Indyref2 – In anticipation of a lie

Nicola Sturgeon will make a statement this week.  The statement will include the results of her ‘reflection’ after a general election which saw the SNP win an overall majority of Scottish Westminster seats but suffer more seat losses than was expected.

Media focus will be on what the First Minister says about a second independence referendum.  I’ve already written an article detailing what I expect the First Minister to say in this regard.

However in anticipation of her statement there is already building a narrative within this same media that Nicola Sturgeon will U-turn on her Indyref2 timetable.

On Sunday the Good Morning Scotland newspaper ‘review’ led with the front page of the Sunday Mail which read ‘Indyref U-turn’ alongside an image of a forlorn looking Nicola Sturgeon.  A sub-heading read: No new poll by spring 2019.


The Sunday Mail article – which itself was headlined IndyRef2 U-turn as Nicola Sturgeon ditches plan for 2019 vote to focus on fight for ‘soft’ Brexit contained the following paragraph:

The story was of course treated as absolute fact as the two invited guest pundits ‘reviewed’ the story.  One of the pundits was David Clegg who readers will recognise as the Political Editor of the Daily Record, the weekday sister publication of the Sunday Mail.  Clegg was hardly likely to cast doubt on the story … and he duly didn’t.


This U-turn line is I fear what the Scottish media is preparing for the coming week when Nicola Sturgeon issues her much anticipated statement.  The other euphemism the media has crafted is that a second independence referendum has been ‘parked’.

If, as expected, the First Minister indicates that the chaotic Brexit negotiations mean her initial timetable of autumn 2018 to spring 2019 has now been delayed, the media will be ready with their negative line.  The narrative will be that Nicola Sturgeon has somehow rolled-back on her Indyref2 plans.

That folks will be the line.  It will also be false.  The video below is from the SNP manifesto launch on May 30th.

Nicola Sturgeon was absolutely clear when she told the assembled media that the timetable for a second independence referendum was based entirely on estimates provided by Theresa May.  She had already said it, but repeated that the timetable was dependent on Brexit talks and could change.

The Sunday Mail headline says there will be no second independence referendum by spring 2019.  That may be true.  But if any delay to the First Minister’s initial timetable is due to Brexit negotiation delays then it isn’t a U-turn – in fact it’s the very opposite of a U-turn.

It remains a possibility that Nicola Sturgeon may indeed unilaterally announce her plans for a second independence referendum by spring 2019 have been cancelled, regardless of the Brexit negotiations.  In that case it will indeed be a U-turn.

If though, as I believe, the First Minister announces no unilateral delay to her Indyref2 timetable, then any claims of a U-turn or the second ballot having been ‘parked’ will be false.  Pay very close attention to what Nicola Sturgeon says and what the media reports.


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6 thoughts on “Indyref2 – In anticipation of a lie

  1. Ayrshirelass

    The media are trying to manipulate Nicola Sturgeon as they appear to be quite successful in this regard south of the border with Westminster politcians.
    NS and the SNP are of sterner stuff and their ambitions are for Scotland.

    They are quite right to hold firm.
    The other unionist parties in SCOTLAND need to be questioned relentlessly on THEIR view of Brexit.
    Every single party that stood in the 2016 Holyrood election before the EU referendum was unequivocal of their support for the EU and how disastrous this would be for Scotland.
    Where are they now?

    1. Jim Morris

      The key to the amount of attention or even credibility to be given to the Sunday Mail lies in one of the other boxes on the front page where a Rangers spokesperson states that Celtic are only on two-in-a-row as far as premiership titles go.

  2. Robert Graham

    It dosent really matter what she says they will turn it against the independence movement , anything and everything to support this rancid union thats been so beneficial to people north of the border, The usual respect the 2014 result we constantly hear , my reply as always is ” you deliver your vow ” I will respect the result thank you very much.
    Its that simple , but unionists cant even bring themselves to start to deliver , We Won thats all they have to support the union .

  3. Bibbit

    I simply do not read or listen to MSM anymore as it is so dubious.

    I obtain political information online from a plethora of sites and publications, podcasts, too numerous to mention, but I thank god for them: Wings, Wee Ginger Dug, Derek Bateman, SNP sites, ‘The Independent’ monthly newspaper, iScot monthly magazine etc. etc.

    MSM is dying but in their death throes they become ever more desperate e.g. ‘nursegate’ and now this comically absurd narrative that the SNP is giving up (‘parking’) independence.

    Oh how we laughed.

  4. Peter A Bell

    Of course the media will lie. Of course they will misrepresent Nicola Sturgeon’s statement. Of course they will seek to deceive the people of Scotland. What else would we expect? It’s what the media does! But I take issue with the following,

    “If, as expected, the First Minister indicates that the chaotic Brexit negotiations mean her initial timetable of autumn 2018 to spring 2019 has now been delayed, the media will be ready with their negative line.”

    There is a huge and glaring fallacy in this. That is not the First Minister’s timetable. It is not even Theresa May’s timetable. It’s the EU’s timetable. It doesn’t matter a toss how “chaotic” the Brexit negotiations are. There can be no change to the timetable. Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty stipulates a two-year negotiation period. There is no flexibility on this. Theresa May cannot unilaterally decide that she wants more time. And the likelihood of all 27 member nations of the EU agreeing to an extension is so remote as to be barely worth considering.

    Nicola Sturgeon has two options. she can either insist that nothing has changed as a consequence of the recent UK general election. Which would be a perfectly reasonable position, because the reality is that nothing has changed. Or she can say that we already know all we need to know about how Brexit is going to impact Scotland and that we might as well get on with holding a new referendum. which would also be a perfectly reasonable position. Because we do know all we need to know.

    The factor that may weigh most heavily with Nicola Sturgeon, apart from the obvious necessity of ensuring the new referendum is held before the Brexit process brings about irrevocable constitutional change, is the benefit of providing a stimulus to the independence campaign that would inevitably flow from announcing a date for the referendum.

    In terms of a “timetable”, what Sturgeon must be cognisant of is the possibility – admittedly not great – that Theresa May might choose to end the negotiations early, rather than extend them as far as possible within the limits set down by Article 50. It is essential that the FM ensures there is sufficient time to deal with the practical aspects of organising the vote, as well as the likely obstacles that will be contrived by the British establishment – including refusal of a Section 30 Order.

    From all of this, we can see that there is an an increasingly powerful case for announcing a date. Or, to put it another way, there are only rapidly diminishing arguments for delay.

  5. Pingback: Speculation – Towards Indyref2…

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