parties in an independent Scotland. For instance, there is the question as to whether the SNP would even continue to exist as a united party, without the cement of the aim of independence holding it together. I think there would be sure to be quite a lot of re-alignments of parties. However, yes, this reported LibDem stance of opposition to a referendum IS a foolish one, and will increasingly come to be seen as neither liberal nor democratic.

  • Tom Robinson 17th Feb '07 - 10:53am

    As I now see that most of the activity is taking place here, I am repeating below a post I have made elsewhere on this site. Lancs Lib Dem’s position is a reasonable one although we appear to hope for different outcomes.

    As a Scot now living in Solihull who has voted repeatedly for the Liberal Democrats who gained this seat by a tiny majority at the last general election I can tell you that my vote has now been lost to your candidate at the next general election.

    It is profoundly undemocratic in circumstances where opinion poll after opinion poll indicates that 80% of the Scottish electorate (whether for or against independence) favour an independence referendum for the Liberal Democrats to oppose this.

    The Liberal Democrats were 4th in Scotland at the last Holyrood election. They do not deserve to make progress at the next. This approach is a denial of the principles of the party which I have voted for throughout the 25 years I have lived in England-but no longer.

  • Iparralderen Kidea

    Still waiting for my points to be addressed?

    P.S. Oh! so many Libdem voters ditching the party in Scotland and England! in a principled stand, I wonder if you should?

  • Left-leaning Londoner 17th Feb '07 - 3:44pm

    Or it could just be a very clever plan to make sure that the SNP concentrate their election campaign on getting a referendum at the expense of everything else. I would imagine that the majority of people who would not vote Lib/Dem because of the refusal to have a referendum on independence don’t vote Lib/Dem anyway. Even if a majority of people do want a referendum, I suspect it’s fairly low down on their list of priorities for Government. If the SNP (and their activists like McTosh) concentrate on this and nothing else because they’re really wound up, they’ll lose.

  • Left-leaning Londoner (72) says “I would imagine that the majority of people who would not vote Lib/Dem because of the refusal to have a referendum on independence don’t vote Lib/Dem anyway”. What about Tom Robinson (70) who says he has voted LibDem for twenty five years, but won’t do so now? Opinion polls have indicated that as much as 80 percent of Scottish voters want a referendum on independence, regardless of how they would vote in that referendum. The refusal to accept this legitimate demand for self-determination is neither liberal nor democratic.

  • Left-leaning Londoner

    And how do you arrive at that conclusion?

  • Iparralderen Kidea

    Oh! do come on, I’m waiting?

    Answer my points?

    P.S. Iparralderen Kidea STILL DOESN’T KNOW WHAT MY NAME REFERS TO 😀

  • ColinW

    I’m not sad, persistent yes.

    Did you not know, this is a discussion forum, I’ve put valid and reasonable points and as yet, have yet to receive a reply?

    Personal abuse now, is it?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Away and stop playing about mens feet sonny?

  • Left-leaning Londoner 17th Feb '07 - 10:10pm

    Dave (73), there will be a minority of people who will now not vote Lib/Dem because of the referendum issue. Perhaps Tom Robinson is one of them.

    However, think of the example of the EU. Opinion polls tell us that the vast majority of people want out of the EU. If we were to have a referendum, we’d end up out of it, but neither the majority of Lab/Libs nor a minority of Cons want that.

    Hasn’t stopped people voting for Lab/Lib in general elections though.

    This is because the EU, no matter what people feel about it, isn’t the main priority for people when it comes to their votes. Perhaps this isn’t true in the case of a Scottish referendum, but I don’t imagine it’s really that high a priority for most people when it comes to their vote for the Scottish parl. And the ones which it is of huge importance for, will want independence definitely and will make up a much smaller group than the apparent 80% who want a referendum, perhaps only 20-30% who are the people who naturally vote SNP.

  • Iparralderen Kidea 17th Feb '07 - 10:16pm

    The fact that swarms of SNP thugs are bombarding this website indicates to me that the Lib Dems have done something right.

    If we really are as irrelevant as mctosh45 and his drinking buddies would have as believe, why expend all this effort bludgeoning us into accepting a referendum on separation?

    Lothian Fly says: “Scotland is no better than England or anywhere else, but it’s certainly no worse. Go and read some history books and you’ll find out how we lost our independence in the first place.”

    I have read plenty of history books, Lothian Fly. The serious, objective ones, not the Balkanist fairy stories.

