Preventing a second referendum

The SNP doesn’t have a mandate to call a second independence referendum.  That’s the view of Unionist politicians like Ruth Davidson.  It also appears to be the view of BBC Scotland presenter Gordon Brewer.

Brewer made a bizarre claim on the Sunday Politics Show when, during a discussion with Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw and Scottish Green Co-convenor Patrick Harvie, he said the SNP administration doesn’t have an indyref2 mandate because the party is relying on support from the Scottish Greens in next week’s vote in Holyrood.

He said: “It’s not just about the Greens, the point is the entire argument of the SNP is that they have a cast iron mandate, but they don’t have a cast-iron mandate if they’re relying on the support of a party which doesn’t have any mandate.”

Brewer made his remark after an exchange with Harvie in which he also claimed the Scottish Greens had no right to back Nicola Sturgeon’s stance.  The presenter suggested Harvie’s MSPs should in fact abstain from a Holyrood vote due to take place this coming week.

But Brewer’s claim is nonsense.  The Scottish Government doesn’t require Scottish Green support in order to secure a mandate and win a vote on whether to request a Section 30 order.  The SNP has more MSPs than all three Unionist parties combined, 63 versus 60 [59 if you discount Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh].  If the Scottish Greens abstain there is still a pro-independence majority in the chamber.

The bogus mandate claim followed an equally bogus claim from the BBC Scotland presenter on whether there is support for a second independence referendum amongst the general population.  Pressing Patrick Harvie on whether the Scottish Greens themselves should consider backing the Scottish Government, Brewer said the following: “Every opinion poll shows people don’t want a second referendum.”

This is simply untrue.  There have been several polls which return a variety of results on the question of whether voters back a second referendum or not.  Some show a majority in favour and some show a majority against.  The most recent poll shows a virtual dead-heat.

This of course is another strand of the Unionist narrative.  Indeed it appeared as the number one story on BBC Scotland on Sunday after Ruth Davidson was helpfully invited onto the Andrew Marr show.

Davidson’s invite allowed the Scottish Tory leader to make all sorts of assertions about the SNP and a second independence referendum.

Within minutes of making these mini-speeches, her message was being broadcast across the BBC airwaves.  It appeared on Radio Scotland bulletins.


It was the number one item on Reporting Scotland.

What we are witnessing is not news.  It’s propaganda dressed up as news.  The aim is to condition the Scottish electorate into accepting the legitimate mandate earned by the SNP, which gives Nicola Sturgeon the right to call a second independence referendum, is in fact illegitimate.

This is an attack on democracy itself by those charged with protecting it.  Unionists and their media allies are attempting, through stealth, to deny a democratically elected government the mandate handed to it by voters.

MSPs are elected through a proportional system – albeit one that’s imperfect.  Majority governments are meant to be near impossible to achieve in a Scottish election.

In essence what Unionists are saying is that – barring a majority – no party can ever have a mandate to implement its manifesto.  Worse than that, according to Unionist wisdom, it is they who won the right to prevent a referendum.

Unionist politicians like Ruth Davidson are, in effect, using the media in order to disenfranchise Scottish voters.  Presenters like Gordon Brewer so need to be at the heart of these political machinations that they allow themselves to be used.  To call out the charade is to be on the outside looking in.

So Gordon Brewer invents a line of argument that allows him to continue the propaganda.  He should know the Scottish Government doesn’t need Scottish Green votes.  He should also know that polls don’t actually show people are against a referendum.  But who cares if it means he gets to play the role of the intellectually superior host who has his finger on the pulse.

This nonsense will continue as long as there are career minded presenters like Brewer willing to go along with it.  It has to continue if the UK Government is to withhold consent for a Section 30 without causing support for independence to rise in any meaningful way.  If the electorate can be persuaded that it is in fact the SNP who are attempting to circumvent democracy and the UK Government that is its protector, then a second referendum can be blocked, perhaps indefinitely.


