The confirmatory referendum

Sometimes you can’t help but feel sorry for the Lib Dems. There they are, devoting themselves to a career in politics only to discover that they are less relevant than Sydney Devine in a Lady Gaga soundalike contest. And then a Lib Dem goes and opens their mendacious gob, and immediately any residue of sympathy that you had for them goes the same way as the party’s reputation for telling the truth, flushed down the pan, never to return.

Wullie Rennie, the only Rennie on the planet who actually causes acid reflux, got the dung ball rolling a few days ago when he announced that the Lib Dems would vote down the next Scottish budget, even if they happen to agree with it. Lib Dem support for any future Scottish budget will be conditional on Nicola Sturgeon ruling out any prospect of another independence referendum forever. That’s a bit like another party announcing that they will vote down a Lib Dem budget unless the Lib Dems forget about the one policy that most defines them, seeking proportional representation for elections to the House of Commons. Because, entirely coincidentally and not in any sense a self-serving way, that will result in more Lib Dem MPs. A Lib Dem said so, and you can always rely on a Lib Dem to tell the truth. Especially when they make a solemn pledge on student tuition fees.

Well, OK, it’s not really like that at all, since Lib Dems don’t get to be in power anywhere, and when they do they’re happy to sell whatever principles they might have had for a couple of ministerial motors. But still, you can always imagine it. The power of the imagination is a mighty thing, more powerful than the Lib Dems’ electoral strength, more powerful than the truth that will set you free. Which is why the Lib Dems are prisoners of their past.

Anyway, never one to indulge himself in one load of acid burn sanctimonious claptrap when he could get two in for the price of one, Wullie at the same time demanded that the SNP get behind the Lib Dems’ call for another referendum on the EU. Because that’s totally different and not hypocritical at all. It’s only referendum results which the Lib Dems were on the losing side of that ought to be revisited. Everyone knows that. Or at least everyone that Wullie allows on his number 17 bus. It’s a condition of him selling you a ticket as your travel from Kelty to Cowdenbeath, you won’t be allowed on the bus unless you agree not use your trip to Cowdenbeath for promoting Scottish independence.

Not to be outdone, party leader Vince Cable announced today that if there’s to be a second Scottish independence referendum, which he’s opposed to, then that needs to be followed up with a third Scottish independence referendum if Yes wins because really what we’re playing here is best of three. After all, it would only be fair. No won once, yes will have won once, so there needs to be a third referendum as a decider. Insisting on a third referendum is in no way a contradiction to his impaccable opposition to having a second referendum. He can swallow that pile of guff, because he’s been overdosing on the Rennies.

What Vince is claiming is that if there’s a yes vote in a future independence referendum, then there needs to be a third vote on the outcome of any deal between Scotland and the rest of the UK. This in no way will act as an incentive for the British Government to approach independence negotiations in a vindictive, lying, and underhand manner. Oh no. Not at all. The fact that insisting on best of three gives the British Government a very strong incentive to play dirty and dishonestly during independence negotiations is entirely coincidental, as coincidental as proportional representation leading to a bigger number of Lib Dem MPs.

Let’s be honest here, Vince is not making this proposal out of a deep concern for democracy, he’s doing it in order to make Scottish independence more difficult to attain. But even on Vince’s own terms there is a big flaw in his plan. What Vince is overlooking here in his typically self-serving Lib Dem way is that the second Scottish independence referendum will already be a vote on the outcome of the deal that was delivered.

The next Scottish independence will be a referendum on the outcome of the deal that was promised to Scotland by the anti-independence parties on condition of a No vote in 2014. If Westminster had been honest, upfront, and sincere in the promises that it made to Scotland in 2014, and moreover had actually delivered on them after securing that No vote in 2014, then Scotland would not currently be discussing the prospect of another vote on the independence issue. So this second independence vote is already that referendum on the deal that Vince was proposing in his oh-so-clever-clever way as a wizzard wheeze to keep Scotland within the UK.

Vince doesn’t get a get out of jail free card on the lies, the deceit, and the outright contempt with which the Westminster parties treated Scotland in the aftermath of the September 2014 vote. He doesn’t get to pretend that it’s only the independence campaign and parties which have to be held to account on any deal that they can deliver, but the anti-independence parties get a free pass on theirs.

