Pol­i­tics and trust

The Scotsman - - Perspective / Letters To The Editor -

What has hap­pened to trust in pol­i­tics (“Labour call for gen­eral elec­tion – but refuse to re­veal Brexit stance”, The Scots­man, 12 Jan­uary)?

We have the uned­i­fy­ing sce­nario of Labour chal­leng­ing the Tories on Brexit with­out a vi­able al­ter­na­tive pol­icy. We have the SNP eg­ging Labour on. We find a split de­vel­op­ing in the ranks of the SNP over which leader to sup­port. We have splits on Brexit in both Con­ser­va­tive and Labour par­ties. We have the speaker of the House of Com­mons mak­ing up the rules as he goes along and we have the re­sult of demo­cratic ref­er­en­dum votes be­ing chal­lenged from ev­ery an­gle.

There is a sim­ple so­lu­tion to most of this (ex­cept the Sal­mond vs Stur­geon de­bate) which seems to have fallen by the way­side: The re­sults of both the 2014 Scot­tish in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum and the 2016 Euro­pean Union mem­ber­ship ref­er­en­dum must be hon­oured in their en­tirety.

This means no more Indyref2 for a gen­er­a­tion and, as we voted to leave the Euro­pean Union, this must be done cleanly, hence the “no deal” op­tion is now the only way for­ward.

One fi­nal thought. No more ref­er­en­dums un­til the rules make it crys­tal-clear what con­sti­tutes a “win” and this is agreed by all par­ties (in­clud­ing the pub­lic) in ad­vance. A ref­er­en­dum on ref­er­en­dums! Po­etic jus­tice or sim­ply a recipe for more con­fu­sion?

(DR) GER­ALD ED­WARDS

Broom Road, Glas­gow

As the Prime Min­is­ter heads for in­evitable de­feat in the par­lia­men­tary vote on the With­drawal Agree­ment, Par­lia­ment will need to step in and re­solve the mat­ter.

The so­lu­tion seems rel­a­tively easy. In se­lect­ing a Pope, the car­di­nals meet in a con­clave – lit­er­ally mean­ing “with a key”,

They are locked to­gether un­til a Pope is se­lected and white smoke is fa­mously re­leased. In the 13th cen­tury it took al­most three years (12681271) to se­lect a new Pope fol­low­ing the death of Pope Cle­ment IV. As a re­sult of the length of the elec­tion three of the 20 car­di­nals died.

One way to has­ten agree­ment on the way ahead af­ter to­mor­row’s vote is to lock the cham­ber doors un­til a so­lu­tion is forth­com­ing.

With more than 600 MPS crammed to­gether in the cham­ber I pre­dict that a pos­i­tive out­come will be quickly pro­duced.

ALEX ORR March­mont Road, Ed­in­burgh

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