The Referendum Murders (paperback)

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Monday, 14 March 2016

The “once in a lifetime”, “once in a generation” Scottish Independence Referendum

The Daily Politics, 18th September 2013, one year before the 2014 Referendum. Nicola Sturgeon was then Deputy First Minister of Scotland

JO COBURN "If you lose the Referendum, will that settle it for a generation?"

NICOLA: (laughs) "Well. I think the SNP have always said, in our view, these kind of referendums are once in a generation events. This is a probably once in a lifetime opportunity for Scotland,  and I hope we seize that opportunity to bring powers home so that we can create the kind of country that we want to be, and continue to have have a fantastic relationship with our friends, neighbours, family in other parts of the British Isles - that's the right future for Scotland and I hope and I believe that's the future we'll choose next year."

By no tortuous twisting of what was said could that be described as a commitment by Nicola - or the SNP - to the Scottish electorate that that a second referendum - or its timing - could be determined by politicians independently of the political climate, events and the will of the electorate.

In the two and a half years since that statement, the global, European, UK and Scottish political climate has been transformed by events beyond anyone's imagining in Sept 2013.

The state of the nation - and of nations - and the response of the people, expressed with democratic force – determines great constitutional events and transformations - not politicians.

Politicians can only observe the mood and will of the people, attempt to legally and positively influence and shape their thinking - and attempt to focus them on, and guide them towards democratic means of  achieving their ambitions.

See also Alex Salmond 21 Sept.2014 at 9m 20secs mark