    Oh, and by the way. Scotland has never had “independence”. Go on, Lothian Fly, check that out.

    I’m afraid it’s rather like telling children there is no Father Christmas.

    And mctosh45, who are all these Lib Dem voters ditching our party in England and Scotland? Oh, sorry. You mean the SNP activists who’ve been posting on this page today. It’s like those letters we used to read in the local rag. “I was considering voting Lib Dem this time, but not after their latest FOCUS.” Liar, liar, liar. Always voted Tory!

  • Tom Robinson 17th Feb '07 - 10:33pm

    #79 Iparralderen Kidea strongly suggests that my post at 70 (and that of others) is a lie. I assure you that it is not.

    I would suspect that Lorely Burt the Liberal Democrat with a majority of 279 in Solihull will not be thanking you for your illiberal and abusive attitude to one of her, I am genuinely sorry to say, former supporters.

  • Iparralderen Kidea

    I see you still can’t answer my points, ya tube?

  • Iparralderen Kidea 17th Feb '07 - 11:04pm

    Mctosh45. I think I have done. Serious points, that is. Not empty rhetorical devices.

  • This Liberal Democrat Voice site has a poll running on the question “Should you be required to provide your real name in order to post comments on Lib Dem Voice?” Of course, I have voted yes. I think EVERYBODY should use their real names.

    I see the shy wee boy who goes under the false name Iparralderen Kidea is calling some (unspecified) folks “liar, liar, liar”. I think he implied that Tom Robinson of Solihull is a liar. Well, I wouldn’t know Tom Robinson from Adam, but his posts look genuine to me. I believe he has voted Lib Dem for twenty five years and has decided not to do so now. His name looks real to me also. Iparralderen Kidea can get away with calling real folks “liar” because he doesn’t have the courage to come out and say so under his own name. The laws of libel don’t apply where false identities are concerned. Which reminds me, there is conclusive proof that Iparralderen Kidea is a convicted sex offender. You see, the laws of libel not applying to pseudonyms works both ways.

  • Iparralderen Kidea 18th Feb '07 - 12:09am

    Dave Coull says:-

    “The laws of libel don’t apply where false identities are concerned.”

    Really? Can you cite the authority?

    Didn’t help the “Private Eye” journalists who called themselves “Grovel” and “Slicker”, did it?

  • Iparralderen Kidea 18th Feb '07 - 12:27am

    For all you know, Dave Coull, the poster calling himself “Tom Robinson” might be using a pseudonym, too.

    A “Tom Robinson” could be someone who changes his mind about a fundamental. The pop singer, Tom Robinson, was known in the 1970s as a militant gay rights campaigner. Then, in the 1980s, he married a woman.

    Similarly, Tom Robinson of Solihuill has rescinded his long-term support for the Liberal Democrats because he objects to a decision of the Scottish Party (over which neither Lorely Burt nor anyone else in England has any control).

  • Tom Robinson 18th Feb '07 - 1:21am

    #85 As I understand it, Menzies Campbell fully endorses the view of Nicol Stephen on the referendum. As he was elected by,and leads, the whole party in the UK, I cannot accept that members in England can be judged to be anything other than supportive of the position taken by their Scottish Party. Should it become evident to me that the party in England opposes the view of the Scottish Party on the issue (even if they are unable to overturn it) I will reconsider my position. I cannot see how I can be more reasonable than that.

    I confirm that, as he says, I do not know Dave Coull. He is correct to believe that my posts are genuine. As you might imagine, I often hear tell of Tom Robinson the singer of 2-4-6-8 Motorway and other lesser hits when I meet people for the first time. It is mildly amusing but unoriginal of you to mention this namesake. As it happens he is precisely one day older than I am, so perhaps he has prior rights to the name.

  • Iparralderen Kidea

    So smug arrogant one, yet again you fail to answer questions put?

    Perhaps you’ll answer Tom #86 as to why you’re less a Liberal than he?

  • Left-leaning Londoner

    You’re still missing the point.

    The fact is, support for independence consistently carries a bigger poll %age than the S.N.P. get at the actual elections, so one can only deduce that support for independence is embedded within other parties but not voted for (but non the less supported) for various reasons.

    Therefore the only true way to gauge the true support for independence is through a referendum? To not do so, is anti democratic and a travesty!

    Having said all that 80% of the Scottish electorate wants that referendum…..get it?

  • I think I can safely say that Iparralderen Kidea is one of the most unpleasant contributors, to any website, that I have come across.

