There are plenty of other specific criticisms of BBC Scotland in The National and other pro-indy media that are completely ignored by the BBC. The obvious suspicion is that generally the BBC think they have no credible defence and this is a rare exception.https://t.co/I4m8W80Rw2— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 22, 2022
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
The Tories' introduction of vote-rigging photo ID rules for the 2024 general election puts the matter beyond all dispute: an early Holyrood election in 2023 should be used as a de facto independence referendum
Our regular commenter "Independence for Scotland" made a point a few days ago that, after some mulling over, I find impossible to see any fault with. Basically he said that the UK government's plan to introduce compulsory photo ID for elections should be the factor that finally holes below the waterline any suggestion that the 2024 UK general election - as opposed to a snap Holyrood election - should be used as a de facto referendum on independence. For those of you who aren't aware, the photo ID rule will only apply to elections under the UK government's direct control - which means in Scotland it will only have effect in UK general elections (starting in 2024), with Holyrood and local elections being exempt.
It recently became clear that the Tories' intention to use photo ID as a vote-rigging exercise was becoming even more blatant, with a list of 'acceptable ID' including items that are only used by older people, and excluding items that are only or predominantly used by younger people. The main purpose of this is to benefit the Tories at the expense of Labour, but of course it also has a major side-effect on any electoral battle over independence - which is overwhelmingly supported by younger people but overwhelmingly opposed by older people. It's surely a no-brainer that we should avoid walking needlessly into such an obvious trap, and that for any plebiscite vote we should use an election where this considerable new disadvantage will not apply.
To sum up, here is a list of the disadvantages of using a Westminster election as a plebiscite vote:
1) Voter ID rules will be in force, which will see potentially large numbers of pro-independence young voters turned away from the polling stations.
2) People aged 16 and 17, who are assumed to be predominantly pro-independence, will be barred from voting.
3) EU citizens, who are assumed to have swung heavily from No to Yes as a result of Brexit, will be barred from voting (with the exception of Irish, Cypriot and Maltese citizens, who qualify due to their countries being former London colonies).
4) The pro-independence message risks being lost in the noise of the wider battle for power at Westminster between the Tories and Labour.
5) The novelty of the prospect of the first Labour government for fourteen years could entice some independence supporters to move back to Labour from the SNP at the worst possible moment.
6) Based on precedents from 2017 and 2019, it's likely that at least some TV leaders' debates will be broadcast without featuring a single pro-independence (or even Scottish) voice.
7) The election will be conducted by first-past-the-post, which creates a vote-splitting minefield if smaller pro-indy parties insist on putting up candidates directly against the SNP.
And on the other hand, here is a list of the disadvantages of using a snap Holyrood election instead:
1) Voters might not like being asked to vote in an 'unnecessary' early election.
And that's it. I don't in any way dispute that the above is a factor that needs to be considered, but the idea that it outweighs all of the massive disadvantages of using a Westminster election is, I think, pretty hard to sustain. If the Supreme Court ruling goes the wrong way tomorrow, it would be the ideal moment for Nicola Sturgeon to announce that, on reflection, she has decided to use a snap Holyrood election in 2023 as a de facto referendum on independence.
* * *
Make no mistake - tomorrow will be one of the most important days in Scottish history. If it unfolds in the way we think it will, it's the day we'll discover that the UK is a prison rather than a voluntary union, and that Scotland is essentially a colony which lacks any means of even expressing a democratic wish to govern itself without 'permission' from London. The BBC and other components of the unionist media will, naturally, be hellbent on downplaying the significance of the moment by portraying the ruling as a dry, routine, administrative matter, so it's up to us to make it as hard as possible to pass unnoticed. If you are able to do so, I strongly urge you to attend one of the protests tomorrow.
* * *
* * *
If you'd like to help Scot Goes Pop continue, donations are welcome HERE.
Posted by James Kelly at 5:54 PM