The Lib Dem leader asserts that the people need to have a confirmatory vote on the outcome of a referendum. Fine. That’s exactly what this second referendum is going to be. That’s precisely what independence supporters are asking for. This coming referendum on independence is a confirmatory vote on whether Scotland is going to accept what Westminster, what the Conservatives, what Labour, and what the Lib Dems, have delivered compared to what they promised us in 2014. Are we going to confirm or reject what Westminster has given, as opposed to what they told us they’d do.

This second Scottish independence referendum will take place precisely because Westminster has lied to us.  If every promise had been kept, if every commitment had been delivered, there would be no pressure for another vote.  This coming independence referendum is the confirmatory referendum on the deal that was delivered. Scotland is not going to give the Westminster establishment a third opportunity to lie to us again.

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46 comments on “The confirmatory referendum

  1. annraynet says:

    Hit the nail yet again. Love it.

  2. […] Wee Ginger Dug The confirmatory referendum Sometimes you can’t help but feel sorry for the Lib Dems. There they are, devoting […]

  3. Tol says:

    I am sorry Paul

    BUT NO.

    This coming push to Dissolve the Union is a new and totally different issue. One generated out of the new constitutional issues for Scotland created by English isolationism. This issue is so serious for Scotland that no matter what it needs to be put to the people.

    YES must never let Westminster or their acolytes cast this debate as being a re-run of 2014. As tempting as it may be to bite at the stupidity of Unionists…this is what they are after as it makes it easier for them to win.

    The only way for YES to win this is to always re-frame this new debate through the current risks to Scotland. It leaves them looking like un-educated children with no real understanding of Scotland. They are sh*t scared of having to fight on this current constitutional issue as every discussion of their own ‘suicidal’ actions are a constant reminder to everyone that they have broken the Union.

    The only relevance of 2014 is that now YES can show Westminster’s promises are worthless – full of empty promises and lies and not worth the paper it is written on…

    • weegingerdug says:

      You can’t pretend that we didn’t have a vote in 2014, and we need to justify to the electorate why there is a need for a new vote. That justification is because every promise that was made to Scotland in 2014 lies broken and bleeding.

      Saying that the second referendum is a vote on the outcome of 2014 means that it is most definitely NOT a re-run of 2014. It is a vote on the trustworthiness of a Westminster which stands exposed as a liar – and as you say – it illustrates that the so-called Union has been destroyed by those who claim to uphold it.

      • Tol says:


        I would never pretend 2014 never happened.

        Just as each election is a new case for the vote, so is each Referendum that has been brought about to address different issues. Now the underlying drivers to be addressed are clearly different and It is actually irrelevant that the mechanism to resolve the 2 different questions can be the same. Referendums are not meant to be once in a generation, they are meant to resolve constitutional issues if and when ever they arrise.

        Once Westminster used a non-binding Brexit referendum with none of the referendum safeguards to affect Scotland’s fundamental rights and then threaten Scotland’s governance with a ‘Lord of the Flies’ future; the sovereignty of the Scottish people means it needs to adjudicate on how they actually want to be governed. It is actually irrelevant on when the last referendum was. Once anyone wants to fundamentally change Scotland’s constitutional rights, the Scottish people have the right to decide.

        This can not be a referendum on Westminster’s false promises – the SNP’s manifesto for a mandate does not cover that. It is a Referendum on the actual actions of Westminster (and its English majority of members) as they affect Scotland’s fundamental rights.

        If you let Westminster muddy the waters with 2014 issues, it contaminates the urgent and imminent danger this time and in allows Westminster to sow a seed of doubt in people’s minds that YES and the SNP are just sore losers and there is not any real issue that didn’t exist in 2014….

  4. susan says:

    The LibDems just become more and more despicable. I can’t laugh at Rennie et al anymore, I think they caught something nasty from their time in bed with the Tories.

  5. Davy says:

    Who was Vince cable actually speaking too when he made his comments of an additional referendum, was it the Scots or was it the rest of the UK ?

