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The road to independence runs through Holyrood

Scot Goes Pop

Here’s something that actually happened, but that may surprise you if you don’t remember it. In the mid-1990s, a young Nicola Sturgeon appeared on the BBC’s Question Time as an ordinary member of the audience, and challenged Donald Dewar over Labour’s apparent change of heart about the method by which Scotland could choose to become an independent country. She was furious that Tony Blair, with his customary infernal arrogance, had just undone a political consensus dating back to the 1970s by stating that it would not necessarily be sufficient for the SNP to win a majority of Scottish seats at Westminster, and that a referendum might be required to ratify the decision. She demanded that Dewar, a rare breed of unionist noted for his impeccable commitment to self-determination, should rein his errant leader in. But Dewar declined to accept the premise that anything dramatic had occurred, and looked entirely relaxed as he supported Blair’s stance on the grounds that the SNP could easily win a majority of Scottish seats on less than 50% of the vote, and that it would obviously be inappropriate for Scotland to become independent until it had been proven that a majority of the population supported the idea.

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