Sunday, October 14, 2012

Michael Moore MP tells Marr: Both Governments have met their objectives over Independence Referendum

Michael Moore MP, the Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland has just been on the Andrew Marr show talking about the deal brokered between Scotland's two governments over the Independence Referendum.

The two people conducting the negotiations, Mike and Nicola Sturgeon, have sorted everything out in just over a month and there has been very little bitching on the sidelines. What little there has been has come from the Tories. There certainly has been a high degree of professionalism about the whole thing.

We'll see the detail tomorrow, but Mike was keen to stress that both governments had been able to meet their objectives. Let's look at what both wanted:

UK Government:

Legal - Section 30 Order needed as Scottish Government didn't have power to do it alone.

Decisive - no possibility for a confused result

Fair - overseen by the Electoral Commission

As soon as possible

Electorate as per Holyrood elections

Made in Scotland

Scottish Government:

Made in Scotland with absolutely no interference from Westminster

Overseen by a group of people put together by the SNP

Flirted with idea of second question on devo max and tried to whip up support for it in civil society

16/17 year olds to get vote

In the Autumn of 2014

The outcome

A score draw where everyone gets a bit of what they want. That's how negotiations should end up when people are being reasonable. Liberal Democrats will be happy to see an election where 16 and 17 year olds get the vote to build the case for permanent change in all elections.

If we can't get it at Westminster, I think we should push for a Section 30 order to change the law for Holyrood and Council elections once the referendum has taken place.

The referendum will take place on the SNP's timescale with one question with the UK Government's supervision.

You also have to remember that the UK Government has done the SNP Government a huge favour. Can you imagine Jim Murphy as Labour Secretary of State for Scotland, who loathes the SNP with a passion and talks all this poison about patriots vs nationalists conducting negotiations in the entirely reasonable way Mike Moore has done.

Mike has had one of the most difficult jobs in the Government over the past couple of years. Getting the Scotland Act through and now delivering a referendum with minimal fuss is pretty spectacular.

Anyway, here is a brief storify of tweets from the Marr interview.

1 comment:

An Duine Gruamach said...

It tells you much of what you need to know about the sort of adversarial politics we have that reasonable, level-headed negotiations are described as "a huge favour" by a partisan for one of the groups involved.

I think you're right however, in thinking that this kind of outcome would have been very difficult to achieve if Labour were involved in any capacity.


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