MOST SCOTTISH voters believe the UK is “no longer a fully democratic country” because of Westminster’s refusal to allow indyref2 under any circumstances.
The revelation is the latest finding of the Panelbase poll.
It shouldn’t be forgotten just how dramatic a break this UK government has made with decades of British democratic tradition. Until Theresa May, every British Prime Minister since Harold Wilson had made clear that Scotland could leave the UK if it voted to do so. Now we’re told that’s there is no longer any democratic route to independence for decades to come, and that no matter how many times we vote to hold an independence referendum, our decision will simply be ignored. Perhaps fittingly for an administration led by a proponent of “cakeism”, though, the Tories still seem to expect Scottish voters to punish Nicola Sturgeon for using the rather appropriate word “prison” in relation to the UK.
Panelbase poll to test Scottish public attitudes about what the denial of a Section 30 order means for the state of UK democracy. The results are nothing short of damning.
The UK government has said that it will not allow the Scottish Parliament to call an independence referendum even if the SNP win an outright majority of seats in next year’s Scottish Parliament election. In light of that decision, which of these two statements is closest to your own view of democracy in the UK?
The UK is no longer a fully democratic country: 49%
The UK is still a fully democratic country: 39%
With Don’t Knows removed, approximately 56% of respondents say that the UK is no longer fully democratic, and only 44% disagree. Remarkably, as many as 14% of respondents who would vote No in a new referendum appear to feel that the denial of a Section 30 has implications for democracy.
I don’t think it should be underestimated how big a warning sign these findings are for the Johnson government. The UK is not Spain, and it’s doubtful whether the London commentariat will turn a blind eye forever if the penny really starts to drop that Scotland isn’t remotely relaxed about the way its democratic decisions are being disregarded. Once consciences start to prick about Scotland-the-colony, a few holes may appear in the wall of intransigence that we’re currently faced with. And even if that doesn’t happen, it’ll clearly be a lot easier for Nicola Sturgeon to take the radical steps that will then be necessary if the Scottish public understand the nature of the democratic deficit that has to be addressed.