Yes Scotland sets its face from public opinion on the monarchy

Yet another rift has opened up in the pro-independence “Yes Scotland” campaign, this time over the future of the monarchy if Scotland decides to break away from the rest of the UK.

Yet another rift has opened up in the pro-independence “Yes Scotland” campaign, this time over the future of the monarchy if Scotland decides to break away from the rest of the UK.

Following the birth of the King to be, the chair of the campaign has called for a referendum on the monarchy in Scotland, declaring it to be an “affront to democracy”.

In asserting that he was speaking in a personal capacity, the former Scottish Labour MP Dennis Canavan told the BBC over the weekend:

“True democracy is based on the sovereignty of the people, rather than the sovereignty of any monarch, and so in an independent Scotland the people should be given an early opportunity to decide whether they want a hereditary head of state or an elected head of state.”

Declaring that he preferred the latter option of getting rid of the monarchy altogether, “because a hereditary head of state is an affront to democracy and a complete anachronism in a modern 21st Century democracy”, he continued:

“I have no disrespect for people who believe in the monarchy and I have nothing against The Queen personally.

“I go as far as saying that supposing there was an election for head of state and The Queen were to throw her hat – or crown – into the ring, then even I would have to admit she would probably win – at least the first time.

“I doubt very much if I could say the same about her would-be successors, but I think it is important that the people who want to build a new democracy put across their views on these matters and have respect for the basic principles of equality and democracy.”

His call has garnered the support also of SNP MSP John Wilson, independent Margo MacDonald and Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie.

Canavan’s remarks, however, put him on a head on collision course with the SNP, who have made clear their preference to retain the monarchy.

Putting distance between the SNP and Canavan, a spokesperson for the Scots Nats responded:

“The policy of the SNP and Scottish Government is clear that the Queen will be head of state in an independent Scotland, as part of a continuing social union with the rest of the UK – that will be the position if Scotland votes Yes, and indeed all of the main parties in Scotland support the Queen as our head of state.

“Dennis Canavan is perfectly entitled to believe in an elected head of state, and will be free to argue that case in an independent Scotland – just as Labour MPs who support an elected head of state in the UK argue for that position at present.”

Canavan’s calls will have been further undermined by polling carried out by ComRes for yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph which found that 61 per cent of people in Scotland favoured monarchy compared to 22 per cent preferring the idea of becoming a republic. 70 per cent meanwhile said that they believe that Prince George will eventually ascend to the throne.

In seeking to puff up Canavan as the true voice of nationalist sentiments, a spokesperson for the Better Together campaign responded:

“It’s almost as if the Yes campaign is going out of its way to go against popular opinion in Scotland. Alex Salmond can try and kid people on that the SNP support the monarchy but Dennis Canavan represents the true views of the Nationalists.”

The calls for a referendum hinge also on Scotland actually voting for independence, another possibility that has been dealt another nail blow as polling conducted by Panelbase has given the anti-independence Better Together campaign a nine point lead over Yes Scotland, with the proportion of Scots preferring to remain in the UK at 46 per cent compared to the 37 per cent preferring to go it alone.

Ivor Knox, managing director of Panelbase, continued, however:

“If we include everyone who has told us which way they plan to vote, irrespective of likelihood, the No side has a more substantial lead of 58 to 42.”

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7 Responses to “Yes Scotland sets its face from public opinion on the monarchy”

  1. JR

    The SNP position seems increasingly hard to pinpoint, other than a very elaborate way of giving Alex Salmond a title bump.

    Couldn’t he just change his letterhead?

    It would be much cheaper, and business would be less worried by the uncertainty he is creating.

  2. Erin Van Der Maas

    Not sure what your point is here? Is it there is a rift or the pro independence people are anti-monarchy? Presumably there is a rift in all parts of the uk on the issue of monarchy? Or are you seriously arguing that being pro-monarchy is progressive. Less left foot forward more one left step forward then two right steps back?

  3. franwhi

    The point is that the YES campaign is a broad church – including the Labour for Independence group – with a range of views on the monarchy reflecting wider society. The broader point is that the Scottish electorate can engage in such progressive discussions about the role of the monarchy. What kind of left-wing blog is this – citizen ?

  4. Baxter Parp

    Where is the evidence that business is worried by “the uncertainty” that Alex Salmond is creating?

  5. JR

    Business and investors hate uncertainty of any kind. The bigger the company the stronger this dislike tends to be – this is a context neutral fact and you will find it hard to argue against. (If you want evidence just ask them).

    Investment is based upon prediction, and this is hard enough in the best of times. Possible changes that will bring about multiple and unpredictable adjustments and friction for many years are the worst and are frowned upon.

    Companies and individuals with cross border interests in Scotland will be cautious of engaging in any debate because of the political sensitivities. This, though, should not fool anyone into thinking that the additional costs of possible Scottish Independence are not being discussed by multinationals in boardrooms across the UK.

    I doubt many of them are privately singing its praises – unless they have something specific to gain.

  6. Selohesra

    Labour for Independence? – have a look at link below – photograhic evidence

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