Scottish referendum debates: some useful links

The last 10 days or so have been rather hectic for anyone interested in constitutional politics, or Scotland, and particularly a referendum on Scottish independence.  I thought it might be useful to bring together a collection of useful links regarding this debate.

The UK Government’s consultation paper on a referendum, proposing a section 30 order (and already discussed HERE) can be found here.

The Advocate General for Scotland, Lord (Jim) Wallace of Tankerness (the UK Government’s law officer for Scotland) gave a speech at Glasgow University on Friday regarding questions of legal competence to hold a referendum.  His speech highlights a number of legal problems already highlighted on this blog.  The speech can be downloaded from here.

His earlier statement about the legal competence of a referendum, widely quoted in the press, can be found here.  There’s news coverage of that from the Scotsman, with an interview, here, and from BBC News here.

Also on Friday, Iain Jamieson (formerly a Scottish Office and Scottish Executive lawyer, heavily involved in framing the Scotland Act 1998) had an article in the Scotsman on the legal problems a referendum would face.  That’s available here.

A piece in Wednesday’s Telegraph by Sir Tom Hunter about the need for ‘pragmatism’ in the constitutional debate is here.

The coming week is due to see publication of the Scottish Government’s consultation paper regarding a referendum, and I’ll add a link to that when it’s available.  That can now (25 January) be downloaded from here.

For light relief, there’s a video explainer about independence issues from the Taiwanese TV company that specialises in animating complex world news stories.  It features ‘Braveheart’ painted faces, men in kilts, caber-tossing, bottles of Buckfast, a calendar with Maggie Thatcher in a bikini, a guy in a Star Trek red shirt, a version of the USS Enterprise powered by cans of Irn-Bru, and a guy nutting a TV set saying ‘I’ll see you Jimmie’ (so no clichés there then).  Curiously, Alex Salmond’s name turns into ‘Saruman’ when it’s transliterated into Mandarin.  That can be found from Youtube here, and is highly recommended for a laugh.



Filed under Courts and legal issues, Media issues, Referendums, Scotland

4 responses to “Scottish referendum debates: some useful links

  1. Dave

    I think the legal and constitutional questions are largely irrelevant. If unionists raise them, it will be counterproductive.

    After all, if the Scots are voting for independence, they’re voting out of the UK’s constitution (for what it is, whatever it is) and its legal system.

    It’s a political issue, and it has to be approached in that way. It’s up to the unionists to put the case of retaining the union (to the Scots) if they’re so minded, and for nationalists to put their case.

    That the unionists are largely turning to legal and constitutional issues indicates the weakness of their political arguments, which I have to admit given the UK’s history and its current predicament is unsurprising.

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  3. dave mcilroy

    i am scottish born and bred but live in london, a situation that applies to possibly tens of thousands of scots living and working in england,wales and northern ireland. It appears we have been dis-enfranchised and will be denied the opportunity to vote on the devolution. I have a scottish birth certificate and scottish marriage certificate.Alex Salmond is not a democrat he is a populist politician who knows he may be on uncertain and shifting ground.Part of his “fixing” of this vote is to deny me and thousands of other proud scots the ability to vote in this referendum. I would welcome some form of protest or action on this.Is there any activity or action on this issue?

  4. I hope that the article at is a useful analysis of the argument that an Act providing for the holding of a referendum would itself be unlawful.

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