Referendum not an election (Kennedy Stewart)

I am amazed at the number of people I’ve met who appear to be under the illusion we are holding an election on September 18th to decide whether or not Alex Salmond should become “Lord Emperor of Scotland”.

“He is promising this but he won’t be able to do that” they say, as if we are having a presidential election.

We will not be electing anyone or any party to office next month.

The sole purpose of the referendum is to decide whether or not Scotland should become an independent country.

A ‘Yes’ vote is not a vote for Salmond or the SNP.

We will only elect our leaders if and when independence is achieved.

Kennedy Stewart
Hillside Road,


Add Your Comment
  • John Keenlyside

    • August 29th, 2014 15:39

    A country can only fulfill its destiny by making its own decisions. Vote FOR independence!

    • Joe Bialek

      • September 7th, 2014 20:39

      This letter is in response to the articles covering the Scottish referendum vote for independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

      As a citizen of and believer in democracy, I applaud the efforts of the Scots. Their efforts are similar to what is happening in many other parts of the world.

      Believe it or not, one thing that trumps capitalism and political correctness in the United States is the right to have one’s voice heard. This is the foundation of which our democracy is built on. The Scots should continue to defy the United Kingdom’s powerful influence so that Scottish democracy can begin to thrive. It is unfortunate that the United States compromised on one of its most fundamental values in order to protect its economic interests in the United Kingdom; something that happens all too often domestically as well. It is not the Scots that are attempting to seize power but rather their independence; it is however those currently in power who have engaged in intimidation to prevent the will of the people from being heard. Why else would they stoop to such underhanded tactics to block various means of communication among the citizens of Scotland?

      United Kingdom of Great Britain, you have had over three hundred years to help Scotland and have failed them by your own choosing. The days of the despotic regime are finally coming to an end as it appears the desire for freedom will continue to sweep among the Welsh. Accordingly, let the call go forth among all citizens of Scotland that your brothers and sisters of democracy from all over the world are with you during every trial and tribulation you may encounter during this crisis. To the people of Scotland, the trumpet of freedom beckons you to exercise your suffrage and ensure your vote to preserve your sacred heritage, promote your children’s future and obtain the blessings of liberty we all cherish.

      Scotland, the hour of your redemption is at hand. As you the rightful citizens move forward to reclaim your own country, rise and vote! In the name of those who were murdered fighting for everyone’s rights, rise and vote! To end the rule of this regime, rise and vote! Let no one continue to fear. Let every Scot be strong and push on for their freedom. Rise and vote!

      United Kingdom of Britain, let the Scottish people go!

      Cleveland, OH USA

      “Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.” Bertrand Russell

  • Kathy Greaves

    • August 29th, 2014 18:58

    I am amazed, Kennedy, that you believe that a ‘YES’ vote is not a vote for Salmond or for the SNP. If you had watched the last, second, TV debate – debacle – between Salmond and Darling, you would have heard Salmond use the words ‘I’ and ‘ME’ on most occasions during the first half of his diatribe, as he described what he wanted, what he believed, and so on.

    If you vote YES, you will get Salmond with his empire-building ego.

    Vote NO.

    Kathy Greaves

  • Kennedy Stewart

    • August 31st, 2014 11:28

    You are speculating Kathy. Alex Salmond can say whatever he pleases but the fact is he will only lead an independent Scotland if we vote him and the SNP to power at a general election.

    We are not holding a general election on September 18th. We are voting solely to decide whether or not Scotland should become an independent country.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • August 31st, 2014 20:37

    Kennedy Stewart claims the sole purpose of the referendum is to decide whether or not Scotland should become an independent country and a ‘Yes’ vote is not a vote for Salmond or the SNP.

    Kennedy, you could not be more wrong; it is also a vote for what happens after we vote yes or no, which in the case of a yes vote will include who will govern us.
    As Salmond and the SNP are the main party to advocate the move to independence and have published a manifesto, in the form of a white paper for the post independence period, they automatically make this vote about themselves.
    The other morning I listened to Salmond answering questions on BBC Radio Scotland and 90% of the answers he gave appertaining to a post independence Scotland were in the form of a reference to the white paper and his and his governments vision of independence.
    No other political party has a post independence manifesto, no other party has given any indication of what we can expect from them if elected after a yes vote.
    The two big TV debates have had Salmond representing the yes vote and giving ambiguous promises on Scotland’s independent future as well as proclaiming “we” (Salmond and the SNP) will win this vote.

