There is so much wrong with this article it’s hard to know where to start. I read Michael Fry’s comments regarding the “opinion poll showing a marked aversion” to a fresh independence referendum in 2017 with open-mouthed amazement that anyone could squeeze so much utter nonsense into a couple of paragraphs.
Leaving aside the obvious foolishness of accepting an opinion poll at face value, far less the mainstream media’s interpretation of that poll, Michael inexplicably fails to ask the obvious questions. what was the point of the poll? Why would people want a referendum in 2017?
Nobody is offering a referendum in 2017. Nobody is trying to sell the idea of a referendum in 2017. Nobody is even seriously talking about a referendum in 2017. All because the circumstances are not right for a referendum in 2017.
I don’t know what the precise question was. But it might as well have been as follows,
“Do you want a referendum that isn’t being proposed and for which the appropriate conditions do not exist?”
It it any surprise that people said No? The startling thing is that anybody at all said Yes. To take this poll as indicating anything meaningful is just plain silly.
I have always maintained that the most likely date for #indyref2 is September 2018. But I qualify this by acknowledging that it could be as early as September 2017 IF THE APPROPRIATE CIRCUMSTANCES ARISE.
This is the point that Michael Fry misses. And it has to be said that he is far from alone. The poll to which he refers, to whatever extent it truly does measure attitudes to a referendum in 2017, is a snapshot at a point where the prevailing circumstances make it a near certainty that people will make a perfectly reasonable judgement that a referendum in 2017 would be a bad idea. Add them to the hard-core British nationalists who are opposed to the democratic process of self-determination under any circumstances, and you have an easy majority against a referendum in 2017.
But circumstances change. And when circumstances change, people adjust their attitudes accordingly. (Unless they are British nationalist bigots, of course.) Incredibly, Michael Fry notes that the political situation is uncommonly volatile, but totally fails to realise that this volatility MUST translate into changing assessments of the situation. Including changing views on the desirability of a referendum in 2017.
The notion that this opinion poll is final and conclusive is, frankly, idiotic. It is quite easy to imagine factors which would drastically alter the responses. For a start, the very fact of Nicola Sturgeon proposing a new vote would be bound to have some effect. And she would only do this if other factors had prompted her to do so. factors which voters would also take into account.
That is far from being the only flaw in this analysis. But, even without the almost equally daft idea that a constitutional question can be answered with a calculator, it is enough for me to dismiss both the ‘reasoning’ and the conclusion.
Independence is inevitable. Every day brings us closer. Nothing that has happened in the last few weeks alters that reality in any way at all.
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