    This is my first time on a Liberal Democrat website and I must say I am rather shocked.

    To most people, the idea of a referendum, on any subject matter, is completely uncontroversial.

  • Left-leaning Londoner 18th Feb '07 - 7:55am

    McTosh. Do you get this? I’m not saying whether I think there should be a referendum or not. I’m trying to get through to you a reason why Nicol Stephen may have ruled one out (And I’m losing the will to live.)

  • Lothian Sky 18th Feb '07 - 8:07am

    Oh so I’m a “thug” now!

    And Scotland was never independent!?
    Oh dear, there is a small child loose on this forum.

    Are there any sensible Liberal Democrat supporters out there who are happy to discuss politics without the petulant name calling?

  • The shy laddie who goes under the false name “Iparralderen Kidea” wrote

    “Dave Coull says:- ‘The laws of libel don’t apply where false identities are concerned.’
    Really? Can you cite the authority?”

    Okay, I’m not a lawyer, I’m no expert on the subject of the laws of libel. It just seems fair to me that if you can call Tom Robinson of Solihull a “liar” with impunity, then folk should be able to say what they like about YOU with impunity. But, for all that I know, it’s quite possible that the law may in fact be unfair. It often is.

  • The shy laddie who goes under the false name “Iparralderen Kidea” complains about folk he disagrees with “bombarding this website”. Since I just appeared here yesterday I could be one of the folk he is complaining about. I can’t speak for anybody else, only as an individual, so here is how I came to post here.

    The Scotsman printed an article about Nicoll Stephen “sounding a death knell for independence referendum”. As a reader of the Scotsman, and as somebody registered on their website, of course I took part in the discussion about this on their forum. On that forum, somebody mentioned the discussion on THIS forum. So of course I took a look. And of course I became involved in the discussion, because, in my view, to rule out something wanted by 80 percent of Scots is neither liberal nor democratic.

    A wee bit of background history :- In September 2004, during the course of a discussion on an internet forum, I proposed the formation of a single-issue, non-party-political, campaign for a referendum on independence for Scotland. A few people were interested. In February 2005, I organised the first meeting of this campaign,
    which was held in Brechin, about four miles from where I live. Twelve internet contacts showed up for that meeting, from as far apart as Aberdeenshire and Glasgow.
    Of these twelve people, I think two were members of the SNP, although fairly inactive members. Two were members of the Scottish Socialist Party, but we all know the troubles that party has had, and both have since then resigned from the SSP. The majority of folk at that inaugural meeting were, like myself, not members of any political party. We took the name “Independence First”. The reason for this name was that, at the time, there was much talk about UKIP and other anti-European groupings, more so in England though, and we wanted to emphasise that a referendum on independence had to have priority. Other questions such as relations with the EU, or the constitutional status of the monarchy, could wait.

    I am here as part of my continuing campaign to convince people that holding a referendum on independence is the democratic thing to do.

  • I came to this site in good faith hoping that someone could explain why the LibDems had taken an intractable line on the possibility of a referendum on independence. I have come back today looking for answers and find that the only reason given is that it is somehow supposed to stymie the SNP. Are there no Lib Dem people able to post a reasoned argument?
    I totally agree with Dave M @ 89 when he says, ‘I think I can safely say that Iparralderen Kidea is one of the most unpleasant contributors, to any website, that I have come across’.

  • Hywel Morgan 18th Feb '07 - 2:53pm

    “I totally agree with Dave M @ 89 when he says, ‘I think I can safely say that Iparralderen Kidea is one of the most unpleasant contributors, to any website, that I have come across’.”

    I agree – it’s embarrassing to see and (speaking as party member) does the party no good.

    As to a LibDem reasoned response on this issue, this is from Nicol’s recent conference speech which hopefully explains, even if not convince :-):

    “More powers for the Scottish Parliament – but not separation. That is Liberal Democrat policy. More powers but no separation. That combination is the most popular option in all the opinion polls.

    We are not and will never be a party of independence. The Liberal Democrats, more than any other party, are the party of interdependence.

    We support devolving and decentralising power to local communities and local people, but in a federal structure where nationalism is less and less relevant. The little Scotlanders are as alien to us as the little Englanders. We believe in breaking down boundaries, not building new barriers.

    And it will come as no surprise to remind you of this. In 1997 the Liberal Democrats saw no need for a referendum before establishing a Scottish Parliament which we strongly supported.

    So why in 2007 would we support a referendum to establish a separate Scottish state, which we strongly oppose.

