ALEX Salmond, who famously said a referendum on Scottish independence was a “once in a lifetime opportunity”, now believes there will be another one – in his lifetime.
The British nationalist ranters have tried to represent Alex Salmond’s previous “once in a generation” comment as a lie. They are, of course, being as infantile as we learned to expect during the referendum campaign. Salmond expressed an opinion. He did not make a promise or state something as fact. An expressed opinion, if genuinely held, cannot be a lie.
The only people who don’t change their opinions in the light of new information or significantly altered circumstances are dogma-bound bigots. Given that we now know that the No vote was won on an entirely false prospectus, that in itself would be enough to justify a change of stance on the issue of a second referendum.
Far more important, however, is the altered circumstances of growing public demand for a second referendum. Jim Murphy has infamously vowed that there will be no new independence referendum in his lifetime. That he is prepared to totally disregard the wishes and the will of the people of Scotland will come as no surprise to those of us who have long observed the “ambivalent” attitude to democracy exhibited by British nationalist fanatics such as Murphy.
The popularity of the SNP administration is largely explained by the fact that it has shown itself able to put practical considerations before ideology. Alex Salmond is to be applauded for his pragmatism in altering his opinion on a second referendum to both reflect and respect the mood of the nation.
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