    The whole debate for the Yes campaign has centered around the SNP government and its white paper and what we can expect after a yes vote.

    This vote is about our future and that future includes every single thing that will affect our lives be it political, financial or social and to vote yes without considering them would be like playing Russian roulette with a fully loaded revolver.

    • Kennedy Stewart

      • September 2nd, 2014 1:32

      What you are saying is incorrect Gordon. This is important as we need to be clear about what we are voting for or against at the referendum.

      When we enter the ballot box on September 18th we will not have an option to vote for or against Alex Salmond and the SNP. We will simply have the choice to vote for or against independence.

      The SNP has not published an election manifesto as you state (nor has any other party) . What you are referring to is the Scottish Government’s “Scotland’s Future” White Paper.

      As First Minister, Salmond says in the introduction of that document: “At it’s heart independence is not about this Government or any political party.

      “The vote in September 2014 is about becoming independent from the parliamentary union of 1707 and passing to the Scottish Parliament the powers Westminster has over matters such as taxation, welfare and the economy, and securing for Scotland our own place in the world as an independent country.

      “Other choices can be made, different from those we propose in this guide – but these will be the choices of the Scottish people. Independence will put the people of Scotland in charge of our own destiny.”

      If we do vote for independence the current Scottish Government, led by Salmond and the SNP, will enter settlement negotiations with the UK Government. These talks are projected to last 18 months.

      Scotland would become independent on March 24th 2016 with Scottish Parliament elections taking place in the spring of that year. Only then would we vote for the SNP and other political parties.

      Crucially, any party coming to power with a majority in those Parliamentary elections can run the country as they see fit.

      So, for example, the present government has stated it will seek to keep Scotland within the Union of the Crowns with Her Majesty the Queen as our head of state, however if a party gains overall control of the Scottish Parliament on the back of a pledge to make Scotland a republic – that is what we will become.

      To suggest Scotland will become a non-democratic one party state in the event of independence is at best misguided and at worst disingenuous.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • September 7th, 2014 9:15

        Kennedy Stewart, misguided and at worst disingenuous, a perfect description of your last letter as at no point did I suggest Scotland will become a non-democratic one party state in the event of independence. That Mr Stewart is a highly contentious issue which you have brought up and put on the radar for the rest of us to look at with some suspicion.

        I and a majority of the No side of the independence debate know and truly believe this vote is about independence and Alex Salmond and the SNP.

        Who published a white paper which is better known as the SNPs manifesto for independence ? Alex Salmond and the SNP.

        Who claimed a mandate to take Scotland down the road to separation with only 23 % of the Scottish electorate behind them? Alex Salmond and the SNP.

        Who have occupied the Yes seats on panels debating Scottish independence? Alex Salmond and the SNP.

        Who will lead separation negotiations with the UK? Alex Salmond and the SNP.

        Who will lead EU accession negotiations? Alex Salmond and the SNP
        Who will lead negotiations with many other organisations such as NATO and the UN? Alex Salmond and the SNP.

        Who will agree the terms and conditions of all these negotiations, for and on behalf of the entire Scottish nation? Alex Salmond and the SNP.

        Who wants all negotiations signed and sealed before the next Holyrood elections in 2016? Alex Salmond and the SNP.

        Most of these negotiations conducted by Alex Salmond and the SNP cannot be reversed.

        Making it impossible for any party coming to power with a majority in the next Parliamentary elections to run this country other than by the terms negotiated and laid down by Alex Salmond and the SNP.

        The only caveat of course is if the next government was Alex Salmond and the SNP, making this independence referendum irrefutably and undeniably all about Alex Salmond and the SNP.

      • Kennedy Stewart

        • September 7th, 2014 19:50

        Gordon – You maintain the referendum is a vote for or against the SNP. If your assertion were correct we would have an undemocratic one party state in the event of a majority voting ‘yes’ – as there are no alternatives to vote for and most people would have been unable to select their favoured party.

        But you are wrong to say the SNP have made this vote about themselves. This isn’t an election. We can’t vote for any political party and a ‘yes’ vote will not give the SNP consent to rule over an independent Scotland.

