Monday, January 21, 2013
Referendums - Scotsman Letter
May I express my support for George Shearing's letter (Sat 19th Jan) calling for an enshrined legal right of the people to make decisions through referendums? This has long been UKIP policy.
Having such a right would have allowed us to have referendums on both Scots independence from Britain and British independence from the EU long ago without all the fuss. Indeed, bearing in mind that Labour, Tories, LibDems and Nationalists all made manifesto promises of an EU referendum over the lisbon Treaty (& the LibDem's last manifesto also promised they would support a referendum) having a legal right seems to be the only way to guarantee it would take place.
In Scotland, where we do not have a second chamber there is a desperate constitutional need for a brake on the power of the government and a right of referendum might be the only way we could put a brake on governmental power. Had we had that I doubt if we would have had billions poured into windmill subsidy, the smoking ban or the tram fiasco but am also willing to acknowledge that, had the people voted for any of these they would have a far stronger democratic legitimacy. Neil Craig, Branch Secretary, UKIP Glasgow
A simple little letter. Editings are underlined.. The underlined "Britian" was changed to "United Kingdom" which seems perverse since it weakens the comparison between the 2 referendum subjects.
My only problem with referendums is that I would not wish to see them used to increase governmental power against minorities. Perhaps any referendum increasing such power should require a 2/3rds majority or perhaps I am simply letting my liberal/libertarian prejudices show. Daniel Hannan did blog recently about how the Swiss people consiste3ntly use their referendum power to lower rather than raise taxes so p0erhaps we should just trust the people entirely.
I am also pleased that the reference to UKIP & my signature as such has not been removed.
This is one of these policies that allows UKIP to outflank the sterile left/right no-man's-land. It is clearly very popular with voters and almost impossible for the old paries (particularly the alleged left) to argue against and I am quite serious about its particular applicability to Scotland. It might well cut the ground from under the Holyrood Soviet. Note that those online comments opposed simply said that UKIP is small rather than addressing the argument - strong evidence that they have no counter argument.
This is after a series of unpublished letters replying to ongoing assertions by Roy Turnball (Slioch) saying that just because the Met Office released an acknowledgement they were withdrawing their claims of warming until at least 2018 (released on Christmas Eve when it would be buried without coverage) doesn't mean they have in any way their claims of warming, barbecue summers etc. etc.