And speaking of Number Ones...This is a first guest post on this site. I'll be interested to read reaction to it and to the idea of using guest posters/bloggers. The description below comes from Sammy himself - JC
Sammy McNally is an itinerant Fenian scribbler… and a fictional prod character bestowed upon us by James Young. He has previously written for other blogs such as Keeping an eye on Tzar of Russia, We in the coming days, Three Thousand Versts of loneliness, and Slugger O’Toole. He describes his politics as republican lite.
No Poll here (referenda and how to avoid them)
If there is one thing Nationalists, whether Scottish, British or Irish, like even less than those larger, nefarious, noisy, neighbours - who always seem intent on suppressing and subjugating them - it is a referendum(which they are certain to lose).
The leader of the Scottish National party, the canniest of Scotsmen, the man who singlehandedly harnessed the emotion surrounding the Australian directed drama about a 13th century woad-wearing insurgent and used it to deliver himself into power, the man who was thought by many(including yours truly) to be the best political operator in these islands - has a particular dislike for referenda - because poor Alex - has to actually deliver one in Scotland.
As all good Nationalists in these islands should know well, the trick is to be fully behind the principle of a referendum (in public) whilst simultaneously being determined(in private) to avoid holding one. So quite how Alex-the-wise, managed to trip himself up on his own constitutional shoelaces is not clear. It is of course possible that Alex started to believe his own propaganda but it probably more likely that he was labouring under the mistaken impression - that if you make an election promise- then you have to stick to it.
…a basic schoolboy error, as fellow countryman, the estimable George Galloway, might well say.
Down England way, the (otherwise) less promising British nationalist leader, Davey Cameron, had no intention of committing such a howler. As a diligent student of Tory party history (and a Bullingdon Club activist), he would know full well that election promises(like restaurant furniture) are there to be broken.
…and so confident was the Tory leader that he could make a referendum promise and break it, that Davey, even offered his referendum wrapped up in a 'cast iron guarantee' promising to allow the long suffering, plain people of Britain, the chance to throw off the yoke of the perfidious Europeans(and especially those dreadful French).
Meanwhile, across sea in Ireland, the nationalist leader Gerry Adams, fresh himself from (allegedly) leading an insurgency to expel the British overlords, is still demanding a referendum on the removal of the border - in spite of the fact that the 2011 Census results from Northern Ireland showed less that 30% claiming ‘Irish’ as their National identity. Gerry, unlike Alex and Davey, won’t however be making any promises on referenda because he is (luckily for him) unencumbered with the power to actually deliver on one.
…also luckily for Gerry, the one person who has the power to call a referendum on the border is Teresa(the Viceroy) Villiers, herself a Tory who, therefore, fully understands that when a fellow Nationalist in these parts, stamps his feet and rallies his troops by claiming he dearly wants a referendum, he does of course actually want no such thing - just like Davey, her own leader - and of course the unfortunate Alex.