        You claim most of what is negotiated by the Scottish Government in the event of a ‘yes’ vote will be irreversible. What do you believe couldn’t be changed?

      • Gordon Harmer

        • September 8th, 2014 16:29

        Kennedy your last question is probably the most ambiguous things I have ever heard; once the agreement is signed and sealed that is it, we are stuck with it. Have you not been keeping up with this debate, one of the biggest arguments against independence is there is no going back and that includes what ever deal Salmond negotiates for us, we are stuck with it. Unless of course you know better.

      • Kennedy Stewart

        • September 10th, 2014 21:38

        The question I asked you Gordon wasn’t ambigious in the slightest. It was perfectly clear. I am immersed in the independence debate but I don’t believe everything I read about it in the papers and I am not blind to the fact politicians are often economical with the truth. It appears you are getting incorrect information from these sources or elsewhere as you say we are ‘stuck’ with whatever is negotiated by the Scottish Government inbetween a ‘Yes’ vote and independence day.

        In the ‘Scotland’s Future’ White Paper, which sets out the current Scottish Government’s vision for independence, Alex Salmond says: “Other choices can be made, different from those we propose in this guide – but these will be the choices of the Scottish people. Independence will put the people of Scotland in charge of our own destiny.” Having said this, Alex Salmond and the SNP would be committing political suicide if they denied the Scottish people the right to change anything they agree during negotiations.

  • Marie Williamson

    • September 2nd, 2014 17:37

    Kennedy your assesment is completely factual. There is a Scottish Referendum due in 2016 which will decide the Government for the New Independant Scotland. These two comments are testiment to why so many people are deciding there vote on misinformation. Im sorry but the facts are out there. Perhaps it’s easier for those of us with internet access. Just Google Scottish Referendum 2016.

    Here’s one

    • Ali Inkster

      • September 2nd, 2014 22:25

      I think the question you have failed to answer is. What will happen between September 19th 2014 and the election in May 2016. because it is eck that will hold the reigns in this all important time should there be a yes vote? But more important to the people of Shetland why if self determination is such an important right of people has the scoty parliament denied that right to the people of Orkney, Shetland and the Western isles?

      • Kennedy Stewart

        • September 6th, 2014 11:28

        Ali – If a significant number of Shetland, Orkney and Western Isles residents had signed the islands independence petition then the Scottish Government would not have been justified in rejecting it. As it was, only 1,177 people signed the petition. Right now there is little appetite for an independent Shetland but I believe the Scottish Parliament should grant us self rule if a majority of Shetlanders ever vote for it.

        As for Alex Salmond holding the reigns between September 19th and May 2016, we are not going to become independent until March 2016 so it won’t be possible for him to do much beyond leading the Scottish Government in the settlement negotiations. What the Scottish Government will be fighting for in those negotiations has already been set out in the “Scotland’s Future” White Paper so nobody can spring any surprises on us in that period.

    • Ali Inkster

      • September 6th, 2014 15:58

      The problem is Shetland folk are too busy trying to make a living to play politics, if the petition had received the same level of promotion as scottish independence had there would of been a hell of a lot more signatures. I spent a few hours of my time and got ten percent of those signatures in hamnavoe alone.

  • Mark Jamieson

    • September 3rd, 2014 8:51

    Looking on this from a far, well Norway, and not actually being able to vote myself. I have built up my understanding from a neutral perspective. And my conclusion, if I had the chance to vote would be Yes, for many reasons but it simple mans terms, a NO vote is a vote for nothing to change, well more likely change for the worse given Westminister can still have main control over scottish affairs. A YES vote is a vote for the oppurtunity to change and I have been amazed at the number of people who are saying they will vote NO because hey dislike Alex Salmond. When Norway chose to break free from Sweden and Stockholm controlling the purse strings in 1905 it was to give themselves the oppurtunity to govern and control their own affairs as a nation, one other interesting point is that at the time Norway was the 2nd poorest ‘country’ in Europe. Luckily they had Michael J Fox to go back to the future to tell them that the oil companies would find oil in the 1960’s before they decided to go it alone, but he cleverly never told the Swedes:-)

  • Marie Williamson

    • September 3rd, 2014 13:45

    Ali Inkster you’re going to have Eck as u call him, till 2016 anyway cause he’s the leader voted in by the majority of Scotland and as I remember quite a popular and loyal wee freend oh Oor Wullie.

