The SNP are wrong to defer the independence referendum.
Why? I’ll give you three rocking reasons, starting with the weakest first:
1) The SNP idea of “gaining credibility” is not just a ticking tax bomb as Andy Kerr says, it’s gifting Westminster and the Unionists up here with a prolonged opportunity to give them a kicking.
2) Deferring the referendum puts it on the other side of the nextUK Westminster election. Since it is Westminster, rather than Holyrood, that will take the Independence decision, an immediate referendum would put the Independence question firmly on the next election agenda. Going into a Westminster election with a large majority of Scots in favour of Independence would sharpen the minds of not only the 56 Scottish MPs but all of the parties. The English will only accede to granting us independence if they can be bothered attending to the issue. It’s the sort of thing that can be dragged out indefinitely. In an election when there is a Unionist Scot seeking to be voted in as PM it is the best opportunity we will get for a generation. Independence is the most elegant solution to the West Lothian question, and the English will never vote a Scot into power. If the English can be persuaded that it’s in their self interest to let those moaning Scots get on their way, they will vote accordingly. A David Cameron led Conservative Party proposing Scottish Independence is a lot more likely than the SNP think!
3) Who gives a toss about the SNP?It is an appalling conceit by the SNP to think they can prove Scotland’s ability to be Independent. Tactically, this SNP agenda of deferment will alientate the very very large number of Labour, Liberal, Tory and NON VOTERS who want to vote for Scottish Independence (but not the SNP) in May. By wrapping themselves in the Saltire, the SNP confuse their own limited ability with a thousand years (and more) of Scottish history. They are the vessel, not the drink. Depriving me of an immediate vote on an Independence referendum, so they can prove themselves smacks, paradoxically, of a lack of self-confidence and a dubious abrogation of the independence question – as if they owned it.