Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Henry in hot water



Just a quick post on the former First Minister's comments which seem to have gotten him in hot water within his own party.

Just to be clear, Henry McLeish has welcomed the Scottish Government's National Conversation as an "open debate" on Scotland's constitutional future.

He has not (yet) come round to the idea of Scottish independence, nor is he promoting that as the way forward for Scotland. He simply stated that he believed that the Scottish Government's National Conversation was, in his words, an "open debate" on the future of Scotland.

While the National Conversation has left open a number of constitutional options for the future, the Lab/Con/Lib Dem commission/working group/review has already closed the door to their least favoured option - independence.

Now, far be it for me to say, but hasn't Henry McLeish merely stated the truth? That the National Conversation is exactly that - an open discussion with the nation over where they want to see Scotland go in the future. He hasn't even given his view on it. So for him to be vilified in some quarters for his comments doesn't make much sense to me.

The man is using his democratic right to freedom of speech to welcome the opportunity for others across the country to use their democratic right to freedom of speech. A democratic right which, according to the unionist parties, should not be afforded to the rest of Scotland in a referendum on independence.

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