  • Dave Cooper

    • September 9th, 2014 10:08

    After the yes vote Westminster will become yesterdays man.
    Alex Salmond & the SMP will need to concentrate on getting Scotland a good deal with the EU, NATO et al.
    Scotland will be on it’s way leaving Westminster as a sideshow.

    • Peter Smith

      • September 9th, 2014 16:09

      Blimey Dave, a pint of what you’ve been drinking!

      Not that I’m a fan of the place, but really, Westminster a side show? That’ll be the parliament for the UK (pop 60m+) – permanent UN security Council member, EU member, NATO member, G8 member, Olympics…….

      Outshining it, Edinburgh, parliament for Scotland (pop 5m+) rushing around applying for membership to everything it used to belong to?

      Mind you, we wont have to apply to join FIFA. And as the Yes campaign keep assuring us that everthing will be better in the tartan utopia, I look forward to seeing Scotland at every world cup from 2018 onwards

      • Dave Cooper

        • September 10th, 2014 0:19

        After the Yes vote & Scotland has turned away from the rest of the union as far as Scotland’s concerned Westminster won’t count for much against the global stage. England, Wales & Northern Ireland are only just about 60 million in a world of 7 billion.
        Plus according to the rhetoric one of the main motives for wanting independence appears to be to get shot of Westminster. To make it irrelevant to the Scots.

  • David Spence

    • September 10th, 2014 0:40

    I am highly sceptical about the latest offerings by the 3 main parties (especially from the vile Tories) if the Scottish people vote ‘ No ‘. Giving Scotland greater control over taxes (which will end up in London and subsequently divided into budgets for English Local Authorities………or if the vile Tories get their way, our taxes going towards paying private companies to expand their businesses (just like tax payers money being used to build 150 private academies and give private schools subsidies etc etc) whilst at the same time cutting the budgets of Local Authorities (especially in Scotland) and the vile Tories keeping the money for themselves (buying shares in the newly privatised academies or the NHS) whilst, like all people who think more about their personal wealth and profits, lying to the people that cuts were necessary due to the previous Labour Government borrowing too much (and nobody has made the lowest scum of society pay for the mess they have created (due to their own greed)……..namely the biggest rooks within our society, the ***kers).

    Scotland should go it alone with its own currency regardless to what the Head of the Bank of England says. Blackmailing a whole country to force it to vote No, will not work. Lets hope it weakens the value of the pound sterling, and for the Scottish currency to challenge (just like the Euro to the Dollar) and encourage investment of the Scottish currency as a better deal than sterling, dollar and the euro as Scotland becomes a stronger and stronger economy.

  • Scott Graham

    • September 11th, 2014 1:49

    I’m claiming the name for the new Scottish currency the jock dollar and I look forward to being a millionaire!

  • James Howitt

    • September 11th, 2014 2:49

    The White paper was conceived by the SNP, written by the SNP and is the basis on which the YES campaign is being fought on. So, the simple answer is Yes. It is a vote for Salmond and his vision. If there is a Green alternative manifesto for independence then please point me toward it as I would be delighted to read it.

    Simply put if you don’t buy into the White paper then what are the grounds for negotiation in the event of a Yes vote? We will vote Yes and umm then what?

    I see some don’t understand that local authority funding is a reserved matter; that there isn’t yet a plan for a Scottish currency and that Scotland can go it alone with it’s own currency and the Head(sic) of the BoE has never said it couldn’t. The Governor of the BoE was expressing scepticism that a currency union would work without a deep degree of politcial union. Westminster will still play a role post Indy because it will be the guardian of the international border where Scotland sits, and under QMV within the EU it will be either a strong ally or foe in negotiations regarding, say fisheries. Salmond was also never voted in by a majority of Scotland. The SNP won a majority of seats on 48% of the vote in 2011 on a turnout of less than 65%. By my maths that is actually a minority and under representative democracy you rarely get a government you vote for.

    The letter from America is comedy genius. I suggest a tin foil hat will cure the problems regarding blocked communications amongst the people of Scotland.


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