    Frankly his comments are as relevant as one raindrop in a thunderstorm. It was just a cheap headline comment to give the cheap unionist press something to say.

    Sooner ignored the better, just like Willie Rennie.

  6. diabloandco says:

    I thought Vince Cable was standing down or that I had heard mutterings of the sort some weeks ago . My lack of interest in his party and in the Voice of Scotland that is Willie Rennie ensured that I missed something. and Mr Cable still presides in ignorance of Scotland.

    As for Wee Willie, he and his 5 or is it 6 pals can get back in their cereal boxes.

  7. alanm says:

    Let’s assume for a moment that our political opponents aren’t all as stupid as they appear. What is it about promoting the interests of the UK over those of Scotland which gets them out bed in the morning and sustains them during hard times such as these? Might it simply be the prospect of a seat in the House of Lords and the end of a long and arduous political career?

    Lord Cable of Twickenham anyone? No, how about Lord Broon of Kirkcaldy then?

    • chicmac says:

      They won’t ennoble those two until they are sure their dotage has advanced to the point where they seldom speak. They have a big enough PR issues with HoL members falling asleep as it is.

  8. Petra says:

    I wonder if any of them look back and remember waltzing (or staggering) in from their subsidised bars and restaurants to vote down every amendment of the Scotland Bill? Laughing and sneering, all powerful with a sense of entitlement thinking that the 2014 referendum vote wouldn’t be revisited, with no idea that Brexit was on the way. Looks as though the smirks are going to be wiped right off of their faces in the very near future, between one thing and another.

  9. Macart says:

    Mr Cable, much like Mr Brown, can fuck off now.

    I really don’t think Scotland’s population have anything to learn on politics or morality from either of them. Also? I really don’t think we can stand much more of their ‘interventions’ and fortune cookie wisdom. When it comes to the practice of politics and the ideological distances between them? (Otherwise known as who makes the most outrageous and twisted hypocrite?) It’s actually down to the level of splitting atoms. Even fag papers would be considered too hefty for bridging that gap.

    Weary of the backstabbery, the manipulation, the faux outrage and faux moral soapboxes they stand on. Moral soapboxes supplied (weary laugh) by a media industry every bit as twisted and hypocritical as they are.

    Neither of course, will own their share of responsibility for this biblical omnishambles. Not personally and not as representatives of a system and practice of politics that has been proven to be totally beyond redemption. How and ever, they will intervene. Mainly with a big fanfare and there may be a carpet and a cadre of handy clickers involved to fawn over their every word. Okay, maybe not so much fawing in Cable’s example.

    Bear in mind this is before you even get started on the practices of their respective parties. In short? They and their politics have done more than enough damage to people’s lives tbh. Listening to epic bumtrumpets like Messrs Cable and Broon are why we are where we are today.

    We can do better and we can be better. We’re both the employer and the end user. It’s about time we let them and what is probably the most incompetent, shambolic and venal Conservative government of the post war era know that little factoid.

  10. Paul, an excellent summary of the Lib Dem’s version of political ‘expediency’.

    Regarding Tol’s assertion that indyref 2 should not be a ‘losers’ rerun of 2014, I doubt that you, or many of us on here are suggesting that.

    He is pushing against an open door.

    The world has been turned on its head since September 2014.

    Leaving the EU against the express wishes of the people of Scotland (see, I can be as malignantly undemocratic in my abuse of the concept of ‘democracy’ as Farage and Gove) without consultation, is the material change set out in the SNP manifesto.

    We are a long way from the debates with Yesterdays’ Men and Women. Cameron, Clegg, Osborne, Miliband, Balls, Farage, Murphy, Dugdale, are all gone.

    Darling is a Lord now, and Danny Alexander, the man who sacked half a million public servants and gave the ‘savings’ to the filthy rich as a 5% tax break, is a Money Changer in Hong Kong now.
    The ‘fucking useless’ 41 Branch Office Red Tory MPs are gone. We kicked them out on their arses at the ballot box.

    Davidson is not there to ‘bayonet the wounded’ and Douglas Alexander is a bag man for Bono I believe.

    Brexit has the Yoon Establishment in disarray.

