John Bercow destroys one of the key arguments against indyref2 | Autonomy Scotland

John Bercow destroys one of the key arguments against indyref2

A key theme on this blog in the last few years has been my despair at the attitude of pro-union parties towards a second independence referendum.

I understand why they don’t want one and I think they are entitled to oppose one. I just think that it is criminal that they continue to stand in the way of one after the Scottish Parliament has voted to have one. After Parliament decides, anyone who claims to be a Democrat should not deny the legitimacy of a second plebiscite regardless of how they feel about it.

We have gone over all of the arguments used against a referendum before, but one oft-repeated one is that indyref1 was only meant to be a once in a generation event.

This argument has always seemed weak to me. It seems obvious that people should be entitled to continue to campaign for what they believe in as long as they do so within the law and respect the rules of democracy.

I was interested to read last week that the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, agrees with me.

Speaking at a reception for Operation Black Vote in the House of Commons, Bercow said:

Democracy is not just about one vote once every five years or one vote once on a particular issue causing all argument on that matter to be considered legitimately shut down. That is not the way democracy works. Democracy is a dynamic concept. People who are on the losing side are not obliged to accept that their view has been lost for ever and they are perfectly entitled to continue to argue for it.

Would be good if more politicians were as principled as Bercow. Too many argue that the vote it 2014 has put the issue to bed for a generation, despite the narrowness of the result and the seismic political changes that have occurred since then. It is deeply disturbing that so many continue to think a flimsy argument like this trumps a vote in the Scottish Parliament.

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Eric Russell
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when alex salmond made his statement, he prefaced it with, in my opinion. now much as i love and respect alex salmond, his opinion was just that, his opinion. it was not a statement of fact, it was not a vow, or a promise. the people of scotland have been clubbed with this ever since. so let us clear this up once and for all. scotland and its people will decide when to have a referendum, and if they choose the time, is to be when the support is strong enough, then that is when it shall be.

james cormack
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james cormack

Exactly. And crucially, when we can win it.

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