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14 thoughts on “Preventing a second referendum

  1. TheStrach

    Like Nicola I trust the people of Scotland. They will see this propaganda for what it is, helped by sites such as this one.

    The BritNats really must be desperate to come out with this nonsense. It convinces me we are much closer to victory than many of us think, although it won’t be easy. They are terrified which is why the propaganda is so virulent.

    They’ve tried to cover it up but the Tory government is itself illegitimate. They broke electoral law to win the General Election and been fined. The CPS must now decide whether to prosecute. The Tories are much weaker than they appear and that’s before the true negative impact of Brexit becomes apparent.

    We’re also not on our own this time. Once Article 50 is called we can expect help from our friends in Europe.

  2. strathedin

    Brewer was absolutely shocking…even worse than usual. it must have been noticeable to any rational voter. Tick tock.

  3. Kevin

    I don’t understand why MSPs, Nationalist or otherwise, don’t simply tell Brewer etc that they are wrong, and reinforce it – on-air – while BBC folk are watching?

    I mean,

    Brewer: “They can only win this vote this week with your support, and you’re arguably….”
    Harvie: “Hold-on, Gordon, you know that’s completely untrue, and furthermore, it’s no secret that the Scottish Greens support an independent Scotland, so why *wouldn’t* we support this vote?”…
    A little more assertion during the interview and Gordon would falter – anyone actually tried this?

    1. David Mooney

      He did try but Brewer talked over him before any answer could be given. You could see a flash of anger in Harvie’s eyes when Brewer continued to basically answer the questions for him. A tactic commonly used by all BBC reporters and presenters to push their own agenda.

  4. Angus Skye

    Are we now at a stage where we need to “win the polls” before we “win the right to a referendum”?

    There is clearly a desire within Scotland for another referendum. It doesn’t matter a hoot whether polls show 30%, 50% or 70% supporting it, never mind 49% or 51%. No-one can deny that there is a very large part of the electorate that wants a referendum, so let’s stop dancing on the head of a pin over polls and get on with it.

  5. Ian Telfer

    Gordon Broon came to toon to say some words as a Yoon . One belch here and one belch there and then he vanished through the flair.

  6. Clydebuilt

    Great analysis GAP……. Well all the SNP + Greens have to do is leaflet the country explaining this……

    Plus all readers of this article should share it to all their contacts, asking them to share etc.

    This is just one of many lies we will have to overcome on the road to Independence.
    Overcoming them
    starts with someone analysing the situation and demonstrating their strategy.

  7. Col

    This Sunday get as many friends as possible to Glasgow and lets show the BBC in Scotland exactly what we think of them. Let’s make it a big turnout at the protest. It’s clear they are going to be just as biased as before if not more.
    We need to mobilise and get our energy back for the campaign to rid ourselves of our corrupt masters in Westminster. We cannot afford to lose this time. If we fight hard enough this time we will claim the prize of independence for our country.

  8. Sam

    Coming up on Call Kaye after 10am. Leading economist proposing an increasing in the rivalry between the Old Firm to boost Scottish football.

    More like increase the Division in Scittish Society, to help our rulers with their conquering , Good Old State Broadcaster

  9. bringiton

    Until Wednesday,the unionists can promote the line that it is only Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP that want a second referendum.
    Once Holyrood ratifies the decision,they are going to have to argue that the Scottish parliament is acting illegally.
    That will not go down well with Scots.
    To argue that public opinion should not he sought on a fundamental decision affecting our constitution and rights of citizens,is a very Tory view of life and a major weakness for Labour in particular.

  10. Mark,Rowantree

    Brewer is doing nothing more nor less than attempting to subvert the democratically expressed will of the Scottish people! Truly scandalous!

  11. Mark Richards

    I have now cancelled my Sky tv,I’ve had enough of the beeb and them standing in Scotlands way. Interesting to hear their reply when they ask the usual pathetic question “have you found a better supplier/price”? Naw, it’s just you and your attitude towards the good people of Scotland!

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