By Stephen Lendman.
Ahead of Scotland’s September 2014 independence referendum, most UK and independent polls showed the outcome was too close to call.
In the run-up to the vote, pro-independence supporters gained strength. Some analysts believed enough to win. Instead they lost by a 55 – 45% margin.
Critics claimed vote-tampering. Registered voters found their names stricken from rolls, disenfranchising them.
Observers were confined to perimeter areas, unable to monitor vote counting.
Whitehall and Downing Street oppose separatism. One issue is North Sea oil. Scotland is home to Britain’s HMNB Clyde and HMS naval bases. The UK’s nuclear weapons are maintained there.
Was Scotland’s referendum rigged to keep Britain intact? Election rigging is longstanding practice in America. Maybe Brits operate the same way.
Suspecting fraud, thousands of Scottish voters wanted referendum results recounted. It never happened.
Will a second time around turn out any differently than the first vote? On March 18, addressing the Scottish National Party, SNP leader/first Scotland minister Nicola Sturgeon announced another independence referendum.
Resounding applause followed, not in Whitehall and Downing Street. Prime Minister Theresa May wants it blocked, saying “now is not the time.”
“To be talking about an independence referendum would, I think, make it more difficult for us to be able to get the right deal for Scotland and the right deal for the UK.”
“And, more than that, I think it would not be fair to the people of Scotland because they’d be asked to take a crucial decision without the necessary information, without knowing what the future partnership will be or what the alternative of an independent Scotland would look like.”
Sturgeon stressed “Scotland’s future must be Scotland’s,” saying a second referendum vote would come after Brexit terms are clear.
She blasted May for refusing to fairly address Scotland’s future. She needs prime ministerial and parliamentary permission to hold the referendum.
So far, an online petition has over 30,000 pro-referendum signatures. If 100,000 or more are collected, a UK parliamentary debate must follow.
According to London’s Guardian, polls suggest suggest a tight race if another referendum is held. The Guardian says it’s “likely. The question is when.”
Instead of staying out of Scottish affairs, NYT editors said its “independence can wait,” calling another vote “(im)prudent.”
Saying “until the Brexit negotiations end, there are too many unknowns for voters to make an informed decision” amounts to wanting them denied the right to decide their future whenever they wish.