(793) BRING IT ON”: LABOUR WANTS AN INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM – OR DOES IT?”
Scottish Labour Party leader Wendy Alexander MSP seemed to undermine the Calman Commission which she had so recently helped to set up (see No 791) when during an appearance on the BBC Scotland Politics Show on 4 May 2008 she called for an early referendum on the Scottish independence question, using the immortal phrase, “Bring it on”. It is, however, SNP Government policy to hold the referendum in 2010, while Scottish Labour (and the other opposition parties) have been against any referendum at all, reflected in the exclusion of independence from the Calman remit. Ms Alexander’s new approach failed to gain the enthusiastic (or indeed any) support from Prime Minister Gordon Brown who on 7 May said that she hadn’t been calling for a referendum but rather pointing up the hypocrisy of the SNP position on the subject. Ms Alexander however continued to insist that she was calling for an early referendum. Let’s hope that Calman can do his work for the Unionist case in time, or at least before both Alexander and Brown have departed the leadership scene.