    The Liberal Democrats will not support any back door route to independence after a Scottish election where the parties that support separation have no majority.

    Instead our priority will be getting on with delivering on policies that people and communities care about most. That is what this election should be about: health, education, the economy and young people.”

  • Hywel Morgan says “The Liberal Democrats will not support any back door route to independence after a Scottish election where the parties that support separation have no majority”.

    The Indonesian state had elections in East Timor. The government won. But the United Nations still took the view that Indonesia had an obligation to allow a self-determination referendum on whether the territory should be independent or not. Of course the Indonesian government kept insisting that there was no need for this and most of the folk of East Timor were perfectly content with the way things were. But in the end international pressure forced Indonesia to allow a referendum. Surprise, surprise, it turned out the people DID want independence after all. Of course it remains to be seen what the outcome of any referendum in Scotland would be. What we can safely say is that the vast majority of people in Scotland, regardless of how they would vote in an independence referendum, want there to BE a referendum. Scotland fulfills ALL of the criteria laid down in international law for triggering a self-determination referendum. It’s going to happen, sooner or later. Trying to suppress the non-party-political demand for self-determination is neither liberal nor democratic, and will lead to international condemnation. As for “our priority will be getting on with delivering on policies that people and communities care about most”, that is almost, word for word, what Indonesia said.

  • Iparralderen Kidea 18th Feb '07 - 6:36pm

    If Hywel Morgan has ever done anything useful for the Party, perhaps he would like to tell us what it is.

    I have to say that until I came across his name on this site, I had never heard of him.

    Referenda are held when governments decide upon a change to the constitutional settlement.

    As Nichol Stephen has made clear, if the separatist parties form a majority in the next Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Liberal Democrats will support a referendum on independence.

    None of the contributors to this thread seems to know the history of the referendum in British politics.

  • ColinW

    What do you not understand, is the Vast! Majority of Scots want a referendum. It’s not the business of middle England or the Liberal party to decide whether we get one.

    The reason we persist is because you seem ignorant of the fact(though I’m sure you ken fine well)that it’s almost impossible for independence parties or any other party to get an absolute majority at Holyrood.

    Thus negating all the pro independence supporters who don’t vote for an independence party!!

    THAT IS WHY A REFERENDUM IS NECESSARY!DO YOU UNDERSTAND????

    It’s like talking to 5 year olds?

  • Colin W. (99) says “This ridiculous post (97) shows why the SNP are not worth arguing with”.

    You may consider my views not worth arguing with, Colin, but what has that got to do with the SNP? I’m not a member of that party. Never have been. I’m not even a “supporter” of that party. At present, I am thinking I might vote for the Green Party, but I haven’t really made my mind up.

    Once again, here is a wee bit of background history :- In September 2004, during the course of a discussion on an internet forum, I proposed the formation of a single-issue, non-party-political, campaign for a referendum on independence for Scotland. A few people were interested. In February 2005, I organised the first meeting of this campaign, which was held in Brechin, about four miles from where I live. Twelve internet contacts showed up for that meeting, from as far apart as Aberdeenshire and Glasgow.
    Of these twelve people, I think two were members of the SNP, although fairly inactive members. Two were members of the Scottish Socialist Party, but we all know the troubles that party has had, and both have since then resigned from the SSP. The majority of folk at that inaugural meeting were, like myself, not members of any political party. We took the name “Independence First”. The reason for this name was that, at the time, there was much talk about UKIP and other anti-European groupings, more so in England though, and we wanted to emphasise that a referendum on independence had to have priority. Other questions such as relations with the EU, or the constitutional status of the monarchy, could wait.

    “To equate the oppressive Indonesian dictatorship that persecuted the Timorese following the illegal occupation of East Timor with Scotland’s relationship with the rest of the UK is truly moronic.” – ah, but the ONLY sense in which I make the comparison is in relation to international law governing referenda for people in territories seeking self-determination, and, specifically, the United Nations’ requirements for triggering an official investigation as to whether a member state is in breach of its obligations. Of course such “investigations” can take months or even years, so this is not something relevant to the party political elections being held in May. I don’t intend to say any more about this here, I may already have said more than I should. Just wait three or four months and read the big black headlines.

  • Iparralderen Kidea Says: “Referenda are held when governments decide upon a change to the constitutional settlement”. – Not always. Internationally speaking, sometimes referenda are forced upon extremely reluctant governments by a combination of internal and external pressure. “None of the contributors to this thread seems to know the history of the referendum in British politics”. – But why limit your vision to the history of referenda in BRITISH politics? This entire question is about to become an _international_ issue.