    Now is the time.
    There will never be a better time.

    We are stronger, bigger, and more determined than ever.

    The BBC/STV/Sky/ Pulp News Styate Propaganda Machine, the WM Ministry of Truth will not get away with it this time, thanks, ahem, to the likes of sites like WGD.

    I have never felt so up for anything in my long and dowdy life.

    Tol, we are not fighting yesterday’s battles.

    We may have ‘lost’ the 2014 war, but we shall win the 2018 war.

    Just check out the tired old faces at yesterday’s FMQ.
    Baillie, Lamont, Gray, Smith, Carlaw, Rennie, and Mum 2B Davidson, who seems to be the opposite of the TARDIS, a lot bigger on the outside than she is inside, are on the verge of giving up, retiring, taking up sinecures on NGO’s or visiting professorships.

    Now is the time.
    It’s now, or never.

    • Tol says:

      @Jack collatin

      I agree you and Paul are focused on the current risks. However, this Weegingerdug post is very clearly about tying this current referendum to the last. It is so dangerous to give Westminster that opening…even if it is hitting back at the unionist crazies.

      Westminster uses Ruth, Brown, Vince, Leask et al. as incendiary decoys (I doubt many YES think Brown’s interventions are off his own bat). The more stupid or inflammatory their utterances the better as they are purposely designed to draw YES into arguing side issues.

      When Westminster lackies throw up these booby-traps, YES needs to only focus on the big issue and how Westminster broke the Union.

      Eg. Ruth Davidson’s “Get back to the day job”. Everytime YES repeats this pish, it reinforces that negative in the mind of Unionists and undecided. YES should never repeat those words, instead, YES should label her as unfit for serious office. (I.e. Ruth is unable to understand the First Minister’s job is to work on multiple fronts). Ruth demonstrated she is a spoilt teenager in a world that needs adults.

      Westminster has no-end of lackeys to spew incendiary nonsense aimed to rile up YES. If they get anyone to bite, their media propagandist will make it dominate the media for weeks if not months.

      Everyday the discussion is not on Westminster breaking the Union and the current risks to Scotland…YES looses momentum and Westminster is able to hold on to a few more undecided.

      • Tol,
        to quote that son of Kirkcudbright, Captain John Paul Jones, naval hero of the American Revolutionary War of Independence,

        ‘I have not yet begun to fight.’

        Certainly, there is a danger that we fall into the predictable mantraps set by the Ministry of Truth, and whichever Brit Nat politicians venture North to spit ‘too wee ,too poor, too stupid’ at us, with threats of financial and trade sanctions, bombing airports, and predicting invasion from Russia.

        We have grown since 2014.

        I and others are battle hardened, and will brook no argument from the Gordon Brewers and the Glenn Campbells of this world.

        Once Indyref 2 is announced, then we get serious.

        This is life threatening.

        The future of our country, Scotland is at stake.
        ‘Get back to the day job’ has run its course.

        They have nothing left with which to threaten us.

        We can easily refute lies about oil, EU membership, and currency now.

        Woe betide the Dead Tree Scroll which comes up with Vow II, or attempts a smear campaign.

        There are more skeletons in the Yoon cupboard than are on public display during Mexico’s Day of the Dead.
        Bring it on,

        Speaking of, where is Wendy anyway? Is she still up in Dundee?

        This time, no more Mr and Mrs Nice Guy.
        This time, we are ready.

        • PS: for our international friends, ‘Kirkcudbright’ is normally pronounced ‘Kirk-cood-bri’.

        • Tol says:

          @Jack collatin

          I really hope you are right.

          I totally agree one of YES’s biggest strengths now is that the movement has learnt a lot from 2014..but the evidence suggests Westminster has also learnt.

          2014 Indyref was just a Westminster warmup for Brexit and its shenanigans. But for me the big danger sign was 2017 GE and the gains the Unionist parties made in Scotland (also managing to decapitating 2 giants of the SNP with such lightweights).

