Sunday 26 February 2012

Dates and leaks

Referendum date?
One thing is abundantly clear from all the comments I've read around the web about the purported day/date of the referendum. It is almost certainly impossible to find a day/date that will satisfy everyone. And it is likely that approximately the same minimum proportion of the electorate will be dissatisfied no matter what day/date is chosen.

On this point, I would say just one thing. Voting is a right and a responsibility. While the government obviously has a duty to do everything in its power to facilitate access to the democratic process and strive to ensure the highest possible turnout, it seems to me that some people would not be satisfied unless they were able to vote in the comfort of their own home at a date and time which they have selected such that it doesn't in any way impinge on their lives or cause even minimal inconvenience.

There may come a time when technology makes this possible. Until then, people need to realise that some small effort may be required of them. Maybe they just need to be a wee bit grown-up about the whole business.

On the matter of the alleged leaking of the date, I personally doubt that there was any tip-off. Why would Salmond take even that small risk? Any moderately well-informed person could have narrowed it down to one of three or four dates. After that, it's just a guess. In the absence of any official confirmation or denial that guess is going to be indistinguishable from insider knowledge. And there was no way the Scottish government was going to offer either confirmation or denial.

Other papers are certainly spitting tacks over this. But not because they've been scooped by a Sun on Sunday "exclusive" gifted to Murdoch by Alex Salmond. They're sick as parrots because they didn't think of the ruse first.

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