Sunday, January 8, 2012

Questions to which the answer is helpfully contained within the question

From Scotland on Sunday -

"Tory peer and former lord advocate Lord Fraser of Carmyllie said: “For many, there is a view that if you were born in Scotland but were working in Brighton, then why the hell shouldn’t you have a vote in a [Scottish independence] referendum?”"

Answer : Because you live in Brighton.

In a similar vein, it might be asked : If you were born in Hemel Hempstead but are living in Brighton, then why the hell shouldn't you have a vote on who should be the MP for Hemel Hempstead?

Answer : Because you live in...well, you get the idea.

In any case, the unionists in the House of Lords are leading themselves up a cul-de-sac with this wheeze. At some point, the penny will drop that if eligibility to vote in the independence referendum is determined by place of birth rather than residence, then hundreds of thousands of Scottish residents who would otherwise be disproportionately likely to vote No will be stripped of their right to vote.

What's rather more interesting is the suggestion in the Mail that Cameron may be pressing ahead with the idea of legislating to force Alex Salmond to hold the referendum earlier than planned. If true, it'll certainly make queries about 'broken election pledges' rather easier to deal with in future...

"Why didn't you stick to your promises?"

"Because you made them illegal, David."


  1. And a huge number of Scots who have been forced to leave Scotland for economic reasons but strongly support independence would be allowed TO vote. Do they actually think because someone doesn't currently live in Scotland, they are anti-independence?

    Are they idiots?

  2. I don't think this is a very particular issue. However, what is a big issue is that if they are allowed to vote (and I don't mind either way), they will not be exposed to Scottish media and will only get the independence referendum campaign from both sides from media in a different country - not exactly a fair election if hundreds of thousands of voters are not exposed to the arguments.

  3. "I don't think this is a very particular issue."

    I disagree, I think the suggestion is utterly outrageous (albeit it hasn't a hope in hell of gaining any traction). There are two registers, Holyrood/local government and Westminster, and in neither are Scots who live elsewhere in the UK allowed to vote in Scottish constituencies. This is the creation of an entirely novel (and presumably one-off) principle to attempt to gerrymander the result - although as J R Tomlin points out, it may well be a misconceived attempt.