          Never has such a bad campaigner as May with so many errors in a campaign retained power. The emperor had been proven to have no clothes and yet magically retained power. That campaign was so tragically bad that in any normal democracy she would have been decimated.

          in 2017: Scotland knew Brexit was an issue, the SNP’s MP were the most effective opposition MP in Westminster, SNP and YES were directly being targeted as saboteurs – and yet with all the ominous foreshadowing SNP’s vote share fell to 36%.

          We can point to all the shenanigans but the next referendum will be those on steroids.

  11. jake says:

    isaiah 32 5-7

    • Jake, worth reproducing here:-

      Isaiah 32:5-7 King James Version (KJV)

      “The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful.

      For the vile person will speak villainy, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Lord, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail

      The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.”
      Let’s hope the BBC don’t own the copyrights.

      I observed elsewhere, why is the Moderator, and indeed all religious leaders, not speaking out against food banks, the Rape clause, the Two Child Cap and the Disability Tests?
      If not they, who?

      Bless you,sir.

    • Ealasaid says:


  12. paul mccormack says:

    Everything JC says and some.

    Remembering 1979, this is just yet another endless re-run in their endless moving of the goalposts. Sisyphus hasn’t got a look in. Sorry for the mixed metaphor, anyway –

    For the perfect analogy of where Scotland is in relation to secession, I am always drawn to this example of the hare and the tortoise:

    where the tortoise is the Union and Scotland is the hare. The premise is that the tortoise has ten metres of a start in this race and even if the hare runs TEN TIMES faster than the tortoise, the hare will never overtake the tortoise. What results is an ever reducing mathematical infinite series going towards zero but NEVER even reaching zero.

    (ie the tortoise has a 10m start. the tortoise moves 1m, the hare 10m – now they are 1m apart. The hare runs for 1m, the tortoise 10cm. Now they are 10cm apart and so on and so on and so on for bloody infinity.)

    I like this analogy because of the factor of ten – roughly the difference between England and Scotland. I just will never know why Scotland accepts the premise in the first place by playing the bloody race by THEIR rules.

    There. I just had to get that off my chest.

    • Paul, here’s Eddie Cochran’s pop version:-

      Cut Across shorty

      Now a country boy named Shorty
      And a city boy named Dan
      Had to prove who could run the fastest
      To wed Miss Lucy’s hand

      Now Dan had all the money
      And he also had the looks
      But Shorty musta had that something boys
      That can’t be found in books

      ‘cut across Shorty, shorty, cut across’
      That’s what Miss Lucy said
      ‘cut across Shorty, shorty, cut across
      It’s you that I wanna wed’

      Now Dan had been in training
      About a week before the race
      He made up his mind old Shorty
      Would end in second place
      And Dan with his long legs flying
      He left Shorty far behind
      Shorty heard him holler out
      Miss Lucy that you’ll soon be mine

      ‘cut across Shorty, shorty, cut across’
      That’s what Miss Lucy said
      ‘cut across Shorty, shorty, cut across
      It’s you that I wanna wed’

      But Shorty wasn’t worried
      There was a smile upon his face
      ’cause old Lucy had fixed the race
      And just like that old story
      About the turtle and the hare, you know that thing
      When Danny crossed over the finish line
      He found Shorty waiting there

      ‘cut across Shorty, shorty, cut across’
      That’s what Miss Lucy said
      ‘cut across Shorty, shorty, cut across
      It’s you that I wanna wed’

      It’s you that I wanna wed, no no
      And oh Lord it’s you I wanna wed
      It’s you that I wanna wed

      On, you tube.
      Just like Eddy’.

      • .Cut across, Scotty.’

        • paul mccormack says:

          Always liked the one, Just like Eddie, but before my time really! But there ye go, avatars of the tortoise indeed – had never tied those two together. Oh and by the way, forgot to say everything Macart always says and some, and of course the WGD! 🙂

  13. Les Bremner says:

    Tol and Paul : With reference to your posts at the top, you are both correct and combining the two approaches would be powerful.

    There is a need for a succinct statement which documents the failure of Westminster to give Scotland what Scotland was promised, coupled with the brutality of Westminster imposing things on Scotland which Scotland had specifically voted against.

    We would therefore use Westminster’s own technique of smear (broken promises) and fear (Brexit and the potential of closing Holyrood). We simply turn their own weapons back on them.

