It’s time the SNP published their plans for an independent Scotland

If Scottish nationalists can’t persuade the country of their case while they are led by what is universally accepted to be Scotland’s best political communicator, when can they?

With all the humility of a man who has, since he came to office in 2007, felt the hand of history on his shoulders, Alex Salmond yesterday finally announced that on 18 September 2014 the Scottish people will be able to cast politicians aside and make a decision on whether Scotland should become an independent nation.

Addressing MSPs at Holyrood, Salmond spoke of being “honoured” to be able to make an announcement which, in his words, will be the day when “we take responsibility for our country, when we are able to speak with our own voice, choose our own direction and contribute in our own distinct way”.

Tub thumping stuff, from the tub thumping first minister.  The only problem is that for a lengthy period of the campaign, the Scottish people will be none the wiser as to what the SNP Government actually envisages independence looking like, with the news that it’s White Paper outlining the case will not be published until November.

Responding to the first minister’s statement yesterday, Scottish Labour Leader Johann Lamont summed things up, declaring:

“He plans to hold the referendum in the autumn of next year and to publish his white paper in the autumn of this year. Why the delay? If we are to have the transparent debate that the first minister says he wants, why does he not publish his full independence plans now? If he wants a proper debate, he must disclose that white paper today.

“If he does not, the whole country will be asking, “’What’s the plan, Alex?””

Unsurprisingly, an answer came there none and there is no doubt that Lamont’s question is as much an attempt at political mischief making as anything else, but there remains a serious point.

In 2009, the Scottish government published a prospectus for independence. The question therefore must be asked, what is so different between these plans and what ministers plan to produce in November. If ministers north of the border don’t believe that this already published paper provides the basis upon which to go forward then why did they publish it in the first place?

Scotland finally has its date with destiny. It is now time that the nationalists actually told Scotland what they are thinking. On such an historic decision Alex Salmond’s plans need detailed and lengthy scrutiny leading to the obvious question as to whether he is fearful of having his plans torn apart.

He’s been plotting this moment for his entire political life, surely he must know now what he thinks independence means and looks like. If so, he should tell the people. If not, what has he been doing all this time?

One way or another history will be made on the 18th September 2014. For the SNP however, the risks are huge. All polling suggests a clear majority against their desire for independence raising a simple question – if they can’t persuade the country of its case whilst led by what is universally accepted to be Scotland’s best political communicator, when can they?

It could be that next September proves a pivotal moment in Scottish politics, a moment when the country asks a fundamental question – what’s the point of Alex Salmond and the SNP.

Let battle commence.

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16 Responses to “It’s time the SNP published their plans for an independent Scotland”

  1. Pa broon

    As I understand it, according to Alistair Darling last night on Newsnight Scotland, plans from unionist parties after a no vote in 2014 won’t be forth coming until the manifesto’s for the 2016 UK elections are released.

    I’d be interested know what Libdem plans are for after 2014 if independence is rejected? Of course, I’d prefer to know before Autumn 2014.

    Currently, the SNP plan to provide info a year before the referendum, Unionist parties plan to release theirs two years after.

  2. John Ruddy

    Lib Dems have already published their proposals – Federal Home Rule, Labour have set up a devolution commission which will produce an interim report at its spring conference next month.

  3. Mombasa69

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/scottish-independence

    Full independence just isn’t popular, whatever the Scots vote for it’s their choice, the only people that will really lose out is the British Labour Party. Haha.

  4. Mombasa69

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/scottish-independence

    Full independence just isn’t popular, whatever the Scots vote for it’s their choice, the only people that will really lose out is the British Labour Party. Haha.

  5. Mombasa69

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/scottish-independence

    Full independence just isn’t popular, whatever the Scots vote for it’s their choice, the only people that will really lose out is the British Labour Party. Haha.

  6. Mombasa69

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/scottish-independence

    Full independence just isn’t popular, whatever the Scots vote for it’s their choice, the only people that will really lose out is the British Labour Party. Haha.

  7. Mombasa69

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/scottish-independence

    Full independence just isn’t popular, whatever the Scots vote for it’s their choice, the only people that will really lose out is the British Labour Party. Haha.

  8. Mombasa69

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/scottish-independence

    Full independence just isn’t popular, whatever the Scots vote for it’s their choice, the only people that will really lose out is the British Labour Party. Haha.

  9. Mombasa69

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/scottish-independence

    Full independence just isn’t popular, whatever the Scots vote for it’s their choice, the only people that will really lose out is the British Labour Party. Haha.

  10. Mombasa69

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/scottish-independence

    Full independence just isn’t popular, whatever the Scots vote for it’s their choice, the only people that will really lose out is the British Labour Party. Haha.

  11. Mombasa69

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/scottish-independence

    Full independence just isn’t popular, whatever the Scots vote for it’s their choice, the only people that will really lose out is the British Labour Party. Haha.

  12. Mombasa69

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/scottish-independence

    Full independence just isn’t popular, whatever the Scots vote for it’s their choice, the only people that will really lose out is the British Labour Party. Haha.

  13. Gareth 'Man' Mills

    I hope he takes a fair share of the UK debt with him. I dont see way Scotland should leave without paying their dues

  14. Alister Rutherford

    I would have thought that everyone knows what independence means – it will be the people who live and work in Scotland who take the decisions. At present many decision, including the key economic decisions are taken by the UK. What else can independence mean? Does Ed Jacobs ever ask what does independence mean for Denmark or Slovenia? As to what these decisions might be, that will depend on who wins the elections to our Parliament. The SNP as the current government in Scotland can be asked to present their proposals, but they will remain proposals until such time as they win enough seats in the election in 2016. Why does Ed Jacobs not ask the Labour party and the LibDems what they will be proposing to the electorate in 2016 in the event of a yes vote? Presumably they are not all going to just resign.

  15. JPJ2

    No matter what happens in the referendum, the deadheads of the “Scottish” Labour party will not be the largest party in Scotland after the 2016 Holyrood election

  16. wee r socialist

    democratise spread the franshise,fuc the british state & bbc

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