Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Nearing The End Of The Beginning - Alex Salmond - 1, David Cameron - 0
Most Sunday papers this weekend suggested David Cameron must be feeling rather smug because, in the final stages of the more than tedious negotiations for the independence referendum, he denied Alex Salmond the right to have a second question on the ballot paper.
The media consensus appears to be Westminster has won the battle of the legal aspects.
I disagree. Alex Salmond has played the game with superior skill in the past months. He had a specific check list and has achieved it all, with the exception of a second question. Some say his determination to include a second question was purely a bargaining tool and one he would be happy to concede if his other requests were granted.
Now Mr Salmond has had the date approved. Mr Cameron is about to hand over the legal power for the referendum and he can introduce legislation for 16 and 17-year-olds to vote. The wording on the ballot paper will be the SNP's preferred wording with amendments made by the Electoral Commission and no interference from Westminster.
The battle over independence has a long way to go but it appears Alex Salmond is winning all the important early contests.
One message anyone who supports independence must broadcast loud and clear is that should result be in the No campaign's favour there will be no changes to the status quo. In fact Westminster could rescind some of the powers already granted to the Scottish Parliament. How do we know that no further powers will be given? Alistair Darling, the heid bummer of the No campaign, told us so last week. If the polls are to be believed, two thirds of people in Scotland will be unhappy with his prediction.