  • Hywel Morgan 19th Feb '07 - 5:41pm

    “If Hywel Morgan has ever done anything useful for the Party, perhaps he would like to tell us what it is.”

    Oh no – my ego and sense of self importance is under attack :-)))))

    I’ll have a think – I’m sure I can come up with a couple of things :-))))))))

  • Iparralderen Kidea 19th Feb '07 - 8:11pm

    Hywel Morgan – I’ve tried Google, and it came up with a speech at Harrogate favouring the relaxation of the laws on pornography. Drat! You happen to be right!

    Dave Coull – I don’t accept it is international. It is INTRAnational.

    Clearly, if separatist parties win an outright majority in the Scottish Parliament there will be a referendum.

    Compare that situation to the Basque Country, where separatist parties have won an outright majority in every election to the Autonomous Region Parliament since 1978, but NO REFERENDUM! In fact, the Spanish Constitution says there can never be a referendum.

  • Iparralderen Kidea Says: “Hywel Morgan – I’ve tried Google” So you checked up on Hywel Morgan using Google. Whereas nobody can check up on YOU using Google, because you are using a false identity. For somebody who claims to be a “tiger”, you’re awfully shy.

    I think this discussion has pretty much run its course for now. I’m never going to convince you, and I have more important things to do with my time than to try. However, on a more positive note, it’s pretty clear that SOME LibDems have been more receptive to the argument that 80 percent of the voters in Scotland wanting a referendum on independence, REGARDLESS of how they would actually vote in that referendum, is a pretty good reason for having one.

  • Hywel Morgan 19th Feb '07 - 11:01pm

    And he never even mentioned my fly fishing achievements 🙂

  • Granite City Loon 16th Mar '07 - 5:25pm

    I will be one of the many that will be casting my vote to start the process in May.
    Yup, SNP for me.

    And NO I’m not a member of their party, I just feel it’s truly IS time.

  • mctosh45…
    look, you got your referendum in the form of the election. If the majority* of the people of Scotland wanted independence, like you say the do, they would have voted for the SNP. However, as you can see from the result, the majority did not, despite the SNP being the party that won the largest number of seats. The election proves without doubt that the majority of Scotland want to stay in the union and don’t care about a referendum. We have far more important issues to deal with.

    * you get your figures from the independence first website? oh yes, very impartial source that one! [shakes head in disbelief]

  • Lothian Sky 7th May '07 - 10:19pm

    It’s a shame the Lib Dems wont be part of this government. The SNP are bending over backwards to build a consensus, even being prepared to shelve their key policy! what are the Lid Bums doing? Being petulant and childish as usual. No wonder you’re in 4th place behind the Tories!

  • Lothian Sky 7th May '07 - 10:23pm

    Lets face it you’ll have to agree to most of the SNP’s policy commitments anyway, as they are in your manifesto. Or will you wait and see what way the wind blows first? You are failing the people of Scotland by behaving in this self centred way, and I hope they never forgive you.

  • Surely it is better for the Lib Dems to be in some sort of a coalition government whether it be with the SNP or with Labour. By being part of the government they can have a greater influence on the running of the devolved government and introduce the policies that they stood for during the election whilst sitting back like the Conservatives and thinking we can influence the government from the Opposition benches doesn’t make sense.

  • Denzil in Glasgow 9th May '07 - 12:16pm

    I did not join the liberal democrats in order to resist a referendum on constitutional change in Scotland. I joined to promote some progressive and radical policies that will make our country a better place to live and work.

    I am angry and ashamed at the lib-dem leadership for their intransigence in putting a fairly insignificant issue before the key aspects of their policy agenda. Nicol Stephen made much of our party’s commitment to talking about policies. He has now ensured that the lib-dem policies will be kicked into the long grass and we will now be remembered as the party that refused to talk. Not very liberal or democratic. It looks like I will have to change my party, as they have forgotten all the principles of fairness and equality that are supposed to underpin it. When are they going to consult members on the small matter of governing our nation? This is going to be a disastrous stance and will ensure a wipe-out for the lib-dems in future elections.

    Shame on you Nicol Stephen.

  • I’ve trimmed a few comments, all of which were posted from the same computer but which claimed to be from a variety of different people. It must have been darn crowded at that keyboard with all those different people, though lucky that they all had the same political views (ie SNP fab, Lib Dems awful).

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