  14. Jock G says:

    A man serving an English constituency who leads the fourth largest party at Westminster and the fifth largest at Holyrood presuming to dictate terms to the people of Scotland. The very fact that such a complete non-entity feels he has the right to do this is yet another reason why the Union should be put out of its misery.

  15. tintochiel says:

    Another great demolition of Lib Dem hypocritical twaddle. I particularly liked the “less relevant than Sydney Devine in a Lady Gaga soundalike contest” line.

    Had WM delivered a fraction of The Vow or even some of the Smith Commission’s proposals, it could have killed off demands for an Indyref2 for a very long time, such is the attitude of many Scots, whose low political expectations, low self-esteem, low levels of information and long-standing fatalistic hopelessness (engendered by our brainwashing MSM) would have made it easy for the establishment to throw us a few paltry bones and then go back to ignoring and exploiting us again.

    However the hallmark Britnat stupidity, bad faith and lack of any magnanimity or fairness has brought them to the precipice of European isolation and the loss of their Caledonian Golden Goose.

    “A People’s Vote” is another weaselly construction to try to minimise the inconsistency of the No to Indyref2 but Yes to Euroref2 position. As a Blogger in Bath has already said, who voted last time in the European referendum, badgers?

    The SG has mapped out its political response to Brexit carefully and consistently. We have the mandate for another referendum when the terms of Brexit are clear. Getting the timing right is the FM’s greatest problem but we should avoid any noisy distractions from the likes of Cable or the Kelty Nonentity, the perpetual red-neck on Scotland’s body politic.

  16. Robert Graham says:

    And so the show goes on , same *hit different day ,the relentless push to try and stop the inevitable is getting very tiresome , Listening to Wullie and all the other Unionist nodding heads yesterday was like watching a bad play with every actor trying to outdo each other with their use of the dramatic language , catastrophic failure , woeful performance , disastrous results , these unionists are going to have to go some to out do yesterday’s performance .

    Nicola Sturgeon could have wiped the floor with every one of them yesterday but choose not to , every call for more funds for this or that should be met with a big card with the letters P.F.I on the reverse would be ,brought to you by all the unionist parties .

  17. Les Bremner says:

    For those of you planning to be at tomorrow’s march in Glasgow, I will be there as a steward, so please come and introduce yourself. It would be good to put faces to the names and pseudonyms.

    I will be recognisable in a kilt, steward’s hi-vis yellow top and, to complete the outfit, a hi-vis knitted hat in yellow with two black horizontal stripes.

  18. […] estimable Wee Ginger Dug has already dealt adroitly with the 300 or so most obviously ridiculous aspects of Cable’s tone-deaf and spectacularly […]

  19. Excellent exposure of Libdems utter hypocrisy. How people in Orkney & Zetland keep voting for this party of self-serving shysters quite escapes me.

  20. Welsh Sion says:

    Cable disconnected. Just an irritating sound but no vision.

  21. Robert Graham says:

    Well that’s the BBCs in depth investigation concluded and there is nothing to see , absolutely nothing sinister about the money flowing in the direction of Scottish Tory party , This has just been confirmed by the leader who has been in hiding for weeks , but surfaces just long enough to get her message out via the BBC , you know the ones that have been camped out on her doorstep waiting for her to speak about the source of said money .I wonder when this revealing piece will Aired because it might clear up the actual source of these funds .

  22. Andy Anderson says:

    Of topic:

    I was at one of Gordon McIntyre Kemp’s talks last night in Perth. A joint Yes Perth City and SNP branch Perth.

    It boosted my belief that we will win no matter what. Business for Independence are putting money and action into the cause.

  23. Clydebuilt says:

    Vince Cable is close to retiring, he’s announced that much this week. . . . . By battering down The Nats, he’s out to feather his nest with a seat in the Lords.

  24. Patience is a Virtue says:

    All you need Vince is a majority, 28th March 2017 the Scottish Parliament voted by 69 to 59 in favour of seeking permission for a referendum on Independence – bad manners (and undemocratic) to continue to ignore the democratically elected representatives and mandate obtained.

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